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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Week 39 - Why make life any harder then it is?

We had a great week in seeing progression in our teaching pool and investigators. We were able to give out a couple of baptismal dates, one should go through on July 19 and then 5 more on August 9th. Interestingly enough it would appear that with the greatest amount of success comes the greatest amount of opposition. Both Elder Roa and I had 100+ degree fevers and several flu-like symptoms. On Saturday I was feeling extremely ill but we had such a great day lined up we felt like we had to get out to work and trust that the Lord would carry us through. Never have I experienced such a long and yet spiritually uplifting day in my life. 

We started off visiting our progressing investigator who is preparing for baptism on the 19th of July. After which we quickly made our way over to a new investigator named Brother Alden, were the spirit was so strong in inviting him to baptism on the 9th of August that he accepted. We were then able to make it to Brother Joven, an OYM who happens to be the Barangay Captain (probably one of the most wealthy and respected men in our whole area). Despite our weakness we taught boldly the message of the restoration and committed him to attend church with us the following day. Unfortunately he was unable to make it but he was so intrigued by our message that he invited us to come back to his office every Saturday until he has heard out all that we have to say. The other two investigators that we visited however were able to make it to church yesterday and partake of the goodness of the Spirit felt during the meetings.Then we finished off the long day with our very first English Class over at the church (not the greatest attendance but should begin to grow). 

I learned a valuable lesson that this work is too important to take time off. It is important to get well but if we had stayed home we would have missed these incredible opportunities to share the gospel and strengthen our investigators. It was an incredible day, one I hope never to repeat and one I will not soon forget. At times I felt like I couldn't get up to use a CR to throw up, and yet at times during the lessons I spoke as if I was 100% healthy and nothing could slow us down. We are not without opposition in this work, even the greatest missionaries in the scriptures frequently recorded trials, struggles, and despair. Even Ammon recorded in Alma 26, "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." He spoke of hunger, thirst, fatigue, in the body and the mind, with much labor in the Spirit, and yet it would appear always when he was pushed to the very edge the Lord came to bear him up and continue forward. 

All of us whether we be within or without the church, on full time missions or disciples of Christ in our small circle of influence, will face many problems. This is evident in D&C 24 when the Lord clearly states, "Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days." Interestingly enough this is a 2 part statement. The Lord tells us we will have afflictions and yet also that we will have His help. His hand will always be sufficient and equal to meet the needs of our challenges. How miserable must people feel without the hand of the Lord. Since we all experience trials in mortality, it is a sad plight for those who wander through this mortality without the aid of a perfect loving father in heaven and a perfected elder brother. Why make life any harder than it has to be, if we understand the promises of God we will understand that we will never give us a burden we cannot bear, nor will He ever leave us without sufficient help to succeed. When Christ said His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He was not promising a life free of trial or tribulation He was promising a partnership. A yoke links two oxen together, now if the Lord is the other ox, how can we expect Him to drag us and the load along? Likewise we cannot expect Him to burden us down if we are yoked to Him. His promise is an equal partnership, He will pull as we pull. As the load that we carry increases so does the strength that He lends increase. The covenants within the Church exist specifically so that we might submit to the will of the Father and yoke ourselves to the Lord. May we always remember those covenants and as we live worthy of them, may we remember the promises made on the other side of the veil from Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ.

By the way 4th of July here makes me miss the land of the free more than anything. We splurged on some hamburger meat, it was incredible. America is definitely the land of promise. 

Elder Krueger T

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