Choose This Day

22 December 2014

Merry Christmas dear friends and family

I have pondered about what I can do differently, change, do/give more of (or perhaps less of as in 'bury a weapon of rebellion') in order to more fully participate in and keep pace, to be a force for good, and a contributing factor to the Lord. I have struggled greatly with faith and motivation as I have been out here. I notice on days when I doubt it is difficult to get motivated and I allow such thoughts and feelings to dictate the day. One prayer can truly change an attitude, but it has to be sincere. This is Heavenly Father's work, and missionaries are His instruments. I need to have faith that if we are being exactly obedient and working diligently that He will bless us and the people that we serve to "hasten His work." 

I can trust more wholeheartedly in the Lord. Make a game plan for the day but if things fall through I can move forward in faith and as Nephi, "be led by the spirit not knowing beforehand, the things which I should do." I can change my attitude. I can trust that Heavenly Father knows me and truly believe it. Even though I have my weaknesses He promises to "make weak things to become strong" and that he "calls the weak things of the world". I can give up or "bury a weapon of rebellion" such as my pride and wanting to do lessons my way, it is never my work. I do not want to become jaded out here. To be more faithful and more humble is how I can keep pace with the Lord as He hastens His work. I need to trust in His plan for this area, for me and my companion.

Elder Bednar has said: "If we always do what we've always done then we'll always get what we've always gotten." He then went on to ask a question: "Will we keep pace with the Lord as He hastens His work or will we insist on doing things the way they have always been done, or the ways we are accustomed to or comfortable with?" 

We cannot grow in the comfort zone. I promise you that if you step out of the box harder things today, will become easier the next day if you choose to serve the Lord this day. Just keep swimming as Dori says. In fact here's a cool experience: So I am the worst at directions, I'm coming up to the end of my training (12 weeks) and I still cant find my way around most places... or so I thought: Last Wednesday I exchanged with another Elder who is fairly new and he was coming to my area. Our entire week had appointments lined up except for this one day. So here's the scenario: Zero appointments, we have no idea where we are going, and a new Elder. I prayed so hard the night before. As the exchange happened I confidently exclaimed that today "will be our busiest and most rewarding day on our mission!" I knew that if we put our trust in the Lord doubting nothing that miracles will proceed. We returned to our home at the end of the day having visited 15 families and individuals and setting even more appointments for the following week. We also rode our bikes around town without getting lost, in fact we pulled out our handy trusty map just once (the house we were looking for turned out to be on the next street over) and my companion of the day said, "Thank you Elder Jalla for reigniting the fire in this missionary's heart." I replied, "It was never me nor ever will it be about me." but thanked him nonetheless. :) We talked about how awesome missionary work is and how Heavenly Father is ever in the details of our lives. 

This work is true and it is the greatest work ever! And whether you wear a badge or not you can be a part of it! Choose this day whom you will serve. Do not withhold blessings that are just waiting to be poured out upon you. Complacency and discouragement comes when you stay in the comfort zone. Be of good cheer my dear friends and family. The Lord is ever mindful and watchful of you. 

Merry Christmas everyone! I wanted to write a Christmas e-mail but I realized I did that last week :) 

If anyone wants to know what to get me for Christmas here's my list:
1. Commit to read the Book of Mormon with a focus in mind. This time around will be "Remembrance" for my read through
2. Write me! I want to know how you are doing! Yes, this is to you! (For those that have already written me---I LOVE YOU, keep em comin') Haha jk. 
3. I would like some pens... I lost my pens, one kid ate my pen... LOL it was funny, and my other pens ran out of ink. Ball point pleaseeeee

I am just joking. You don't have to give me anything. Just enjoy this Christmas season and that will be enough for me. I truly miss and love you all. May you ever remember that there is One who will and does love you more than you can possibly comprehend or imagine and it is Him in whom we celebrate this holiday season. 

Your eternal brother and fellow missionary,
Elder Jalla

Peachwood Ward Youth Decorated Their Apartment

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