“…And Mine Angels Round About You, to Bear You Up”

Hi world.

This may have been the most difficult week of my mission. That being said, I have learned what it means when the Savior said “I will not leave you comfortless” (John 14:18). To be completely honest, there isn’t really anything to report on this week. I may just write a brief sermon of some kind.

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Wandering the streets, looking for sheep.

We did go to the temple this week, and that was great! However, that was the only big thing that really happened. While in the temple, I decided to pray to more fully understand the meaning of Ether 12:27 in the Book of Mormon:

“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”

I’ve gained a greater understanding of the first part of this verse for sure. As I’ve turned my life over to God for these two years, he really has shown me my weaknesses and humbled me. Through that humility, he’s also shown me the way to overcome those things and allow my weaknesses to become strengths through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, our Savior. It is only through humbly appealing to God that we can gain the enabling power that Christ gives us to overcome our weaknesses.

I’ve been shown many weaknesses of mine this week, and I struggled a bit with depression, anxiety, and low self-worth. The Lord really ran me through the wringer this week by showing me these things. I saw how unmanageable our lives can become without the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. I saw how desolate and dark things can become when our powerlessness is taken advantage of by the devil.

However, I also saw the goodness of God and the power of sacrifice. In realizing these difficulties and my great nothingness before God, I decided to turn my life over more fully to the care of God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ and asked for God to show me how He sees my life.

We know that in the times of the Old Testament, the Jews practiced the law of sacrifice by the shedding of blood, which was symbolic of the coming of the Savior as a sacrifice for the world. At the time of Jesus Christ’s death, the Law of Moses was fulfilled and the law of sacrifice was changed. Now we offer up a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and our whole heart and soul to God so that he can perfect us and bring to pass His eternal purposes.

As I’ve sacrificed myself more fully in that regard, and a great spiritual power has come with it. One of my favorite quotes from Joseph Smith goes something like this:

“An organization that does not demand the sacrifice of all things, does not have the power to produce the faith necessary unto salvation.”

I share this because I want to share my testimony that sacrifice truly does bring forth the blessings of heaven. A spiritual power and a binding of our hearts to God comes as a result. Too many miracles have occurred since I made that decision for me to be able to say otherwise.

The Lord is mindful of our needs and aware of our circumstances. In my time of need, he sent very real angels to help me. My zone leaders, Elder Apostolos and Elder Forsyth (who have become two of my closest friends out here), and the elders in the Fijian branch (Elder Tu’ua and Elder Elsbury) have been here to lift me up and help me see myself the way God sees me. They were a testimony of God’s love for me because I know that God sent them to help me overcome my challenges and change my self-worth. Through them I more fully understand what the Lord meant when He said He would send his angels to strengthen his servants in D&C 84:88:

“And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you to bear you up.”

When the Lord blesses us, it’s often that He works through the people around us. I know God loves each and every one of us and is mindful of us in our circumstances. He does care. I know that to be true. Entirely. I share with you my witness in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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We had a BBQ at the mission home after the temple on Thursday. This is our district.

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I FOUND THE LONG LOST ELDER WEAVER AT THE MISSION HOME!

I hope you all have a great week. Know that I love you all!
~Elder Pike

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