So since Wednesday, all that has happened is Malaria recovery for my companion. He has had zero energy all week. A couple fun things did happen though!
On Friday, our branch combined with two other branches and held a huge end of year activity. We made sure to go at least for a couple hours despite Elder Adokou’s health because it was so big for us. We had tons of less-actives, investigators, and potential investigators come! It was so exciting. There was food, music, dance competitions, and a scriptural chase! We missionaries opened with a demonstration on how to home and visiting teach. A little awkward, a little stressful, but I think people got the jist of it! I was happy to contribute to the program. If any of you were wondering, young men beat young women and relief society beat the elder’s quorum at the scriptural chase. It had the energy of the world cup! People got way competitive. I loaned out my scriptures to people for it and the side using my scriptures won both times. Coincidence? Nah. They’re magic, I’m telling you.
My companion and I got into a pretty huge disagreement over the weekend. Things were not well between us at all, so I decided to do some digging into what I may have done wrong. After searching and searching the scriptures, I was led to Alma 5, and it answered my question completely:
27 Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins?
28 Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life.
29 Behold, I say, is there one among you who is not stripped of envy? I say unto you that such an one is not prepared; and I would that he should prepare quickly, for the hour is close at hand, and he knoweth not when the time shall come; for such an one is not found guiltless.
30 And again I say unto you, is there one among you that doth make a mock of his brother, or that heapeth upon him persecutions?
31 Wo unto such an one, for he is not prepared, and the time is at hand that he must repent or he cannot be saved!
32 Yea, even wo unto all ye workers of iniquity; repent, repent, for the Lord God hath spoken it!
33 Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.
34 Yea, he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely;
35 Yea, come unto me and bring forth works of righteousness, and ye shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire.
Can you guess what my problem was? I had approached the problem with absolute confidence that I was right. I was, in actuality, right, but I acted like a jerk about it. That was straight pride. I asked myself “am I stripped of pride? of envy? of mocking my brother?” To my utter dismay, I am not. Since we are in the season of self-improvement with new year’s resolutions and whatnot, I decided to actively search for ways to humble myself. Only then can I teach with power. Only then can people feel my love for them. Only then can true conversion take place. As King Benjamin reminds us, we are less than the dust of the earth because even the dust obeys every command of God. I need the Lord’s help on this one for sure. I encourage all of you to look for some Christlike attribute you would like to perfect this year and work on it. Put it into prayer. Discuss it with those close to you. I am only two days in and I already see a marked difference in my life. I know that God loves us and has provided a way for all who obey His commandments to obtain perfect happiness and peace. It’s not easy. It’s not cheap. But it sure is worth it.
P.S. That little girl recovered pretty quickly after she received blood and is doing great! Just a couple days and she was fine. I have magic blood haha. The family stops me on our way out to proselyte and asks how I am doing.
People do flock to the font here. I have to restrain people. The mission has a policy of only extending baptismal commitments when people start keeping other commitments (which takes a while). We want conversions over baptisms. People think salvation is cheap and easy here. I am trying to change that.
You know, it has gotten a little chilly with wind at night riding on an okata. A bit of nostalgia.
Exaltation is determined by every decision. I love President Monson’s quote “decisions determine destiny.” It really is true. Working on the small things brings about big changes over time.