Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Week 88

My super cool and awesome family!
Cool hat, huh?
Hey, hey, heeeeyyyy!  ;)  Life is great!  In Preach My Gospel, the First Presidency Message states that "more happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labor among His children."  Amen to that!  I have never been happier! I  have learned that as I labor diligently, obediently, and with charity, the Lord blesses me immensely!  Throughout the course of my mission - I have seen myself grow and improve as a missionary, son, person, Priesthood holder, friend, and more!  In each area that I have served in, I have witnessed so many blessings and miracles.  The greatest blessing and miracle has to have been when I served in Oak Harbor.  I knew that when I was sent to speak English, there was a special someone whom I had to help.  It wasn't until the week before transfers that I learned who that person was!  God sure does work in mysterious ways.  I know He has a plan for each of us.  As we live how we should, He reveals the incredible blessings that are in store for us.  I have seen glimpses of what the future has in store for me, and I know that as I live righteously, our Heavenly Father will bless me with what I have seen and felt.
It is so good to hear that you felt the Spirit help you through your presentation, mom!  Read Proverbs 3:5-6 - "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

This past week, I tried very hard to improve my obedience, diligence, and charity towards myself and other people.  I feel like it worked out great!  Something I learned from a past companion that I put to practice this past week was that Obedience comes from Faith, Diligence comes from Hope, and Charity comes from Love.  As I increased (and continue to increase) my faith, hope, and love, my desire to be more obedient, diligent, and charitable increases.  Isn't that cool?! 
I did a lot of studying about faith, hope, and love this past week.  As I was reading the Ensign one day, I came across an amazing quote by President Boyd K. Packer, "We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see."  Being obedient, because we know it brings blessings, is a true act of faith.  As we obey, we see God's will for us, and we learn that there is much to accomplish in this life.  I studied my Patriarchal blessing, and it was cool to review all of those blessings and promises that are conditional upon my faithfulness and obedience.  God has so much in store for each of us, but will only bless us according to our obedience to the commandments.  I learned that the true source of hope comes from me being a child of a loving Heavenly Father.  Also, that I have been saved because of the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ.  There is a neat scripture in Moroni 7 that talks about the things which we should hope for in this life, "...Ye shall have hope through the Atonement of Christ and the power of the resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal" (41).  I've come to see that as I increase my hope towards these things, that my desire to help others learn about this message grows.  :)  Love is such an amazing attribute to have!  I had an incredible friend of mine share with me that charity is the bond of perfectness (Col. 3:14).  As I studied about the perfect bond of charity, I learned that love is, and should always be, our motivator to help and serve.  With love towards ourselves and others, we can experience a portion of the love that our Father in Heaven has for us.  We can see others in a different light, and strive to always help them do what is right.  I love love!  Is that weird to say?  Haha.  :)

Another cool quote I read this week was by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "This is the paradox of man: Compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God."  That struck me really hard as I read that.  We are God's children.  He loves us more than we can imagine.  Just like any loving parent, He wants the best for us.  He wants us to succeed and live up to the potential that we have.  How can we do that?  By following what He has given us!  The scriptures are here for us so that we can learn and grow.  We have living prophets today so that we can continue to receive counsel and guidance from a loving Father.  We have loving parents and friends who, at times, help us see things that we cannot.  I love this gospel.  :)

I love you all so much - You are all so incredible!  ;)


Elder Alexander J. Annand

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