Hello, my fine first-world friends! I hope your life is properly filled with happiness and joy and pre-Christmas excitement. Ours certainly is (maybe because we found Mr. Krueger's Christmas on the floor one night). This week was a little hectic, and included a Leadership Council in Huancayo. We had to travel a great deal, but I was fine with that because I realized my life-long dream (ever since I saw The Fellowship of the Ring ten years ago) to be invited to a secret council. This week was awesome, with a ton of work and lots of new investigators; families to be converted unto exaltation; troubled youth to be set right; and people to hear the good word of God. Ah, what a life.
I've been thinking about a powerful scripture in Paul's writings, in Philippians 3:10. Paul is talking about everything he gave up for the church, and explains why with, 'That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made comformable unto his death.' The phrase that sticks out for me is, "fellowship of his sufferings". Christ has taken upon him all pain, and to qualify for His company we must know a portion of what that means. When we suffer for the sake of righteousness, then, we're fighting in the most worthy cause the world has seen. Do we laud pleasure-seekers and arrogance in our heroes? We would rather give our highest regard to the most socially, physically, and emotionally weak so long as they are suffering for what's morally right. By the very association or support we give them, we hold our heads up higher and feel better about ourselves- even by viewing something heroic, we are reminded that any righteous agony brings a more solid joy than any purposeless pleasure. James and John once wanted places at the side of the throne of God, and Christ replied that they would indeed soon know of His bitter cup. What is the connection between their question and His answer? Elder Holland once explained quite powerfully, "The cup and the throne were inextricably linked, and they could not be given separately." I know that. I know Christ's fellowship will make our pains and our victories reasons to hold our heads high, fighting, in our small way, for the same cause as the greatest souls who ever lived. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I'm sorry I haven't written for a while on the blog...life has been a little hectic recently. Luckily, I have pictures to compensate!
The Super Secret Council
My trainer, Papa Chujo, and I (reunion after about ten months)
Me, pondering and studying deeply
Me, with my favorite Liahona issue from the 1990s.
Me and my companion getting ready to save the world.