Monday, February 20, 2012

Hello Family,

Well this week was another week. People and their agency... It proved to be a very humbling and enlightening week, although those are often some of the most heart breaking and tough. Nevertheless, I know that the Lord is helping me get those little final changes in before I come home. The mission is quite the crucible and every time I feel that pressure bearing down on me I know I just need to search, and pray, and think.... and open my heart. I am blessed to have such wonderful roommates and I am grateful to have awesome missionaries in my district. I got to speak with Pres. a little on Sunday night too and that definitely got me pumped. He is an awesome guy. I can't spend 30 minutes around him without learning some valuable piece of gospel truth. Its pretty neat. I guess right now I am at the step-up or step-out point, but my mind and heart are firmly resolved to step-up, and I feel the strength that the spirit brings to me. Every night I have a different dream... every one a warning for my future. Then I am left to sit and ponder upon these things to analyze my weaknesses and check myself. Have I conquered this? Have I changed that? Have I learned to loathe that which was once appealing? The beauty is that most of the time the answer is yes, but these dreams, some of which are memories, give me the opportunity to relive the past and remember why I have chosen to change. They are helping me solidify within my heart and mind the Lord's will and they reconfirm the importance of making my changes - lasting changes.  3 Nephi 7:8 scares the crap out of me, as I feel it should scare anyone.

And thus six years had not passed away since the more part of the people had turned from their righteousness, like the dog to his vomit, or like the sow to her wallowing in the mire.

Crazy. Six years... They couldn't even maintain for six years! Six years for me puts me at the end of my undergraduate studies. I have seen relatives fall off. People who fell to their own pride.  Assuming that they were strong enough... forgetting to strengthen their testimony and forgetting the Lord. The children of Israel struggled with forgetfulness. It seems like a crazy thing. How can someone who served a mission fall into inactivity and fall away? How can someone who once knew spiritual truth no longer feel its truth?  Alma drills it into his sons as he admonishes them to REMEMBER. That is my prayer. Simply that I never forget, that I may always remember Him, and always qualify for that gift of the Holy Ghost.

I have met and known many men in my life who seemed to be steadfast pillars of righteousness. I have seen the carnage wrought within the lives of their loved ones as their families crumbled... I have also witnessed the healing power of the Atonement and Repentance, and I know that anyone can return to the arms of our Savior. I am filled with gratitude as I ponder on the captivity of my fathers, as I remember the spiritual bondage that I passed through, and as I read and ponder the Scriptures, my Father in Heaven succors me and reinforces my testimony. My roots dig deeper, my spirit stronger, my agency more free.  There is no feeling in the world like knowing that your sins are forgiven, and that you are clean.... not perfect, but clean. I invite all who feel even the slightest twinge of guilt or pain, or those who are "past feeling" to come unto Christ in prayer and follow Him into the waters of Baptism.  Remember. Please Remember. It may be painful but it is necessary to repent, for no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God.

I know that the heaviness of heart is serving its purpose. I feel it changing me, and I feel the increase in joy and love that is the result of my afflictions. I love God. I know this church is true. Serving my mission while clean and worthy is the best choice I have made since being baptized.

If you doubt my words, humble yourself.  Read the Book of Mormon and ask God in the name of Christ through sincere prayer.  He will witness the truth of His own work to your heart and mind. Don't be afraid to try.  Fear not.

I love ya family, can't wait to see ya!

Love Britton!

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