Monday, May 1, 2017

Simplify and Act

Hello queridos amigos and familia! I'm sick of saying "how are you?" and pretending that you all are saying "good" back, so I'm just gonna spill the news.

So I was making a breakfast shake, like I do every morning, and the bottom of the blender thing came off... I felt like that had happened before, so I put it back on and decided to test it (mistake #1) But of course me being me, my mind got ahead of itself, and I tested it without putting the lid on (mistake #2). So I turn it on, realize as the shake starts splashing that the lid isn't on, and in my haste to turn off the machine, I hit the side of the blender pitcher (mistake #3). Three strikes your out, and I ended up with milk all over my jacket and shoes, a giant mess of ingredients on the counter, and my companion staring at me like I was crazy as I stood there repeatedly hitting my head on the wall. It was quite the adventure! So yeah, that is the news I had to spill. Cause it was a spill. Haha get it? Well I made myself laugh at least ;)

But I suddenly feel like a jerk for not asking, so HOW ARE YOU ALL DOING?!?! Hopefully you're doing great! If you're not, hopefully this email somehow makes you feel better! Or if nothing else, gives you a laugh or two ^-^

I have a WHOLE lot to write about this week, and not too much time to do it, so bear with me.

So Alfonso had quite the week. I can't give much details, but basically he was kicked out of his house. He has gotten help from the Bishop and will be living with a member, but it was a pretty rough experience for him, as one would expect. But I just can't even tell you how amazed I am by the faith he has shown through it all! He sent us twenty texts rapid-fire the night he got kicked out, and we told him to read the Book of Mormon (he was staying at and investigator's house for the night) and pray to know what to do. The next he told us that he had felt the Spirit answer him, and that he knew exactly what to do! He said he loved reading the Book of Mormon and really felt the Spirit while doing so.

Long story short, the Gift of the Holy Ghost is not only real, but can be extremely powerful and prevalent in our lives if we permit it to be. As far as I can tell, Alfonso has done what God has asked these past few months, and he is receiving the promised blessings of doing so. And all of us have the same blessings promised to us, if we are obedient to God's commands. So I would invite you all to continue to strive to do that.

The other amazing news this week is that Eduarda is no longer living with her boyfriend, which means she can get baptized! So that is very exciting! She is currently planning on being baptized at the end of this month, but it might happen sooner. Time will tell.

Jared is also doing great! He came to church despite throwing up that same morning... Which was both AWESOME and a bit concerning. He was determined though! Of course, he only stayed for the first hour, but I'm proud of him :)

A couple other fun things:
- We had a ward activity this week, and at the activity we played a game called Chubby Bunny... Basically, you go around in the circle and, without swallowing, put a marshmallow in your mouth. You then have to say "chubby bunny." And then you go around the circle and give everyone another marshmallow, and with each marshmallow you have to not swallow and still be able to say "chubby bunny". So I decided to do it along with a lot of other people... It was horrible. I'm never eating marshmallows again XD But if you so desire to see a video of me playing chubby bunny (chances are that will just be my mom), go to [https://www.facebook.com/groups/664840110294133/..or watch clip below]. I didn't win though :P
- We have been randomly playing soccer with kids in complexes as a way to get the comfortable enough to listen to us, and it has been working! We also found some kids digging holes for fun. They said they like to bury stuff and then dig it back up a couple years later... I was suddenly grateful that I had stuff to do as a kid. XD

As another missionary once phrased it, here is my spiritual nugget for the week. I really learned a lot this week, but this was my favorite part. The scriptures say "seek, and ye shall find." If you are like me, you have heard that a billion times and haven't thought much of it. But in a talk by President Uchtdorf in April 2016 connects that phrase to a quote by Abraham Lincoln: "People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." When I read that I had an epiphany: WE CONTROL OUR LIVES. Now I get that that is a generally accepted fact, but think about it a bit more if you will.

We are sent here, the scriptures say, to "act or be acted upon." The scriptures also say, in Helaman 14:30-31, that "ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves... ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you." Basically, as President Monson has told us, "decisions determine destiny." What we choose to do determines our own happiness and the end result of our lives. If we desire good, we will have it. If we give in to the world and desire evil, we will have it. The door which you knock on will be opened unto you.

So as Elder Ballard counseled us this last general conference, take a moment and have a little self-interview. Figure out if you are making the decisions that are going to take you where you want to go, and permit you to do the things that you truly want to do. Is your current path going to allow you to "return and receive" all that God has in store for you? If not, that is okay, because YOU CAN CHANGE THAT. You can act. So as Elder Yoon Whan Choi said in his general conference talk, "look up!" Defeat the fears that are holding you back by the power of your faith. Believe in God, believe he is, look to Him, and ACT. Make the changes in your life that will allow you to become everything you have ever dreamed of becoming. And plan to "Return and Receive."

Act. Don't just be acted upon.

And as the subject line says, simplify. The most important actions are those based on counsel from God, through family, the living prophets and apostles, the scriptures, your church leaders, and through personal revelation. Don't get caught up in the world.

Well I always have more, but that is all for this week. I love you all, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask them! Have a fantastic week!

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