"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, October 13, 2014

Week 66

Hey there familia and amigos! I hope that all is going good and that everyone is kicking it and alive and well! I am always thinking about you guys and know (hope) that your living life to the maximo baby!! So lets get down to the sweat report shall we! :) 

So this week I got the call that I am going to train. I am going to be receiving a newbie this Wednesday to train him and show him all about the missionary life and how to kill it for two years! I am so pumped to be able to train a new missionary once again. It’s going to be a ball! I am not sure if I am going to be going to a new area or if I am going to stay in my area where I am right now! I don’t know either if its going to be a gringo or Latin. I think that it will be a gringo because there are only like two Latin’s coming in this group, the rest are from the promise land. So I am so pumped to be able to have a greenyyy and show him what’s good here in the jungle jeje. So that’s some of the exciting news for you all.

So I was reading a talk this week that was given at a church conference and I really liked it. It gave me a new perspective on some things in my life and things that we are always facing.  The talk is titled Overcoming Discouragement.

If we place a little more patience in the process and a greater amount of faith in the Lord, our challenges will find their way toward successful conclusions.

Some years ago I was invited to participate in a fireside in which I outlined ways for people to overcome discouragement. At the beginning of the presentation, I invited those who were in attendance to write on a card a major challenge they were facing, one they would feel comfortable in having me share anonymously with other members of the group. When the problems came forward, I was overcome by the significant issues faced by members who looked in control of their lives. Here are some they listed:
1.     My farm is not making any money.
2.     My son has a terminal illness.
3.     Friction with a teenage child.
4.     My oldest son is nearly blind.
5.     Learning to accept the death of my son.
6.     My husband sees the flaws but doesn’t see the lovely things as much.
Many of us face significant challenges. Even the great prophet Enoch experienced sadness when he viewed the wickedness of the world: “And as Enoch saw this, he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren, and said unto the heavens: I will refuse to be comforted; but the Lord said unto Enoch: Lift up your heart, and be glad; and look” (Moses 7:44).
There are at least three steps to take when striving to overcome discouragement:
1.     You can work on changing your attitude toward the problem. Even though you can’t change the circumstances in which you work or live, you can always change your attitude.
2.     You can receive help from those who are close to you—your family, friends, and ward members, those who love you the most.
3.     You can develop a more powerful and complete trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Change your attitude. By looking at a problem in a different way, it may be possible to 
reduce discouragement. I have been impressed with the pioneer story told about Zina Young. After experiencing the death of parents, crop failure and sickness, she was encouraged with a spiritual experience that changed her attitude. While attempting to seek divine help, she heard her mother’s voice: “Zina, any sailor can steer on a smooth sea, when rocks appear, sail around them. “ A prayer came quickly: “O Father in Heaven, help me to be a good sailor, that my heart shall not break on the rocks of grief” (“Mother, “The Young Woman’s Journal, Jan. 1911, 45). It is often difficult to change circumstances, but a positive attitude can help lift discouragement.

Accept help from others. The next important point is to be willing to ask for help from those around you. Sometimes help comes from unexpected sources. A few years ago I stood in line in Chicago waiting to put my baggage on a plane. Behind me was an older man. After a few minutes he said to me, “Where are you going?” I said that I was heading for Salt Lake City. He said, “I’m going there too. Are you a Mormon?” I responded by saying I was. He said that he had been a Latter-day Saint all his life and had prepared himself to go to the temple. While waiting for the plane, he opened his suitcase to show me all the missionary pictures that he had collected through the years. After some minutes, we were on our way and a wonderful talk as we flew toward Utah. Upon arrival, we left the plane quickly. I made sure he knew where he was going and said good-bye. Some weeks later, I received this card in the mail: “Dear Brother Christensen. I lost your address and then found it. So, I’m writing you a card. When I met you in Chicago, it was a prayer answered. I never travel anywhere. I wanted to be with someone. I have thought of you many times. I really enjoyed myself in Salt Lake City at the temple. Hope to see you someday. Thanks many times for the help you were to me. ”I wasn’t planning to be useful that day, but I’m grateful for this brother who sought for extra help and I was nearby to assist.”

Develop trust in the Lord. I’ve talked about changing attitudes and receiving help from others. Now let me mention the need to put more trust and faith in the Lord. I once talked to a woman who received help with her discouragement. While waiting for a temple session to begin, she picked up a Book of Mormon to read a verse. Her eyes fixed upon Alma 34:3: “And as you have desired of my beloved brother that he should make known unto you what ye should do, because of your afflictions; and he hath spoken some what unto you to prepare your minds; yea, and he hath exhorted you unto faith and to patience.” The scripture in Alma was answered to her prayer. The message was simple: the problem she faced was going to take a long time to solve. If we place a little more patience in the process and a greater amount of faith in the Lord, our challenges will find their way toward successful conclusions.

In the Doctrine and Covenants we read this: “If thou art sorrowful, call on the Lord thy God with supplication, that your souls may be joyful” (D&C136: 29).

I pray that all of us may appreciate the challenges we have and try to improve our attitudes, even though our problems remain the same.  Ask help from friends and family. I also testify that Jesus Christ lives and that He will help us through our discouragements if we will humbly ask for His love. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Brothers and sisters, we are always going to be faced with challenges. I promise you that when we have the Lord by our side every challenge that we face, we will look back and say that I learned something. We need to be appreciative for the problems that we face, because without problems we do not grow in any form. I know through challenges we see what our true character is and what kind of person we really can be. During challenges we must be ourselves, do not let the adversary change us. We are faced with problems because the Lord knows that we can face them.
I love you guys. I miss you guys, and know that you’re all kicking and doing your thing. Make each day count. Leave it all on the table. Give it your all whether it be in the kitchen, on the field, in the classroom or in the weight room, with your friends, with your familia, donde sea, give it your ALL.
I love you guys. I pray for you guys and wish the best for each and every one of you each day. 
Aim high in all that you do and put your best foot forward! 

Con mucho amor, 
Elder Long! 

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