Saturday, October 1, 2016

Snail Mail...

I love it when we get real letters, this one came just today...

Dear Family,

So, first, in response to Dad's question about Bible Bashers.  President James exact words on bible bashing, "Don't bible bash, but if you do, you better win!" (haha)  So, I don't bible bash.

A great quote "Without faith even seeing won't be enough."  The Pharisees saw Christ, and saw him heal, but were not convinced.  Laman and Lemuel did everything that Nephi did, but still turned out the way they did.  You can shove truth at anyone and everyone, but if they don't have faith, they will not receive it.  They need to let that seed work in them.  It is important to know your Bible so you can use something in teaching that people can relate to and already believe in.  Testifying of the divinity of the Bible and the Book of Mormon together is definitely most important.  Testimony plants seeds of faith better than facts can, and that is that.

Well, an update on what has been happening here in the Chapel Hill First Ward.  Everyone dropped us this week so we are back to square one.  Not quite, I guess, though "A" got really sick and we won't be able to go over and see him for awhile, but it has been really disheartening to finally be able to get people progressing, coming to church and commit to baptism and then all of it slipping away.  I understand none of it is really my success and my job is to be as pure a vessel as I can be and carry out God's will and that I shouldn't measure my success on the agency of others, but it's really hard not to sometimes ask myself, "Everyone else is doing the same thing I am doing and having success, am I just not as good?"  or, "Everyone else in the group that came out with me has baptized, they should be the ones training, not me."  I realize these thoughts are not of God and I'm doing my best at trying to put them away, but it is hard.  A scripture that has brought me a lot of comfort recently is a familiar one, "Awake my soul no longer droop in sin.  Rejoice O my heart and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.  Do not anger because of mine enemies do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions."  2 Nephi 4 28-29

How often do we slacken our strength because of our afflictions?  When the road gets tough how often do we droop and feel sorry for ourselves and "slacken?"  I like to compare it to biking, because we are in Chapel Hill ,and they put the "hill" part in there for a reason, as we are going along our bicycle trail of life when we come to a hill, that is when we need to be pedaling the hardest.  Praying harder and studying harder.  When you do finally get to the top don't slacken, watch and pray always and keep that pace so every time you come to the top of a hill you are always moving faster than you were before, until you finish your course.

I love you family!

Elder Shields

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