This transfer I've been learning lessons for life everyday. Trials and Weaknesses have been refining us this transfer. "For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." (1 Nephi ). Hna St. John has been having her share of trials to deal with and I've been coming face to face with my weaknesses. We are determined to come out conquerer, with the Lord as our guide. The scripture that was the driving force this week for Hna St. John and I was 2 Nephi 31: 19-20
" 19. And now, my beloved brethern, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
20. Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."
Appropriate in so many ways, but especially so because I just found out last night I'm speaking in sacrament meeting on "Enduring to the End." It's my first time giving a talk in Spanish since the MTC, but at least I have more time to prepare now right?
Companions are the best.
Every transfer I feel like I just keep getting better and better at having open communication and trusting my companions 100%. I have complete trust in Hna St. John so much so that I've I thought about what a peculiar sight Hna St. John and I were during one day this week. We sat at the table in our living room eating Tamales a member in our branch had given us, listening to vintage Mormon Tabernacle Choir music and reading, Ezra Taft Benson's famous talk, "Beware of Pride." I was reminded of the scripture in 1 Peter 2:9, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"
Pride has been on my mind lately. I want nothing to do with it. As I read President Benson's talk I was able to recognize so much of it in myself. I'm working on cleansing the inner vessel and doing ALL I possibly can to rid myself of this great vice. Also, in watching this talk on LDS.org President Benson didn't even give the talk, he had President Hinckley read it. I thought that was such an interesting twist. I also came to the conclusion that I need to read more C.S. Lewis post-mission. This quote resonated with me, "Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. ...It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone."
I've come to the conclusion that Pride is illogical. We are all children of a loving Heavenly Father and he loves us equally. You can name any two people, the worst of villians and the most humble person you know, and God loves them both just the same. We are all trying to get to the same end-goal. For no one truly wants to be alone in the presence of God. If we shoot to be, "the best" we will be severely disappointed for their is no "best." Only a personal best.
I was studying the patriarchal blessing of my Grandfather Quesada this week and I just loved this piece of wisdom. I'm paraphrasing, but it was something to the extent of, "may we all recognize our dependence on God, and our dependence on one another. For that is the way the God intended, we cannot enter into his presence without the help of our brothers and sisters or without serving and helping them." I'm obviously not as eloquent as a patriarchal blessing. But it was just a powerful reminder to me of the gospel truths I proclaim everyday.
Pride is just like any other addiction. It is the praise of a moment that drives us, it is the satisfaction of being on top even if only for a bit. I thought about how similar, but subtle it is compared to other addictions. I'm working on it. I'm living by this motto, Proverbs 27:2, "Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips."
In quick news, this week was stake conference. All about Hastening the Work of Salvation. I've served my entire mission (...thus far) in the Houston East Stake. It was so wonderful to see friends and families that I have grown to love. We also sang in a special choir with the youth, a medley of, "Armies of Helaman" and "Called to Serve." It was wonderful. President Crawford sat on the stand, and as we walked down he said with tears streaming down his face, "bad sister missionaries. Bad sister missionaries." :) It was tender.
I love my mission.
Hna St. John and I after stake Conference. :) Thank you Tia Maria for the dress! Favorite kind of dresses ever!
& A story with a picture. My District Leader Elder Owens forwarded me this email:
Subject: Hermana Cole...Hermana Flores
"Cute story about Hermana Cole. After dinner she was looking at the pictures you sent us that I had on the fridge. She saw the one of you with your district and wished I had a more close up shot. Lucky for her I just so happened to have one. When I showed her she got really excited and said..."hey, that's Lauren Flores!! She's my friend! We were in Living Legends together at Byu!" So we took a picture of her holding the picture. She was really excited. I will send you a hard copy that you can give to Hermana Flores...if you don't mind. Funny how small the world is in the church!. I emailed a copy to both their parents. I know how much it has meant to me when people have done that for me.