I wish to thank you again for your messages to me this past week. They always fill my heart. I love the extrordinary as much as the day to day information. This week P-Day is on Tuesday. We have transfers tommorrow. No shock in my camp, I am staying in East Cleveland. I live with of course my companion, Elder Martinez and my Zone Laeders, Elders Richardson and Rangel. Elder Martinez is finished with his service to the Lord tommorrow. Elder Richardson is being transfered and my "big brother" Elder Rangel is staying in the same apartment, though we are assigned to different areas. So tommorrow I will have a new companion. It is a bitter sweet feeling today as I am prepapring to say goodbye to my dear friend Elder Martinez. I have had this sense that an empty feeling awaits me as he will be gone. I have grown to love him so much.
We contacted till it was dark last night and he did not act as if his mission was over, we were sharing the gospel until the last minute of daylight, that is who he is. I have learned so much from my first companion. He has fought so hard to be where he is. He has relied on the Lord for every thing. He came to the mission in 2009 not knowing a word of english, and he left as my trainer. What a story of 'becoming'.
I wish to share a brief thought with you that has dominated the majority of my thinking this week. It is this. The key to appreciating God is reverencing Him and worshipping Him in a spirit of awe and wonder, of apprecaition and grattitude, of love and respect for the opportunity to "become". This is the whole idea. Progress can only be learned through this earthly experience. I was told by a muslim man this week that scriptures are only "information, and until they become experience they will remain information, never knowledge". I cant tell you how appreciative I was to hear this perspective. We learn of principle, commandments, and laws of God and until we exerience them we will never know of the truth. To be Tellestial, all will have a knowledge of God, but they never acted. To be Terrestial, all will have the knowledge, and will have acted, and lived "honorable lives" as the D&C says, but we were not valiant in our testimony and obedience, we were at times, but we failed to be constant. To be Celestial is to have BECOME, the excersizing of wisdom consistantly led us to BE. Be as God is. This is a process but it is available and it is everything.
I have become trull filled with joy as to the manner of life I can live and the process of merciful refinement I can enjoy. The work in East Cleveland is going great! The Bishop, The Ward Mission Leader, My companion and I taught the 5th sunday lesson and introduced the Ward Mission Plan, the spirit was strong and the members are excited. With faith and sacrifice we are going to have the sucess we desire. I want you all to know that I could not have come to have such hope in my life without my God, and my family is a gift directly from Him. So for my family and friends who haved served as his hands in my life I thank you. Thank you for this fresh breath of life I have to enjoy.
This experience is refining me in a way I couldn't have imagined. I have so far to go and it doesnt scare me, I long for the progress of a days work only. I was not the person I am a few years ago. Even a few months ago. I wont be the same tommorrow. Until we can embrace again in 22 months and hear the sound of each others voices let me leave with the assurance of my love. I know that my capacity to love grows constantly but His Grace.
Thank you for all the prayers and concern in my behalf. I wonder if my e-mails sound mundane as I cant help but share the things of my heart with my family. I just hope you will remember the contrast of days past when none of these things were in my heart. I love you and hope this letter finds you well.