Monday, January 27, 2014

Act or Acted Upon

Hey everybody!
Que tal? Its still freezing here :) We had a great week this week. Last P-day we had a trizone P-day so missionaries from Cedar Rapids and Fairfield zones came to the Iowa City stakecenter and we had a lot of fun playing games. Elder Andreasen was there and he is probably one of my best friends I have made out here. We had a great time! This week, we had a couple exchanges and one was with the AP's. I went with Elder Anderson. Apparently, he came a played ultimate frisbee right by where I lived at BYU so we probably met and played together before but neither of us can remember it haha but we have lots of mutual friends. Well he is a stud missionary and we talked a lot as we worked that night about how to lead with love. I learned and realized that I need to praise and uplift the missionaries in our zone more and that as we simply love them and are examples for them, they will solve their little problems and the work will move forward :) I was grateful for that learning opportunity because it taught me more about Christ and His love. He doesnt solve our problems for us or force us to be happy and live the way He did, but He simply loves us and we can feel that as we pray, learn more about Him through the scriptures, and make covenants with Him like baptism. Also, as we serve Him by serving others, we become more intimate acquainted with Him and because we begin to understand His love for us, we choose to act by changing our lives so they align with His teachings.
This is what has happened with Scott this last week. He had a wake up call and ended up in the hopsital with some rapid breathing. They thought it might be a heart attack but it wasnt so he was released 24 hours later. This little scare gave him another push and strengthened his desire to change. So we taught about praying always, not just in the morning and at night, but saying little prayers throughout the day. He loved that and as he has done it, it has begun to really help him make the changes he wants to make, like exercising and such. Well, he was planning to come to Church for all 3 hours yesterday and had a horrible night on Saturday night with tons of negative thoughts and feelings. We went over about 45 minutes before Church started and prayed with him as he felt he couldnt come to Church because he felt mentally and physically exhausted. Well we read in 2nd Nephi chapter 2 in the Book of Mormon about how God created both things to act and things to be acted upon. We taught him how Satan desires him to be miserable like he is miserable and was acting on Scott all night with these negative thoughts pointed towards destroying Scott's self-esteem and resolve to get healthy and make changes in his lifestyle. It was so powerful as the Spirit filled the room and our minds were enlightened and it was so clear that Satan acts on us when we do not act for ourselves. We taught out of verse 27 where it says that we are free agents to choose for ourselves whether we want liberty and eternal life through Jesus Christ, our great mediator, or if we want captivity and death, according to the captivity and death that Satan, or the devil, wants us to be in. With this, Scott made the correct, but hard decision to act and he came to Church! He felt so much better and said that his negative feelings went away as he was in Sacrament meeting! I know for myself that we have control of our own happiness. Its natural to have feelings of unhappiness or self doubt, but those are times when we evaluate and decide the best course of ACTION! If we dont act now and take control of our fate and happiness, then outside influences and forces that arent focused on your happiness will take power in your life and lead you eventually to complete misery. So don't worry about the things you cant control, but take control of your own decisions, things you can control. This is the gospel of Jesus Christ. That once blind, we can see and once lost, we can find ourselves. But it takes work and footsteps on our part :) So dont pray for your circumstances may change, but pray so you understand God's will for you and so He can give you the strength to change yourself. Then, you'll be happy in whatever circumstances you're in! Christ lives and His power to heal our hearts is real. I have experienced it and seen others experience it as well. Make it a great week and love you all!
-Elder McGinn
Elder Seth McGinn
Iowa Des Moines Mission
8515 Douglas Ave. Ste. 19
Urbandale, IA 50322

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