February 2011-August 2012

24 October 2011

October 24, 2011 Small and Simple Things

Hello family! Sounds like things are crazy getting unpacked in Utah, getting Logan settled in Denver, and getting Tanner ready for the mission in just a couple weeks! But I'm glad that you are taking time for the little things and studying your scriptures. Though a seemingly small act every day, we know that God always works His miracles by small and simple things. So keep it up!

The week in Sylmar has been one of the least bizarre we've had over the last 3 months... so I don't have too much to really share. We invited Antonio to not drink Alcohol for one whole day last Wednesday. And you know what? HE DID IT!!! He only drank water for one whole day. We invited him to do it again yesterday, so we'll see when we follow up with him if he was able to do it. He was supposed to come to church again yesterday, but when we got there with his ride, he was no where to be found. But I did find out more about him this week. He's only 50 years old, turning 51 this Sunday. He's been living in the streets for 15 years. Oh how my heart broke! I've wept a lot of tears in the last few days. My Book of Mormon reading has corresponded well this week... I'm in Mosiah and was reading King Benjamin's sermon on Serving others, especially those who are so impoverished. "Are we not all beggars before God?" he asks. And oh how I've felt that way! I beg for His Spirit, His mercy, His patience, and His love every day. It has been a very humbling week as I've truly recognized my own nothingness. And yet, I am confident that my Savior loves me; that I am a daughter of God; that I can't help everyone, but I can maybe help someone. And my testimony of the restored gospel is growing stronger everyday.

I've been thinking a lot about the small and simple things in life, and I've come to the understanding that this is hos God works. His way is small and simple. His plan for us is simple and beautiful. The steps required of us to return to Him--Baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and the Temple ordinances--are as Elder Nelson says, "beautifully simple, and simply beautiful." We teach to people all the time the commandments of CPR--Church, Pray, Read--and the more I teach it the more I KNOW that this truly is how we will be happy. Just as when someone is physically dying and someone administers CPR they can be brought back to a fulness of life, the same goes for Spiritual CPR. Going to church every Sunday, Praying every day, and Reading the scriptures every day can bring someone back from Spiritual death into the fulness of life and even eternal life with God one day. Why is it that these 3 simple things have such a powerful effect on us? They are SO SMALL. AND SO SIMPLE. But that's how God works. Isn't that so wonderful!?! Sometimes I think I'm too much like Naaman in the Old Testament, wanting to do some grand act to show my faith or obedience or love for the Lord, but resistant to just do these 3 simple things. Dipping yourself in a filthy river 7 times is NOT a grand gesture of faith. But following whatever counsel the Prophet gives you... THAT is the grand gesture of faith, even when they are asking you to do something simple. So I'm committing myself to be more diligent about the small and simple things. Happily. :)

Well, one example of small and simple things... Our investigator David who is getting baptized soon, brought his wife and 9 yr old daughter to church yesterday. He and his wife are in the process of a divorce, and the last time he talked to her about the church and asked if we could pass by to talk with her [side note: what an awesome missionary and he's not even a member yet!!] and she was adamantly against having anything to do with us or his "new church." Well, when we met them on Sunday she was nothing but pleasant, and afterward she was happy and talking about the next time she'll see us... So that was exciting and unexpected, small and simple in every way. But yet it has the potential to change 3 lives... to maybe even save a marriage if they so choose. I love this gospel, and I love witnessing these small and simple things every day.

Anyway, the last thing I have to say... I'm happy to report that in one week I've increased my "exact obedience" percentage by 3%! YEAH!!!! haha... Remember, small and simple things. ;) I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Hermana Blackburn

P.S. If you want to see pictures of Antonio, you can go to my companion's blog: lindsayannerickson.blogspot.com. haha... You're going to love it! Though I'll warn you... He was a little tipsy when we took the picture... hahaha
Oh MY LIFE!!!! Love you all!!!!

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