It's been a crazy week. We were all over the place, trying to get a bunch of changes done before transfers next week, including two new apartments. On Tuesday, we (Elder Carrion and I) went to the zone conference in Paraná with Presidente and Hermana Perez. After the conference finished, we went with Hna Perez to review all of the apartments in Paraná. We found some that were in bad conditions (and not for fault of the missionaries), and that we decided we need to change immediately. So we got to work immediately looking for new apartments and starting the legal processes to change apartments. It was fun to be in Paraná, because we passed by my old pension in Terminal! It was weird, I left there over a year ago, but when I got there it felt like I had never left. How fast time flies.
This week we had a noche de hogar (FHE) with some of our investigators in the home of some members. It was amazing and full of the Spirit. We talked about repentance, and the importance of it becoming a recurring habit in our lives, and how, no matter what we've done, we can always repent, and that it is never too late. It might take a little more work the farther we go, but it is always worth it. To teach it better, we related it to a house. When we have a house, it gets dirty. We don't even have to do anything and the house will just get dirty by itself. Dirt will get on the floor, dust will collect, etc. So it's important for us to constantly be cleaning the house, because if we stop cleaning, the house will start to look worse and worse and smell worse and worse. We can't just say, Well, I cleaned last week, so it looks like we're good. It doesn't matter how many times we have cleaned the house in the past, it is something that we will always have to keep doing. On the flip side, it doesn't matter how long we might go without cleaning the house, if we want a clean house, we have to clean it. But it is never too late to clean. We just have to do it. But what do we need to clean? We can't just say, I want to clean, and then the house becomes clean. We need tools. Sponges, brooms, mops, soap, dusters, everything. And then we go to work. We look for the areas that need improving, and we work them with the tools we have. Maybe our front room has a tendency to have a dirty floor, but we have a vacuum just for that, so we take the vacuum and we work that floor until it's clean. It is exactly the same with repentance. It doesn't matter how many times we have repented in the past, we must keep repenting everyday. Satan is constantly working to infiltrate our lives, and we must constantly be cleaning and removing his influence from our lives through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. But we can't just say "I want to repent" and then expect the work to be done. We've got to then work on it. And the Lord has given us the tools. When we were baptized, we essentially said "I want a clean house, and I'm willing to do what it takes to keep it clean" and the Lord said "Great, here are the perfect tools that you will need to do just that" and He gave us His Spirit. So when we want to repent, we have to have the desire, but then we need to take the tools that He has given us to make that repentance happen. We look for those weak areas, and we work them with His tools, the Holy Ghost, scripture study, sincere prayer, service, priesthood leaders, until it becomes clean again. Some stains come out easier than others, but in the end, if we use the right tools, they always come out. And one of the best parts is the opportunity for a weekly "deep clean" as we partake of the sacrament. Of course, after all is said and done, it's crucial to recognize exactly who gave us those tools, and to realize that without those tools, it would be impossible for us to clean. He has provided everything for us to stay clean, and to clean up when a mess happens, be it our fault or somebody else's. It is there for us, all we have to do is take His word and clean.
I invite each of you with all my heart to take a moment and think a little bit about how you can better apply the "cleaning tools" of the Atonement in your lives. How can you use scripture study, prayer, temple attendance, and fasting to change your life? How can you use these tools to clean the stains and smudges from your lives? As we truly repent, not just stating in a prayer a wish for something different, but really applying a sincere desire for change to our lives, and working that desire into everything we do, we become the children of the Highest and experience the "mighty change of heart" that Alma so often preached of in his prophetic ministry. I know that repentance is a gift from God and that it works. I promise you that as you truly repent, you will feel cleaner, purer, holier, closer to your Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and am forever grateful for a merciful Father in Heaven who loves me and forgives me in spite of my many weaknesses and errors. This is His church, His gospel, His priesthood, His plan.
Have a great, clean, life changing week! :)
|Zone Conference in Parana!|
|Zone Conference in Parana!|
|In front of my old apartment in Terminal!|
|From my old balcony. :)|