Monday, September 5, 2016

Happiness Within

Last week I showed some pictures of waterfalls that we visited, and our baptismal service of two young men, Benji and Jerson. It was nice to see them finally become members, as they are good kids who converted fully.

This week we talked with a decent number of people who were open and ready to listen. As we talked them through many of their problems, concerns, and questions, I began to notice a difference here. Despite the paradisiacal climate, liberality, and friendliness here, we have more people who are depressed and struggling with darker problems than I've seen in any other area. Dusk is always accompanied with community volleyball games scattered about the town; there are always activities such as fairs and parades in the main plaza; a shaved ice or ice cream stand is always nearby. However, it all not only seems to make no one markedly happier but perhaps inhibits anyone from finding real joy. 

I think our minds sustain a certain level of happiness.  Situations don't matter a ton...have you ever noticed how even when you have relatively few problems in life, you merely place much more importance in the small stresses and worries? In which case, trying to change our situation is hacking at the wrong tree. We sustain a higher level of joy by drawing nearer to God and keeping His commandments. I can see in several people we're visiting the healing in their minds and souls as they start to experience the Gospel. In Christ's teachings in Matthew 6:20-21, He said, 'But lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal; For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.' I know there is no other way to find lasting peace than to follow Christ and His Gospel.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.