Thanks mom for the letter this week. You amaze me with everything you do--working at CarMax, quitting CarMax, doesn't matter; you are doing your 100% best to follow the Lord and so He blesses you and the rest of us and I'm grateful for that. I want to be just like you when I grow up :)
I didn't remember that prayer that we had as a family. Thank you for telling me about it. The power of prayer has probably been a theme of this week. (Prayer and reincarnation... this frustrates me to no end... I am not a good missionary--loving, understanding, able to teach with the Spirit--when people say that they believe in Christ and reincarnation... but that is not a story(ies) for this moment.) Anyways...
I didn't remember that prayer, but I do remember our Sundays changing. I used to just want to spend all my time alone on Sunday and at one point that changed. Sunday became relaxing and fun and just pleasant to be around each other (for the most part... nobody's perfect). So this is just one more testimony to me of the power of sincere prayer.
Yesterday after church we had a lesson with two of our investigators together. These two investigators have very very different doubts and questions, but the thing that stood out with both of them was that in every area that they have sincerely asked God in prayer to understand or to be guided, they have found a response. Now they both just need the desire to pray about the rest of their doubts and I am certain that God can and will answer them in just the right time. Its made me wonder if I really use this amazing gift of prayer to its full extent. When I've had a doubt or desire how many times have I just relied on my own powers and abilities to achieve it. How many times has Heavenly Father just been waiting for me to ask for His help in sincere prayer and I kept on struggling along all alone?
Not that He doesn't continue to help me when I am stubborn and forget to ask, or that He likes to watch me struggle, but He knows how important it is for me to learn to rely on Him. And that skill can only be learned when I learn to pray sincerely, to talk with Him, and then see His answers, His blessings, His mercies daily.
This quote that a friend sent to me is really long but really good. so yeah..
"[A student said to me], 'I know I need to do my best and then Jesus does the rest, but I can’t even do my best....I know that I have to do my part and then Jesus makes up the difference and fills the gap that stands between my part and perfection. But who fills the gap that stands between where I am now and my part?' Finally I said, 'Jesus doesn’t make up the difference. Jesus makes all the difference. Grace is not about filling gaps. It is about filling us.'...Christ’s arrangement with us is similar to a mom providing music lessons for her child. Mom pays the piano teacher. How many know what I am talking about? Because Mom pays the debt in full, she can turn to her child and ask for something. What is it? Practice! Does the child’s practice pay the piano teacher? No. Does the child’s practice repay Mom for paying the piano teacher? No. Practicing is how the child shows appreciation for Mom’s incredible gift. It is how he takes advantage of the amazing opportunity Mom is giving him to live his life at a higher level. Mom’s joy is found not in getting repaid but in seeing her gift used—seeing her child improve. And so she continues to call for practice, practice, practice....The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can go home but that—miraculously—we can feel at home there. If Christ did not require faith and repentance, then there would be no desire to change. Think of your friends and family members who have chosen to live without faith and without repentance. They don’t want to change. They are not trying to abandon sin and become comfortable with God. Rather, they are trying to abandon God and become comfortable with sin. If Jesus did not require covenants and bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost, then there would be no way to change. We would be left forever with only willpower, with no access to His power. If Jesus did not require endurance to the end, then there would be no internalization of those changes over time. They would forever be surface and cosmetic rather than sinking inside us and becoming part of us—part of who we are. Put simply, if Jesus didn’t require practice, then we would never become pianists."
p.s. I love you all. very much. Mom, Dad, Hannah, Paul, Tom, Jeremy, Will, Katy, and friends:)