Elder Carter's Argentinian Mission

for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – all comments sent to Jared!



What a great week!  We worked hard and were also able to find a couple of new families!  Each day I see God’s hand more and more in this work.  It is fantastic to see how spiritual and temporal things start to blur together once you think about it.  Everything in our “physical” lives depend wholly on what is happening to us “spiritually”.  The big difference for us is that we can’t normally see what is going on spiritually and so we base our entire reality on what our physical eyes are seeing.  It is like the monitor that I am looking at right now (yes, and yours, too!)  I can see a bunch of things: the text that I am typing, the clock, different windows, other programs waiting to be opened, etc.  What I don’t think about is everything “behind the monitor”  The processor, the different inputs and outputs, the RAM, the millions of other computers connected to mine through the Internet.  What I am seeing is caused by billions of other things happening in the background that I can’t see.

It is the same with us, our spiritual lives dictate what happens in our physical lives.  Our physical lives are like the monitor.  We think that we can see everything that is happening because we have the whole screen within our view.  We can study every single pixel and learn millions of things about the interface . . . but the monitor isn’t really doing anything other then presenting what is happening with everything that we can’t see.  It is the same with our physical and spiritual lives . . . we only see what is happening physically, but it is all caused spiritually.

If I choose to do anything, it is my spirit that is causing me to do that.  All of the different feelings that I have – from guilt, to joy, even sickness, is affected by my spirit and also has an effect on my spirit.  I can’t play violent video games and expect it to not have an effect on my spirit.  I can’t get sick without creating spiritual changes.  My worthiness has a huge effect on my spiritual and temporal well being.

Why was everything created spiritually before they were created physically?  Why does a spiritual tree need to exist before a physical one can grow?  How do miracles take place on physical objects?  How can God soften someone’s heart while respecting their agency?  How am I affected spiritually based on my daily physical actions?

Almost every single day this past week, the subject of temples came up.  It caused me to think a lot.  Before my mission, my brother, Daniel, was looking up the symbol of the circle in the square that is on the outside of almost every temple.  He read that the circle means heaven and the square is the earth.  The temple is where they intersect.  There we can learn of spiritual things.  It helps us in our spiritual as well as our temporal lives.  The principles taught there are eternal and will help us to progress in several ways.  I long to be in the temple, but there isn’t one in my mission.  Our area president (and several apostles, I think) explained that we should always have a current temple recommend – whether we are going to the temple right away or not.  Many people here can’t go to the temple right away because of their financial situation.  It is difficult, but many of them have plans to go next February.  We have encouraged them to receive a temple recommend right away.  If you don’t have a temple recommend, set up an interview in the next week!  For those of you who live close to a temple, GO!  Growing up, the temple was one block away.  I saw the temple out of my bedroom window.  I went every once in a while, but I didn’t take full advantage of it.  I am not saying that we should all go every day – and I don’t want to set a limit either because it depends on your circumstances.  I do know, however, that many local and general authorities go about once a week (and many have set a specific day and time).  Like I said, it is different for everyone, but I do know that God knows how often you should go.  Determine what is best for you and then set a goal.  Take your goal before the Lord to see if it is right.

In a talk that I recently read about prayer, it explains that our prayers will be more meaningful if we seek the Lord’s will with a desire to do it.  In our last conference, Sister Northcutt explained that in consecrating our lives to the Lord, we never lose anything.  We do have to do things that we don’t want to – but that is the point!  In doing what He wants instead of what we want, everything turns out better!

Anyway, I hope that you all take my challenge seriously.  I really miss the temple, but I know that my time here is short.  I am still working hard and I hope that you are all doing the same back at home.  It is worth every second!  I love you all so much and I can’t wait to see you all very soon!

Elder Carter

posted under Weekly Letters

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