Monday, August 3, 2015

Get Thee Hence, Satan

Subject line--one of Hermana Garner's favorite sayings. She tells it to me all the time.... Like when I offer her a donut. Doesn't she know if one companion eats a donut, so does the other so they balance each other out? Jaja. Good times. We have a great companionship. 

So this week! It was great, and it was also not so great. I'll start with the not so great. We had to drop Gloria this week. She just isn't progressing. She stopped reading in the Book of Mormon, and hasn't been to church since I have been here. She was supposed to get baptized in June, but then the missionaries found out she wasn't married, but is living with her "husband", as she calls him. She says he doesn't want to get married, and she doesn't want to leave him, because they have been together for 22 years. She just told us she would go to another church and tell them she wants to get baptized even though she isn't married. I just wanted to cry! She had completely lost her testimony of the Restoration. It is so sad! We will continue to pray for her, but we won't be going by as often as before...

Well, now to the good. We had an AMAZING district meeting this week. Elder Sandstrom is truly an inspired leader. He talked about change, how we change, and who changes us.  A lot of the time, we try to change ourselves. But we soon figure out that does not work. We need to be changed by the Master. 

How are we to change? Offering our whole souls unto the Lord.
     26 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved(Omni 1:26)

How will this change come? Step by step, line upon line, here a little, there a little.  Taking away one bad thing at a time, and replacing it with something good before moving on to the next.
     65 And as they begin to grow ye shall clear away the branches which bring forth bitter fruit, according to the strength of the good and the size thereof; and ye shall not clear away the bad thereof all at once, lest the roots thereof should be too strong for the graft, and the graft thereof shall perish, and I lose the trees of my vineyard.
     66 For it grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard; wherefore ye shall clear away the bad according as the good shall grow, that the root and the top may be equal in strength, until the good shall overcome the bad, and the bad be hewn down and cast into the fire, that they cumber not the ground of my vineyard; and thus will I sweep away the bad out of my vineyard. (Jacob 5:65-66)

The promises:
     25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matt 16:25)
When we forget about what WE want, how WE are going to change, what WE are going to do, and just hand it ALL over to the Lord, then we will find the person He truly wants us to be.

At the end of his training, Elder Sandstrom shared one of my most favorite poems, "The Touch of the Master's Hand" As you read this, think and ponder on how you can more fully give everything you are and everything you have to Him-to Him who knows how to make us more like Him. If you would like to read the talk, this was quoted by President Boyd K. Packer in his talk "A Touch of the Master's Hand" from the May 2001 Ensign.

Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile:
"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,
"Who'll start the bidding for me?"
"A dollar, a dollar"; then, "Two!" "Only two?
Two dollars, and who'll make it three?
Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three—" But no,
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, "What am I bid for the old violin?"
And he held it up with the bow.
"A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two?
Two thousand! And who'll make it three?
Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,
And going, and gone!" said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
"We do not quite understand
What changed its worth." Swift came the reply:
"The touch of a master's hand."
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A "mess of pottage," a glass of wine,
A game—and he travels on.
He's "going" once, and "going" twice,
He's "going" and almost "gone."
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that's wrought
By the touch of the Master's hand. 
I sure love all of you. I know if you allow it, the touch of the Master's hand will change your life forever. 

I love you! Talk to you all soon. 

P.S. .. I might melt. No biggie.

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