Its kind of backwards here in Florida. May is the month that the rain starts coming...bringing lightning and thunder with it. It hasn't started yet but I'm not a rookie anymore so I know its going to start soon!
First off, I wanted to talk about a talk given by Elder Kevin R. Duncan from this last general conference. It was titled "The Healing Ointment of Forgiveness". (See lds.org). At church yesterday, we talked about this and the principle of forgiveness in general. Now, I don't have any big grudges held against anyone and none against me (as far as I know) but this lesson really hit me. I need to be more quick to forgive small things. "An unforgiving heart harbors so much needless pain". When we choose not to forgive, we are stopping ourselves from progressing. We are not to judge, God is. And when I think of Jesus Christ, I think of humility, forgiveness, and hope. He did not hold grudges against anyone. Even when he was betrayed, and his apostle smote off the ear of the soldier who was taking him away, he healed the man's ear. There was no second thought, he just did it. I also like what was said about Paul. "There are Saul-like individuals with Paul-like potential". We don't know what someone is going though, why they reacted the way they did. Everyone is equal in God's eyes, everyone has trials. Try to look at the whole picture and don't make assumptions. Everyone can change, that's the message of Jesus Christ. Just because they were rude in the past, doesn't mean they will be in the future.
Some things we can do to forgive:
-pray for them
-try to understand them and the situation
-say you forgive them or you're sorry
-show them charity
-pray for help and for forgiveness ourselves
-let them know your feelings
-forgive and forget
-if its continual pain and the situation is getting worse, separate yourself from the situation. TIME.
-let it go
-accept that you may never get an apology (this is often the hardest one)
Those are just some notes I took that I felt I should share in this weekly email. It's really hurting us when we don't forgive. I am learning how to say I am sorry quicker and praying for help. I have found that serving the person who hurt you really works. It's even better when they don't know its you. I promise.
I have to tell one more story that touched me this week.
Last Sunday (a week ago) we went to the Williams family, a cute Haitian family in our ward, and we shared the message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. The spirit was so strong in their home, I want a family of my own as strong as theirs. They asked us to say a peace and blessings prayer before we left. I accepted the offer to say it. I prayed for each one of them individually. I prayed for the eldest boy to do well with his school work and to remember what he needs to, to do well. Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting. He went up to bear his testimony, and he said that many of his questions have been answered this week. He was in a car accident a few weeks ago and had a concussion that kept him away from school and soccer. He said he was struggling really badly in school, something that he wasn't used to. He was struggling personally, wondering if Jesus Christ really knew him and if he was there. He said that the sister missionaries (us) came over, and that when I prayed he knew his question was answered. He said "How did she know? How did she know that I was struggling with my schoolwork? Then it hit me: God knew. He knew I was and sent them over to tell me that He knew." I started crying. I am so privileged and just grateful that I could be His instrument and help this highschooler know that God is there, that He loves him and will never leave his side. It was a very spiritual experience for me. It helped me to know that God knows me too because he picked me to be His vessel. Wow.
I know the power of prayer is real. It is so real. Don't forget to use this tool to communicate with Heavenly Father daily. He is there. He does hear prayers. He answers them in His way and in His timing, but He answers them. I have gained a strong testimony of this on my mission.
"Ere you left your room this morning, did you think to pray?" "Oh, how praying rests the weary! Prayer will change the night to day. So, when life gets dark and dreary, don't forget to pray." I love this hymn.
I love you all,
Love, Sister Morgan