Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Weekly Letter: November 16-22, 2010

I really don't have much time to write, but I do have a lot I would like to write. I've been thinking a lot about the line in "Praise to the Man" that says "sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven." How many times I have sung that hymn in English and not realized the great truth in it until I had to sing it in another language. This week, we have worked hard on reactivating a lot of members in Centro of Toluca. And every time we ended up teaching the same topic: obedience. And later this week we gained a testimony of the truthfulness of this principle in the lives of missionaries.

Truly, obedience is the first law in heaven, the first sacrifice that each of us have to make. Obedience simply put is to submit to the will of God. However, this sacrifice of our will to His is perhaps the biggest sacrifice we have to make. Missionaries actually live this sacrifice everyday, because we have to. If we don't we can't have the spirit, we can't work, and we can't teach. I have to continually remind myself of that everyday here in Toluca, we have to pass by the mall in Toluca many times in the week. The smell of popcorn in the theater, the new music that we overhear, advertisement for a new movie, everything tries to distract you from what you're doing. However, we have to act on faith.

Some people don't want to act on that faith, they may think that there is an option in selective obedience. Missionaries and members alike, the principle is the same. But when we choose not to make the sacrifice in order to be obedient, we end up forfeiting the blessings that our Heavenly Father has ready for us...as alluded in the line of the hymn I mentioned. Upon being baptized each of us made a covenant with our Father in Heaven. He never fails in his part of the promise, we are the ones that fail in our end. He tells us "I am bound we ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." But how many times we as His children are not able trust in his promise.

I find that the scripture that's found in Enos, where he says that he knew that God could not lie is something admirable. When we aren't willing to make the sacrifices in order to receive the promised blessings from heaven, we don't, in effect, have the same conviction that Enos had. We are unsure if the blessings will come or not, we believe that God could become a liar.

In that effect, we realize why faith is the first principle in the gospel. A principle is a doctrine put in action. We have to exercise our faith in order to complete the first law of heaven: obedience.

I was also surprised by an insight that my companion had. Here in Toluca, we were teaching a less active member that was looking for work and was thinking of taking a job that was on Sundays. My companion told her directly that that job was not a blessing from heaven, because God will never bless us with something that impedes our obedience. Sometimes we think that what we have in our lives are blessing us, but if these blessing are making it impossible to obey, they cease to be blessings, they are subtle tricks of the adversary.

I know that this principle is true. I know that through our faith, we will make the sacrifice to be obedient, and when we are obedient, we will receive the blessings from heaven. I have seen it time and time again in the mission, but I have also seen the opposite. Even if it is waking up one minute late or taking too much time with the meal with the member, any degree of disobedience, and the spirit withdraws. Missionary or member... it applies to all of us.

How grateful I am to be able to learn from all these experiences in my mission. I hope with all my heart that one day I will become the missionary that I hoped to be, that my family, my friends, and my Father in Heaven wish me to be, but more importantly, I want to be the kind of son that God wishes me to be. Like Jesus said to his disciples in the Americas Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you,even as I am.

I want to make that my goal, here in the mission, and afterwards. Thank you all for the prayers and support. I truly feel the strength of them in the hardest times in my mission.


Elder Blackham

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