Being in the world but not of the world is such a joy.
So, I am typing this in the public library. And the individual next to me with computer screen completely visible is watching a music video on Youtube that I probably would have watched in my former life. It's amazing how much more uplifting and wholesome the scriptures are. Hahaha. That is all.
This week has been interesting. We were asked by Elder Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy to attend the funeral and what an uplifting spiritual experience it was! There were over 1200 people there I believe. We got there about an hour early and the building was already filled half way through the cultural hall. There were police cars everywhere and camera crews filming those who were attending the service. The majority of those that attended seemed to not be LDS and the life sketch, eulogy, and "sermon" were absolutely inspiring. Even though the family was obviously suffering, they all spoke of hope and faith and comfort in the knowledge of the plan of salvation--that their brother wasn't lost forever, that he would be with them again. Elder Clayton spoke so eloquently from the scriptures and I was struck by the captivating power of the spirit. It seemed as if everyone was sitting on the edge of their seats, eyes wide, listening to the spirit speak through Elder Clayton. I was so privileged to attend and to see the obvious outpouring of love and peace from all involved.
The next day was filled with service! Here in California the Church has a Welfare Farm with HUGE VINEYARDS. Each stake in central California is given specific rows to take care of. As it was an opportunity to wear pants, we were so excited to go and serve! We awoke at 5AM to meet the group and carpool to the vineyard. We were off the pick the grapes! My what a task picking the grapes is. There's a process. And there are rows that seem like they are NEVER EVER going to end. We had the opportunity to lay down paper "trays" on one half of the row for the grapes to be laid out on after they were picked. The grapes will lay there in the sun and dry--turning into raisins! Our row was a powerhouse and we could hardly get the paper down fast enough before we were caught up to! It was wonderful as there were huge numbers of members there to assist--the most from the ward whose Bishop recently passed--and it was such a privilege to be all sweaty and dusty wearing my Longhorns shirt serving with so many faithful members!
We are seeing some wonderful progress in the ward with our less active members and our general ward excitement about missionary work. Woo! I don't want to leave this area...which probably means that I will! Grr. Hahaha. Funny how things work out!
My current favorite scripture is from Grandpa---that we need to SMILE, as being "Spiritually Minded Is Life Eternal" (2 Nephi 9:39). I have thought a lot about what this means. I have concluded that we are to now work out our salvation by becoming the kind of people that are able to overcome our personal weaknesses and be ready to dwell in the presence of God--by becoming as much like Him as we can. As I study the Christlike Attributes chapter of Preach My Gospel (Ch. 6), I am continually in awe of how much I have to improve. Haha. Reading Alma 5 does the same thing. We, as a companionship, read that individually this week and then talked about what we felt we needed to work on to maintain our "mighty change of heart".
Training is insane. Haha. It's loads of fun and loads of responsibility! Fortunately Sister Clark likes getting things done and responds well to my odd form of leadership (AKA craziness). As we have followed the Spirit this week and helped many different persons it has been a blessing to truly be humbled and see how the Lord is in control!
I am so grateful for the chance that I have to serve. I don't want this mission to end. Ever! I am doing so much better at living in the present and each day is met with a desire to do the best I can that day to serve the Lord. It's a daunting task, and I frequently battle feeling inadequate--but I am able to conquer it and approach each new day with a zeal to do what Heavenly Father would ask of me!