Monday, April 3, 2017

Week #84--Listening

Week 84:

So the name of the game this week is listening. So as mentioned last week we went and played squash with some members from the branch and it was super fun but really tiring so when we came back for zone sports I was pretty tired. We then had dinner with our elders quorum president and his family. We talked about how we find peace or what we do when stressed and we each had different outlets and things we do that are good but most of these things are temporary and aren't lasting ways to peace. We then shared how Christ provides us with that peace we all so desperately and unconsciously need. We shared the new cards for the new Easter video on where a brand new video just came out on Friday... go check it out! We then got to experience FHE which unfortunately wasn't as glamorous as the last one.

Tuesday we met with a couple people and shared about the video and invited them to share it as well. The cards are super awesome and simple. On the front it's a picture of Christ and it can fit in the back of your phone or wallet. We also went and helped this non member lady who had seen our Kijiji Ad for free service move some stuff she really appreciated it and despite our efforts made us take 50 bucks. I mean who gives 50 bucks for service? So I'm excited to go buy something nice for myself.... Just kidding we put it in fast offerings :)

Wednesday we had a meeting in Bowmanville and then went and saw one of our members and we talked about how the gospel is sometimes hard, but it's worth it. I've found that for myself in my own life, that it seems the hardest thing are often the best ones for us, like eating healthy, exercising, studying for a test, practicing an instrument or working on your jump shot. It's easier to take the path more traveled but often it leads down rather than up. There's a quote I saw that says "If you're on the right path, it will be uphill" The gospel isn't the easiest thing in the world to live, from personal experience and living it, I can honestly say that, but it's worth it. We also went out for Thai food with one of our members Tim. It was super good and we had deep fried bananas.

Thursday had another meeting (wow there's so many meetings haha) We saw a couple prospective elders one of which was our new converts and invited them to start working towards receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood. We also met with a family for dinner and she was from London and knew the Stewarts-one of my favorite families back home. Our zone then all had to drive through Toronto as we had a temple trip the next day in Brampton which is just west of Toronto. On the way we gave a challenge out to everyone to find different kinds of cars while driving through the city including a smart car, a hummer, fiat and a punch buggy. Also a part of the challenge was to contact someone while in a car. It was fun. We got to Mississauga early which is where we were staying so we went and contacted, it was snowing/hailing/raining and we got denied a couple times but I was having so much fun and was trying not to laugh just being out in a different place contacting and in the city with all the weather. The next day we had the temple trip where I was able to see some of my past companions. The temple was good and was able to have a good experience.
 On the way back from the temple we got caught in traffic which was unfortunate cause traffic for me is just the worst thing and it really tests my patience (so maybe it's the best thing?). We stopped by the lady's house who we had helped with service earlier and helped her with some stuff in the backyard she was still pretty amazed at what we do and how we don't accept payment. We were talking and she really opened up about her life and asked us questions about marriage and its importance and divorce as she had been divorced and we talked about many other things with her and she expressed really some of the hardships she had been facing and how her family was in a sense breaking up. It was really sad, but we really just listened. By the end she was telling us things you wouldn't normally tell two 20 year old kids, but that's the magic of listening. I truly believe that everyone has something say and to express to someone else. That is without question, the one thing I think the world is in shortage of-- is listeners. We all want to be heard and we had a really had a good experience with this lady and ended up giving her the sisters number because she was not YSA age. That's the great thing about prayer I guess, is that you can talk all you want and know that someone is truly listening.

The next couple of days, we had general conference which is when the leaders of the church (prophets and apostles) speak to the world and help us know what we can do to find peace avoid the troubles of today.

On Saturday before the priesthood session we went to Jimmy Guacos, a really good Mexican food place that's also super pricey but good. I'm probably not going to go into too much depth on talks and which was my favorite and all that but invite you to go and watch for yourself on During Elder Stevenson's talk I did have an experience that I'll share.... So earlier either that day or sometime during a session I had built up some anger and frustration. I was looking at the area I had been assigned to labor in and was kinda just tired. I looked at the area and wondered why it wasn't where it should've been. I had tried new things, worked pretty hard, tried working with members, talked to tons of people and other stuff and still it was not there. I feel like I had done almost everything I could and didn't see really anything. I was tired. Therefore some anger built up inside of me and tension and then during Elder Stevenson's talk on the Holy Ghost, I felt it. Call me crazy but I felt peace. It filled my whole chest to a point where I thought I needed to breathe. I still wanted to feel bitter and angry and sorry for myself and so I tried to get rid of the feeling I was feeling by focusing on these things. Couldn't do it. The feeling wouldn't leave and I felt like "it's going to be ok" I can't really describe in too much detail but I felt good and calm. It was a great experience and I guess I really needed it cause it wouldn't go away even when I tried. I think it's interesting how we can always feel this way but just like how I was prideful and wanted to stay in my darkness, as people we generally do the same. The sun is always shining but instead of embracing it we sit in the shade and expect the sun to change for us. It doesn't work that way. We need to embrace it. I was pretty lucky that God basically backhanded me with the Spirit cause otherwise I would have stayed in that shade and never have had that experience. There was a few talks on the Spirit and the whole conference for the most part was on basic truths, which is we follow can truly allow us to feel that peace. So lessons learned this week- the hardest experiences are often the best for us, listening is key, and going towards the light rather than waiting is always best.

Have a great week and watch some conference.

-Elder Toly (ps I lied when I said I wasn't gonna share too much about conference

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