"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou
dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest."
-Joshua 1:9

Monday, September 29, 2014

Set some goals

Hey there family and friends! I hope that this email finds you all alive and kicking! I’m doing good, just surviving the hot and humid weather but other than that all is good. This week was fast as usual and I am just enjoying the work more and more every day. So lets get down to the sweat report shall we... 

Well, this week we spent a lot of time giving the people that we are teaching a vision. A vision is everything in life. If we don’t have goals or something to work towards we will never see the end result. I know that when we make goals we can achieve them. The Lord is always there to help us achieve something that we personally want to achieve. Yes, there is always going to be opposition in all that we do. There is always going to be something or someone trying to beat or cut us down. But through our vision all things become possible. I have seen it time and time again here, when we put the faith in the Lord ANYTHING is possible. We can do and achieve things that we never thought we could achieve. I promise you that my brothers and sisters.

I challenge each and every one of you to make goals, specific goals. Goals: both spiritually and temporally. I promise that the Lord will be there in aid to help you reach all your goals. I want to make one of your goals to help and serve others. Why this?

This week I had the opportunity to serve a few different people. All day every day we serve but this week we had the opportunity to do something very special for a family. We had the opportunity to build a house for one of our fellow brothers... words can not describe the living conditions and the details do not matter, but all I know is that it was one of the most touching experiences that I have ever had.

We must serve others, whether it’s something small or big, service brings more joy than anything else. I would like to share a talk or a few words with you from a member of the church. I really like the words given and I would love to share them with you. It’s all about service baby!!! Here it is. 

“To find real happiness, we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves,” President Thomas S. Monson teaches. “No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellow man. Service to others is akin to duty, the fulfillment of which brings true joy.”
As we look heavenward, President Monson says we will inevitably learn of our responsibility to reach outward.
Reach Outward
“We do not live alone—in our city, our nation, or our world,” President Monson says. “There is no dividing line between our prosperity and our neighbor’s wretchedness.  ‘Love thy neighbor’ is more than a divine truth. It is a pattern for perfection. This truth inspires the familiar charge, ‘Go forth to serve.’  Try as some of us may, we cannot escape the influence our lives have upon the lives of others. Ours is the opportunity to build, to lift, to inspire, and indeed to lead. The New Testament teaches that it is impossible to take a right attitude toward Christ without taking an unselfish attitude toward men.”
President Monson encourages Latter-day Saints to “reach outward. … Membership in the Church calls forth a determination to serve. A position of responsibility may not be of recognized importance, nor may the reward be broadly known. Service, to be acceptable to the Savior, must come from willing minds, ready hands, and pledged hearts.”
Lose Ourselves in Service
He also calls upon all people to follow the example of Jesus Christ. “The Savior taught His disciples, ‘For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.’
“I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives.”
Be a Sincere Friend
President Monson quotes the 16th president of the United States. “Abraham Lincoln offered this wise counsel, which surely applies to home teachers: ‘If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.’
“A friend makes more than a dutiful visit each month. A friend is more concerned about helping people than getting credit. A friend cares. A friend loves. A friend listens. A friend reaches out.”
Communicate Heart to Heart
“Often we live side by side but do not communicate heart to heart,” President Monson says. “There are those within the sphere of our own influence who, with outstretched hands, cry out, ‘Is there no balm in Gilead?’”
“I am confident it is the intention of each member of the Church to serve and to help those in need. … How often have you intended to be the one to help? And yet how often has day-to-day living interfered and you’ve left it for others to help, feeling that ‘oh, surely someone will take care of that need.’”

Trust in the Lord
And President Monson encourages us to trust in the Lord as we serve. “Occasionally discouragement may darken our pathway; frustration may be a constant companion. In our ears there may sound the sophistry of Satan as he whispers, ‘you cannot save the world; your small efforts are meaningless. You haven’t time to be concerned for others.’
“Trusting in the Lord, let us turn our heads from such falsehoods and make certain our feet are firmly planted in the path of service and our hearts and souls dedicated to follow the example of the Lord. In moments when the light of resolution dims and when the heart grows faint, we can take comfort from His promise: ‘Be not weary in well-doing. … Out of small things proceedeth that which is great’” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:33).
What great words that we can really learn and reflect on. It really is true joy when we help others and make a sacrifice. I have felt and see it every day while I have been out here on the mission. It’s amazing to give ALL to others. Little things bring big things my brothers and sisters. I challenge you to serve more and help others feel the joy from your service. 
Gi, I am so proud of you, each week you sound like you are growing up and doing big and better things. I want you to prepare now. PT and RAY RAY, I want you three to prepare now because it’s the best thing that you can do. Serving a mission changes one for the better. Maybe not physically hehe if you are eating like I am hahaha but in every other aspect of your life it changes you for the better. I promise you.

I challenge each of you to talk to the missionaries, if you see two young men walking in white shirt and tie, or two sisters, ask them, can you teach us more about your religion. If anything just to learn more and see what your Boy Long is teaching down here in the jungles of Honduras :)) I promise that you will feel the spirit and grow closer to our loving Heavenly Father.

I am so thankful for a great family and friends that have taught me how to be a better son and friend. I am thankful for each of you and your support. Thanks for all your hard work dad. It means a lot to each of us. American woman, keep working hard my man. I love each of you and your always in my thoughts and prayers! For all you playing sports right now, give it your ALL... lay it all on the field and give it more for me who cant play right now. Love you all!

Aim high in all that you do and put your best foot forward every day! 

Con mucho amor,
Elder Long!! 

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