Friday, September 27, 2013

"I am the way, the truth and the life" John 14:6

 Hello! I am so sorry for not blogging last week. I will be completely honest with you, I just plain forgot. I hope no one was waiting eagerly by the computer for my post, but if you were I will try and make this week's entry extra wonderful just for you. 

I have wonderful news. I got transferred! Not only did I get transferred, but I have been assigned to labor in paradise. I now live on a gorgeous little island called Jeju. It has palm trees framing stunning ocean views. I'm in love. Not to mention that my house has more than one room now! I've officially upgraded to a two-room apartment. It feels as if I'm living in a palace. I can already tell it's going to feel quite overwhelming when I go back to the US and live in an American sized uber-house again. 

The branch in Jeju is wonderful as there are actually members here, which is a welcomed change. Our branch has around 50 people coming every week. I feel so blessed to be in this area. Hopefully I get to stay in paradise for a little while. 

I have a secret confession to make. I actually think it is the second one that I have disclosed so far. Of course they both have to do with food. Last night I ate pasta with octopus, and I loved it. What's happening to my squeamishness at eating things with tentacles and eyes attached? I'm not sure, but I think I'm just going to go with it. 

I came across a talk this week by Elder Holland and it touched me so much that I wanted to share its message with you. The talk is called Broken Things to Mend. One thing that particularly stood out to me is was trust. Talking about Christ he says: "He is saying to us, 'Trust me, learn of me, do what I do. Then when you walk where I am going,' He says, 'We (you and your Savior), can talk about where you are going, and the problems you face and the troubles you have. If you will follow me, I will lead you out of darkness'.... When He says to the poor in spirit, 'come unto me,' He means He knows the way out and He knows the way up. He knows it because He has walked it. He knows the way because He is the way."

The first thing Christ asks us to do is walk His walk. If we expect Him to lead us along we have to get on the path that He would walk if He were here, and tend to the things he would do. If we want to follow Him we can't jump on the highway with our friends and drive in the opposite direction and then think He will lead us along a back-country road that often leads to dead ends. Instead we need to head the signs that are placed along the road to mark the path that He has set out for His followers. The road that takes us full circle back to our Father in Heaven.

 More often than not that path is not easy. There are so many neon signs with pretty colors and enticing slogans that the plain and simple signs of Christ seem dull in comparison. As we look ahead sometimes it seems like we can take the flashy road and still be able to exit off when we need nourishment or rest. Sadly, it is often difficult to get off the wrong path. Sometimes I think we tend to keep plowing ahead down the wrong road is because we figure that it easier to stay on the path we chose rather than searching for an exit leading to a better path. It doesn’t matter how we started down the road, either following the Saviors road signs, or being diverted by the neon signs, getting on and staying on the road that takes us home to our Father takes trust. To confuse the issue even more is that guidance doesn't come until after we choose His path. We have to make a conscientious decision to follow Him first before we can recognize the sins before us. So while we're finding our way either to, or along, Christ’s path we have to trust that He will lead us along as soon as we get close enough to grab His hand. 

Christ is the way. He is the way out of darkness, shame, misery, fear, and hopelessness.  His path leads us toward light, grace, joy, and hope. He is the path up, the way forward and the way back. He set an example for us with His life.  His actions are our posted signs. Following His example of Christ like forgiveness, charity, and love help us recognize His path and then keep us on it. This applies to all aspects of our life; in our homes, at school, at work, with our spouse or children, in our business dealings, and with strangers we meet along the road. If we truly strive to live as He lived we will never stray from His path. If we follow His path we will never be lost. His path is the only way Home. Even if we take a wrong turn all we need to do is pray, search the scriptures, follow the commandments and commit to heeding His road signs set before us. It is then, after we have sought Him out, that He will take us by the hand and lead us straight back to our Heavenly Father. 

I love you all and hope you are well.
Love Sister Annie

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