Sunday, November 24, 2013

ye shall always rejoice

Liebe Familie, 
On Tuesday, we had zone training meeting. But first, we had to take a train to get there. Our bus was way late, so we got to Bahnhof and had to run to our train. But, he drove away before we could make it to the platform, so we wound up having to take a different train. This was a miracle, though. First of all, I sat down next to an older gentleman who was holding a learning German text book and flipping through it. I asked where he was from. He looked up and said, ''Germany...'' I felt so bad for embarrassing/insulting this man as I tried to explain that he was holding a learning German book, so I assumed he came from somewhere else and was trying to learn German. He had a good laugh and explained that he taught German, and they had a new textbook, so he needed to study it. Then we were able to have a good conversation. Somehow we got to talking about family history, and he said that it is really hard to do it on his own computer at home. He wanted to look at films, and he has no machine to view them. Also, he said that a couple hundred years ago, all the girls were named Maria and all the boys were named Joseph. He said that it would sure be nice if there was someone who could help him. He told him about how we have a family history center in our church with machines to view the films and there are other visitors plus the family history consultant who could help him. He got so excited and asked for the number and address. He was just so excited to have a place to go! And then, we got out of the train and were working our way out of the Bahnhof when a young lady asked us (in English) if we knew where the U-Bahns were. We said we could show her where they were as we had to walk past it anyway. We helped her with her suitcases and chatted with her. She comes from India, but she is living in Spain. She is Germany to help promote her parent's travel agency, but she does something completely different in Spain. She just got more cultural with each sentence she spoke. But she was so sweet! Anyway, we got her to the U-Bahn tunnel and then she asked us if we knew the Metro at all, and we looked at our watches and noticed that we were somehow way early for our meeting, so we said we could try to help her. We helped her down the stairs and helped her read the maps and figure out which Gleis was hers. Then she asked us about tickets and we noticed again just how early we were. So we helped her buy her ticket and get to the Gleis. She kept saying that we were sent from heaven to help her and that we were her angels, and so forth. By this point we had to get going, but I had a feeling to give her a card. ''All of our cards are in German, and she isn't staying here, so our number wouldn't do much good...'' I thought. But the impression came again, so I wrote our names and number on a Jesus card and said, ''If you need any more help, here is our number. You can always call, and we would love to help more!'' Then she said, ''Oh! I should give you my card, too! You just never know.'' So that was cool. :] 
Zone Training Meeting was awesome. As usual. I seriously cannot think of a not-awesome zone training meeting. Anyway, we had a really great discussion on hope. We talked about how hope is the motivation to take the steps of faith. President Uchtdorf said, ''Hope... is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances. It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn. It encourages and inspires us to place our trust in the loving care of an eternal Heavenly Father, who has prepared a way for those who seek for eternal truth in a world of relativism, confusion, and of fear.'' We also talked about how it doesn't matter how many times we fall down, but rather, how many times we get up. We also talked about trusting in the Lord. I think a lot of times we have a pinboard of tasks we want to accomplish and who we want to be, but the Lord has a bigger plan. He can see the end from the beginning. Back to my Nephi analogy from awhile ago, we may have a great idea of walking to America, but the Lord knows that a boat is a way better way to go. 
Then yesterday in sacrament meeting, a guy told about how he had always wanted to go into retirement at 35 so he could spend more time with his family, doing temple/family history work, etc. A righteous desire! But yesterday he turned 36, and he just talked about how even though we have really good ideas sometimes, the Lord has another plan for us. We know what we want to do, who we want to be, what we want to say, and where we want to go, but the Lord can see the bigger picture. He can see that we can be so much more than we think we can become, and He, therefore, sometimes does not give us what we want. But He always give us what we need. I spent my whole personal study on this scripture yesterday after church:

 ''Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understandingIn all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.'' ~Proverbs 3:5,6 

 I love what Preach My Gospel says: ''Humility is willingness to submit to the will of the Lord and to give the Lord the honor for what is accomplished. It includes gratitude for His blessings and acknowledgment of your constant need for His divine help. Humility is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of spiritual strength. When you humbly trust Him and acknowledge His power and mercy, you can have the assurance that His commandments are for your good. You are confident that you can do whatever the Lord requires of you if you rely on Him. You are also willing to trust His chosen servants and follow their counsel. Humility will help you as you strive to be obedient, to work hard, and serve selflessly.'' 
I definitely have all sorts of goals and ideas, and then sometimes they don't happen. And I get frustrated because I don't understand why this righteous desire couldn't be fulfilled. But the Lord has a way better idea. He knows what I need to help me reach my full potential.  
In this last General Conference, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught, ''Ask for and cherish priesthood blessings. Take the sacrament every week, and hold fast to the perfecting promises of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Believe in miracles. I have seen so many of them come when every other indication would say that hope was lost. Hope is never lost. If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior’s own anguished example: if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead.''
Anyway, to sum it all up, the Lord knows what's up. So trust Him. And remember that you can never fall farther than your knees. 
Sister Stephanie Reid 

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