Monday, November 26, 2012

Like Nephi

So Sister Oseki is probably the best thing that could've happened to me at this point in my mission.  You're so right about how good the feeling of 'clicking' with your companion is. Sister Oseki and I just have something that really works. And we have so much fun together. She loves to laugh and make people laugh just as much as I do, so there's a lot of joy bouncing around our apartment. And we can be childish and goofy when the time is right, but have also already had powerful spiritual experiences together. It's the perfect balance I think. And she has the most sweet sincere prayers. The kind that I think even a die hard atheist couldn't scoff at. It's interesting how people and relationships work. My views have changed so much. The types of people I thought before were my type now aren't, and the types I never thought I'd work with are the ones I love working with the most. Does that make sense? And the people I look up to the most out here in the field, the missionaries and the members, are the ones who are humble and honest and firm in their resolve to do what is right; the ones who, although may get thrown in the mud, continue to get back up, and continue to turn their eyes towards heaven. They admit to their weaknesses and joy in the mercy of the Savior.
"Failure is not the falling down but the staying down."
I've started the Book of Mormon again and have been reading through first Nephi. I was impressed again by the story of Nephi and his brothers returning to Jerusalem to get the plates. They were obedient and went back though it seemed an intimidating task. They put some decent thought into it and even came up with some pretty brilliant plans to try and retrieve the records. But twice, they failed.
I think a lot of the time we rail on Laman and Lemuel for being rebellious and not wanting to keep trying. But how likely is it we wouldn't of had a similar reaction if we were in their shoes? They gave what they considered their best efforts. They even gave up all their money. They'd already left their home and friends. They'd given two good tries to get the plates. Wasn't that enough? 
I think this is a point everyone reaches in their lives. We've given everything we think we have to give. We're backed up to the wall of faith. We're at the edge of the cliff and asked to jump. We're in the moment where we either surrender to the will of the Lord, or we decide we've done enough. I think this moment is defining. It's the difference between the typical and the valiant. It's the difference between the third and fourth missionary. It was what separated Nephi most from his brothers.
"And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do. Nevertheless, I went forth...."
"...and he (Laban) had fallen to the earth before me."
Nephi took that step into the dark. He followed the Spirit although he himself was completely inadequate. He pushed past that point where reality ends and the Lord works his miracles.  
And the before seemingly impossible challenge ... had fallen to the earth before him.   
I want to be like Nephi.

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