Well there ya have it folks, on Wednesday this week I will have hit my full year mark of being a missionary! Officially am on the downhill Slope towards la playa. I cannot tell if this year absolutely flew by or not. The amount of acción that has happened blows my mind away.....In the past year as a missionary I have been in two countries and 2 different states and speaking two different languages and associating with 3 different cultures at almost all point (Americans, Hispanics, and companions). I can honestly say through this year I have been put through the refiner's fire no doubt. It has been challenging and very rewarding as well. I am working my tail off and through that the Lord is helping me become who he wants me to be. This past week we had a ton of action happen and some good experiences and success but I would like to save the words on that and talk about a few important principles I have learned this year about life:
Obedience: all the blessing from God are predicated upon this life principle. When someone is obedient they show the Lord and others that they are willing to humble themselves and to recognize a higher power and to rely upon that strength rather than his or her own. It is the difference between a truly happy person and someone who would rather be doing someone else. Obedience is the ultimate expression towards your loving Father in Heaven. How grateful I am that the Lord has developed a desire within me to be obedient. I am not perfect, but I know where my loyalties are set.
Leadership is a Lonely Place: going against the crowd is the hardest thing to do. Sometimes what society wants to do is different that what God wants to do. Actually all the time. His thoughts are not our thoughts. But when the moments in life come to when we need to stand up to exercise of agency for righteousness, we need to do so. And sometimes it is lonely. Sometimes we feel like we are missing out on the "fun" or that whatever everyone else is doing may be the "cool" or thing to do nowadays to "enjoy life". Those of you are youth I encourage you not to be ashamed of following Jesus Christ, ever. We are faced with all forms of temptation that will bring momentary "happiness" and also guilt, shame, fear, and even depression. Do not give heed to the things of the world. Be leaders. Follow Jesus Christ, who went through more than we can imagine. When the greatest leader his world has ever known was hung on the cross, the Spirit of the Lord withdrew from him; leaving him not only still suffering for our sins but also doing so alone. You can always stand up for what is right because he did it FIRST!
Patience: This term gets thrown out a lot, but what does it really mean to be patient? Patience is the capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious. It is the ability to do God’s will and accept His timing. When you are patient, you hold up under pressure and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully. Patience is related to hope and faith--you must wait for the Lord’s promised blessings to be fulfilled. As I've learned and am continuing to learn about this Christ like attribute I've seen my happiness increase substantially. We need to be patient in this life. Nothing worth having is given to us without having to endure through something!
The Gospel of Jesus Christ: I could write on and on about the most valuable lessons I've learned through this year, but what it all comes down is to the Gospel. In Moroni 8:26 we read about The Christlike attributes in which we all desire: 26 And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God. If you notice the end of that verse implies the goal that we all have the goal to live with God again after this life. How do we do so? Go to the verse previous (8:25): 25 And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins. The purpose of this life and in order for us to be most happy we need to live the Gospel. We are all here to change, or repent, every day and every hour as we strive to follow a perfect example. When you try to follow a perfect example (Christ) your weaknesses will become exposed. Exposed in ways that may hurt, that may bring you down to your knees in supplication for help or strength. It is the hardest thing to do. To overcome our weaknesses, alone. But if we live the Gospel (which is meant to make bad people good, and good people better) the Lord has promised us that he will make weak things strong unto us. How grateful am I for this knowledge and for the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. How grateful am I, in my own personal fallen state, for my life and the opportunities I have had this past year.
As Captain America would say: " I could go all day!" Bring on Round 2 and beyond. My heart is humbled as I reflect on this past year. I feel gratitude and peace.
My dog Roxy passed away this past Friday. She was a part our family since I was in the 4th grade. Man's best friend truly is a fitting name for these marvelous creatures. My sadness from her passing is swallowed up in the joy of the Plan of Salvation. Love ya girl:) ❤
Love all y'all/ Les Amo
Elder Kyle Andrew Macdonald