Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Week 19

Chandler sent some more pictures of him and some other missionaries at the beach. He also sent a video, but I can't figure out how to make it work!  I'll post it once I get it figured out.

Dear Everyone, 

The work in Coquille is progressing! We find ourselves busier each day and always seem to have something new on our plate. The people we are teaching are solid and listening to and accepting our message. We had an amazing ZTM meeting which President Russell (Our mission president) attended. He taught us a great lesson on the plan of salvation and changed a lot of standards and rules set by the previous mission president. My companion and I are getting along great! We enjoy ourselves and have plenty of fun together. Transfers are in a week and my companion and I have only been together one transfer so far so chances are we'll stick together one more. That would be ideal because Thanksgiving and Christmas are in this transfer and personally playing football on the beach is a great way to spend the holidays!

Now for the heart of the email, 

Coquille is beautiful! [Insert sarcasm] Thursday Elder Madsen and I woke up and the sky was clear, the sun was peeking over the hills, and the birds were chirping and we were CERTAIN it was going to be a beautiful day! We were sorely mistaken.. We have yet to learn that here in Coquille the weather is bipolar. Within ten minutes of going outside a heavy fog rolled in and five minutes later it was dumping rain. About 30 minutes later the sun was shining and the process was repeated about ten more times. In simple terms I was angry with the weather. I was confused as to why it couldn't just stay rainy or just (preferably) stay sunny. Instead it was constantly changing. In my anger and confusion I had a couple thoughts come to mind which leads into the meat of my email. 

First, this phrase stuck out to me, Come what may, and love it! No matter what happens in our lives accept it. Give it a big hug! And don't EVER forget to thank your Heavenly Father, (no matter the circumstance) for what you have. As I thought about that I reflected on a poem I wrote a while back. 

I open my eyes, it's the start of a new day. I pull on some pants and I get on my way. I brush 
my teeth and I get in the shower. I go downstairs, work starts in an hour. I shove breakfast down my throat and put on my shoes, I pull on my coat, it's the working mans blues. I do this everyday, you could say I'm pro. But really I'm not I just go with the flow. But therein lies the problem I go with the flow, taking no time to look and explore where I go. I wake up in the morning to my alarms ring. And I think it's too early to think of anything. I should go to my window and look outside. I should look out and thank God I'm alive. For he's the reason I opened my eyes. He's the reason we have those gorgeous blue skies. And most times we lack to thank God for our lives because we're too busy working and swallowed by pride. If we would look up and look at the stars we might come to realize what we really are. We're children of God, the one, the most high. The one we can thank for our precious lives. If we would slow down and take more time, to smell the roses, and to make this climb. We would know who we are and we would reach for the stars striving to live to our fullest potential and live with God in his home, the Celestial. 

I realized I wasn't recognizing God in my life. I was simply "Going with the flow." I have since then set a personal goal to not "go with the flow" and to remember my Heavenly Father in everything I do. 

Second, I realized the long term effects of neglecting to thank God for what we have. As the Lord provides for us WE tend to become complacent "go with the flow" and forget our Lord. Complacency leads to a vicious cycle that we read about plenty in the scriptures. In the first chapter of 4 Nephi we read about the Nephites just after the coming of Christ. Because of the righteousness of the people, for two hundred years their posterity dwelt in peace, working hard and becoming very rich, both spiritually and temporally. However in the two hundred and first year the people began to be complacent and "go with the flow." Pride quickly followed and they quickly forgot to thank or even acknowledge the very God that gave them all they had. We all know how this ends, they become very wicked and then when faced with the very gates of Hell they repent, the Lord forgives, and the cycle begins all over again. Now, more often than not (according to OUR righteousness) the Lord provides for us as he did with the people of Nephi. However, it is up to us that we try our best not to become complacent and "go with the flow" like the people of Nephi and fall into unrighteous paths and forget about the very God that gave us our lives. It is up to us to thank Him for all He does for us in our lives and not forget our God. 

Now let me rephrase the beginning paragraph. 

Coquille is beautiful! [Insert... Happiness, joy, thanks] I'm thankful for the rain. Without it there wouldn't be the beautiful green trees that Oregon is known for. I'm thankful for the bipolar weather that keeps Elder Madsen and I on our toes everyday. I'm thankful for everything I have and for all that the Lord has done for me. I know that as we remember to thank our Heavenly Father for what we have we will be able to avoid becoming complacent and "going with the flow" and because of that we will be blessed immensely in our lives. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Colton

Missionary for: 

The Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter Day Saints

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