Tuesday, June 9, 2015

To bear thy cross. Week 39

Hello friends and family.

Week was good, as in good things happened. But it was a hard one... As good as all the weeks have sounded, they're always hard. But lately I've been struggling a little bit I guess you could say. And that consists of feeling lots of amounts of stress, being mentally drained, and sometimes wondering if I can ever do this. The answer to that question is an unchangeable no
I CANT do this. But through Christ, I can. I've come to know that I was never asked to do any of this. But more so called to be an instrument in it all. A cog in the system that helps all the others work. Realizing that has helped lift me up a little bit. But sometimes the burdens come. 

This week we had the opportunity to meet with our friend "Small Gate", who is a 17 year old high school student. He's had some interest in religion and has accepted to hear our message. That's when we came over to his house, and taught him the Restoration of the Gospel through Joseph Smith. We taught him a great lesson, and he agreed to be baptized on the 28th if he finds that it's true for himself. I've never been so drained from teaching a lesson. It was so, incredibly hard to speak at all that day for some reason. The language has been catching up to me a little bit. Having a Japanese companion has helped it improve, but there are sometimes, where it is just too much for my brain to handle. 

The need to retain and take care of members, and investigators, and finding new ones has been a burden. Especially as my companion is the Branch President, we have extra tasks that we need to do. It's a blessing to get to know them all and be acquainted with them. They are good people and I love them. 

As I really think about what has happened here in Shingu, the doors being shut, the Language barriers I have, the work load, and the burdens being placed upon me, I am extra grateful and am placed in awe and wonder at the account of the Atonement written in the bible. As I read about it and ponder the words written, I am humbled and filled with a sweet peace of love for the Savior and what He did. He suffered pains beyond measure in the Garden of Gethsemane, on behalf of all of our countless, and individual mistakes. I cannot even begin to fathom a pain so excruciating, as to make one bleed from every pore of the body like sweat. Thinking of it just hurts. Thinking of it tells me that He is the Son of God, and that only He could do it. Following such an experience, you could imagine the pain he felt, the mental drainage he faced, and the humility he felt. All because he loved us.

He then was arrested, and tried for...well, nothing. Because the ignorant chose not to believe, but rather crucify. After being placed before Pilate the governor, he asked the multitude, "what shall I do with this man?" And all that was answered was the cold 
words of "crucify Him". Even though he didn't want to, he releases him to be executed by crucifixion. Despite what our Redeemer already went through the night before, he was put through some more pain, humiliation, and hatred through being whipped, beaten, mocked, and so on. They topped it off with a crown of thorns being placed on His holy head. He was then ordered, just like an any other crucifixion, to carry his cross up to the hill Calvary. Carrying the cross, is a difficult task to say the least. And after going through what he had already experienced, carrying the cross was nearly impossible for the Savior. Yet he endured, he moved, and did all he could until he literally could not do it anymore. He gave his all. 

I'm in amazement at this specific portion of the scriptures. Especially when I read this phrase of "bearing his cross" or this scripture:

17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: (John 19:17)

Despite all the pain, affliction, and hurt that Jesus Christ had went through, he continued on, and carried that cross for one reason: because he loves us. He died and suffered, because he loves us. He endured on through such affliction, because he loves us. He is literally the Son of God, and he holds the power to do anything to his will. He flipping created the world we stand on for crying out loud! With that power, he could have chosen to free himself from such pain, to ease the burden, to destroy everyone in that moment, but because he loves us, he endured to the end. 

I don't know about you, but I'm so humbled, and bless to feel loved by someone so magnificent as him. Reading this has helped lift me up a little bit. Whenever I read the words "bear thy cross" I hear, "just keep going, you got this" or "endure all manner of affliction". 

We all have hard times in life. It's all apart of the program. To how we face them that makes the difference. When we turn to Christ, trust in him, and Bear up our crosses we can expect to be lifted up by him, and be strengthened in him, the word of life.

23 And now, my brethren, I desire that ye shall plant this word in your hearts, and as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith. And behold, it will become a tree, springing up in you unto everlasting life. And then may God grant unto you that your burdens may be light, through the joy of his Son. And even all this can ye do if ye will. Amen. (Alma 33:23)

I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that what he did for us, is because he loves us. As we turn to him in all our burdens and trials, as we abide in him, he will abide in us, and he will make us whole. I love my Savior. That we may be able to bear our crosses, and push through the hard times while trusting in the one who loves us perfectly, is my prayer for all of you. 

I've been struggling a bit like I said, but that's not to say I'm not having a good time. I'm grateful for these times. I'm just being placed in his refining fire, being polished up here and there becoming a better man of God. I love all of you and am thankful for everyone of you who are fighting on and pressing through the hard times. God knows how you feel. And if you let him, he will be right there with you to ease the pain, and lift you up. I testify of that, in the name of Jesus the Christ, amen.

Elder Preciado

Went fishing with Tsunami on Monday! And brother Tsunami and I traded jackets haha. 

 (I had to look closely, the fish are by his pocket ) :) lol

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