I really grow weary of reminding myself of the importance of adversity. I think I probably would have been one of the murmurers on the Pioneer Trek West, which is sad to even think about. Every time I read a Church article, or from the scriptures, on the importance of trials, I feel the truthfulness of the words. Yet as soon as something challenging happens, I find myself on my knees asking for forgiveness because I am asking 'why now' and 'why in this way'. I recently read Elder Dallin H. Oaks words, "Adversities are temporary. What is permanent is what we become by the way we react to them." I am so grateful the Lord is patient and so forgiving, because this process of 'becoming' is not as easy as I want it to be.
I always access my blog through the Church's web site. It seems as though every Sunday when I do this, there are new videos to watch or articles to read and I have to stop myself from 'feasting' or I would never get to writing. I did take a few moments and read news about how the General Women leaders of the Church have received inspiration to call a Young Women International Board. These women from various places around the world were called via a teleconference and will be taking part in a Integrated Global Training accomplished also through teleconference. These leaders want the women to know that the Lord is aware of them and wants to address their needs. I think of the unity this will bring throughout the world.
As I read this article I just mentioned, I thought of Elder Ballard's talk, in the January Church Magazine, entitled, "Face the Future with Faith & Hope." Our leaders know the conditions in the world are uncertain and dangerous but they always counsel us to replace fear with faith. I quote, "we are standing on the threshold of a new era of growth, prosperity, and abundance. Barring a calamity of unexpected international crisis, I think the next few years will bring a resurgence in the world economy as new discoveries are made in communication, medicine, energy, transportation, physics, computer technology, and other fields of endeavor. With these discoveries and advances will come new employment opportunities and prosperity for those who work hard and especially for those who strive to keep the commandments of God. Many of these discoveries will be made to help bring to pass the purposes and work of God and to quicken, including through missionary work, the building of His Kingdom on earth today." It is exciting to belong to the Lord's Church and to see His work unfold.
I could probably spend my whole working day on referrals as our missionaries are certainly doing their missionary work. It is always rewarding when I learn of a baptism that comes from one of these referrals. I had a different experience just this afternoon as we arrived from Senchi to do our writing in the office. I received a phone call and the man identified himself as Anthony Appe. He mentioned that my name and phone number had been given to him from someone named Moses. The only Moses I knew that would possibly have my information is Brother Moses Vormawor from Senchi. Anyway, Anthony gave me his phone number and where he lived and said that he wanted a Book of Mormon. It is absolutely amazing what is experienced here with these wonderful people and how they are so ready for the Restored Gospel. Are there many who are not receptive, yes, of course, but there is also so many that are being prepared and are ready to hear. These are experiences I will always treasure.
As I read Elder Ballard's message that I spoke of earlier, I thought of my dear Primary children in the Senchi Branch. I couldn't help but wonder if these would bring a brighter future for them. As much as I am anxious to return home to my family in a couple of months, I will miss these children. There are still so many local traditions that need to be replaced with the traditions of the Church for them to really achieve their full potential. When the Primary president and 1st counselor chose to go to a funeral and gave no thought as to what would happen to the children today in primary, I can't help but wonder what will happen when I am gone. Maybe my being here is the problem and they or the branch presidency will do some serious thinking about it all. I hope they do.
I look forward to a new week and to the experience it will bring. I am just grateful I have the Lord as my foundation "whereon if men build they cannot fall."
Sister Avery (mom, grandma)