Wednesday, July 23, 2014

6/21/2014 - Keeping your head above water...‏

So this week is a little crazy as far as emails go... we´ll be in Mendoza on monday for a farewell/pday with the Ávilas and all of the lideres. So we just have a few minutes right now.

This weeks has been... well... to be honest, rough.
We´ve talked a lot about how in more ways than just one, we´ve kind of been thrown into ¨survival mode¨. more literally than I would have liked, and it´s always a little bit more of a blow this late in the game.
Honestly with everything...changes, challenges... and one sickness after the next. Worms, Hermana Hales got really nasty bronchitis... and now... with the current predicament in which we find ourselves.... I honestly have just kind of gotten to the point where i want to say BASTA! 
We´ve talked several times about how hard Satan is pushing against us.

Once, back in San Juan, when I was going through another one of those trying moments, I prayed to find the strength, to not feel so alone... and I opened to Joseph Smith History: 

I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.
 16 But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head....
Just as Joseph was in the most intense point of his adversity, ¨about to abandon himself to destruction¨, THEN the Lord stretched forth His hand.

One of my favorite stories is in Matthew 14:24-31.

 24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of goodcheer; it is I; be not afraid.
 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
I feel like lately I´ve been a little bit of a Peter. When I left Dorrego, i was sad to leave, but then, seeing this as a great opportunity... and maybe even gettng a little bit ahead of myself... thinking i have ¨lots of time¨in the mission...experience... I can use the things I´ve learned, seen, the attributes I´ve developed..
Like Peter, I jumped over the edge.
As we worked and worked. Nothing to start with. No results being seen. And then the weeks went on. Sickness after sickness... In those second and third watches, we are prone to think many things... God isn´t listening. He doesn´t care right now. Maybe I´m not doing what it takes to be worthy of being saved. The  reality really starting to hit me... and honestly I felt like I was starting to sink.
in the story, Peter, in his moment of realization...even with all of his ¨experience¨with the sea.. he knew better than to try and fight it out...struggle alone. He called out to Jesus to help him.
Sometimes that´s a concept that I struggle with. as you all know... I have that ¨superwoman complex¨ and try to just tough it out.
But I´ve learned... and especially as of late that when i´m drowning, figthing the waves just makes exhaustion come that much faster.

Just like with Peter, Christ´s hand is always outstreched. Maybe He hasn´t quite raised me up to the point of ¨walking on the water¨... because maybe i´m not ready for that yet. But He outstreched His hand, and is allowing me to rely on His strength... keeping my head above the water. To recognize more and more each day my dependence on Him and to allow Him to take control. 

Just like He did with Peter, Christ welcomes and even encourages our eagerness even knowing sometimes that there are just some things that we´re not capable of doing ourselves.
but he also knows they allow for great growth and recognition on our part. He allows us to try...and yes, sometimes start to sink. and it´s then, in those moments, when we recognize our true dependence on Him.
Storms are an unavoidable part of each of our lives. Some toss about just a little bit, and then land us safely on shore.
While others swirl, grow, and threaten us to the point where the ¨watches¨got on, the night seems long, and there is seemingly no sign of a break or morning.

We worship a ¨fourth watch God¨. Sometimes He waits until we think that all hope is lost, until we have exhausted all of our own efforts. But He always comes in and reminds us that He knows where we are, what we´re going through, and that He is in control.

¨Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.¨

I love you all so much.
xoxox Your Hermana C

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