Thursday, May 29, 2014

This week has been pretty good...

Dear Family,

Thanks again for yesterday. That was awesome to be able to talk to you and just be goofy. That is something that I needed. Yeah I feel like we finally got it right this time haha. I think the next time I talk to you guys will be the best though, just a hunch. Haha yeah I didn't get too trunky. It is good to be able to have a balance of things. I love my mission, but these lessons I am learning on my mission are not just for here, but for after my mission as well. But we can start working on schooling stuff whenever. It is good to plan ahead, that way we give a lot of time to be able to talk about it and listen to the spirit. 

This week has been pretty good, I told you guys a little bit about it already haha, but I can share a couple more things. I went on an exchange with Elder Beach in Lafayette and we did a lot of biking and service. It felt good to be outside and doing a little bit of exercise, even though my legs were crying inside a little bit. We were able to have a cool lesson with a referral we got from the Gladys Knight concert that happened in Baton Rouge a couple of weeks ago. There names are E. and A. They are the picture perfect example of southern hospitality. They asked us a little about the church and then they invited us right in to have lunch with them. We are blessed to be in the south! We have a return appointment this Friday. We were able to have dinner at the Jarnagin's this last week and that was a lot of fun. They are such a good family and they are fun to be around. There is a good teasing ratio there too and so it helps all of us blow off a little steam in a more casual environment. That is nice! Then on Saturday we walked around Opelousas all day and we even spent some time in the rain. We have learned that when you choose to enjoy your circumstances you have a lot more fun. Things are still going really good with R., D. and D. We had that cool experience with them on Saturday and we have a really good feeling about it all. And then we had Mothers Day to top it all off!

Well I will end with my little blurb from my presidents letter and I have yall to thank for helping me decide to study this topic!

This morning I decided to study on courage, because that is something that I have struggled with my whole mission. Courage is not just an act of faith, but it is a result of faith and it is also a form of faith. It is an assurance that despite being faced with challenges the Lord will be on your side and that everything will be okay. For example in Alma 15 verse 4, it describes a situation with Zeezrom, one who contended with the Church. It says :

4 Now, when he heard that Alma and Amulek were in the land of Sidom, his heart began to take courage; and he sent a message immediately unto them, desiring them to come unto him.

It says that his heart took courage, or he had an increase or confirmation of faith in the divinity of Alma and Amulek's calling as prophets, teachers and healers. Asking for their help must have taken a lot of courage because a short time before he was their enemy. He acted upon his faith and followed through with the courage that he had and he was healed. As missionaries we are faced with many challenges and situations that require courage outside of our comfort zone. To have courage, or to have our hearts "take courage", we must have an increase of faith and faith often requires an experience. These experiences can come in the form of a blessing or maybe even a failure, but the common thing between both is that these experiences always take more courage than we have right now. Most things that we go through will take more courage than we have at the moment, but if courage is like faith we must nurture it and exercise it. Just like faith it will be tried and tested to make it grow. We may only have a seed of courage, but by acting upon it we not only increase our own courage, but we invite Heavenly help. This is something I am trying to work on and I have faith that if I push myself a little bit everyday and act upon the little bit of courage that I have, that it will grow and the Lord will be with me. It makes me want to be more bold and talk to everybody! Even though I may not feel completely comfortable doing, I know that is okay and I will get better at it. I am sure that David when he was running towards Goliath felt a little nervous, but he was courageous. And in the in the end courage isn't not fearing anything, but having the capacity to face your fears. Pretty cool.

I love you guys and I am just so grateful that I have been blessed with such an awesome family.

Prayers and thoughts always


Elder Devin Soper

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