Monday, January 9, 2017

December 11, 2016 - Let yourself be happier

From Dad:

Hi Josh,

Today Russell Jeffrey reported his mission to Idaho. He spoke really well and from the heart as always. He was very frank about having had some health challenges (mostly anxiety and such) that in the end resulted in him coming home a couple of months early. His testimony and remarks were solid and on the mark and I really felt the spirit as he testified of God’s love manifested in the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith and the power of the Book of Mormon in helping us find answers.

Wes Prince, a Stake High counsellor also spoke and reminded us of a talk given by Elder Uchtdorf in the October 2012 conference called “Of Regrets and Resolutions”. In it he discusses the 3 big regrets people tend to have at the end of their life. It made me wonder if these can be considered in the mini-life of going on a mission? I hope as you embark on the last year of your mission that you will serve and live so that you can avoid these regrets.

1.       “I Wish I Had Spent More Time with the People I Love” – Remember it is the relationships that you build and help your investigators and new members build with members of the Church that is so important. More important than the numbers
2.       “I Wish I had Lived Up to My Potential” – Live each day on your mission with purpose and work with the Lord to leverage your strengths and overcome your weaknesses (Ether 12:27)
3.       I Wish I Had Let Myself Be Happier” – This is the one that struck me the most. I hope that amidst the stress and challenge of a mission that you will let yourself enjoy the moments and not just work to be done. These are Elder Uchtdorf’s words in that regard:

“Sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey. I don’t go cycling with my wife because I’m excited about finishing. I go because the experience of being with her is sweet and enjoyable.
Doesn’t it seem foolish to spoil sweet and joyful experiences because we are constantly anticipating the moment when they will end?”
We are very grateful for so many things. It is an adjustment to live further out in the country, but we are ever so grateful for the miracles and experiences that have resulted and that we anticipate will continue.
I also heard that Isabeau gave her mission farewell this Sunday in Camrose and heads to Australia this week. Exciting for her!
Finally, also on the missionary front, Ava Driessen got her mission call to the, wait for it, “Canada Montreal Mission”! Totally excited for her. I’m thinking you must have been a good influence what with all these girls you dated as they are all going on missions!
Today I had a YM presidency meeting and felt a bit overwhelmed. I’ve not been able to really focus too well on YM’s for a couple of months building this house, so now I’m feeling the promptings to make it a higher priority. Problem is that things can go downhill fast in 2 months and need to bolster my presidency. Good thing we can repent and start to do better.
This week I was looking for something to listen to on the long(er) drive into work. I found a free audio book called “The Science of Getting Rich” and found a cool quote that I think is true:
“There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe. A thought, in this substance, produces the thing that is imaged by the thought. Man can form things in his thought, and, by impressing his thought upon formless substance, can cause the thing he thinks about to be created.”

Made me thing about some of the cool verses in the D&C:

Doctrine and Covenants 93:29

29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.


Doctrine and Covenants 131:7

7 There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes;

·         Doctrine and Covenants 130:20

20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated

·         Doctrine and Covenants 130:21

21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

I certainly love the gospel in all its breadth and the opportunity to study it deeply. I’m thankful for the burning testimony you bear to us every letter. Happy 1 year mark. Enjoy the journey, reach for your potential and love the people and experiences you have with them.
Love forever,
From Josh:
My Goodness it has been a crazy week, white washing an area is stressful and fun at the same time, I love the Sherman oaks ward... and guess what? Casey Clyde is in my ward, the guy who acted Elder Rodgers in the best two years, he acts exactly the same as he does in the movies too. We are currently in an apartment with our district leader, and it is a blast, I love being a missionary and everything just seems to be going great!

This week I was able to attend a baptism of someone I had taught in Saugus who didn't seem that interested but other missionaries helped him to see the importance of the Gospel after I left and I was able to see him enter the Waters of baptism, we also found and taught his family as well and they will be getting baptized on the 30 of December, when I first heard about this my heart and soul were filled with so much love and praise to God that I could not stop myself from singing to the world so on the way home I belted out "praise to the Lord" the problem was I didn't know all the words so about halfway through it fizzled out so I had to figure out a hymn of praise that I knew and then sang that all the way home. Rest assured I looked up "Praise to the Lord" after i got home determined to learn it so I could actually sing it the next time I get excited. 

Things I have learned on my mission is to speak what is on my mind with more firmness, often now when I don't like something I make sure to tell someone, when I want to invite a baptism commitment I will do it, I am not very good at standing up for my opinion but I am working on expressing myself more fully and boldly so that I don't mumble or anything... though a lot of what I do I feel must come from the spirit. 
I learned something interesting the other day, In 'Preach my Gospel' it states that to increase your desire to share the gospel you must first strengthen your understanding of the atonement, in order to maintain an eternal perspective and to know why the atonement is necessary you must first understand the Fall and the reason thereof. So I invite all of you to partake in the blessings of understanding by increasing your knowledge of the Fall its purpose, the atonement and the purpose of it, and then increase your love for the Gospel so you can share it with any and every willing mind. Be an example to the nation and i guess #LightTheWorld if you are not already doing the challenge on then I would strongly exhort you to do so now and start making the world a better place.

This week we were able to share the Christmas video with a few Muslims and they loved it but we talked to this one Muslim that told us that he had studies 185 different religions and he respected us and told us that he also respected Jesus, I learned that Islam people believe everything about Jesus Christ, that his virgin birth, his miracles, and his life, but that he is not the son of God, we boldly testified that he was the Son of God and we gave him a copy of The Book of Mormon and invited him to read it, he said he would and we left. The Book of Mormon is the convincing witness of the Gospel, it is another testament of Jesus Christ with it in your hand you can boldly proclaim the truth of all we believe, always keep a copy with you to study and give to those who may want to know of the truth of the Gospel, learn and love the Gospel, develop a personal relationship with God and honestly seek the truth.



Picture at the baptism of Josh Mai he is standing to the right of the kid in the white, everyone in suits are all the missionaries that were involved in his teaching. 

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