Elder Carter's Argentinian Mission

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Feed Me Please


Wow, another great week!  We had a lot of great experiences, but with each passing one I am reminded of what Elder Bednar* said about spiritual experiences.   He said something like this, “It doesn’t matter how many spiritual experiences we have had, but rather how long it has been since we last received one.”  In other words, it doesn’t matter if we saw angels in our youth, baptized millions of people during our missions, or had a life changing experience in the temple, if we aren’t feeding our spirit right now, it is dying.  Here is another way to think of it: How you feel doesn’t depend on how healthy your Thanksgiving feast was or how much you ate on Sunday, but rather what you ate for breakfast.

Yesterday we had another spiritual experience.  We were worried about accomplishing our goals (which is very important for our progress).  We were short in finding two new people to teach, but there were more important things that we needed to do.  In between appointments, I looked at my companion and said, “Elder, it is Sunday night and we still need to find two people, when will we be able to do it?”  He responded that he had no idea which reflected exactly how I felt.  Nevertheless, we continued working hard.  We arrived at our second to last appointment and saw that there were two family members visiting who lived just down the street.  We were able to teach them and left the appointment feeling extremely blessed.  We thought that God was blessing us, but later we discovered His real purpose was to also bless another.

When we arrived at our last appointment, nobody was there.   We stood there in the dark trying to figure out the best thing to do.   Almost immediately we both thought of a recent convert to the church who lives nearby who didn’t make it to church.  We decided to see how she was doing.  We went and when she saw us she invited us in.

Her home teachers had come by earlier that day, but she had turned them away.  She explained to us that she didn’t want to come back to church.  There were many things that were going on and her life suddenly became extremely complicated.  Through the tears we spoke of opposition and difficulty, the Atonement, judgment, the Priesthood and many other things.  Before we left, she decided that she needed to return to church in order to receive help.

As we were walking home, I turned to my companion and said, “What a blessing that we were able to go to her house instead of looking for two new investigators.”  He quickly agreed.  We had arrived in the perfect moment in order to help her with what she was going through.  Our Heavenly Father not only guided us, but also prepared everything leading up to that moment.  Our entire week had turned out so that we were able to complete all of our goals except two people and those two people were waiting for us in the house right before we were able to visit the recent convert.  Not only that, but our investigators who normally receive us got home late which left us free to visit someone in need.  All of this coupled with a spirit-filled lesson left us feeling grateful for the direction, mercy, and wisdom of the Lord.

It was a great experience, and we have similar experiences every week – but they aren’t what will sustain me throughout the rest of my life.  The feelings that I felt yesterday will eventually fade away. . . as they always do**.  It doesn’t matter how strong of an experience we have had, we need to continue “feeding” our spirit through new experiences, daily study, regular attendance, and consistent prayers.  Through years of spiritual “diet and exercise” we will become stronger and eventually be prepared to return to the presence of our Father in Heaven.  It is hard, but I know that it’s worth it.  I hope that you all have a great week and I can’t wait to see you all soon!

Love, Elder Carter

*I think that it was Elder Bednar.  If anyone knows which talk I am referring to (I think it was in the talk about how “Faith has a short shelf life”, please confirm who said it and what they actually said.  Until then, the principle is the same =D.

**Experiences like this never entirely fade away, but they are much less help to us than our “daily spiritual food”.  In other words, my meal from last month might have helped me to grow stronger (and is physically integrated into a part of me), but won’t serve to give me the energy that I need for my daily activities.

posted under Weekly Letters

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