Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patty's Day with a touch of pink

March 17, 2014

Let us consider the possibilities either: 
1. my eye is confusing valentines day and st. patrick's day or 
2. my eye is very supportive of the fight against breast cancer 

yes. I have pink eye. and a cold. (which is hard to do in a state that's so hot.) sympathy-invoking picture follows

can't tell if that picture is blurry or not because at this point in my life, everything is more or less a cloudy blurb of color. 

Alright enough ILL-directed attention to the eye. The REAL highlight of this week was that an Apostle of the Lord came to speak to our mission! Yes, like one of the twelve special living witnesses of Jesus Christ came to speak to the Redlands, and neighboring Rancho Cuchamunga missions. We were all-a-flutter for about a month in anticipation of this experience, and it did not disappoint! I would like to share a few highlights from his remarks. 

First of all, before we even started, he shook each and every hand of the missionaries. (remember this is two whole missions, and ours alone has 234) at the conclusion of the hand-shaking he spoke about why he wanted to do that. He said it was because he wanted us to understand that he wasn't addressing us as a large congregation of missionaries, but as a large gathering of individual "one's." and that everything about this gospel is meant for the whole, but is really meant to be applied individually and personally.  

Bueno, so his first real subject was the Atonement, and the power of it in our lives. He talked about the difference between understanding the Atonement in theory and understanding it by experience. He quoted the part of the Bible where Jesus explains that the “ones” most grateful for the doctor are those who are most sick. As a pink-eye-quarantined, I can attest to that truth. As members of the human race, we can understand and develop a somewhat shallow appreciation of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. But it is when we really go through a repentance process or go though a difficult trial and really put that Atonement to use that we realize how deep and necessary and wonderful the Atonement is. 

Next, and along the same thread of thinking, he talked about how it is NOT too late. We often see ourselves in short term means, based on today, yesterday and tomorrow. And while we should strive to improve each day, we sometimes cheat ourselves from improving little bits over time. He pointed out that most of the missionaries in the room had lived about 20 years (give or take a few), and that for us, twenty years had been our entire lives. But for him, he has lived that amount of time three times over. It is NOT over. If we have a long-term difficulty, we need to remember that we still have a long way to go ahead of us. Even people who are 80 years old still have the possibility of living another twenty years. If they give up because they are "too old to change" then they are deciding to waste an entire lifetime! 

I lack to capture the concept adequately, but it suffices me to say that we have a very warped view of time, and too often we do not give ourselves time to change, and instead live out our time with the burden of sin, or inadequacy or guilt or shame or simply not reaching our full potential.  

It was a very powerful talk, and I know that he is a divinely called Apostle of the Lord.

Have a great day! I hope it's especially green. As in turning over a fresh leaf. not as in envy. 

-Hermana Thomas 


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