Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Conference Weekend

Dear Beloved Ones,

I am officially re-admitted to BYU so I'll be attending Winter of 2016! 

This week we got a chance to do some unexpected service! We rode away from an investigators house and on the road we saw some neighbors all gathered together filling pot holes in the dirt road with a big pile of dirt. We asked if we could help and then jumped off and started moving dirt! It was very exhilarating and we got some nice exercise. 

Thursday the senior couple from the city (Elder and Sister Leavitt) came to do house inspections and to find a new house for us. Our current house in Kampong Jam is exceedingly bad. There is only one working bathroom for 6 guys among other problems ranging from bad to worse. Daly was interviewed on Thursday as well! She is going to be baptized on the 18th this month. 

I was asked to teach in Zone training on Friday about obedience. One of my favorite topics! I had been preparing a sermon of sorts on the topic my whole mission with all my many studies on the topic of obedience. I compared us to the stripling warriors who obeyed every command of Helaman, their Prophet-Captain, with exactness. We, as missionaries, also have a captain called of the Lord, namely our mission president. The captain goes before, he knows what is ahead, he sees the big picture. In our case, he receives inspiration and revelation from the Lord. When a soldier does not obey a command because he cannot see the enemy or the e\immediate threat then he puts his life, and the lives of those around him, in danger. Keep the commandments, and for missionaries, keep the mission rules. In this there is safety, in this there is peace. Not a single soul of the 2000 stripling warriors was lost in battle due to their faith and their exact obedience. We are in a battle against Satan and he is real. Don't put your guard down. Be exactly obedient and miracles will follow. I felt really powerful as I taught. I feel that when I am truly in-tune with the Spirit and testifying in His power then I am reminded of things I learned before as I speak and they come through as additional supports to what I testify of. That same day as we leave the house after lunch Elder Smith and I are riding around a bend on a dirt road when a man on a moto comes hauling around the corner and high speeds. I dodge him as he grabs his brakes and his back tire begins to slide out. Elder Smith wasn't so lucky. I turned around to the sound of him getting slammed by a sliding moto. He had somehow leaped from his bicycle and avoided most of the damage besides a scratch and a rip in his pants. The negligent driver got up and apologized profusely before bolting away. We were left with a broken bike pedal and a bruised shin. I count it a blessing that no one was seriously injured and that we had prayed for safety on the road as we left the house. We really mean it when we pray that each day before leaving. I imagine that if we didn't, our circumstances day to day would be quite a bit more dire. The Lord is with His servants and protects them. His angels go before us and are on our right hand and on our left and bear us up. 

Saturday morning we found out from the Zone leaders that they had failed to obtain a copy of conference in English so my companion and I went to the nearest internet shop and downloaded every session while we did personal and companionship study. Then we went to the church where we found no compatible device to play it on. We ended up going to a wealthy member's home and watching it on their large flat screen television on couches. That was a delight. We watched all five sessions at their house and one day they even made us french fries! 

Conference itself was a great joy to watch and partake of. I'll drop some highlights and insights below in chronological order. 
Beware of internet lore. It is not a place of absolute truth. Don't make your discipleship too complicated. Living the gospel should be straightforward. One step leads to another and little by little we gain knowledge and wisdom and become who the Lord wants us to be. Start where you are in your path to discipleship. Don't wait to be "more this" or "more that." We don't need to be more of anything to start to become the way God would have us become. The gospel works!
Hang on to the old ship Zion with both hands. The church is the ship. We are in the midst of the sea. Do not jump overboard when the storm comes, you'll drown! Hang onto the safety the church offers you! The Lord's grace is sufficient to accomplish His work through mortals. Observe the Sabbath! Sacrament meeting is the Lord's and should be rooted in His teachings. 
Center your life in Jesus Christ so He can mold you into the shape He wants you to be. 
Learn of Christ and pray for understanding. It will all work out. No one ever really dies. Yielding to the Lord's way will diminish resentment and pain. 
We came on earth to learn and to improve until we gradually become perfect like our Heavenly Father. We must each stop and asks ourselves: "What lack I yet?" When we receive and answer from the Spirit then we must immediately act on it! The Holy Ghost will give us customized council. Ask what is keeping you from progressing. 
Don't excuse yourself because of your sins! Repentance is a process. Don't be late to sacrament meeting, don't go without examining yourself and confessing your sins. Don't use your phone during Sacrament meeting. Don't leave immediately following the first hour. 
Wickedness never was happiness! Be temple worthy. Be righteously self-controlled. Self-control is a muscle, when exercised it grows stronger! Honoring the Sabbath will increase righteousness and strength in the family. Life is not easy, nor was it meant to be.
The choices you make will shape your eternal destiny.Put your trust in the spirit which leadeth to do good. Live within your means. Fight against ignorance. Take council from the Lord. Prayerfully select mentors. 
Maternal Love is Divine. I love you mommy. You are my light and example. 
The cornerstone of God's plan is the Atonement.
God answers when we have a sincere heart and real intent. Be converted to the Gospel. 
Sometimes Jesus heals and sometimes He gives us strength to endure the suffering. 
Your faith grows not by chance but by choice. Faith never demands an answer to every question. 
Take steps towards Christ and never give up when we fall. Ordinances and covenants are credentials for admission into the Kingdom. Don't put it off, don't procrastinate, don't wait to change.
We believe in God because of what we know in our mid and in our heart, not because of what we do not know. Skepticism is easy, anyone can do it. The world rejects what it does not understand. 
Become friends with less active members and be there for them when things go wrong. 
Keep the commandments. In this there is safety, in this there is peace. Be determined to achieve your goals! Turn the volume down and listen to the Spirit. 
Let your light shine. Each of us has the light of Christ, let it burn bright by living as He lived. Be an example to all around you in all you do. 
To effectively serve others we must serve them through the eyes of our Heavenly Father. 
Let your words move the hearts of men. Desire to inspire, not impress. 
The church is there to help us center our lives on the Savior. We are a body of saints to help each other achieve exaltation. We need callings for our eternal progression. Without those who reprove us we often cannot see our faults. Converted unto the Lord and united in the church. 
"Ponderize" a scripture a week. 
We do not need to be perfect but we need to be good at getting better. 
Come what may and love it. Family is the most important thing in our lives. Jesus is the Christ. 
I know these words are true. May you also find their truth as you re-ponder them over the next few months and apply them into your lives. I love you all very much.

Elder Lyle R. Brewer

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