Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Of Torrents, Talents and Teeth


…of blessings, but mostly of water.

Yes, so remember how I'm supposed to be in the desert? Well it's been raining for almost an entire 24 hours straight, which makes driving quite the adventure. Here is my postcard to you. Imagine it with a super cute stamp, and red cursive-y letters saying "Greetings from California" 

Yes. Needless to say, we vetoed driving a half hour to dinner last night so.....frozen pizza it was!

Also, this Friday was the ward "talent show," which basically everyone attended because basically everyone was in it.

Imagine: endless tables of food meet three talent numbers per class/quorum/relief society... and old men who love to tell jokes about Mexico.  It was great!

My favorite was all the primary kids dancing to "Gangnam Style" mainly because I was an English speaking girl watching Spanish speaking kids dance to a song sung in Korean.   

.........Yes, I know what you're thinking, and the missionaries DID do a talent. Some random white girl who speaks the least Spanish out of anyone (oh wait, that's me)  was put in charge of re-writing all the SPANISH words of a shiny-shirt, poofy-hair, 14-year-old-heart-throb 80's pop song  into SPANISH lyrics about being a missionary. I will hold for applause. If you would like to see what I had to work with, my mother will kindly put a link to the song "soy un desastre" (thanks mom) below

yeah. One of the members recorded us doing it and uploaded the video to Youtube. So if you happen upon our version....so be it.

And try to keep at least some degree of respect for me.

Continued WIWTK (What I Wish They Knew): So as I was saying (7 days ago) I have learned that repentance is a blessing.  Most people think of the word "repentance," and imagine some huge process of guilt and shame and delving into the depths of despair, only to emerge and never sin again. Another common misconception is that repentance is a one-time thing, or a one-time a year thing, or an “I'm-on-my-deathbed-so-I-should-probably-ask-forgiveness thing.” These are some of the slipperiest lies the devil tells us to get us to put off repentance and therefore postpone or totally miss the grand blessings that accompany it.

Repentance is this: A change of heart, and a sincere resolve to stop doing the thing for which you are repenting. That being said, we should recognize the gift of repentance as an opportunity to forsake that which we know is ultimately holding us back from being the happiest we possibly can.

When you're doing something wrong, and you know it, whether you recognize it or not, it's adding a weight to your conscience and thus impeding your progression toward happiness. Have you ever done something to a person, and felt so badly about it that you couldn’t'  feel better until you apologized? How great was your peace after you finally made things right?!  Repentance isn't supposed to be a punishment, it's actually a huge gift!  Because of Jesus Christ’s perfect sacrifice for us He has given us the opportunity to repent, be made clean and experience the resulting peace and happiness!

The hardest part of repenting is deciding to do it.

What if you do the same thing again?
Well, notice that in the above definition, it is a change of heart and a SINCERE resolve to stop doing whatever you’re repenting for. When you repent, you should never think "I can repent for this now, and then do it later and just keep repenting." That is not repentance. It is neither a change of heart nor a sincere resolve to stop. But, if you DO sincerely repent, and then slip up again, my guess is that your conscience will drive you to repent (i.e. sincerely try your hardest to change) again. To me, repentance is less about your actions and more about your heart and sincere desires.  

So, How do I repent?

Well, let me preface this by saying that I repent daily. I always see the need for change in my life, and I sincerely want to try to become the best person I can be and have the most joy possible. I usually repent in my prayers at the end of the day.

1. Review in your mind what you want to repent of.
2. Feel a sincere desire to change that behavior, and resolve to do so.
3. Ask for forgiveness from God.
4. (Optional step) Ask for His help in changing that specific challenge.
5. Stop doing it.

Easier than you thought?
Repentance is one of my favorite things to talk about because it is such a merciful gift, and many people's perceptions of it can be so distorted. If you have any questions, or just want to talk about it....write me!!!!!!

Also, I thought you might like a picture from this morning. This is me brushing Hermana Sudweeks's  teeth. Long story. Enjoy the photo.

I pretty much love you!!!!!
-Hermana Thomas

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