This weekend as you probably know was General Conference. We only had a small ward here in Wilhelmshaven so the conference was only in German. I will not lie, I had struggles trying to pick out what everyone was talking about, but luckily I can download the audios and listen to them at the apartment. We watched the saturday morning session at 6 oclock saturday night. Then we watched Priesthood, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning from 1 until 8 yesterday afternoon. It was a long, German day. Because it was all in German, I had to chose between understanding the whole thing or focusing on what I was feeling. I ended up listening to it and trying to understand it and then writing down any feelings that I got.
The Lord works in mysterious ways. In times of greatest trial, He pours out His love and peace so much more than any other time. This week I had some really amazing experiences with my personal study. I was studying about the doctrine of Christ and for some reason I looked up a scripture in 2 Nephi 4. Nephi asked why he should yield to sin because of the flesh. I then read it in German and it used the word “hingeben”. This word, in the way it was used in this case, means to give yourself to someone or something else. So Nephi is asking why he should give himself to sin. I realized that that is really how it works. We have to give ourselves to sin or the thought of sin. It is like when Elder Uchtdorf was talking about when President Monson told him not to even think about flying the airplane. (At least I think that is what he said) We cannot yield to sin, we cannot pause and allow it to move forward; we have to cast it out as soon as it enters our minds. As a missionary, it is difficult to keep a good attitude at times. It feels like it is you and your companion against the world. But I cannot let myself get discouraged. I have to learn to make sin and the natural man yield to me.
Here is a story that Elder matthews and I read this week that really helped me to feel better:
A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room was filled wiht light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man he had a 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 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. Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, the devil decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind: You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it. This gave the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. Why kill myself over this? he thought. I’ll just give 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 told his troubled thoughts to the Lord. Lord, he said, I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my stregth to do that which you have asked. Yet after all this time, I have not budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing? The Lord responded compasionately. 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 is 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 move 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.
Like this man, I am called to invite others to Christ and to serve with all my heart, mind and strength. I know that we all have been called to a work. We may forget our calling sometimes or get discouraged when it seems we aren’t having any success. But we have to remember that in the end, the Lord moves the rock.