Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Fast-forward: Week Thirty-Four - Dedication

Now that the holidays have come and gone and the craziness has gone, too, it's back to routine and consistently updating Elder Lovgren's mission blog. Here's some of what Elder Lovgren said this week:

Missionary Work is Where It's At
To be honest, I've noticed this week that the only time missionary work sucks is when I'm not doing missionary work. That's when being on a mission sucks! (I've said that a billion times in my past messages, but it's really true!) It's the same principle as working out.

It Takes Dedication
If you really want to get fit and cut it takes pain. (I haven't ever experienced the physical pain of getting cut because I've never been fully committed to it.) But, as far as being spiritually cut it also takes pain in the form of endurance, willpower, and patience. Being dedicated to becoming spiritually cut starts out being uncomfortable. A lot of the times it's not the first thing I want to do. I want to just chill, I want to just relax, but the thing is, being dedicated to being spiritually cut has shown me results. (Theoretically, it's easy to say how it is, but saying and doing it are two different things.)

The End Result is Worth It
I've seen in myself that I'm imperfect. (I don't dedicate myself all the time, you know?) I know exactly how to truly be happy and I've felt pure happiness. Sometimes I've felt pure joy and bliss on my mission. (To maintain pure bliss and joy takes a lot of reliance on the Lord.) Relying on the Lord gives me the strength to spiritually endure, but at first it's uncomfortable and spiritually painful. But...joy is the complete opposite of pain and discomfort.

Scriptures Help Me
The scripture in 2 Nephi chapter 2 (where it says, "There is an opposition in all things") really stands out to me, and has stood out to me several times on my mission. I've pondered and relied on that scripture a lot because many times I feel I'm not reaching my full potential. Sometimes as a missionary I think okay, I only have two years to do this, what am I doing? Am I piling out? You know? That really sucks for me because it destroys my peace to think I'm not good enough. (We all know where that comes from!) Reading that scripture really helps me to realize that when I do have a bad day, or when I'm not reaching out as much as I could, I'm learning what it's like to see the opposite of complete joy. 

Opposites Teach Me
Feeling sad and hard times prepares me to feel excited joy. (The only reason why I have really blissful days is because I also have hard days.) I see the fuller picture of everything, and it's really sweet! 

Knowing Both Sides
I want to read you the scripture in 2 Nephi because it's epic! (Let me pull it out real quick.) It says, "11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility. 12 Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God." Then it talks about the laws of heaven and how if there's no law there's no happiness, and if there's no law basically, everything is vanished away and has no purpose. 

Doing What It Takes
I think about that scripture a lot. I've felt pure happiness and it's very refreshing and nice. This upcoming week I want to feel that same happiness again and I'm gonna do what it takes to feel it. (Wanting to feel pure happiness is not selfish - that I will do the work for me to be happy - because I will do the work to reach out and help others.)


Elders Lovgren and Gough at Christmastime

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