Here we go.
On Tuesday we had a super cool experience. After a Zone Conference we had we went to dinner and when we got there the Sister who we were eating with told us her husband was feeling very unwell, so instead of eating with them she gave us each $20. People here in Utah are much too generous. So, we both felt like going to Subway (which is the one of three places in Grantsville) and when we got there we saw three guys in some spandex short shorts and biking shirts. Elder Du Charme struck up a short conversation with them and we found out they were biking from Virginia to California! We were pretty impressed, so after we finished eating, we went up to them and asked them about the detail on how they were doing the ride and all. They were from D.C., Philly, and Austin and they had started back on June 1st and expect to finish by the end of this month, so close. So we had a good chat and then went off our merry way. Then later we are cruising around and we have nothing. We can’t think of anything to do, so Elder Du Charme suggested we go up to South Willow Canyon to visit this one person, and I thought it was a big waste of time and I was like whatever. But that was pride. Right as we started up we saw them standing by their tents out in a field. So we stopped and ended up chatting for maybe over an hour and a half. In that time we found out that they are all 19! Which is crazy. Also they were Jewish, Catholic, and Baptist (a Jew, a Catholic, a baptist, and two Mormon missionaries walk into a bar…) and the baptist’s mom actually grew up Mormon. We spent a majority of the time just talking about their ride and stuff and eventually they found out we don’t drink tea or coffee, we (as missionaries) can’t date, we serve for two years, and stuff like that. So we gave them a Book of Mormon along with almost all of our pamphlets. The Jewish kid was super interested. But in general it was just a cool experience. With the relationship we built, it felt more like just sharing through natural conversation rather than having to push it. It was really cool. Then we went home and we had some extra flaming hot Cheetos and some apples, cereal, and cold water, so we ran back out to them and gave it to them. It was just nice to see how everything worked together. There were quite a few miracles in that.
Then the next day we went to visit a member and he wasn’t home, but there was a guy, Ricky, watering the members yard. He said he was just about to call us the next day. He had an uncle who was on his death bed and he wanted to pass away, but he felt like there was just something still holding him there, so he wanted us to give him a blessing. Ricky was baptized maybe 3 years ago and was active for two and then some disobedient missionaries did some really shady stuff and he stopped going to church for the past year. But he was feeling like it was time to come back. And sure enough we just happen to run into him right when he was ready.
Then on Friday we got to go to a temple sealing. That was really cool for me since I haven’t gone to one before. It was a very nice experience, especially just going to the temple in general.
Our Mission President and his Wife send out a little message the beginning of each transfer and I actually just read it and love it.
Paper or Silver, what will it be?
Silversmiths for centuries have put broken, crushed ore into a fiery furnace and turned up the heat to melt off the impurities. They know which impurities would melt off at which temperatures. The refiner has to be vigilant and watch carefully, because if the temperature gets too high, the silver could be ruined. A silversmith knows when the silver is done because he sees his reflection in it.
As missionaries our lives are free of adversity, right? Or do we better come to understand what adversity means. We see it, we experience it, we see other’s experience it. We know this is part of God’s plan, part of our earthly test. Difficulties make us grow and learn. They force us to exercise faith and turn to God. They provide the comparison that makes us grateful for moments when life is joyful. Adversity presents a choice. Often hardships and calamities arise that seem to trap us or others, nailing us to the floor in agony. We may feel all our options have vanished. But this is actually never true. Think about fire for a moment. It’s powerful, it spreads quickly, it can destroy everything in its path. But it has another property we often forget; It can refine.
In Malachi 3:3 we are told that the Lord “shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”
The Lord watches over us, with constant attention to the details of our lives. He knows every pain, every sorrow we all feel. In fact, he took those upon himself in atoning for us. He also will not allow us to be tried beyond our ability to withstand it, if we turn to him for help.
Christ will see his reflection in us when all our impurities have melted away, and we have truly given our hearts to him. We have a choice. We can be as a wisp of paper thrown into a fire and quickly consumed, or we can choose to be silver, and allow our trials to refine us, and make us into something better than we were.
Elder James E. Faust once said, “Here then is a great truth. In the pain, the agony, and the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner’s fire, and the insignificant and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross and
make our faith bright, intact, and strong. In this way the divine image can be mirrored from the soul. It is part of the purging toll exacted of some to become acquainted with God. In the agonies of life, we seem to listen better to the faint, Godly whisperings of the Divine Shepherd.”
May we teach and be taught this great principle of the refiners fire and think about our choice to be either paper or silver.
Let us all be Silver.
Love you guys!