Hello one and all!
I greet you with a big smile while recovering from the aggressive food poisoning I had this weekend. SCHVEEET.
I woke up on Sunday and..there it was. It went from not feeling very well to feeling really bad really fast. So there I spent my Sunday and Monday–mostly asleep with the occasional emergency dart to the bathroom. Sorry if that was too much information for those weak in spirit (or stomach).
The week, other than that, went well! We finished strong last week with 2 new investigators, and one of our new investigators is progressing! Her name is Dolores–she is a star. So interested and so willing to try and ask and seek. I feel that very good things are going to happen with her. I’m so grateful that the Lord saw fit to let us work with her. We were there on Friday, and taught about the Restoration. She gratefully received a Book of Mormon and later treated us to some rice pudding stuff (arroz con leche–which I think is what got me sick…). She insisted on us having some, and so we had to stay for a half hour and wait for it to finish. In that half hour, Hermana Molina went to the bathroom and just about got eaten by the largest cockroach I’ve ever seen. It was hilarious! She called me in and it terrified us both and we ended up running out screaming–of which I am not the most proud.
Spiritually speaking, I studied about real intent this week. What even is real intent? They always told me in Primary and Sunday School that it means “asking with the intentions to act on the answer you get” (usually in reference to Moroni 10:4). I don’t know why I always seemed to get hung up on the word “asking”. I guess from there I always associated real intent with having a question, as if I could only have real intent when I had a question and asked it, and looked/hoped/waited for a response. This is far from the truth. Real intent is not just about asking–Hermana Boud, get over this mental block–it’s about being genuine and true to the purpose for which you are doing something/anything. That shifted my perspective on my prayers–especially when I am simply praying rather than asking questions and trying to receive revelation. This changed my perspective on scripture study–I do it everyday and have done so for a long, long time….why? This changed my perspective on a lot of things, to say the least.
I think the best way to check to see if one has real intent or is doing something with real intent is to ask the simple yet thought-provoking question: why? Why am I praying? Why am I studying the scriptures? Why am I knocking on this door? Why why why?
I know it sounds lame. Maybe even childish. But it really helped me check myself with my prayers and my scriptures and the things I would say and do. Beware–this may be a very humbling experience, as it was for me. I found that many of my intentions were definitely not pure and genuine and Christ-oriented. At least not geared toward the goal I have to BE LIKE HIM. And why would my intentions be anything but centered on Christ? I’m a missionary for crying out loud? All I live and breath and think and do is Christian, right? Well. To be honest, missionary or not, I think that’s what we should all be focused on all the time. Why do any of us fall off the band wagon and do anything without “Christian” motives?
Pride. That’s a big one for me.
Another huge open for me is: forgetfulness. I forget. I forget who I am and what I’m doing and why I am doing it. I just forget. Does anyone else? Remembering is so tricky sometimes–you’d think it wouldn’t be. Don’t my hands and feet, my eyes that see and ears that hear, this gift of tongues I’ve been walking around with as well as my name tag that I wear over my heart all remind me of Christ? Of who I am and where I came from? Aren’t “all things” made to “bear witness of Christ” (Moses 6:63)? Then why do I forget?
The truth is that I’m a lazy human. I have this thing called the “natural man” syndrome and it can get out of hand pretty easily. One day, even one hour, or simply a moment where I don’t keep it in check, it can take over and make me forget.
My goal in life – and what I am finding out is my purpose in life – is to REMEMBER. To somehow beat this forgetting giant and remember my purpose. I have found that asking “why” not only checks my heart and sees where my intentions truly lie, but also helps me remember. I remember the why behind it all.
And…If we’re supposed to be so focused on the why…what in the heck is it?! Here is the kicker, in my opinion. It’s us. It is you, and it is me. And it is the lady that swore and yelled at the cashier at the grocery store today. And the person that shut the door on us, and the lady that told us to go home. The why is all of them, all of us! “God loved us so He sent His Son” (hymn #187). “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son” (John 3:16).
“That whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The why is us. It is our eternal safety and happiness and peace and hope.
And the how is our Savior Jesus Christ. I know He lives. I know He runs to us in our trials because I have felt Him run to me and help me with the burdens I carry.
Oh, love effulgent, love divine!
What debt of gratitude is mine,
That in his off’ring I have part
And hold a place within his heart.
I bear that debt and I feel that I do so on unworthy shoulders. I know Jesus Christ is perfect and is how we are happy. It pricked my soul this week as I remembered that I, Hermana Boud–even me–holds a place in His heart. Hold onto that this week–it’s carried me in the hardest as well as the easiest of times, and I hope and pray it will do so for you!
I love you all so much! Be true.