This week has been less than ideal. Most of our appointments fell through, time was wasted, and I was very frustrated. Ask me if I regularly had headaches this week.
“Elder Pike, did you regularly have headaches this week?”
YES. Yes I have, thanks for asking. It’s been a rough week.
I won’t go into the silly details, not because it’s sensitive or negative, but because there hardly are any silly details. Let it be known that I stumbled awkwardly through this week. As a result, I don’t have any pictures either (sorry Mom).
On a brighter note, we were able to go to the temple this week! Since the first time I ever went to the temple (for an endowment session) back in August, my faith has grown and expanded rapidly. It’s crazy what it did for me! Every time I go I always learn more and am able to increase my faith. It’s the best and I wish we could go more often.
One highlight I want to talk about from this week was church, yesterday. We have a lot of church to go to now that we are covering two wards (four hours because the ward meetings overlap, plus extra time for meetings like ward council and missionary coordination). Regardless of the amount of time we are at church (to give an idea, yesterday we were there from 8 to 2), it was very good. The lessons given and the talks given were spectacular.
The first thing that comes to mind was Bishop Blatter’s talk in the second sacrament meeting we went to. He spoke about his own father and how, growing up, he never understood why his father did the things he did. He didn’t understand why his father enjoyed working in Concord. He didn’t understand why his father enjoyed working as a dentist. He didn’t understand why his father drove a rickety old SUV into town to do that every day. Bishop Blatter then went on to talk about how his father’s ways were not his ways back then. He swore, as a teenager, that he would never work in Concord as a dentist, driving a rickety old SUV.
However, as he grew older, things changed. Today he works as (you guessed it!) a dentist in Concord, driving a rickety old SUV. Bishop Blatter used this story to demonstrate the principle that the Lord’s ways are not our ways, but as we strive to follow Christ and exercise faith in Him, we can begin to understand those ways and become like Him! It was a very powerful talk.
The second thing that happened at church was our lesson in gospel principles. I don’t know if I mentioned Brother Damiano before, but he is the best person ever. No question. He’s wickedly smart, but in a very humble way. He’s constantly spouting off latin and greek roots of words to help teach a principle or lesson, and, at the same time, he throws in witty comments where you’d least expect it.
Anyway, he taught at church that day about prayer. Prayer is such a simple thing, but this lesson was fantastic. He had prepared this long slide show to teach, but threw it out the window last minute because the Spirit had directed him otherwise. Instead, he began by asking the three recent converts in the ward (including Jazmin) to share their experiences with prayer and conversion. He then pointed out how they all felt the Spirit as they prayed and identified the words we use to describe the Spirit. Words like “feeling,” “articulate,” “peaceful,” etc. He pointed out that as we pray, the Spirit helps direct us and guide us. The Spirit also guides us as we seek for answers to our prayers.
Interestingly, one promise of the Lord is that He will ALWAYS answer our prayers. The important element to remember is that His ways are not our ways, so the Lord answers in His timing and in His way. However, He ALWAYS answers our prayers.
What really got me about this lesson about prayer was a scripture he shared from Romans 8:
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” ~Romans 8:26
Without God, we are helpless. We don’t even know what it is we should pray for because we are nothing without God. However, the Spirit will guide us in all we do to help us pray for what we need, so that God can bless us with the things we need. It’s such a powerful statement and Paul put it best in the book of Romans.
Anyway, that’s all I really have for this week. Hope you all have a great week!
I love you all!