October 6, 2013

on weakness

I'm super sorry for not blogging more. Really, there is no excuse. I have just made it less of a priority. This is super bad, because I want to remember the blessings that I've been receiving here at BYUI. I want to remember the random experiences that aren't going to last with me forever.

Anyways, this week was awesome. (Every week has been awesome). It all culminated with one awesome weekend of General Conference. For the first session, I went up with Mara and her two brothers (Myles and Christian) and had a super fun time. It hardly seems like it was real life. We woke up and left Rexburg at four, went to the morning session, and then were home by 6. What the random? Anyways, that session was AMAZING. I felt the spirit super strongly and got answers to a ton of questions that I had written down in my journal. Heavenly Father is really an incredible person. He knows me exactly and knows what I need.

This was seen in my life today especially. General Conference was great yesterday ... today was even more marvelous. I just left the morning session feeling like all was well. I am soooo grateful for the knowledge that I have that the true gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth today. It affects the way I do everything. I am nowhere NEAR perfect; in fact, I'm sometimes incredibly awkward and not thoughtful and impatient. However, during conference, I felt like I knew exactly what I needed to change in my life in order to begin to fix these things. I felt the spirit like crazy. I was super, super fired up to live the things I learned and to pound out these last few weeks before the mish (what I've been calling my mission). I felt confident that I had the tools I needed to succeed, especially if I trusted in the Lord.

And then I looked at I-Learn. And I saw my Spanish Oral exam.

I studied for HOURS for this thing. HOURS. I felt really great leaving the exam, but I got a little bit of a lower score than I wanted to. When I looked at I-Learn, my spirits sunk. Thoughts like, "Man, I am never going to be able to teach effectively if I am struggling with planned conversations ..." and "Wow, I guess Spanish isn't my thing ..." flooded through my mind. I was overwhelmed. I was sad. I felt like crying my eyes out.

I felt better as I talked to my parents on Google Hangout. I sure do love them and miss their support. While I was talking to them, I realized that any mistakes I made on that test were because I didn't prepare enough for the exam. I remembered that I hadn't read the Book of Mormon in Spanish hardly at all last week, nor did I pray as hard to learn the language. I guess my results from the previous exam I had (a 100 percent) really fluffed up my pride ... and unfortunately, I totally fell for it!

After I hung up with my parents, I made a mug of herbal tea and opened up the Spanish Book of Mormon I had. I picked up where I left off (2 Nephi 26) and began reading. I read the Spanish out loud, and, although I understood nothing from it, I felt a little better about my life. A quiet peace replaced my despair--the Holy Ghost. One of the verses that I read out loud made me bawl, and I didn't know why. After all, I didn't understand a lick of it! I looked up the verse in my English Book of Mormon and it said:
For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith.
I felt that this answered my fears and insecurities perfectly. Heavenly Father can take me, a total GRINGA, and shape me into this fluent Spanish speaker. He can ONLY do it through my faith though. It is all up to me. Verses in the Spanish Book of Mormon continued to pop out to me as I continued to read. Each one of them applied to me personally. It was INCREDIBLE.

My friend John Bonney wrote me a letter this week (he's serving in Belgium right now). In it, he suggested something that I've been thinking about over and over again for the past couple of days. His advice to me was, "Pray like everything depends on Him; work like everything depends on you."  The Lord is aware of our needs. He knows what we need and he wants us to be happy. He wants us to have his peace continuously, but we have to be willing to turn to him, rely on him, and work like crazy. That is the only way that he can help us live up to our full potential.

I think that there are times in my life like the one I had earlier today for a reason. Heavenly Father has said that he gives us weaknesses so that we can be humble. That is SO TRUE. I am grateful for these humbling experiences. They never fail to provoke me to some kind of positive action. Today, I am going to rely on the Lord ... and read a few more chapters of El Libro de Mormón.

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