Monday, March 24, 2014

One Year!

Happy Birthday Friday, Michael! 18- you are old, kid. And... Happy birthday tomorrow, Holly :) Hope it is a wonderful one!

Gente. This week makes 1 year that I left home-headed for who knows what, know one really knew (at least I didn't). I can honestly say, looking back on this year that it has been one of tears-happy and sad. Its had its ups and downs. But, I wouldn't trade a minute of it, I wouldn't change any of it. It wasn't necessarily all I thought it would be, but it has been everything that I needed it to be, and I am SO grateful to be a missionary, and very much am looking forward to these next 6 months. Like a sister from my MTC district said, “We are going to finish our missions RUNNING!” And we will.

Ok, it was a good week, as always. My message today is on mercy. I have never read a more beautiful talk on the subject than the one by Uchtdorf. I’m just going to share some of the highlights. Dad will like that, it’s the “Driver´s personality version”. 

“Strained and broken relationships are as old as humankind itself. Ancient Cain was the first who allowed the cancer of bitterness and malice to canker his heart... since those first days, the spirit of envy and hatred has led to some of the most tragic stories in history... I imagine that every person on earth has been affected in some way by the destructive spirit of contention, resentment, and revenge. Perhaps there are even times when we recognize this spirit in ourselves...

“...but when it comes to our own prejudices and grievances, we too often justify our anger as righteous and our judgment as reliable and only appropriate. Though we cannot look into another’s heart, we assume that we know a bad motive or even a bad person when we see one. We make exceptions when it comes to our own bitterness because we feel tat in our case, we have all the information we need to hold someone else in contempt...refusing to forgive is a grievous sin- one the savior warned against.”

Uchtdorf’s bottom line was, “STOP IT” It’s that simple. 

“...We must recognize that we are all imperfect-that we are beggars before God. Haven’t we all, at one time or another meekly approached the mercy seat and pleaded for grace? Haven’t we wished with all the energy of our souls for mercy-to be forgiven for the mistakes we have made and the sins we have committed?

“Because we all depend on the mercy of God, how can we deny to others any measure of the grace we so desperately desire for ourselves? My beloved brothers and sisters, should we not forgive as we wish to be forgiven?... Brothers and sisters, let us put down our stones. Let us be kind. Let us forgive. Let us talk peacefully with each other.``

And my FAVORITE part of the entire talk, ``Brothers and sisters, there is enough heartache and sorrow in this life without our adding to it with our own stubbornness, bitterness, and resentment.``

Go back. Read it again, please. And again and again--however many times it takes you until you're ready to “put down your stones”. We didn’t come here to fight. 

“We are not perfect. The people around us are not perfect. People do things that annoy, disappoint, and anger. In this mortal life, it will always be that way. Nevertheless, we must let go our of grievances. Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn to let go of such things. That is the Lord´s way.

“Remember Heaven is filled with those who have this in common: they are forgiven and they FORGIVE.  Lay your burdens at the saviors feet. Let go of judgment.  Allow Christ’s atonement to change and heal your heart. Love one another. Forgive one another. The merciful will obtain mercy.``

Okay, so it wasn’t actually the readers digest-but I tried. I’m long-winded, you know. 

LOVE YOU GUYS. Have a great week. Lets all try to be a little more merciful and compassionate this week and it will do us all a lot of good. Be safe. Be good.

Love, Sister M. Seal

Photos-I wash dishes every day at the members house... They say I’m good-I wash like a Brazilian! Ha! But the photo is because of the cute apron. Hope grandma wants to help me make one just like it when i get home??? :)

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