My goodness gracious, this has been one crazy week.
Hope everything’s been just wonderful in your neck of the woods! It sure has been for us. Jazmin (turns out I’ve been misspelling her name this whole time…oops) got baptized! It was awesome to see her progress from the beginning and finally enter the waters of baptism and make that covenant with our Father in Heaven!
When I showed up in Clayton Valley, she had only met with missionaries twice. I was here for the rest of her journey. It took her awhile to decide she wanted to get baptized, but she was so excited for the day and she told us she felt wonderful afterwards because the Spirit was so strong with it all! These are missionary pay-days.
In other news, transfer calls came and went and the Lord sees fit to leave me in Clayton Valley for yet another transfer. Elder Forsyth and I will be sticking around for a little longer, and by the time this next transfer is over, I will have spent 6 months in this end of Concord.
However, that’s not the end of the story. We’re not just staying in Clayton Valley. We are taking over the work for the neighboring ward! The missionaries serving in Clayton Valley 2nd will be shipped off elsewhere in the mission and Elder Forsyth will be taking over their work. Our area has more than doubled in size and we will now have a car to venture into the deep parts of the well-to-do city of Clayton. When I say well-to-do, I’m talking the-bishop-lives-in-a-castle well-to-do. If that makes sense. These people are super rich.
I’ll have more to report on how the merge goes next week.
Today was pretty great. We had a zone activity and went to the base of Mt. Diablo (which, honestly is more like a big hill because these mountains have nothing on Utah) to barbecue and play various outdoor sports. Keeping in mind that it is February, let the record show that it was hot. Not quite 90 degrees hot, but hotter than it should be in February. Or April for that matter. It feels great living in this California weather. It’s no wonder people pay so much to live here, not that I would drop fat stacks to live here. No one should pay as much as it costs to live here. It’s pretty ridiculous.
Anyway, enough Gentile talk. I want to reflect on the power of the Atonement. In missionary work, we live by mission standards in order to keep ourselves focused on the work and live in harmony with the Spirit which is essential to our work. We read in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” and as such we should put things of the world behind us, including our own personal affairs, to serve effectively as missionaries. This is not the time for those things. This work is the time for the hastening of the work of salvation, and this work is nothing short of the most important work in eternity.
That being said, we missionaries, as imperfect and mortal people, often fall short of the standards we have in our missionary handbook. But you know what? That’s alright. So long as we are striving to work our hardest as missionaries and try our best to live the mission standards, we are doing enough. This also applies to our lives in general. Christ expects to strive for perfection, but He knows we will fall short.
The Atonement doesn’t require perfection. It bridges the gap between where we are and perfection. Expecting perfection of ourselves in any task will drive us to madness. Striving for perfection is different. Because Christ gave His all in the Atonement, we must strive to give our all. As mortals, we cannot do more than strive for perfection. However, the great thing about the Atonement is that it covers all things that we cannot do. Paul taught in Romans 8:37: “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” Because of Christ, we can overcome our imperfections. He made right those things that we cannot do alone. Never forget that.
I hope that thought made sense. It felt jumbled coming out, but it made sense in my head. I hope you all have a great week! I’ll be back to report on this coming week of the merge next Monday. Stay warm wherever you are.
Love you all!