Thursday, March 3, 2016

Counsel with the Lord

Loved Ones,

What a wonderful week! Prayers were answered, investigators went to church, did some service, was chased by 2 rabid Filipino dogs, taught a minister the Book of Mormon. Solid week.

I'm sad to hear about the Ward changes but I know it's for the best. In the board game RISK we call that "divide and conquer." Okay that wasn't has funny as I thought it would be. 

So this week or the last couple of weeks, I've been really focusing on my prayers and the concept of "counsel with the Lord." I think before my prayers were very generic and repetitive. I say my thanks and kinda of just go with the flow. But as I've learned more and experienced more trials and have been faced with more decisions, I'm praying with more efficacy. The Lord knows and hears our prayers. He wants to help us but He won't do everything for us, if that was the case, there would be no growth or personal progression. We're taught to "study it our in our minds." We use our personal judgement. We study the scriptures and heed the teachings of the Prophets and we make a decisions. And then we ask Heavenly Father. We say, "Father these are the things I want to accomplish, here's my plan and it feels good but what do you think? Is there something else you had in mind? If there is I'm willing to submit to your will." That's called counseling. We've been given agency and we're asked not to "be acted upon." Tell God what you're feeling and what your righteous desires are. Through the Spirit He'll let you know, but be careful, if you're not paying attention you won't notice His heavenly answers. Have faith in Him and His timing. But do your part. Search, ponder and pray. Tell Him what you decided but be flexible because He always knows best.

I've seen and felt the warmth and confidence that comes from true, sincere prayer. As I kneel and pray out loud, the connection I feel gets stronger and it's not a one sided conversation anymore. It's more of an intimate experience then before. But it takes practice. It takes diligence. But that sacred communication is so important. 

I want to bear my testimony of Jesus Christ, that He lives. I know the Book of Mormon is true, because I read it and I've felt it's power. I believe in miracles. I believe in Prophets and Apostles. I can't wait to see you all again. I love you! 

Your Valiant Missionary,
Elder Strader

PS. Here's a picture of the office staff. We have too much fun here. And here are pictures of my carrying water for a member. 

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