Monday, July 8, 2013

A message from the youth in the south...

Howdy Ya'll.....

This week started off a little rough---we had to drop a lot of our "non-progressing investigators" so that we could focus more on finding new ones to fill our time with. We proceeded to tract and stop by less-actives but for some reason no one was really receptive to us. So after a couple of days of what I call "Cranberry days" (---because our fruits are small) we decided to just go do some good ol' farm work down at the Palmer's in Winslow. Nothing makes you feel better then a good long day spent visiting people and working on the farm. Service for us missionaries is vital, I think it is vital because it rejuvenates us from the "regular routine" that can sometimes dull the senses and dampen ones spirits if ones efforts seem small. Our Golden investigator is still doing amazing, he has a baptism set for the 20th of this month! I am so excited! Such a blessing. We had testimony meeting yesterday as you know, and the youth of this ward are so amazing. One of them talked about how they went to EFY at Mizzou (University of Missouri) and the kids that went were all kind of the "heroes" of their towns (because these kids were the only Mormons in their school and stuff like that, because in the south there aren't very many members and the kids that went to this were from the southern states) and so they were thrilled to see how many mormons there are! And how at night his group would just stay up for hours talking about how much they love the gospel and how amazing the Book of Mormon is. After his testimony I just wanted to go and give him my missionary tag and be like, "You got this bro." because these youth just amaze me. They don't take any priesthood duty for granted or think it is a "chore" to read the Book of Mormon. They do it because they LOVE it. After looking back on my experience as a deacon, teacher, priest and going to seminary in Utah the youth could really learn from these youth what it means to be an example, what it means to stand alone, what it means to do your duty, what it means to serve. Elder Marvin J. Ashton gave a really good talk entitled, "Carry your cross." and he speaks about how one of those crosses we might be asked to bear is "the cross of living amongst many mormons", many people in the audience laughed but he told them how it really is a challenge. It saddens me how that is true...I know his statement is true because I've seen it myself. Be that example, in Utah you have the unique opportunity of being an example to other mormons and standing alone although you are surrounded by other members of the same faith, show them what it means to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the true church of God on Earth. What a privilege! What a miraculous thing it is! We live in the time that all the ancient prophets sacrificed their lives for! We live in the time that gave them all the hope to continue! Don't let them down and don't take it for granted.
After hearing this youth's testimony it made me realize that happiness is a state of mind and it is all about your attitude...just as we choose eternal life or eternal damnation we choose to be happy or sad or mad, Just as God gave us the muscles to smile, he gave us the muscles to frown So choose to be happy!

Elder Blackburn

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