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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

week 36 - Balancing life

Definitely the highlight of the week was the 2 baptisms we were able to have last Saturday. Both Shane and Judel are incredibly strong converts with great support so there is no anxiety about them ever falling less active. In fact both have already set the plan to serve missions in the next couple of years. Seeing them enter the waters of remission and then bare their testimonies after, was such a sweet feeling in a small way similar to that of Ammon and the other sons of Mosiah. You work as hard as you can every day and while I always know in the back of my head that it is totally worth it, baptisms and other signs of change/progression just seem to really make you realize how important our work really is. 

We found out that all 4 of us in the Acacia house are going to be training new missionaries this upcoming transfer which is way cool except it means the death of the fellowship. We will all be going our separate ways, except for me I'll still be in Kalookan for another 2 transfers. Which I will join the elite group of people who were able to spend 4 transfers in the city with 19 million people. What is that like 4 or 5 times the population of Washington all living within ten miles of my house haha. Yeah there is a lot of people here to share the gospel with and teach that is for sure! One of the biggest challenges here however is how insane their work schedules are. There seems to be 2 kinds of people here in the city. There are those who work 10 hour days 7 days a week (making about a dollar an hour with a really good job) and then there are those that have no job at all. The problem with the first is that there is never time to teach them or the ability to go to church/activities. The problem with the second is even more dangerous is sitting around all day makes it almost impossible to overcome temptations or develop the will to act /move. 

What happened to the days of the 40 hour work week!?! I have to believe that work is yet another area in which the adversary is attacking. It would appear that it is a great tool of his in getting our lives and priorities out of line. If he can get us to work outrageous amounts, it is inevitable that things of highly importance such as family and the Lord will be put on the back burning while money and success take the priority. On the flip side if he can get us to do nothing productive with our time, it is also inevitable that one will fall into the temptations of sin merely for the sake of boredom and curiosity. One of the secrets to living a gospel centered and happy life is balance. Yes the will of Heavenly Father and our families should be the first priority but I do believe God wants us to live a fully vibrant and balanced life in all areas. Work, hobbies, callings, and passions are not wicked in nature until they become over bearing. When any one aspect of our life causes us to compensate immensely on an other equal or more righteous aspect, we know we have strayed and need re-adjusting. I have quickly come to learn that anything that is temporal, will only bring temporal satisfaction. Money, entertainment, self gratification all last for a moment and then more is required once again to satisfy. While temporal things such as food for instance are certainly necessary, why would we ever seek after those things instead of the blessings which are eternal or without end. Relationships, knowledge, and self-improvement have been from the beginning our purpose in this mortal state.

As it is Father's Day let me share the lesson I have learned from my Earthly Father. Obviously dad has been very successful and fortunate in the business world. However, to do so it has required a constant grind of early mornings, travel, and just plain old fashion hard work. Now in the 18 years I lived at home, never once can I remember a time that I asked for dad's help or time that he did not almost immediately drop whatever he was doing to help me. Even though he had meetings around the world he never missed a single football game I ever played in. I recall many times where he set aside work to take me out on the boat instead. Hundreds of times he knew he had to be up at 6 o'clock the next morning and still sacrificed his sleep just to watch a movie with me instead (even though he fell asleep a lot in the movie anyways). I have observed carefully the the way in which he spends his money, and I have seen a very common trend. Despite being well off financially dad will only spend money on two things, 1.) mom and 2.) anything that will bring our family closer together. He never buys things for his own self interest. If you don't believe me just peak into the garage and tell me who has the nicer car. On the flip side I've seen him spend his own hard earned money on things that will build eternal relationships. Vacations and family activities are the first things that come to mind. While other families go on vacation and spend the whole week off doing their own things, we never separate during our vacations. I believe I understand now what I saw then, that my father always had a higher vision. He acquired temporal things for the blessing and benefit of his eternal things. He obtained the necessities of life not to satisfy his own vain ambitions but to lift and raise the family he was entrusted with from before the foundations of the world. Above all else he has given, the greatest has been his time, his love, and his desires to do right in the sight of God. When I think of my father I am drawn to the words of Henry B. Eyring when spoke of his own father and said, "Now there, is a man". Willing to sacrifice all he has been given in an instant to lift those in his stewardship, now there is a man. There is a man that I know Heavenly Father is proud of. Mormon said that if all men where as Captain Moroni the Devil would have no hold over the children of men. I would say to that if all father's were as Dad, the Devil would have very little hold over the family. It's a good thing Carter was named after him, because in a day and age where the family is the great battlefront of righteousness, the Lord needs more like him to accomplish His eternal purposes. 

Elder Krueger T

Taggart mailed home his USB with all his photos and it didn't make it thru the mail.  We are so sad all the photos have been lost.  Lesson learned.  Don't mail anything but a letter in a regular envelope. 

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