Despite the excitement of food, family parties, and presents, we all inwardly looked forward to two special Christmas calls.
Meghan's came first...
Meghan is serving with Sister Alldredge from Colorado Springs, Colorado. She seems very happy. She says it like it is...tracting-not on the top of her list for fun and exciting missionary activities. The area that she is serving in is very transient. There is a military base in their ward boundaries, so they have people coming and going all the time. A friend of hers from high school is in her ward. She was pleasantly surprised. Her greatest lesson so far has been understanding the important nature of baptism. That in order to be perfected, we need to take the name of a perfect being upon us and that can only be done by the covenant of baptism.
Then came Jordan's...
Jordan smiled and laughed for about the first 10-15 minutes or so (once we could actually hold a connection for more than a minute). This was the first call that he struggled on and off with English words. I shared with him Meghan's feelings about tracting, especially when it is dark outside and I asked him his experiences with people when they were tracting (he calls it contacting) at night. He said they were often "molested"!! Then quickly said, "That's not the right word, is it?" I guess "bugged" in Spanish is "me molestó", so naturally he thought the English word was similar. I had to chuckle! He loves studying the gospel. He said it is his favorite time of the day. His most recent lesson has been on obedience. He shared a cute story that taught the lesson that all the Lord requires is simple obedience. It is He that will move the mountains if it is His will. He closed with a song in Spanish. I can't figure out how to transfer it from my phone. Needless to say, it was a tender moment.
A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might.
This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing it with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.
Noticing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, the adversary decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind. “You have been pushing against this rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it.” Thus giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These troubling thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. “Why kill myself over this?” I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort and that will be good enough.
And that is what he planned to do until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his thoughts to the Lord. “Lord” he said, “I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even been able to budge that rock. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”
The Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, When I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so?”
“Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in my wisdom. This you have done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”
At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is simple obedience and Faith in Him…
By all means exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God who moves them.