Monday, January 11, 2016

Some of the Fruits of Faith

Hey, all!  So what´s everybody doing?  Keep me up to date, send me some pics!
Poroto Alegre Brazil Temple
   This week, like all of the others, was awesome!  It was also very busy.  We had the Mission Leadership Meeting, and on top of that there were several Visas that we needed to renew this week.  So it was a lot of fun!  It´s one of those good busies!  

   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.
Image of faith from the internet
   Long-suffering is also an interesting word.  I like it much more in Portuguese; the translation is longanimidade.  Instead of sounding like enduring suffering for a long time, the word longanimidade seems to convey the ability to remain excited, happy, and driven even when things aren´t going that well.  It would be more like long-excitedness or long-courage if those were words in english.  

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!

Elder Sweet    

1 comment:

  1. Hello Logan -
    It is good to see you're holding up so well and keeping positive. I know there must be times when things get difficult. Those are the most important times when your true character is revealed. And even then as you choose to maintain trust in the Lord you may not see immediate blessings. I suppose Abinadi went to his death thinking his mission efforts had failed. Perhaps he hoped the Lord would rescue him from being killed. But, he never faltered. He unknowingly converted one soul (Alma) who converted hundreds and their posterity (Stripling warriors) were critical in the Lords kingdom. Also, Abinadi's testimony as recorded in the Book of Mormon has touched (and continues to touch) millions. So when times get tough, and they will, embrace the trials and hang tough, trusting in the Lord. Good Luck.