Monday, July 16, 2012

"Bee" Stings and "Be" of Good Cheer

 Elder Smith is saying goodbye to
Elder Johnson - who was heading home 
from his mission.

Elder Smith and Elder Eagar wearing the same tie...
Both got their ties from the MISSIONARY MALL before their missions
Got to love it!

This was one busy week. Cleaning yards, getting stung by bees, awesome teaching appointments...I'm pooped. That's why we have P-Day! Anyways. Yes, as mentioned I got stung...twice. We were doing some service in someone's yard and I pulled back an old tarp that had been sitting in a pile for several years. I just happened to look down and noticed I had upset a huge nest of ground bees. Well, of course I took off but wasn't thinking where I was running companion. No worries! He only got stung once. It's actually a miracle I only got stung twice. I looked down and notice I had about 15 (that I could see) all over me and they were sticking their stingers in my shirt and pants. Well, one got lucky and flew UP my pants and stung me in the thigh (I should be grateful he only got that far) and another jabbed me in the ankle. I get wounded for doing a good deed! The moral of this story is in the end, service jabs you in the rear. Just kidding! Always serve people no matter what the cost (my wounds still itch even after 4 days). Oh and I accidentally hit a kid with a baseball but that's another story.

The story of the bee sting is actually a good beginning to what I want to share. Many times we'll get "stung" by things seemingly collapsing all around us even when we're doing everything we should. That can create feelings of discouragement, sorrow, anguish and maybe a little bit of confusion. Why should we go through these trials when we're doing so good? Well, I learned that lesson this past week. As I said, we had an awesome busy week but deep down I was dying because we weren't completely a certain goal we were trying to achieve. I kept asking myself, "What am I doing wrong!?" It was killing me that despite our hard work and effort things weren't exactly going the way WE wanted. After all, we are trying to accomplish what the Lord wants! Yesterday, (Sunday) was the worst of it. Not one of our investigators came to church and that just put the cherry on top for me. Despite all this, that afternoon as we went to work I noticed "tender mercies" that helped my load go away. Talking to a man across his fence, sitting down with an elderly lady and listening to her talk, and other things that occurred. Something began to grow inside that said, "You're doing your part, don't worry about the rest. That's my job." I went to sleep completely at peace after a week of internal turmoil. Why do I share this? To emphasize the point that no matter the discouraging circumstances, everything is under control. "Therefore, let your hearts be comforted...for all flesh is in mine hands; be
still and know that I am God." (D&C 101:16) "...For ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." (Ether 12:6). Faith is truly a gift and it was given to me yesterday. No matter what happens, especially if it isn't what we want or view as what God wants, He knows best.
A shepherd will often break the legs of his sheep so he can immediately go and mend the wound. Why does he do that? As he takes care of the sheep during this time the sheep learn to trust him and know that he's there to help him. That way the sheep will know to listen to that voice so the shepherd can keep them from harm. God will allow us to go through the pits of hell so He can then come and heal our broken hearts and bind up our wounds (Psalms 147:3). When we want to give up, look up at the sky and say, "Not my will, but Thine be done." Follow the example of the Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane. As He lay bleeding on the ground, experiencing the most exquisite pain and anguish that would destroy any human being, even as He begged our Father to "let this cup pass from me," He declared, "not as I will, but as Thou wilt." My faith has grown and I'm at more peace then I have ever before been. The same will occur for you if you endure it well.
Brothers and Sisters, be of good cheer! The future is as bright as your faith.*

Elder Smith

*Be of Good Cheer by President Thomas S. Monson, April, 2009

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