Listen to our Father and Learn

Hello my friends! 
I hope you all had a good week! This week for me has been full of miracles and I am so grateful for that! But before we get into those, I will tell you all the random news you love to hear. For one, it snowed a bit a couple days ago… In April. But then the next day it was 17 degrees Celsius (65 Fahrenheit) and it felt so great. Elder DiPeri and I have gotten sick of being flabby and out of shape so we have started running in the mornings. Today was our first day, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be! Granted we only ran 10 minutes, but we will get up to 25 or 30 soon enough. Now some of you may be thinking you have heard this before- and you have. But this time I am actually dedicated to running every morning (except Sunday) until it is too cold to. So for at least the next 4 months!
Recently we have had a few our investigating friends make life changing decisions. And I just want you all to know what the best feeling in missionary work is. It is watching someone change their life by accessing and receiving help from the Atonement of Jesus Christ. These things are real and I know because not only have I experienced it, but I have watched others do so as well! 
Now, what random everyday experience did I learn most from this week? In other weeks, there are usually a couple of lessons learned that I have a tough time choosing from. This week, however, it is a very obvious and easy choice for me. About 4 days ago, Elder DiPeri and I went to the bus stop to catch a bus into town. When we got there, there was a lady with her child. A boy around 5 or 6. As we began speaking to the lady, I noticed the boy doing something very odd- he was licking ANYTHING he could get his tongue on. Literally. He walked over to an old, rusty metal railing and started licking it deliberately. Then he laughed and walked to a nearby metal pole and started licking it. Then he walked to the bus stop and licked the dirty, dusty windows. He licked everything. It was disgusting and just watching him made me feel sick. The whole time his mother tried stopping him, but he kept squirming away and licking things. Finally, I spoke to him and said “How are you! Do you like Spiders?” He replied that he did not. I then told him, “Then you might not want to lick those things. Spiders crawl on them.” That was all it took. He no longer licked the railings or the windows- he had learned his lesson.
In applying this lesson to ourselves, I bet so often Heavenly Father looks at each of us wondering why we are doing things as foolish as if we were licking rusty metal railings. I am sure that, just like the child’s mother, he gives us ample opportunity to quit and to change. He warns us, invites us, and compels us to stop. But sometimes, just like that young boy, we do not listen. Now this little boy may have looked at the situation as if his mother was putting chains around him and preventing him from having a little harmless fun. In all reality though, she was trying to protect him from the illness and pains that would undoubtedly come if he continues such behaviors. Although in the ideal situation, we would stop before any of these dangers arise, it does not often go that way. We continue in foolish ways until we learn of the dangerous effects ourselves. We are damaged in some way, and the lesson is learned.
Rather than have these negative effects, lets just choose to listen and follow the commandments of God! They are there for our benefit! Of course we can choose for ourselves, but when we choose disobedience, we are not granting ourselves unto liberty, we are granting ourselves unto bondage. If you don’t believe me, that’s ok. Just try it. And watch the blessings roll into your life. 
I love you all!
Elder Walker

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