Monday, February 20, 2017

Where Are You Now

Seeing as I've planned titles for every week after this one, I was in a little crisis as to what I could talk about here. I settled for the last track in Mumford and Son's album Babel, just because it really makes you think. Where am I now? How have I changed since that fateful day 2 (and a little bit) years ago since I entered the MTC? There's more than a mountainful of answers that I could share, but I'm probably going to go for a couple of experiences from this last week to share just a little bit.

First off, the Lord almost never gives you what you want... in the way you want it. For example, we have been working super hard, because the last few weeks we hadn't had investigators coming to church, and it's impossible to get baptized if you don't come to church for obvious reasons. We really gave it our all, inviting everyone and coordinating with a lot of people, members and nonmembers alike. None of the people we invited showed up. I was a little frustrated, but then came the miracle. Elder Souza talked to us about a girl named Emily that had been coming to Seminary every day, and showed her to us at church. We taught her later in the day, and she's super cool! Already has member friends! Also, at evening church we met Rui, who's the cousin of a guy named Pão (which means bread by the way, meaning that some mother decided that Bread was a wonderful name for their child), who we've been trying to find for the past week. That was his second time at church. All I know is that I love the Lord and He loves me.

Second off, sometimes things that you think would be the worst possible thing to happen ends up becoming a great blessing. We taught Emanuel a couple of times this week, and he had a mountain of questions as usual. While teaching him the Plan of Salvation, he asked so many questions it was hard to keep focused. He kept asking what was going to happen to the Earth once all of God's children had passed through, so trying my absolute best not to confuse him, I tried to explain how the Earth was actually going to become the Celestial Kingdom. I wouldn't recommend doing that. So when we left that lesson we said that we could never have the Souzas (missionary couple that talk FOREVER) with us or we would be there all day. Well, as luck would have it, they were with us the next time that we visited him and his girlfriend. Elder Souza and Emanuel took an hour talking without my being able to stop it at all, but during that time Elder Souza shared his powerful conversion story about how he was training to be a Catholic priest but left because of all the doubts that he had and found the true Church of Christ. Then when Emanuel came with his torrent of questions, Elder Souza simply said that he wasn't ready to learn some things yet, and gave the example of starting a baby on milk before going to meat. It was honestly the best thing for him.

Thirdly, you're as happy as you let yourself be. You could be having the worst day in the world, but if you keep a positive attitude and focus on the Gospel of Jesus Christ then you can be happier than ever. We had that lesson in Elder's Quorum yesterday and I realized how well that applies in my life now. I can't think of a time in my life where I have been so constantly happy as I am now. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.

Having a wonderful time, and hoping that you all are too. I just got my flight itinerary home, so I guess I'll be seeing some of you in about 50 days' time. Not thinking about that though, because that would be trunky of me...

Elder Penner

Here's another one from last week that wasn't posted.

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