What an amazing week. I shall do it backwards! Yesterday we did inspections and took the Dentists who will be here this following week for a clinic in Teleman, out to the Hot Springs Waterfalls. It is such a beautiful place. Thursday we got to go to Tikal and wonder through the jungles, with a guide. We saw monkeys, birds, tarantulas, ruins, awesome plants - and climbed lots of stairs. My legs are still discussing the stairs with me today! Thursday night though we delivered a Mission Call to one of the Sisters we have worked with getting her Missionary Papers finished. It was the first time for us to watch someone we have worked with open their letter and read it. Such a wonderful blessing. This young sister has worked so hard and waited so long to be able to go - to Mexico as a missionary!
We have been very happy with the Apartment inspections this time, most of the apartments have been in much better condition. We know they may not be keeping them all clean on a regular basis, but at least we know that once every three months they are looking good! I explained to one set of Elders, who were so chagrined when they realized they had forgot to make their beds, that if they will make a goal to make their bed every day it could change their lives. They thought that was a strange thought. I explained that years ago when I was having a really hard time with all I had to do in life, that I felt I couldn't keep up and was very down, a good friend of mine told me the secret. You make your bed every morning, it only takes a couple of minutes, then all day long when you feel like you are behind, or things are going wrong, you can refer back and think, "Well at least I made my bed." Funny how all these years that one thought has sometimes helped me feel like a successful person.
Tuesday we were in a Zone conference in Peten with Elder Duncan, counselor in our Area Presidency and one of the 70. A few important thoughts that I took from the meeting:
A. You have to have your vision, see the end product that you want first - that way you know where you are headed. It is like a builder needs to have his blueprints, so he knows what he is building. Once you have the vision of where you are going - you set your goals, not just one but multiple, like steps in the process and then you make your plans to reach each of your goals.
B. before we study the scriptures and before we go into a meeting like Sacrament meeting we need to have a question or a need in mind so that as we listen we can be taught the things we need to know by the Spirit.
C. I need to be applying the Atonement more in my own life. Baptism by water is only half a process and has no lasting change unless it is followed by the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It is this gift and the Atonement which purifies and cleans us on a continual basis. Satan works very hard to blind and block us from that process using guilt, pity, depression, a feeling of inadequacy; to block us from our own acceptance of the Atonement. We are here to be successful, but we sometimes short circuit our own potential by our lack of faith in the process provided by our love Heavenly Father. and Jesus Christ.