Monday, December 29, 2014

Welcome to Autumn. December 29, 2014

Well, the holidays have been fun.  I am certainly not in UT.  I am sitting here in my sandals and without a jacket and there is a slight wind in the world, but it is only December because the calendar says so.  I feel like Autumn. 
Something that I have loved about this Christmas season was that we got to go caroling almost every night! haha because most people have gone home, we have just been doing what we can to talk to people.  I have really been enjoying this time, even when it's a little different and sometimes harder.  I even got a tamale Christmas this year even though I am not in a Spanish area right now.  The bishop's wife is Hispanic and we went there for Christmas eve (: Yes. It was the best!
Somebody that has been home is our Chinese friend.  His faith has been growing incredibly and he has been teaching ME so much lately! We will teach him a principle and then he will turn around and make it into a beautiful analogy.  He loves poetry and so he connects things to that a lot.  It is perfect and I learn so much from him. I am blessed to be able to talk with him. 
Heavenly Father is so good to us all!
I love repentance.  I love the fact that when we have the desire, and are willing, we can have a whole blank page.  White.  I think sometimes we don't realize how instant His forgiveness really is.  Sure, the consequence might be a moment, but I do believe the forgiveness is instant.  I love mercy.  I love my Savior's mercy.
I have been reading the talk from the last women's conference: Living the Gospel Joyful-- by President Uchtdorf.  It is uplifting. Give it a read...But I do wish to share just a small quote from that.
"He wants you to achieve your destiny--to return to your heavenly home in honor.
"I testify that the way to accomplish this is to place selfish desires and unworthy ambitions on the altar of sacrifice and service.  Trust in the saving power of Jesus Christ; keep His laws and commandments.  In other words--live the gospel joyful."
Two things stuck out to me as I read that. #1. it is possible to be ambitious (which is a good thing), but to have unworthy ambitions.  If we are truly following what the Lord would have us do, this might mean that we follow a different course than we have previously desired, in hope and in faith that it will lead us to the correct place, a better place, which God has designed and prepared for us individually.  So follow your dreams! If they are worthy of you and your godlike potential.
#2. When we give away our selfish desires, when we trust in the enabling power of the Atonement of our Lord, when we keep His commandments, when we serve, we truly DO find joy.  And we are able to live the gospel joyful.  What a concept.  You might learn this your entire life, but until you put it to the test, and do these things out of the sincere desire of your heart, you will not know what it is like to have true joy.  What if sweet really could be sweeter? 
Well, it can! And I know it. 
There is no greater joy than this.  
I love you (:

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