We have a lot of youth in our path, and almost everyone we're teaching is under the age of 18. It's been fun! It forces us to simplify topics, be more direct, and talk less like robots (which is kind of hard when you get into such a routine). But it has been fun. My companion and I are working hard to be effective with one another. And sometimes while we're in the car, I just look over and feel lucky that I get to be here with one of my best friends.
Tomorrow is Hermana Chugg and my 6 month mark, and so we've been trying to discuss our progress and the changes we have seen in each other, and it is surreal. Our desires and feelings are completely swapped. It's interesting to go from only seeing the bad in people, to struggling to see anything negative about them. I notice that with the people we meet on the street. At home, to be honest, I probably would have said "Your team!" or made some snide, sarcastic remark. And to me, I thought that was my personality. But it's not. That's an absence of Christlike love. That's overcompensating for what we lack by tearing down one of God's creations. That sounded really intense, but I'm just growing increasingly aware that the Lord does not have a high tolerance of us thinking ill toward anyone.
I've been focusing on studying for other people this week, and clarifying principles that have become a bit hazy in my mind. And I have learned so much. Studying the Atonement, although seemingly rudimentary, has caused my companion and I to have companionship studies where we spend the entire time talking about what we learned in our personal studies, and then blowing each others minds, and then shuffling to get out the door on time. I guess that's a good problem to have.
Yesterday, the first counselor in our ward stood up and told a story where somebody asked him, "are you happy?" and he had been having a difficult week, so he struggled to answer him straight. But then he reconsidered his circumstances and apologized to the Lord. He helped me realize... Of COURSE we're happy. We don't live in complete poverty. We are not abandoned and alone. We have the knowledge of the will of our Heavenly Father, his nature, and how involved he really is in our lives. Anything that is hard for us is not unconquerable.
D&C 105:14 "...I will fight your battles."
The more we are willing to sacrifice, the more we learn & earn. And that is true in all things in life. The more work we put in, the more we get out of it. Yet for some reason, when it comes to spirituality, we expect to just cruise by and see immediate, positive results when we're really not doing much to deserve it. And that's what's hard. It's really not that difficult to wake up and pray and study before we head out the door, but we put it off or drag our feet to do it. The Lord promises us peace and happiness in this life so long as we do what we're asked. He really has no intention of making our life difficult. He just wants us to come to him and ask him for help, then he blesses us unceasingly.
I know it's true! All of it! The Gospel of Jesus Christ, that the same principles, organization, and ordinances that Christ established have been reinstated for the happiness of mankind!
I love you all. Be good out there. Don't hesitate to write me. Our mailbox is getting cobwebs, but no pressure. ;)
-The bugs here are disgusting. You should see my bug-bitten legs...
-Our booth for First Friday! It's kind of like the SLC ArtWalk, but her in Enid, of course!
-The Higby Van is just for one of the members who has a bunch of kids! Our entire district fits in it. So sweet!