Monday, February 1, 2016

2016-02-01 Focus, Faith, Force

This letter is for everyone but especially the youth: This past week there was a devotional for all of the youth of Brazil. We got to watch part of it because it was right after our baptism this week (which the pictures won´t load). Their focus was “prepare your suitcases now and close them for your mission”. They talked about the things you should pack, so you do not have “extra baggage” when you arrive on your mission. Here is a summary of the things they talked about:

·         scriptures
·         attribute of love
·         attribute of diligence: work and planning
·         covenants
·         purity
·         The Spirit
·         faith
·         testimony
·         obedience
·         confidence

They talked a lot about having the courage to close your suitcase. 
1 Nephi 3:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto thechildren of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or thegods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Does your house serve the Lord? It is easier for your children to obey the commandments of God if they see your desire to obey them first. 
Mosiah 10:13 Nephi was more faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord—therefore he was favored of the Lord, for the Lord heard his prayers and answered them, and he took thelead of their journey in the wilderness.
Obedience is essential to return to God.
Serving God for 18-24 months now will bring you happiness for the rest of your life. The mission is what you want to make of it.
If you did not notice this devotional talked a lot about missionary work. The world is changing. More and more everyday. The world is already difficult and it is going to get worse. If you are doing the same things that you did yesterday, you are not going to be able to shield the temptation of tomorrow. Listen to your leaders. The first sign in personal apostasy is searching for faults in your bishopric. Listen to your leaders. They were chosen by God through people holding the authority of God. Since I was little I had always heard “pray daily, read your scriptures, go to church” and thought those were such basic things, but I realized that I did not do them with diligence or always with the right heart. If you feel like you are doing these things and it still is not making a difference in your life, seek understanding in your reading, diligence in your prayers, and answers at church, and I promise they will come. Now is the time to act. The leaders know what they are doing. You may not understand but you should trust their direction. If you are not doing so, pray daily. If you are already doing so, read the scriptures. If you are already doing so, read with more diligence. If you are already doing so, study the scriptures with more diligence. And if you are already doing so, you already know your next step to become closer to God. 
Tchau, Beijos,
Sister Morgan Ruiz