Life Lessons

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Why is it that the one week where the worst slings and arrows of outrageous fortune do all they can to bring me down, I find myself at the end of it all to be at my happiest? Probably, because this gospel is true. If it wasn’t, I would’ve given up months ago and be living in a log cabin in the solitude of British Columbia right now…..

Because the gospel is true, because God is our loving Heavenly Father who sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us, and through him, and him alone, we can find true and everlasting peace and joy in this life and salvation in the life to come by means of his teachings, his atonement and his church. I choose by my free will to do this, because amidst the storms and such I have never been truly happier. The Apostle Paul taught us that we “glory in our tribulations” and now I’m finally understanding what that truly means. When we desire to be more like Christ, to be a better human being, to grow in our love for others, we must acknowledge that it is through hardships that we grow. A muscle must be torn to strengthen. A tree must be pruned to bear good fruit. A human must face adversity to improve. If I had a mission of rainbows and constant baptisms, it would be for me spiritually exactly what confining myself to my bed would be for me physically. If I stayed in bed all the days of my life, my body would bloat into a flabby plate of flan. My legs would become too weak to support. My movement will become limited, and I’d die of some easily avoidable health issue. I’d be a beached whale for the Asian tourists to take pictures of. So glorying in tribulation isn’t getting some sick joy out of pain, but rather it is seeing the bigger picture and therefore being thankful for you know that the hardship will in the end, if you face it with faith, love, and help, make you a stronger, better, more Christlike person.

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So, if you want me to be honest with you, yes, this week was horrid. We got multiple wonderfully progressing investigators drop us out of the blue. We had a baptism that was supposed to be this week, have to be canceled. We had trials beyond our comprehension hit our investigators, and days of all five lessons set up being cancelled. We had investigators in the hospital, our temple day postponed, and curses and hatred hurled at us. I was even offered 2000 krona and a ticket to anywhere in the world if I took off my missionary tag and denied that there is a God. But now, on this end of the week, I can rightfully say that I loved it. I am not the biggest fan of repeating it, but I am so thankful it happened. I became humbled. I needed that. I grew in my faith in the Lord and though the poor agency of others left me utterly heart broken, I only found that I increased in my love. “I’d rather be broken than empty. I’d rather be shattered than hollow.” as a wise Swede once wrote.

Now,  is much like the conclusion of Ghost Stories by Coldplay. This week was the duration of the album…. getting shattered and hurt and getting broken….”broken into two”…. and now at the end it, it’s just like the end of the album, “Sky Full of Stars” is the anthem, as I mend from the sea of troubles that was this week. It’s an upbeat recovery song, with a happy melody by AVICII (rather fitting considering my location) that just describes everything right now. “I don’t care, go on and break my heart.” I’m fine, I can take it because this gospel is real, people, and the Love of Jesus Christ can heal, through the Holy Ghost. Oh, how I wish I could listen to Coldplay right now. Ghost Stories album would be such a good medicine right now. There are things not of this church that are very much inspired directly from God. Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and so many beautiful, soul healing songs out there among the trash.

imageFrom here, it is forward. We will have a baptism next week and it is most likely I’ll be transferred the following week. Not everything I thought would happen here in Västerhaninge has happened but that is okay. I put my best in, and have been able to grow.
Now Go read a quality book, go on a quality adventure, and put some quality time this week into others….. then you will have a very happy week indeed.
Love you all to bits and pieces,
Erik

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