Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"The Lessons of Life"

It has been a rather eventful week. Unfortunately, we had an expat family return home because they were having a hard time adjusting here. However, we did have a wonderful time visiting with them the day before they returned home to the States. Over the past six months, they had had a hard time adjusting, and hadn’t been active for awhile. We had a good with discussion with them about how Heavenly Father knows the trials and tribulations that we go through, and that he is always there for us. Bishop Nef came with us, and we talked with and counseled them about what they could do and how to overcome it. Mostly though, it was just good to listen to them and to let them know that we loved them. The mother had wanted us to come over with to give her a priesthood blessing. We ended up providing each member with a blessing. It was a good experience, being able to use the priesthood in the service of others. Everything, I believe, happens for a reason, and my feeling is that this family came over to experience this so that they would be able to see the blessings that Heavenly Father and His Son afford, and to return to full activity in the Church.

Our Bangladeshi men story gets a little more interesting, I won’t go into the full details at all, but the next group of men that came in were swindled by the man who brought them over. He had apparently promised them visas to other countries after the baptism and said that he would hand the money to the Church 9which obviously didn’t happen). So, one of the four men who we baptized and three new ones lost a huge sum of money, which has really crippled them financially. They are now going home with nothing, one who has a family with a wife and young daughter. It really breaks my heart, and I hope and pray that justice and mercy will prevail. This reminds me of the beginning of the revelation on the Word of Wisdom, which read:

Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—

While this applies to the Word of Wisdom, it also applies to the things that go on in the world today.

Visited Leah later on last week, and had a good meeting with her. Her employer won’t let her go to Church, and she’s been trying to keep her salary from her, along with taking way her off days. As we sat talking to her, a few other maids came around, and talked about that too. It is sad that human beings can treat others so badly, taking away their salaries and giving them no breaks. It is so disgusting and hurtful to see people who have to deal with those situations. The only comfort really comes from knowing that they are all children of our Father in Heaven and that things will work out.

All of the above mentioned events and situations are good reminders of how much I am blessed, and a reminder of the gratitude that I need to have. That reminder helps me to take each day well, and to look at life with a different perspective. Heavenly Father has given me much, and much is expected of me, I think.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) said of our pre-mortal life:

All the spirits of men, while yet in the Eternal Presence, developed aptitudes, talents, capacities, and abilities of every sort, kind, and degree. During the long expanse of life which then was, an infinite variety of talents and abilities came into being. As the ages rolled, no two spirits remained alike. Mozart became a musician; Einstein centered his interest in mathematics; Michelangelo turned his attention to painting. Cain was a liar, a schemer, a rebel. … Mary and Eve were two of the greatest of all the spirit daughters of the Father. … And so it went through all the hosts of heaven, each individual developing such talents and abilities as his soul desired.

We too developed talents and abilities there, which are to do here now, and to help mankind grow in a way that they can return to God.

Jeremy continues to progress and is overcoming his personal challenges and struggles to become who he will be someday.

Salam heads back to Bangladesh for a few months.

Family Home Evening with the Young Single Adults was great, especially with a couple of investigators there. We played Spoons, and also had a great spiritual thought about studying the scriptures and how it helps in our daily lives. That was perfect for our investigators!

I guess we continue to learn the lessons of life each day, although some are harder than others. But, faith is pointed towards the future, so that’s where I’m headed! As Robert Browning wrote,

The Best Is Yet To Be!

Well, yet another week has gone by! Have a great one!

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