July 13, 2015

Email No. 26


So. I am being transferred!! Crazy town right now. On one hand I am really sad because I absolutely LOVED this area and am really going to miss all the people I have grown to love. But on the other hand I am super excited because #1 I am going senior companion (only reason I am excited about that is because I get to drive) and #2 I am going to Ellsworth, Maine!! I am super pumped about that. I have been told it is absolutely gorgeous there and my area will include Bar Harbor. It is a coastal area so it is sure to be awesome. 

Unfortunately I did not bring my note that reminds me what we did this week so I will try my best to remember.

On Monday we headed up to the Smalls! The whole Hope- Smith family was there and it was an absolutely blast. We went wild raspberry picking next to the pond. We also had some spicy spaghetti and meat balls and the. Had the best home made bread ever and then had Family Home Evening with all of them. Oh man it was so much fun. During the lesson, it was so spiritual.  Everyone was feeling the Spirit. In our whole group, there were investigators, active members, less active members, and recent converts. So as a result, the lesson was so amazing. The Spirit was so strong. 

I wanted to share with you the study I did on hope this past week. I won't be able to include all of it, but I will try my best.

As I was looking through some of the scriptures on hope I come across one that really enlightened me. It is found in Alma 58. In this certain section of the Book of Mormon there are tons of wars going on, commonly known as the "war chapters". In this certain account the small Nephite army had just gone through many months of hunger, fatigue, and discouragement. Their army was puny compared to the enemy and they were not capable of going to battle against them. After many months of just sitting and waiting while the Lamanite army was "sallying forth against" them (all the while, the Lamanites were receiving strength and provisions), a small bit of encouragement came their way in the form of two thousand men and some meager provisions. I believe that the amount they received was just enough to keep them from " [perishing] for want of food." Needless to say, they were grateful, but still some what discouraged. What came next is where the lesson of hope comes in: 

10 Therefore we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, yea, and also give us strength that we might retain our cities, and our lands, and our possessions, for the support of our people.

11 Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him.

Did they get immediate deliverance from their enemies? No. Did they immediately gain back their "cities and [their] lands, and [their] possessions"? No. So what was the answer the Lord gave them? The answer is found in verse 11. He gave them assurance that all will be well; that they eventually would receive deliverance. Sometimes, the Lord (as most of us know very well) doesn't answer our prayers right away. The immediate deliverance we long for doesn't come. What keeps us going? Hope.

As I sat pondering this account of God's people and trying to connect it to hope, I came to the conclusion that hope comes after and during our exercise of faith. Faith is a principle of action. In order to have true faith in Jesus Christ we must act. "For we know that is by grace that we are saved after all we can do." As we have faith, we do all we can. We continue on forward. But sometimes that saving doesn't come right away. Sometimes that saving or deliverance won't come until years from now, possibly not even until the next life. That is where hope comes in. "Which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men." Hope grounds us. It keeps us anchored amid the stormy seas of life. Hope is the belief that eventually deliverance will come because of our Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I believe that hope is manifested in patience. In Preach My Gospelwe read, "Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. It is believing and expecting that something will occur. When you have hope, you work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for your good. Hope helps you conquer discouragement." Our hope is rooted from the Savior. 

In this life we are to become like the Savior, who was 100% selfless. So why is it that an attribute of Christ, is that of hope? He is perfect! Why would He need to have hope? Of course He knows that wonderful things are to come! Of course He completely trusts! For heavens sake, He performed the Atonement! My answer is that He had hope because His hope was a hope that lifted others. His attribute of hope was there in order to help others, not just Himself. How beautiful. We are meant to become completely selfless; to only do things for others. Ultimately our hope is to become a selfless hope; a hope that will lift others. Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, "Being blessed with hope, let us, as disciples, reach out to all who, for whatever reason, have ‘moved away from the hope of the gospel’ (Col. 1:23). Let us reach to lift hands which hang hopelessly down." 

My friends and family, the Savior lives. 

Sister Grace Sewell 

Me and Hailie.  Holy cow I am going to miss this girl.

Me, Toni, Danielle and her daughter. Sammy.  Aka the cutest girl in the world.

Pink lemonade Popsicles!

Currently sitting in the basement of the Milo library.  It is old.  And smells like old books.

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