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Why Do They Always Kill The Prophets?

Elder Rushton Pocket Badge

Elder Austin Rushton Mission Name Badge

Over the past week, there seemed to be one central theme: “Endure it well”.

D&C 121:8 reads, “And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.” This revelation came to Joseph Smith while he was in Liberty Jail  calling upon God for deliverance. I think we all know what enduring is, but enduring trials WELL is crucial for our development and growth. If we don’t learn to do it, we will endure trial after trial and never really gain anything.

All this week I’ve had to give ear to a lot of complaining, and not just from one source. I don’t feel it’s necessary to point to specific people, but I will point to a few examples. I’ve heard missionaries talk about how they hate their areas, investigators whine about their physical and/or financial problems, and members of the ward moan about, what are to me, very minor setbacks! Now, I can’t say that these people’s problems do not exist–they do–but what I will say is that complaining is NOT enduring our trials well. I’m not talking about asking others for help or telling someone about a problem you may be experiencing. What I’m talking about is murmuring: decrying circumstances seeking not for help or compassion, but for pity.

So the question that has been on my mind all week is, “how do I stop the complaining?” I didn’t want to just reciprocate the complaining, and I didn’t feel inclined to be rude with them…so instead I just decided not to complain, and to trust that God would correct them in His own due time. And do you know what…HE ALWAYS DID! Invariably God would help these people realize that they were getting nowhere, get them to pick themselves up, and get them moving forward with their lives. Missionaries’ adjusted to their areas, investigators learned to cope with their circumstances, and ward members learned to trust other people with their own lives. I know I’m a bit vague with all this, but I’m sure all of you have dealt with this at least once in your lives.

Besides this lesson, we are getting ever closer to a baptism. The woman we’ve been teaching just gave up coffee two days ago. She’s stocked up on Pepsi for the time being! But just yesterday she announced to everyone in Sunday School that she was going to be baptized, so this is pretty much a done deal. She’s already committed to tithing, chastity, and is attending church regularly. All the pieces are in place for her to become a fully integrated member of the church! We even educated her on the Temple garment last time and she was totally OK with it!

We have a lot of other people who are close as well. We just had another middle-aged woman move into the area who referred herself through mormon.org. She told us she had been working on becoming a member of the church when she moved here, so she’s already had most of the material taught to her. Her only real setback is that she’s on medical marijuana (Oregon, right?), but she’s searching for an alternative already.

We also have been bringing a less-active member of the church with us to a few lessons. We helped him build a shed, and he’s almost always available, so he’s a perfect guy for when we need a third male. He loves coming too, and ever since we’ve started bringing him along his whole family has been coming to church. His son even brought a nonmember one week.

Finally, I’ll mention all of the service we’ve been doing. We’ve been building a tin shed, painting walls, caulking the outside of a house, spraying wasp nests, we moved a dog run into a trailer without taking it apart (the owner didn’t want us to), and for one lady we shoveled dirt out of a metal trailer for an hour and a half at 1:00 in the afternoon. It’s been busy. Very very busy.

There have been a lot of fires around Medford lately. There were some lightning storms with no rain that started a bunch of them. Now there’s a smoky haze over the whole valley. The sun only stays its natural color for a few hours each day, then it turns orange at around 4:00, and red around 7:00. Hopefully they get those fires under control soon…

Love all of you. Hope all of your wildest dreams come true….

Elder Rushton – Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

 

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