Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fight for happiness

There's a lot I could write about this week, but I think I'll boil it down to three main things:

1)  Anziano Gomez is doing great!  I can't say I've been the best trainer.  It's hard at this point in my mission to remember what it was like to be at the beginning, what might be confusing or new.  He sometimes reminds me that he has no idea what's going on, and I have to slap myself in the forehead and explain a few crucial things.  It's a bizarre thing, for missionary life to be so normal.  Makes me scared to go home someday.

2)  We went up to Milano and back yesterday for New Missionary Training.  It was fun to watch this last group of only 7 elders reunite after their first 10 days in the field, sharing miracles and experiences with each other that are so excited for them and so normal for us trainers.  We're surely a blessed group, and I forget that all the time.  Sometimes I'm so fixated on what I'm not doing perfectly that I forget all the stuff I'm doing well.  I imagine it's much the same for most of you, and I invite you to do what I've been doing and write down a positive list of things you've learned over the last year or so and the people you've helped.  It's great to think positive.

3)  I was super inspired by 2 Nephi 2 this week. Amazing chapter of the Book of Mormon.  Verses 5 and 11 especially stood out to me, and as I went over old notes from near the beginning of my mission that I had scribbled in a forgotten notebook, I was amazed at the ideas that poured into my mind.  I thought I'd share them with all of you:

Misery is natural here on earth.  Because we are a fallen race on a fallen planet, the "natural" state is a very sad one.  Just as we see in the universe, things fall apart and entropy takes its toll, breaking things down and making us with feelings sad.  Just as gravity naturally pulls down, so does misery weaken our resolve with time and experience.

But there is opposition in all things, and "men are that they might have joy".  So how do we go against what is natural--misery--and fight for happiness?

Jesus Christ showed us how.  He established his church where the gospel is taught, embraced, and shared.  We use this marvelous message to go against the flow, to push against gravity, as it were, and fly!  We see the good in all things, we recognize the necessity of gravity, and then we use the tools we're given to work against it and find joy.  It's such a simple thing, but it's so true, and for some reason it really blew my mind.

Misery is natural, and we have to fight against it.  But that's the most fun battle ever!

Fight with me this week (heh, that sounds funny).  Fight alongside me, I should say.  Let's give Misery a good whooping, and then take Joy out for a nice dinner with our families and friends.

I love you, and so does God!
Anziano Burton

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