Monday, August 24, 2015

Week #53 - Sacrifice

I invite you all to join me on a journey.
We are floating. Calmly. Peacefully. The breeze through your hair tickles as you breathe in the warm, comfortable night.

You see distant dolphins frolicking playfully and the ocean waves lap over your toes.

The cushy floating tube, in which you recline, offers a cloud-like escape and yawn suddenly overcomes you.

What more could you ask for?

Does this not seem like Paradise? Being able to relax and forget about the world. Just focusing on the things that are in front of you. Right? 

Now a question: How long before this Paradise becomes stale? Until our toes are raisins and we start to feel the rumble of thunder coming from your hungry stomach?

Paradise is only paradise for a moment and then it becomes....normal. For example, the people here in Florida eat avocados from the tree in their backyard. It's just normal life! I'm still geeking out about the fact I can eat them everyday and that people will give them away.....for free!! Nectar!

Now think of this is whole scenario and apply it to your spirituality. After a while, reading the scriptures is an everyday thing. Praying is something we do all of the time. Church comes every Sunday. Visiting teaching happens once a month. Those people asking for priesthood blessing do it constantly and it becomes routine. Each day we live can be the same thing, if WE let it be. But I've better learned this week how we can break out of that and help our lives become FULL. I would like to share it with a story.

People, I only have 6 months left in my mission. I know it's taboo to even make mention that time has passed in missionary work but we need to realize that time does move on! That we are constantly progressing or digressing.  

I began to notice that the small rules I obey everyday started to become a little less important. I started to let it slip just a FRACTION. I had allowed myself a little more lax time to float in my cushy floating tube. It began to be rote. I began to get a little bored. The work became harder. I started to struggle. We received a training in which they committed all of us to be exactly obedient and to pay close attention to the little things. I recommitted myself to be a representative of Jesus Christ and obey with exactness. I adapted my drive to be exactly obedient so that I could listen to the Spirit and find the people that need me. I wanted to really SERVE! 

I had a miracle!! 

We were out knocking doors trying to find a Less Active when we knocked on Marvin's door. He is NEVER home at that time of day. He had become "less active" from his own church due to some things in his past. Because of that, he was rather against going to any churches or really religion in general. We testified that God had sent us to his door, that this message and church would fill the hole in his life and that God had a plan for him. We left him a Resto pamphlet and invited him to church. The next day, I'm sitting at the piano and I see Marvin walk in just after sacrament with one of our kindest and friendliest members. Apparently, she had come late to church that day (which she never does) and met Marvin outside. They began talking and Marvin felt comfortable. After the service we asked him how he felt. He said he felt good and also that he felt something different. He really liked service and says he will come back next Sunday! #exactobediencemiracles

“Conversion means consecrating your life to caring for and serving others who need your help and sharing your gifts and blessings. …

“Every unselfish act of kindness and service increases your spirituality. God would use you to bless others. Your continued spiritual growth and eternal progress are very much wrapped up in your relationships—in how you treat others. Do you indeed love others and become a blessing in their lives? Isn’t the measure of the level of your conversion how you treat others? The person who does only those things in the Church that concern himself alone will never reach the goal of perfection. Service to others is what the gospel and exalted life are all about.” 

If we want to progress and to be happy we need to make those sacrifices. Smile at someone in the store. Forgive someone for cutting you off. Laugh when your child throws spaghetti on the couch. Help a sweet mother with her children in sacrament. YOU WILL CHANGE LIVES! including your own.  

I love you all! 

Hna Lake

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