Sunday, March 22, 2015

Dear People,
This week had some pretty amazing instances where the hand of the Lord was present. Sonny, who hadn't been to church for twenty or so years, came to church yesterday. It was brilliant. It was the privilege of mine to see the spirit touch his heart during the sacrament meeting. He had tender weeping moments as he felt the spirit. I almost was teary, seeing the tender mercy of the Lord, and hearing us sing in praise "The Spirit of God". Never before had I felt such a witness of that hallowed song. That truly increased my testimony. That was the best sacrament meeting I've ever been to. It was a miracle. Never before have I felt such a witness of the spirit in a sacrament meeting, testifying of the glory of God, the angelic hosts of heaven, and of the love of God towards His children. I felt just a piece of an awaiting joy that can come if we but endure.
President Back, a remarkable mission president, sent us this poem:

Pain stayed so long I said to him today,
"I will not have you with me any more."
I stamped my foot and said, "Be on your way,"
And paused there, startled at the look he wore.
"I, who have been your friend," he said to me,
"I, who have been your teacher - all you know
Of understanding love, of sympathy,
And patience, I have taught you. Shall I go?"
He spoke the truth, this strange unwelcome guest;
I watched him leave, and knew that he was wise.
He left a heart grown tender in my breast,
He left a far, clear vision in my eyes.
I dried my tears, and lifted up a song
Even for one who'd tortured me so long.    
                   -Author Unknown
I testify that this is true: pain is a dear friend, a teacher. It's hard to feel that way toward it, but in the end once pain must be on its way, we will understand how much we needed him. No wonder the mission is hard, and no wonder life demands trials, afflictions, and pain. The most loving father I can think of is one who will stand by and let his child endure hardships and pain, for the sake of the beautiful happily ever after that will come because of it. Blessed is our mighty Father in Heaven, who in mercy stays His hand.
I love you all and take care, and endure - trusting in the Lord, with hearts turned toward Him, praying always without ceasing.

Elder J. Cederlof

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

My week was good because we were able to visit a lot of people and plus we were able to go on splits with the elder's quorum president and another member. Our elder’s quorum president is awesome!
I also learned a lot this week spiritually. I have come to understand one of the reasons perhaps that I have come on a mission. I am not sure exactly why Australia, but the fact that it is Australia leads to the idea that this is a harder mission than others, plus there's some disobedience in our mission compared to others. But at that time those disobedient missionaries get baptisms and such while I have not baptized anyone. While I used to think sadly of that, and it is indeed a deep desire for me to baptize someone, I have come to better understand what really matters in the mission, and that is coming to know that what you are doing is pleasing to the Lord and that you are doing all you can to follow His will, accepting obvious imperfections that we all have, yet patiently enduring and going forward with firm hope. My outlook on missionary work has changed recently and I have come to trust in the Lord and Heavenly Father far more, and am coming to understand how I can trust Them more. I feel far more content with the missionary work that I am doing, while at the same time trying to push myself.

With transfers Elder Gardner left which is a big bummer, but at the same time now I am quite okay with whatever the Lord sees fit to do, so I am one hundred percent okay with staying with Elder Thomas. I am one hundred percent okay with the Lord moving Elder Gardner, and now I am coming to feel far more content with whatever the Lord does. I have come to understand more that we are not in control. The Godhead is in control. They are at work, and They are the key to people's conversion. I just need to show the Lord my availability and dependability with whatever I can give. That's me for the week.