Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Goin' South

Dear All,

This has been a week of BIG changes.

So, let's get the big one out of the way: I am no longer a missionary of the Guatemala Guatemala City Central Mission. Monte Joseph Brough is no longer my mission president. Although I did not change areas, I now belong to the Guatemala Guatemala City South Mission, as of yesterday. My mission president is now Laurence Richard Stay from (you guessed it) Utah.

Although I'm a bit sad because I will no longer see President Brough or my many friends in the Central mission, and a little disoriented from the changes, It's funny, because it's almost like I knew it was happening.

After receiving my mission call, I talked to a member who said: "I just met your mission president, President Stay." I was confused until I got here, and saw that President Stay is from the South mission.

On Wednesday, I received my new companion and third "Son," Elder Refuerzo from Spanish Fork, UT. He's so much like me it's scary. I'm now learning what I was like for my trainer.

On Thursday, we had a very touching conference, in the which Pres. Brough and Sis. Brough said goodbye to each of us. It was a very spiritual moment, and although I will miss them very much, I know there's something I need to learn from President and Sister Stay that President and Sister Brough couldn't have taught me. It's the Lord's will, so I'll do it, and I'll do it "with a heart full of song."

On Friday we went to my last meeting with President Brough, a meeting for the new missionaries. It was in the Villa Nueva stake center, which was the chapel in my previous area. I saw some members I know, and I got to even see one of the Yuman family! He wasn't at the church, but we went to the park to take a bus. I crossed the street quickly and my companion stayed behind, and there he was, standing next to my companion! It was pretty cool and special for me, a sign that the Lord loves me, and sends me little things to tell me it's all okay.

I close with a few choice words from a beloved hymn:

"There's surely somewhere a lowly place
in Earth's harvest fields so wide,
Where I may labor for life's short day
for Jesus, the crucified.
Then, trusting my all to thy tender care,
And knowing thou lovest me,
I'll do thy will with a heart sincere,
I'll be what you want me to be."

Sometimes it's hard to accept, but that's how it is. The most important thing we can have is humility. It doesn't matter where we serve or in what capacity, only how. As the hymn says, this life is but a short day, and we have to take advantage of it. What pain I feel for those who can't understand or refuse to understand this principle, wasting away their lives wallowing in pride or in thinking about what could have been! What matters is TODAY. What can I do TODAY to be better? What can I do TODAY to serve the Lord and do his will? Everything. But first I have to be humble enough to be able to accept it. Then go to work. Don't waste your time worrying about things that don't matter, about tedious temporal details or trying to maintain your pride, but rather "be thou humble and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand and give the answer to thy prayers." In the end, our will doesn't matter much, nor our social position, nor our job, nor even our calling in the Church. "[Press] forward, be faithful, the promise is sure."

I testify of the truth of these things with all my heart. I hope you can feel my love for the Lord and for each one of you as you read this. Ask yourself "Have I done any good in the world today?" and then "put your shoulder to the wheel . . . we ALL have work, let no one shirk!" (emphasis added)

I testify that Jesus Christ is our Savior. He lives, and loves us to the end, as does our Heavenly Father. Love them, and if you feel that you love them and want to love them more, consult John 14:15.

"Oh, sweet, the joy this sentence gives: 'I know that my Redeemer lives!'"

In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Banks

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