|Our new district! (Except the other two hermanas just got taken out!) |
We are now a zebra district (both Spanish and English missionaries put together)
|Hermana Black and I matched!|
This weekend was GENERAL CONFERENCE!!! (The best weekend of the whole year!) We got to listen to our prophet and living Apostles. I learned so much! If you missed it you can read or watch what they had to say at lds.org.
A few weeks ago we had a really great Gospel Principles lesson about fasting. This week I have been thinking a lot and studying about fasting and why Christ would ask us to fast. (Fasting: To go without food or drink for a set period of time.) I would ask you all to think about what makes someone good at something. As a society we tend to look at the success stories of the outliers like Bill Gates or the Beatles and notice that they didn't do things like go to college and think that we don't have to "work" to be successful. But, we don't always look a the backstories. Bill Gates had access to computer programming equipment (which was rare) and spent 16 hours a day programming. He would literally eat while he was programming and only stop to sleep. The Beatles would perform live music for eight hours straight every night (which is way draining!) While we are born with natural abilities, we have to work to be great at something.
In Doctrine and Covenants section 93 (Revelation received by the prophet Joseph Smith) we learn that Christ himself "received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness; And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first." Jesus Christ himself had to put forth effort. He had to receive grace by grace, it didn't all come at once.
In Luke 4 we read an account of Christ fasting for 40 days before he began his ministry. I do not know all of the reasons why Christ fasted, but we read later on in the chapter that after he fasted he taught with power (v. 32), cast out a devil (v. 34-35), and healed (v. 39). He also fasted before he had to make an important decision; in the next chapter he calls his Apostles.
In Mark 9:18 we read about how the Apostles (who held the Priesthood) were unable to perform a miracle and cast out an evil spirit. I am sure the Apostles were being obedient and were putting forth effort. Later on, Christ comes and performs the miracle. The Apostles ask why they were unable to perform the miracle and Christ tells them (in verse 29) that "this kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting."
In the Book of Mormon we read in Mosiah 27 about Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah. Alma and Mosiah have kids that aren't just being bad and rebelling, but they are taking people away from the church. We know that later on they become some of the best missionaries and leaders in the scriptures, but at this point they hadn't repented yet. I can imagine that Alma and Mosiah were concerned about their kids and did a lot of fasting and praying. The Lord sends an angel to them, He didn't have to do that, but he did. In verse 14 the angel says he was sent because "the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith." (It doesn't specifically mention fasting here, but the verses that follow imply that they fasted as well as prayed.) Alma is then in shock and is unable to speak. The people then take Alma to his father. You might think that his father would be concerned, but we read he "rejoiced, for he knew that it was the power of God." He then desires for Alma to regain consciousness again so that he will be able to testify to the people of the power of God. We read in verse 22 that he gathers the priests together and tells them to fast and pray. They fasted for two days! (Fasting for 24 hours is hard enough, I can imagine they were struggling after the first 24 hours and then Alma asked them to go for another 24!) Because of their faith Alma regains consciousness, and he goes on to change the lives of others because of his conversion.
This was kind of long, but I know fasting is powerful. Fasting coupled with prayer has the power to change lives. Heavenly Father already has everything, the only thing we can give Him that He doesn't already have is our will. Fasting weakens our bodies but strengthens our spirits. Fasting helps us have self control, not just in eating, but in other aspects as well.
Que tengan una buena semana!
Also, I would invite you all to watch this short video! There are so many bad things going on in the world. But, there is a source of peace that can change your lives! (click the link)
|Carol finished the Book of Mormon! We went over to read the last chapter together! I love her so much, and it's crazy to think we knocked her door back in October!|
|We found a space cat mural|