Monday, June 5, 2017

Week Thirty-Six

Dear People,

We switched our P-day to  today because tomorrow is Korea's independence day so no one will be working.
Sorry I'm already out of time, this will be short.

This week I re-learned a couple principles I've already learned since the beginning of my mission but apparently forgot about. Namely time and environmental management.
Every transfer or so, I'll restart all my goals and simplify my life but I slowly start picking up new projects and start new little goals that sneakily replace other keystone habits and then I crumble. 
I also somehow forgot how importance of keeping the apartment organized and clean. Doing personal study with a pile of dishes in the sink will reliably give me about 25% of what I could have learned if I had put forth my best effort to make my surroundings spiritually conducive.

When Elder Bednar did a Q&A with the missionaries in Korea before I came, some one asked something like "What can we do to better develop . . . " (a Christ-like attribute or something)
He responded with something along the lines of: "It's not about doing more. It's about doing the same things consistently." 

I'm trying to simplify and consistently do the things I know are the very best things I could be doing. I have learned much more than I did when I had several projects going on at once and I have been feeling the Spirit.

Yesterday in testimony meeting, I was impressed with how clear it was that the people bearing their testimonies really happy. And it was so clear that it was because they were actually living the things that they believed. That is the key to happiness. Live what you know.

I'm going to quote Nick's email without his permission again because I love the truth he shared:

 "If you are looking for a testimony in this church but do not yet have one, or require one stronger please take my advice. Carefully ponder and study the Book Of Mormon. As you read, let yourself be skeptical and ponder the possibilities about what could be true. Read and study the whole book. Whether you think it is true or not humble yourself before the lord and ask with pure intent. King Lamoni's father offered up his sins to know the lord. As we ask for answers we not only need to be willing to except Heavenly Father's answers but also act upon them. This gospel is not easy. It is said that it is simple but difficult which I agree whole heatedly. . . This life is meant for enduring not enjoying however joy comes from enduring well. True joy, not temporary happiness. I hope it doesn't sound like I am preaching, I am just offering a personal account of what I have learned. But I cannot stand the thought of being out here trying to get strangers to read and ask if this book is true when loved ones back home can't seem to get around to doing that. Just do it. Please. Try to remember the punk I have been in my life and look at the only variable that has caused me to start becoming a small fraction of the man I hope to be. Use logic if you have to. The result will be the same if we are humble. I gotta go. My time is up and the guy next to me is on a really inappropriate dating site."

His words are my words. I am preaching this to total strangers, I hope so badly that the people I love that I left to be out here are doing these things. 

I know Jesus Christ lives. I know God reveals any truth we are willing to work for. He loves giving knowledge and love as much as we love receiving it. He wants our happiness more that we do because he loves us more than we love us. If we loved ourselves more we would more consistently do the things that bring happiness.

I wish I had more missionary stories rather than just boring stuff, but honestly the work is going pretty slowly. We are struggling in this little area, but we are not discouraged. When Elder Oaks came he told the members not to pray that the missionaries to find people to teach, rather pray to know which of your acquaintances are ready to hear the gospel and pray to know how to share it with them.

Pray for the missionaries, but only after you pray for your personal missionary efforts.

I love you. But I love Heavenly Father and his glorious work more.

-Elder Brown

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