|Poroto Alegre Brazil Temple|
The work has been pretty rough lately. Since the transfer, all of my previous investigators stayed with Elder C. and now Elder O. and I have no one to teach! .... Lately we´ve been feeling that the Lord wants us to work in a part of Goiânia that is affluent, it´s the most affluent area in the mission. No other missionaries have ever put any significant effort into this neighborhood, but we´ve decided to follow the impressions we´ve recieved and dedicate ourselves to the work! Success may come much more slowly than in other neighborhoods. In poorer areas you work one or two days and already have a decent group of people to teach, but here it´s a bit slower coming and requires much more effort. I´m not exactly sure why the Lord wants us to work here, but I am sure that one of the reasons is to give me an opportunity to increase my faith.
The last verse of Alma 32 is one of my favorites in the book of mormon: "Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering,waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you." I´m not sure if this is doctrine, but it seems to me that the last three atributes listed (diligence, patience, and long-suffering) rather than be stand-alone attributes, are among the fruits of faith. When we truly have faith, we can see and measure it through our diligence, patience, and long-suffering. They are natural results of faith-based patterns of thinking and living. Faith is generally difficult to measure and recognize in ourselves directly, but it is very easily seen when we are honest with ourselves in assessing our diligence in fulfilling the Lord´s commands, and our patience and long-suffering when the results aren´t immediate.
This is one of the greatest fruits of faith, in my opinion. Our faith in the Lord is truly manifest as we seek diligently to know the will of the Lord, and as we continue in long-suffering until he tells us "It is finished."
Before my mission I thought of faith as a rather basic topic, one so easily understood and applied. But now I´m just beginning to recognize the eternal value of faith, and the value of those who truly exercise it. Exercising faith is not easy. It requires charity and hope, and manifests itself through diligence, patience, and long-suffering. It is not easy. But the power of he who empowers us to do so is not little. I am absolutely certain that through the power of Christ we can truly exercise faith unto salvation, and become like him.
I love you all a ton! Have a great week, and I look forward to hearing from you all next P-day!