For the other parts of Cubulco all is well and we are having a lot of success these past weeks, although it has been the Christmas season and all the people are leaving on vacation.. we have been able really strenghten the members that are here... so that after the Christmas season they will be able to strengthen the members who didnt really come to chruch during this season... so we are a little bit excited for the month of January! And the whole next year!!!!
As for me in this year and a half (not quite but on my way there) in the mission I have really come to love my Savior a lot more and this really have been the best 16 months of my life... I just want to share with you guys my feelings, (I know it isnt common from me but we are at a special time of the year) about the gospel. Recently I have been studying a little bit about the difference between the flesh and the spirit.... and how we need to put of the flesh of our body (not literally but theoretically) and let the spirit take control of the things that we do... this includes when we do something good that we dont really want to do we have officially put to one side our wants and let the spirit take over... Or in other words if you want up sunday morning at 8 and you dont have the desire to go to church YOU GO... Because that is officially when you have put off the flesh and are following the spirit, which always will tell you to go to church it doesnt matter what the circumstances are. So when I came into the mission I came for many reasons of the flesh... ex. to learn a new language, to get to know a different place, to figure out how to talk to people and many reasons more... and my reasons of the spirit were few... Obviously I wanted to serve Christ or I wouldnt have come... but I have come to realize that to be successful in the mission it takes a lot more than just a desire of your heart... it takes a desire from your spirit. For those that are going to serve a mission learn that, now! And I promise that your mission will be 29387 million times better!
I have learned so much over these months.. but the thing that I believe that I learned that is the most important thing... is how to be happy... DOESN`T MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCE OR WHATEVER IS GOING ON IN OUR LIVES WE NEED TO BE HAPPY AND FOLLOW CHRIST! The scriptures teach us that we cannot have happiness if we are men of the flesh.. or as they put it ¨the natural man¨ cannot be a happy man... We must be completely enveloped in the spirit to have joy... but it also tells us that to have a perfect joy we must have a body... and so in other words our spirit must be so strong that the flesh doesnt interfere with our spirit but it is still present. Or like the common phrase we must be in the world, and not of the world... the same goes for our body/flesh... we must be in our body but not of our body... To obtain joy!!
So in this Christmas season dont look for other things that are of the flesh to make you happy or to bring you joy... let your spirit take over and bring you this joy... To finish this long email... I want you guys to look at the difference in matthew 5:48 and 3 nephi 12:48... basically these 2 chapters are word for word the same... basically. BUT there is an important difference in these two scriptures that explains a little bit of what I was saying... it has to do with the resurrection of Christ and the difference between him before the death and after the death... I hope you can figure out this difference and what it really takes to have a true joy this christmas season... and how important it is that Christ died, AND RESURRECTED for us... so that one day we might be able to have a perfect joy like him.... I am a joyful person these days... but not for the success in the mission, not for the christmas season... but because I have understood the true meaning of having joy and learned how I can have this joy!
I love you all and this is my testimony of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints.. I know that it is the true church and that through this church we can have joy... and I share this with you guys in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Love Elder Stuart
P.S. Sorry for the long letter.