If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness,neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one;wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, norcorruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility. -2 Nephi 2:11
This theme has been jumping out at me through my scripture study this week as well as in real life. Here's some examples:
Angie is progressing SO WELL but she also is about to get kicked out of the place that she's staying at, which is sort of a blessing in disguise because she wouldn't be able to get baptized if she lived there.
April's family found out on facebook that Dylan is Mormon and they're really unhappy about it. BUT she's been reaching out to us more for support and answers to her questions.
We found that Angela, the other lady that went to the RS activity last week, has a husband who doesn't want her to meet with us, BUT this has increased her desire to learn more about the restored gospel.
Comesha is also facing significant challenges with her family BUT she is looking more to God for comfort and the ward is reaching out to her more because she's having these challenges.
We had 2 stressful exchanges this week BUT we have been able to get in contact with some people that haven't been seen in a while.
We didn't have any investigators at church BUT about 5 less-active members showed up unexpectedly, and one of them is showing some significant progress!
...and my computer logged off halfway through typing this but now I have a greater appreciation for Gmail's autosave feature!
So there has been a lot of opposition, BUT as Lehi points out, if we didn't have the bad we would not appreciate or even see the good. ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING has its opposite. I'm sure that all y'all smarties out there have already figured this out, and intellectually I knew it, but I have never seen so many examples of it until this week. We NEED opposition to be able to be happy, of this I am thoroughly convinced.
This week I read the talk "The Quest for Joy" by Barbara Workman. It pretty much expresses all of the revelation that I have received about opposition this week:
Joy is an emotion of the spirit. It comes through righteous living. It is not a casual or shallow feeling, ever. If we equate fun and pleasure with happiness, we may think pain must always be equated with unhappiness. But that is not true. Joy is not a stranger to pain. We may not feel deeply enough to know joy unless our hearts have been hollowed out by sorrow. A heart may not be big enough to know real joy until it has been stretched and pulled by trials and hard things. In 2 Nephi 2:23 [2 Ne. 2:23] we find this phrase: “having no joy, for they knew no misery.” Our capacity to feel joy actually increases as we righteously endure our pain.
As missionaries go out to serve, they taste the same mixture of emotions almost every day. The deeper their joy in the message and the more intense their desire to share it, the greater their sorrow when it is rejected. Often when the scriptures talk about joy and sorrow, they are referring to missionary work. In Alma 28:8 we read, “And this is the account of Ammon and his brethren, their journeyings in the land of Nephi, their sufferings in the land, their sorrows, and their afflictions, and their incomprehensible joy.” These four terms often describe a mission: sufferings, sorrows, afflictions, and incomprehensible joy.
If a missionary has had a largely pain-free existence to this point, perhaps the experience of deep joy still lies ahead. One missionary who described premission life as being pretty easy told about teaching a discussion in which the whole family, especially the father, was very responsive. Afterward, as he and his companion pedaled their bicycles toward their apartment, he thought: “So this is what joy feels like. I guess I’ve never known until now.”So yeah. That was my week. It was so wonderful. We went on 2 exchanges and taught some Spanish to the new Hermana (well at least I did).
If you're passing through some opposition right now just remember that there is always good that comes along with it :). Also, Jesus loves you.
I've been such a fail at sending pictures this week, but here's one from last week when Sis. Boulter and I crushed up one of our returning members cigarettes. That was fun.
Have a good week! I love you all!
PS: THERE'S A NEW MORMON MESSAGE! These things are the bomb!