“That When He Shall Appear We Shall Be Like Him”
This week was a pretty good week, at least I feel like I learned a lot personally. It has also been funny to be on a mission during the Olympics. I know that they are happening, but other than an occasional thought, missionary work goes on like normal.
This week we visited a girl we help with learning English. She and her family are super sweet and she is actually trying to get into the same high school program that I was in (IB program), but just in Slovenia! We went over to her house and she was making us a fruit salad and we were talking…and then after putting in the fruit, she picks up what I think is red vinegar or something and pours it all over the fruit. Without thinking, I ask her what it is. Without batting an eye, she says, “Rum, for flavoring”. My companion and I look at each other and then at the bottle, alcohol content, 47%…good thing I asked! We politely told her that we couldn’t eat it, so we had ice cream instead. We felt bad rejecting something she worked hard to make us, but it was a great opportunity to talk about the Word of Wisdom!
There were a lot of experiences involving food this week. On Wednesday we were looking for somewhere to go for lunch, so we decided to stop by this place that advertised American style hamburgers. BAD IDEA. We went into the restaurant and there were a bunch of men drinking. The hamburger was definitely not American, it had two Pita style buns and was about the size of my face, but it wasn’t too bad. But it was definitely one for the story books. Needless to say, it was kind of sketchy, but you live and learn.
I say I learned a lot personally this week, because I was able to read some pretty great talks about consecration. I realized that when I was baptized, I not only promised to follow the commandments, but I became a new person. I covenanted with God to follow His Son. This means giving all I can give: my time, efforts, and ultimately all of myself to the Father. Because that is what Christ did. All of my desires, dreams, and wishes, all of my personal goals need to be in harmony to God’s will for my life. Consecration is more than giving of your time and talents. It means giving yourself, and completely trusting the Lord will shape you into something better than you ever could be. Of course, He wants us to make choices, and He does not want us just sitting at home waiting to be instructed. But how many of us are actively seeking what He wants us to be doing with our time, what He wants us to be striving to obtain, what He wants us to be wishing and hoping for, and what He wants us to be thinking and doing every day? I am thoroughly convinced that this is the only way to fully live up to our covenants as members of the church, and reach our full potential. This is the only way to truly find ourselves and follow Christ, and take His name upon us. We must match our will to the Lord’s, and in the end it won’t be a sacrifice, because we will become like Him and be blessed.
I also learned this week from the book of Moroni in the Book of Mormon a very important lesson about charity. You hear about charity all the time…that we need to be nice, a.k.a. “the golden rule”. But I don’t think I ever took the time to think about what it means when it says in the scriptures, “Charity is the pure love of Christ” (Moroni 7:47). If you read closely, you will see that charity is the most important characteristic that we can possess. Why is this? Well, I think because if you have charity, or the type of love that Christ has, towards God, you will be willing and eager to do what He asks (see the first commandment), you will be filled with His love for others (see second commandment), and you will find all joy and happiness in this life. To get this love or charity, we need to pray with all the energy of heart for it (Moroni 7: 48). Through charity we are purified. When we are filled with the pure love of Christ, we are willing to do what the Father has asked us to do, not because it is a duty, but because we love Him and want to serve Him. Then we are able to become like Christ because our hearts are in the right place, because we are motivated by charity! Everything we do should be motivated by charity!!
I hope that everyone has a good week and that everything is going well!