July 3, 2017




Elder Strong

Last Transfer

Happy Monday
I shared with only a couple of you last week
that I was transfered this last week. I am now back in San
Antonio in the WIndcrest ward. I was sad to be transferred
though I am also happy to go where I'm needed.
I  have quickly come to realize I am no longer
in the hill country of Texas where I have spent about 23
months of my mission. I am in the city now which brings a
few changes. It has been almost like a whole new world. My
companion Elder Strong has only been out for two transfers
and already has more crazy stories than I do. People in
these parts are.. Well let's just say by the end of it I
think I may have some more crazy stories! I mean I was asked
to speak in tongues this week.
I can't think of anyting incredibly
exciting to share so i'll share a some of my recent
pondering thoughts. My mission will be ending very soon. I
am now in my last transfer, my last area, my last companion
and so forth. My father said something in an email to me
recently that I revere. He told me "constant change is
precipitous of growth." That my friends, is doctrine.
As I approach the end ironcially enough I feel like there is
more and more I need to change. One might think 'you are
at the end, wouldn't you have chagned all that
you've needed to already? Haven't you already
mastered all that you can?' Elder Villareal, an area
seventy, once visited us in an MLC. He was a mission
president in Mexico and he told us "I used to tell my
missionaries not to worry about or think about the time they
have left in thier missions. I told them that they should
always serve as if they have a year left and that's what
they should tell people when they asked. I have since
repented of that." He went on to compare our time in
the mission to a 1600 meter race. In this kind of race the
athlete normally has a pace as they start. But the last lap
is ran a bit differnt. More effort is exerted and they run
harder and harder and as the are rounding the last corner
they are giving it  everyting they have! I am striving to
be a spiritual athlete in that way. What's great is this
doesn't have to stop. It actually shouldn't. I
won't be able to be as consecrated as I am now but I
should still be doing a little more everyday. Imagine if I
started, lets say squating one pound tomorrow adding a pound
every single day.  A seemingly simple task that may seem
negligible with the finite vision given of the natural man.
But with a perspecitve looking out upon only 4 years and
lets say I am only lifting about half a pound. By the end of
those four years I'd be squating 730 pounds! Now imagine
an eternal perspective. Of course we won't be squating
through the eternites and probably not even through the end
of this life as our bodies are mortal and will fail. But we
can spiritually progress throughout this life and we must
"For behold, this life is the time for men [and women]
to prepare to meet God;" (Alma 34:32) As we get closer
and closer to the end of our lives each day we must prepare
more and more to meet our maker. As we do this repenting
daily our spiritual capacity to change becomes more. We
become more like our Savior half a pound at a time. "By
small and simple things are great things come to pass"
(Alma 37:6)
Have a happy Independence Day! I love you all.
Elder Baker


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