|P- Day Pics|
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Hooked on "Failing Successfully"
This week was another great week for Elder Fischer and I here in the El Cerrito Ward. I am really enjoying this work so much! I'm feeling a joy that I have never before felt and a love for the people and the Savior that was previously not nearly as strong. I am so grateful for all that He does for us and how through Him we can overcome many of our mistakes and improve. This really is the most important and most rewarding work there is. The joys of laboring because of our love for the Savior are immense. I am just amazed at all the change that has happened, in me and in our proselyting area, as we have taken to heart the promise in Alma 16:16 that the Lord is preparing people in this land right now. That really boosted my faith and my excitement to find them. There are people in every corner of this land thirsting and yearning for the gospel, and if we are diligent we will find them. That just makes me smile thinking about that! There is nothing better.
We had Ward Conference this week and, as always, it was a spiritual high. I think one of the most powerful parts was Brad Wilcox's talk that they showed. It was about grace (which was a happy coincidence because I had just finished reading a talk called "Failing Successfully" by the new BYU President, and they seemed to go hand-in-hand). I was floored by it. It was probably one of the best talks I have ever heard. It was all about learning to recognize what grace is, since we as members of the Church often think we have to do a certain amount or be at a certain level of worthiness before we are worthy to receive His grace. He used the analogy of a kid learning the piano. The mom pays for the lessons, and therefor the piano teacher is satisfied. The child cannot repay the mother, and no matter what the child does, the lessons have already been purchased. The child's practice does not compensate in any sense for the monetary payment from the mother to the teacher, but it does show thanks to the mother for her payment. And when the child practices willingly and with a happy heart it makes the mother even more excited. No matter how much the child practices, he or she is always bound to hit a few wrong keys, or even fail completely once or twice. However, the loving mother does nothing but urge her beloved child to keep trying and to keep practicing. There are more than two levels of playing the piano: quitting and playing at Carnegie Hall--there are so many more places in between. Just because we pluck a few wrong notes does not mean we are unworthy to get up and try again. We only fail when we completely give up. That is exactly how the Lord feels about us. We are only failures when we stop trying. We are bound to make mistakes, but through His grace we can be changed and become more like Him. Through His grace we can overcome those things that set us back time after time after time. We must just keep practicing and learning how to be more like God. "To prove" ourselves to God means learning by experience (according to Failing Successfully) how to be more like Him through our failures and then choosing the correct path after the new enlightenment. As we continue to practice the commandments and try to improve our skills on this piano we call life, we will come closer to God and be able to stay in His presence. I know that is what I want for myself and everyone else. I know it will be worth more than anything and I thank the Savior for making that all possible.
We met a hilarious atheist this week and had a fun lesson with him. He is probably the only happy atheist I have ever met, and he has no problems with religion, other than he doesn't believe. He has some friends who have some friends who are Mormon and apparently some things got lost in translation when they were talking. He had heard that Mormons believe that Jesus is up in heaven, wading in fields of billions of babies that he brings to this special machine that sucks them through a tube down to earth. This is a perfect example of that you cannot believe everything you hear and that you need to seek truth from the source and pray about it. It was hilarious though and I could not stop laughing.
That is crazy that you will be in KY again! Yeah, I can more than likely call both you and dad. I don't think that will be a problem. I can't believe it's almost time to call home again! I feel like I just called. This whole mission thing is flying by. After this transfer I'll only have two more left until I am at a year! I feel like I just got off the plane here in smoggy, I mean sunny California. It'll be great to call again! I can't wait! Do you think dad knows how to use FaceTime on his phone too or should I just call the house o talk to him and I can Facetime with you? It's kind of strange because Elder Fischer is going to be calling home on that Sunday and then he finishes his mission and returns home on that Tuesday. It'll be really weird for him but cool!
I am pretty sure that that friend that joined the church is named Jose Romero. You can look him up on Facebook or in the ward directory. He is a really really nice guy and I am so happy for him. I talked to him a little bit before I came out here. I think he would love the support. He will make a great missionary. I hope he writes me.
I am glad to hear that your date was so fun! That sounds awesome! Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is such a great play. We should go see it when I get back! I listened to the album a few weeks back and I remembered how fantastic it was!
I can't wait to see Bishop Wadsworth again. He is awesome. Tell him hi for me next time you see him. Prophets really are important and they are real!
Your Elder Jackson