November 9, 2015 – When things are hard, can we Persevere?

Week 44 tid-bits

I had another very bittersweet week the past 7 days.  There were a lot of good things that happened but also many things that put me down. So this was a week that was full of miracle after miracle after miracle concerning our numbers that we turned in.  I taught the most amount of lessons, solid ones as well, that I have ever taught in a week on my mission this past week.  Elder Grasinger and I taught 47 lessons, which does not include all of the lessons that we taught to fully active members throughout the week from dinner thoughts, or dinner thought follow-ups that we did this week.  We just taught lesson after lesson after lesson and although I never got tired of teaching, since that is my favorite thing to do, I did get tired of the lessons not going anywhere.

I hadn’t really written much for last week as I hadn’t had the will to, but that was all I had written so I just thought I send it on top of week 45

Week 45

This was a week of growth for myself.  So I apologize for not writing my email last week.  But I had an emotionally grueling week starting from last Sunday through this past Friday.  I don’t fully understand what happened but I was overcome with a huge amount of overbearing stress and sadness.  And the sadness didn’t really leave throughout the week but would come stronger in waves.  Sunday through Monday evening was the first wave, then again on Tuesday evening, and again on Thursday evening during dinner.  It was strange since each time the feelings came back, they came back heavier and heavier and I could not find a cause of any kind, at least that was rational throughout the entire week.  It was the main reason I didn’t write last week.  I just lost the will to do really anything last P-Day, but I am generally fine now. So as I spent much of my free time in the week trying to find the source of what was causing these feelings, I took a step back and did many personal inventories with my self which involved making sure that it wasn’t any sort of worthiness issues or lack of confidence in my testimony or purpose, or lack of confidence in myself or anything like that.  The conclusion I ended up coming to was that this sadness had no cause that I was going to be finding out anytime soon and that if I wanted to continue working without having a mental breakdown I needed to take some sort of different avenue of action immediately.  I decided to just take a different approach basically did a manual override on my feelings, as silly as that sounds, and forced myself to be happy at the family’s home that I ate dinner with on Friday evening.  I could feel another wave or unseen force of gloom and sadness coming on and so to avoid it at all costs I just closed my eyes at the family’s table and disregarded how it would look to everyone and said a silent prayer asking to just be filled with the Spirit as a means whereby I could kind of just be filled with a brief steroid of happiness that would help me get out of this misery I was afraid of being overcome with again, and especially in front of the Hermanas and members.  And a few moments after the prayer, my mind did a complete 180 and I started being happy, and evening forced myself to smile too.  We left the home of the members and I just began irrationally joking and trying to find and make reasons for myself to laugh and for my companion and the Hermanas to laugh.  They were all caught off guard after the way I had been acting all week but just went with it and joined in on the happiness and joy.  It was very uplifting for all of us, especially for one of the Hermanas who had also been experiencing some severe depression that week because of the work.  I ended up being in such a happy mood that it started affecting everyone else that I came in contact with that evening which would just bounce back onto me helping myself remain happy through to the end of the day.  The week ended well but there were some hardships for me.

I also learned something really cool this week about Faith.  I read Ether 12 many times last week.  And after having read it so many times I ended up learn some interesting things from it.  I read some excerpts of talks by Elder Holland and Elder Scott on Faith that I thought were extremely cool and enlightening.  I will post them here:

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Trials of faith do not always come in the form of adversity.

Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that sometimes “the trial of [our] faith” is simply a matter of exercising our faith: “You can learn to use faith more effectively by applying this principle taught by Moroni: ‘Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith’ [Ether 12:6; italics added]. Thus, every time you try your faith–that is, act in worthiness on an impression–you will receive the confirming evidence of the Spirit. Those feelings will fortify your faith. As you repeat that pattern, your faith will become stronger” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2003, 79; or Ensign, May 2003, 76).

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote of the various levels of faith we experience and the prerequisites for the expression of them: “Preparatory faith is formed by experiences in the past–by the known, which provides a basis for belief. But redemptive faith must often be exercised toward experiences in the future–the unknown, which provides an opportunity for the miraculous. Exacting faith, mountain-moving faith, faith like that of the brother of Jared, precedes the miracle and the knowledge. He had to believe before God spoke. He had to act before the ability to complete that action was apparent. He had to commit to the complete experience in advance of even the first segment of its realization. Faith is to agree unconditionally–and in advance–to whatever conditions God may require in both the near and distant future” (Christ and the New Covenant [1997], 18–19).

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And the cool thing about Preparatory faith and Redemptive faith is this.  Since Preparatory faith is basically our testimonial foundation that we have for why we believe in the things we believe, it is also what gives us the necessary Redemptive we need in given situations that arise.  Therefore the more Preparatory faith we have the greater our Redemptive faith experiences may potential be.  And what is even cooler is that after we have Redemptive faith experiences, they become things in the past thereby becoming additions to our Preparatory faith allowing for even great Redemptive faith and as we continue to act and exercise our faith this cycle continues over and over and over again until and our faith just grows exponentially high with each experience of growth.  I thought that that was pretty cool and I learned it from the Spirit while sharing it in a dinner thought on Wednesday last week.

Since I have a hard time sleeping I usually have what I call insomniac studies every night somewhere from 10:30 to 12:00-2:00 in the morning where I just read the scriptures and other things in Gospel Library. I used to find it kind of miserable having just a hard time sleeping earlier in my mission, but now I kind of look forward to it as I have gained a Lot of knowledge through the additional few ours of studying that I get every night that most other missionaries in the world don’t get. Especially as there is nothing that can really distract me this late at night since I can’t really do anything else while sitting in my bed.  I love studying the a Gospel as it is the truest and most accurate material on the Earth that we have and my love for studying it has gotten so strong on my mission.  I apologize again for not writing last week and hope all is well for everyone back home.

Sincerely,

Elder Adam R. F. Scoville

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