Date

April 4, 2017

Area

Damascus, Maryland

Companion

Elder Tucker

Reflect

Hey everyone! I got a bunch of emails this week, so my email might be a little shorter. This week was good. Still working with all of our investigators, those on date are still on date, and things seem to be pressing forward! I love my new companion, we are super alike, some of you may remember my old companion Elder Dyer, he's a lot like him. Anyways, I wanted to get right into my thought this week ;)

This week for my thought, I wanted to talk about something very important, and I think its really relevant with my birthday being today ;) If you didn't know already!I Haha! I was pondering a lot yesterday about what General Conference means to me…for those of you that don’t know what this is, it’s when the Apostles and Prophets of the Church come together and speak to us via satellite, television, internet, etc. A prophet of God and his apostles and other servants address us, and give us counsel, and teach us how to apply principles that are taught in the conference. If we look deep enough, we will understand a powerful parallel. That this is what Christ did. He gathered his followers together and taught them the words of eternal life. The things that were necessary for their salvation, just as these words are necessary for ours. Again in modern times the Lord Jesus Christ gathers together his followers, His "saints" to hear the words, and to ponder in their hearts the message they contain. Of course because of modern technology we are able to "gather" by way of internet, television, and even radio. Reaching more and more people every year. I think Joseph Smith was speaking for the Lord when he said "This church will fill the rocky mountains, and one day the whole earth." I believe that, I know that! The hastening of God's work is happening now! My intended topic today was based upon renewal, refreshing, and even the re-establishment of our commitment to the savior Jesus Christ. Throughout our lives, in many different ways, we get clean slates. We start anew by recommitting to old goals and starting new ones. In short starting anew or receiving a clean slate is a major part of our mortal lives. Over the last couple weeks leading up to my 20th Birthday, I have had a lot of time to reflect, on the person I've become in my short existence. I have thought of my strengths and my weaknesses, my weaknesses that have become strengths, and even my strengths that have become weaknesses. I have reflected on my physical and spiritual development; my relationships I have made, lost, and those that have plateaued. I have reflected upon my decisions I've made in my life both good and bad. I have reflected upon my effective utilization (and ineffective) of my knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and whether or not I have acted upon it. Most importantly, I have reflected, prayed fervently, and sought diligently to know where I stand in the eyes of my father in Heaven. Milestone, checkpoints, turning points, renewal, and refreshing, all came to mind, as I was pondering what I was doing. What I noticed is that we have many of these throughout our lives. Mainly, I believe, because the Holy ghost has prompted us, essentially he says "it's time, lets move forward, keep the end in mind, and lets move forward." Whether you have had this experience because of general conference, a stake conference, a birthday, a beginning of a new year, and event that has taken place, or even because of your nightly prayers, I encourage you to reflect, understand your goal, and move forward. These moments of clarity we receive in our lives are from God and I promise that as you listen to them, you will be lifted from where ever you are to higher ground. This is God's plan, the plan of Happiness! As we repent, we move forward leaving old things in the past, He intended it to be this way. I testify of my Savior, that he died and suffered for our sins, he alleviates our pains, and can carry us when we are to weak to go on. He speaks to his servants who in turn have given us divine direction to help guide our lives on the correct path (cause there is only one). This is true, repent move forward and God will be with us! In the name of our savior, even Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love you all,
Elder Shouse




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