Tuesday, August 26, 2014

He's Been There Before

He’s Been There Before
By Elder Troy Whittle
Texas Houston Mission

The alarm bell rings at 6:30, I stumble to my feet. I grab my companion’s bedding and pull off his sheets. A groan fills the room, is it already time to rise? It seems like just a second ago I was able to shut my eyes. The morning activities follow-study, prayer, and such. When it’s time to leave the apartment, you feel like you haven’t accomplished much.

“We have a super day planned,” my comp. says with a grin. I lowly utter a faithless breath, “Yeah, if anyone lets us in.” With the word of God and my faithful Schwinn we ride of in the street, prepared to face another day of humidity and heat. It’s 9:30 in the evening, the day is almost through. My companion and I are riding home, not accomplishing what we thought to do.

We ride up to the mailbox, hoping to receive a lot. Only to look inside and hear my echo reverberate “air box”. We go up to our apartment, the day is now complete. The only thing to show for our work is a case of blistery feet. It’s past 10:30 p.m. my companion is fast asleep, silence engulfs me all about and I begin to weep.  In the midst of sadness, I kneel down to pray .  I need to talk to father, but I’m not sure what to say.

“Oh, Father” I begin, “What happened to us today? I thought we’d teach somebody, but everyone was away. My hands, my aching hands-worn, hurt and beat; if our area was any smaller, we’d have knocked every street.”

“Why on missions are the days so much alike? The only difference about today was the flat tire on my bike.  Will you send some cooler weather?  The heat is killing me. I sweat so bad, it gets in my eyes, it’s very hard to see.”

“Why do I have to wear a helmet, isn’t your protection enough? People always laugh at me and call me stupid stuff.  Please send us investigators so I may give them what they lack.  I want to give them Books of Mormon, the weight of them hurts my back.”

“And what about my family? They don’t have much to say. I’m sick of not hearing from them day after day after day. Oh Father, why am I here, am I just wasting time? Sometimes I just want to go home, I’m sorry but that’s on my mind.”

“My companion, Heavenly Father, what are you giving me? The way he rides his bicycle, I don’t think he can see. Now you have it, I can’t go on, I don’t know what to do. That, my Father in Heaven, is the prayer I have for you.”

My prayer now finished, I stand up, then jump right into bed.  I need my rest for tomorrow, we have a long day ahead.  Sleep starts to overtake me, I seem to drift away. Then it seems a vision takes me to another time in another day.

I’m standing alone on the hill. The view is very nice. A man walks towards me and says, “My name is Jesus Christ” Tears of joy well up inside, I fall down to his feet.  “Arise,” He states, “Follow me to the shade. You and I need to speak.”

My attention’s  towards my Savior, total and complete.  He says, “Your mission is similar of what happened to me. I understand how you feel, I know what you’re going through. In fact, it would be fair to say I’ve felt the same as you.”

“I even know how you felt when no one listened to you. At times I felt not quite sure what else I could do. I know you don’t like to ride a bicycle, for you a car would be sweet. Just remember the donkey I rode wasn’t equipped with 21 speeds.”

“I understand you don’t like sweating, in fact it’s something you hate. I remember when I sweat blood from every pore, oh the agony was great!  I see you don’t like your companion- you’d rather have someone else- I once had a companion named Judas who sold my life for wealth.”

“It’s hard to wear a helmet and have people make fun of you. I remember when they put thorns on my head and called me King of the Jews. So you feel burdened down by the weight of your pack. I recall how heavy the cross was when they slammed it on my back.“

“Your hands hurt from tracting and knocking on doors all day. I guess when they pounded nails into mine, I ached in a similar way. It’s hard not to hear from home when your family’s not there to see. I lost communication on the cross and cried, “Father, why hast Thou forsaken me?”

“We have a lot in common, but there’s a difference between us you see. I endured to the end and finished my mission, so follow and do like me.”  He embraced me with His arms and His light filled me with his love.  With tears in my eyes I watched as He went back to the Father above.

I stood with awe and wonder when a beep rang in my head. I listened and heard the alarm, then realized I was in my bed. My companion let out a goran, “6:30 already, no way!” I sat up and said, “Come on, I’ll even carry your scriptures today!”

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Temple Blesses Lives!

 Dear friends and family,

The temple has blessed my life, even before I was born.  During my time here on Earth, I've taken that for granted.  I am sealed to my family because my parents were sealed in the temple!  That is the automatic blessing that comes from having righteous parents. Recently I was able to go through the temple.  That experience was a blessing because I want to dwell with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and that's only possible if I make and keep the sacred covenants in the temple.  I went to the temple with faith in that and I left with a confirmation from the Holy Ghost that it's true.  Receiving my endowment was exactly what I needed to more fully feel my Heavenly Father's love and gain a focus of my purpose here on Earth.

The temple is the greatest source of peace and happiness. I have had the opportunity to attend the Mount Timpanogos, Jordan River, and Draper temples!  These magnificent buildings are houses of the Lord and they are sacred. We are all children of a loving and merciful Father who dwells in Heaven and we can live with Him again because He has provided the way.

The church is true, the book is blue, and the temple is the glue!

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


The Future Sister Fowler xoxo

P.S. Go check out this Mormon Message about how the temple has blessed a few of God's other children. The Blessings of the Temple