What a crazy couple weeks it has been! So many miracles and so many great things have happened these past weeks! I have learned so much! I will share my favorite lesson of the last couple weeks, but first a story. The past Saturday I was privileged to travel back to my first area, Telford. Living in Telford from August 2012 to February 2013 changed my life forever. There I learned how to truly love and care for others. There I experienced miracle after miracle and came to understand in a very real sense that I was doing the work of the Lord. And so, understandably, I was very very excited to be going back there to witness the baptism of 11 year old Ellis, someone I had taught 18 months earlier. When I arrived I felt pure joy in greeting those wonderful families and people I love so much. It truly was a joyous occasion! As the baptismal service began, progressed, then came to an end, the time came for the final speaker. As he spoke and welcomed Ellis into his new extended family, he looked at him and said, “You have many friends in the church, don’t you?” Instantly, ALL of the primary children turned around and looked directly at him. I could feel the pressure on Ellis from all of these little ones! As if Ellis had a choice, he nodded an innocent yes.
Now what is the lesson learned in this? For me it is one of unity and love. Those little ones looked back and beamed at Ellis not out of a selfish desire to force him into submission, but out a genuine interest in his feelings of acceptance. Are we as genuinely concerned for the feelings of those we love or are we too caught up in our own problems? As we seek to focus more on our friend’s problems than on our own, we will find greater happiness and we will find that our problems will be made light. “When we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are only in the service of our God.” As we serve others we serve God. Though no amount of service to God will ever pay Him back, it can help us to have that sense of belonging and acceptance that we all yearn to have. Having experienced for myself the blessings of service over these past 21 months, I highly recommend finding someone to help to overcome our own challenges. I know, it seems like a counter-productive thing to do, but I promise, it works!
In other news, I got a new companion! Elder Jonothan DiPeri from Mesa, Arizona! If you remember, I served with him from March to June of last year! In fact, I was his first companion! And now, we have the privilege of serving together for another little while. We are really excited to work hard and to see just as many if not more miracles than we did together the first time! I will keep you all updated! Love you all!