Friday, May 3, 2013

Choosing the Garden

Darling Family!
HI!! How is everyone doing this week? Sounds like there was some fun times.  Daegu’s weather has been absolutely bi-polar!!! I've had to get my winter coat out again a couple of times.  It's a little ridiculous. I'm ready for warm weather!

I'm REALLY excited to share with y’all what I learned this last week. Heavenly Father really answered my prayers (and I'm sure your prayers as well).  The answers I got this week could not have come without all the love and prayers and letters from each of you, family and friends.  So, thank you.

Part 1
I wanted to share this with y’all. These are the thoughts I wrote after conference. My email last week just didn't do it justice. From the Journal of Sister Wells-Longshore, Thoughts of Conference. "2 Days. 4 general sessions of 2 hours each. 1 Priesthood session of 2 hours. 1 session of either Relief Society or Young Women’s of 2 hours. That is a very small combination of 12 hours in which we have the honor and privilege of hearing the humble and powerful words of Prophets, Seers and Revelators, of men and woman devoting their lives to the Lord. Only 12 hours to have temple-learning experiences, only 12 hours to gather with the Saints of the world and hear the voices of our heroes.  It is only 12 hours, but those 12 hours are most dear and precious.  They are 12 hours that change our hearts, and help us resolve to do more, to be more, to stand a little taller and be a bit more converted. They are words of peace, comfort, and encouragement. They are words of warning, calm, and clarification.  Their words draw us to heaven and an eternal perspective, they take us from the world and put us in a sphere of sacred learning.  They are words of testimony, conversion, and refined faith.  They are words to strengthen, to humble, and to love. My heart soars as I listen to the choirs sing praises and the voices of our leaders testify of Jesus Christ. This year they focused a lot on the family!  Especially the Doctrines and Principles that are found in "The Family: A Proclamation to the World". It's a testimony to realize the Lord prepared this declaration from the Prophets nearly 10 years before it was blatantly needed. 

They talked of the Law of Chastity, with all the love, respect and boldness that it is due. They talked of the responsibility of the Husband and the Wife, especially to each other. There were talks of encouragement.  Keep going forward!  If not in complete faith, then in growing belief, that is part of the process. We were reminded to rely on the Lord, depend on Him and love Him completely. People are imperfect, but the Lord is perfect to love, save, comfort, and forgive - and we can learn from His example. There were messages of encouragement to journey on and move forward through the world.  There is always darkness around us, but we know the source of Light that can penetrate all. Walk in the Light and let the shadows fall behind. Obedience is our love and our liberty. Commandments are our foundation and strength. The Family, a family created by God's divine design, is of eternal and everlasting importance. We are to stand in Holy Places and be not moved. We are the light to the world.  And a world growing in darkness is in perilous need of the Hope we can bring. 

Christ Lives and this is His Church. WOW! I Love Conference!

Part 2
This week I was able to go to Busan with my companion for a training meeting with the other new missionaries. There, we were able to have a discussion with Sister Gilbert.  The Spirit there was so strong and the things we talked about really touched my heart. We talked a lot about love and charity, sacrifice and pride. One of my favorite parts came after I shared what Rory Eyring sent to me via email last week. In his email he shared a portion of Elder Holland’s talk about the Atonement and Missionary Work.  Elder Holland talked about how every missionary is called to follow in Christ's footsteps. Christ's life was devoted to love and service, helping those in need and doing the will of the Father.  Through His faith and obedience He wrought many miracles. But if we are to completely follow Christ's example and life, we will, at some point, need to enter the Garden of Gethsemane. There we will experience pains and sorrows, agony and weakness. Though our personal journey into the Garden does not come close to the Savior's Infinite Atonement and Sacrifice, we each will have trials and hardships to face.

Upon sharing this thought, one Elder made a comment that gave we a whole new perspective. He commented that the Savior's walk in the Garden was a journey of Love. We step into the Garden not just when we are experiencing trails or when making sacrifices, but we must step into the Garden with love, drawing nearer to the Savior.  When Christ stepped into the Garden, He stepped into Love. The same Elder went on to comment that Christ chose Gethsemane. He chose to love beyond Himself. The hardest times in our lives, and for me right now on my mission, will come because I choose them. There is always an easier way = giving up. But when we choose to try and love outwards - love my companion, love my family, love my friends and neighbors, love my Savior- then we are choosing to follow Heavenly Father's will and Christ's Example and enter into our own Gardens. 

So we have a choice. We can choose to walk into the Garden. We can choose to draw nearer to our Savior. I can choose to have a hard time because I am a Disciple of Jesus Christ and I am trying to love as He did, or I can back out. The opposing way is easier.  You don't have to act to hate or have hurt feelings. But it requires action, sacrifice, refinement and courage to love as the Savior did.

This week was still hard, but now I am choosing to enter the Garden and walk closer to my Savior.  I am choosing to love as He did.

Thank you again for all the love and prayers.  Thank you for your wonderful examples! I love you all dearly!

Till next week!
kiss love hugs!

No comments:

Post a Comment