I'm greeting y'all from my new area, the Provo Bonneville area! :D It definitely is a different world than Vernal, that's for sure. It was really weird to come into Provo for transfers, and I barely knew anyone here! A lot happens in 6 months, and especially when the last
time I was in Provo was three months ago to pick up Elder Kalamafoni, and we were some of the first to leave due to our 3 hour drive back to Vernal. Almost no one knew who I was, which happens, I guess, when I'm out in Vernal for 6 months. I'm grateful to be serving back in Utah Valley, but I know that the people I've come to love in Vernal will always have a place in my heart. I already really miss the people. I don't miss Vernal itself, but I miss the people that live there. :D Just to clarify.
My new area and companion are amazing! :D My new companion is Elder DeCoursey, and I'm glad he was in my zone when I served in Alpine, otherwise I wouldn't have known who he was. We're working on building the area here, and even though I know we have a lot in front of us still to work on, I know that this is, and will always be the Lord's work. :) It makes things a lot easier when I remember that the Lord is in charge, that this is His work, and because it's His work, I'm entitled to His help. :) Besides, how can I not succeed (besides just being absolutely and deliberately stupid) when He is on my side?
As I've been adjusting to being transferred, I've gone back through my journal and I've discovered an interesting cycle. I've tried to put it into an as easy to understand process as possible, but take a look:
The harder you decide to work in an area, the more you love the people.
The more you love the people, the more you build the area.
The more you build an area, the more the leadership trusts you.
The more the leadership trusts you, the more the members give you the
names of those they love.
The more the members give you the names of those they love, the better
you'll feel as you bring those people to Christ.
The better you'll feel as you bring those people to Christ, the more
you'll want to help find others. The more you'll want to help find
others, the harder it is to leave an area.
The harder it is to leave an area, the more it tests your faith in the
mission president receiving revelation.
The more your faith is tested in the fact that your mission president
receives revelation, the more that same testimony grows.
The more that same testimony grows, the harder you want to work in
your next area because you know you were sent there by Heavenly Father
who knows you can help someone/yourself there. The harder you want to
work in your next area, the more you love the people.
Yesterday during church, I was going through the hymnbook and just kinda sight-reading the different parts in my head, and one of the songs I found was hymn #188, "Thy Will, O Lord, Be Done". Something that really stuck out to me was the third verse, which reads:
No crown of thorns, no cruel cross;
Could make our great Redeemer shun.
He counted his own will but naught,
And said, "Thy will, O Lord, be done."
Our Savior has suffered so much for every single one of us. With His ultimate suffering in Gethsemane, with his humiliation by the Roman soldiers, his scourging at their hands, the pain of nailsd being driven into his hands, wrists, and feet, the sting of a spear being stabbed into his side... All for us, that we may be cleansed from any mistakes
we may commit, that we can be healed from any injustice, that we may know that we truly have a Savior, who knows every pain, every sickness, every unfairness, every temptation that we've ever experienced. He did it all for us. I would go so far as to say that even if I'd been the only one on this earth (boring thought, to be honest..), He still would've done this for me. May each of us remember what our Savior, our Redeemer has done for us, and strive to use this precious gift of the Atonement just a little bit more this week to be a little bit better, is what Elder Hamilton would love for everyone to begin working on this week, and then to continue working on it each and every week. :D
I love y'all!
- Elder Conrad Hamilton