October 15, 2017
Elder Brad Halverson
Goodbye Lotus Flower
This week was pretty crazy. On top of the monsoon that was happening, we also caught the tail end of a typhoon. Needless to say, it rained... a lot. It actually rained harder than I have ever seen before. There was one night that we were coming home from kind of far away, and the rain was so hard, that it was legitimately stinging my arms. Everywhere was flooding so bad. There were points where the water was like 4-6 inches on the street and the drains were spewing up water. It was whack! Pretty fun though.
This week we also had interviews. They were pretty interesting. I cant say it was out of no where, but pretty unexpectedly during the interview, President Jergensen said "Elder Sproul, you need to learn how to rely on God. You are smart and capable and you know what you are doing, but because of that, you have only been relying on the arm of the flesh. The thing that will bless your life the most, is to learn how to really rely on God." It blew me away. It was very powerful and pretty forceful the way that he said it. Very full of love, but it was incredibly direct. I totally agreed and asked how he suggested I go about doing that. He told me that it was up to me to figure it out. Well as I was pondering on it, it exposed some pretty interesting things. I realized how stubborn and full of self will I was in regards to my life. It was as if I was saying to God "No, I know better than you about what is good for me, and how to build Your kingdom." I realized that in certain aspects, I didnt trust God completely. I thought I did, but I realized that wasnt reality. It was actually kind of mind blowing but, as with any hard change, it was a pretty uncomfortable realization and I knew I was going to need God's help to even accept what he wanted me to do. I basically told Heavenly Father that I didnt even want to want to make those changes. I prayed that he would soften my heart and help me to desire His will. As I was pondering over those things, King Lamoni's father popped into my head. After hearing the Gospel from Aaron he said "What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy....I will give away all my sins to know thee." The words "I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom... I will give away all my sins to know thee" echoed in my head over and over. I had to ask myself, was I willing to give up all my sins? Was I really willing to give up all that I possess? Was I willing to forsake my "kingdom"? These questions have caused me to lose sleep over the last several days. I know this is what God expects of me but for some reason the idea of that scares me. You know I cant say that I am ready yet, but I do believe in miracles because God has softened my heart at a miraculous pace. Sometimes we have to be willing to echo what Christ, our perfect example, said in Gethsemane "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."
Needless to say, this week has been pretty awesome! Its weird though, its probably my last week here in Hualian. Im going to miss it a lot. The work has not been easy here, but I most definitely have grown a ton. Time has gone far too quickly here.