Friday, May 1, 2015

WEEK 91: Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father

April 13, 2013

The Gospel is the truth! As we live the principles taught by the Savior and His Prophets, we can see, for ourselves, this reality. Living the Gospel standards is what can bring us true and lasting joy. I am a confident witness of this.

Having the solid opportunity set apart each morning for dedicated studies is an absolute marvelous blessing we have as Full-Time Missionaries. My studies have brought me a deeper and greater conviction of the truthfulness of the Gospel, the reality of the Savior, and a love for the scriptures and words of the Prophets that I never saw inside myself. I've been able to search out and stumble upon doctrines and principles that have greatly blessed my participation in this Great Work, and that I know will bless me for the rest of my life and beyond. The Lord is willing to teach if we're willing to put the effort into listening.

Something I have been thinking and studying about recently is the concept or principle of surrendering our will to God. Why do we so often hesitate to give up our will to Him, even when we have strong testimonies of His wisdom and power?

"If I but learn to do His will,
I'll live with him once more."  -I Am a Child of God

It is a requirement. We must look to Christ as our ultimate exemplar. He was exactly obedient, sacrificed everything to the Father, and was totally and completely consecrated. I believe that Christ was the happiest person to ever walk the earth, because of His commitment and dedication to the Father's will. The Father trusted Him.

"I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which has sent me." (John 5:30)

If we want to find true joy in life, we've been instructed to simply love God, and therefore obey him. Love is and should be the great motivator. God knows much better than we do. Rather than relying on our own wisdom, we would be much better off trusting in an ultimate, supreme, and perfectly loving Father. He knows what will keep us from unnecessary pain and turmoil. He has given us the laws that we need to live in order to gain the true joy that he knows. I not only have a spiritual witness that this is doctrine is true, but experience after experience has even more so convinced me that when we can learn to let our will be "swallowed up in the will of the Father's", we will have true joy in life. Then we will have the peace of mind that we are searching for. Then we will have better health. Then we will have better family relationships. Then we will have the knowledge required to live as He lives.

"The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we “give,” brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give!" -Elder Neal A. Maxwell
Jordan was baptized on Saturday! It was an amazing service! There was so many people, we almost had to move it into the chapel, but we squeezed tight into the Relief Society room. It was packed! That's one thing I really love about the YSA wards here. They are so supportive when it comes to being friends with investigators and new members. She was confirmed yesterday. Jordan is a living witness that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real and active in our lives. She shared a dream with us a few weeks ago, when we first started meeting with her. In the dream, it was her baptism day, and when she went under the water, an air bubble followed around her, like she couldn't be baptized. She felt like she couldn't be forgiven for things she'd done in the past. Just on Friday, she had a powerful experience while reading D&C 20:37, and said she knew had been forgiven. The Atonement is real and powerful.

Elsa received her Patriarchal Blessing! She invited us to go. What a testimony builder. She was given a powerful blessing by a good brother who is a former Temple President of the Bountiful Utah Temple. Elsa also went to the temple for the first time to do Baptisms for the Dead! She is doing well.

This last week, we go kicked off of Temple Square! During a lesson! The less-active guy we are working with always carries 2 big knives with him. They're always visible. Apparently no weapons of any sort are allowed on the grounds. The Temple Square sisters got freaked out and called security! It was hilarious. Brandon (LA) is one of the nicest people I've ever met! Good times!

Miracle! A few days ago, we got a text from a Recent Convert, saying that she had an investigator that wants to meet with us. A missionaries dream! His name is Alex. We've been able to meet up twice in the past few days.  He has committed to live the law of chastity and has accepted baptism on the 2nd of May! He's awesome! He had a list of around 10 really good doctrinal and cultural questions about the church for us to answer. He didn't argue any answers we gave him, but accepted them completely. So stoked for him!!

Guess who we saw driving right next to Temple Square the other day? Elder Cook of the Twelve! Just riding along and waving at us... We're so lucky to be serving so close to the Lord's chosen servants. We’re blessed to be in the right place at the right time.

Please pray for Alex, Jordan, Genaro, and Nicole, that they will continue to gain stronger testimonies of their own. Thank you!

I love this work. Wouldn't trade the mission experience for anything.

Stay close to the Lord, He'll bless you.

~Elder Carroll

Jordan's Baptism!

Lunch w/ Caleb Baker from my hometown!

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