Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Week 102: The Blessings of Affliction


I absolutely loved watching general conference over the weekend. My favorite talk was given by Elder Evan A. Schmutz. He spoke about the atonement and why bad things happen to good people. I love how he said we can apply the atonement to our lives even when bad things happen to us. He also reminded us that it’s our responsibility to try to find what can be learned from our suffering. I love that!

“Everyone … is acquainted with some measure of loneliness, despair, grief, pain, or sorrow…

Many of us have pleaded with God to remove the cause of our suffering, and when the relief we seek has not come, we have been tempted to think He is not listening. I testify that, even in those moments, He hears our prayers, has a reason for allowing our afflictions to continue, and will help us bear them. …

When we find ourselves laboring through tribulation, it can be difficult to see our trials as signposts on our personal trail of discipleship. But whether we find ourselves at times in the dark valley of despair or on the high road of happiness, learning from and feeling compassion for the sufferings of others can be a blessing.

… May I suggest that your personal struggles—your individual sorrows, pains, tribulations, and infirmities of every kind—are all known to our Father in Heaven and His Son. Take courage! Have faith! And believe in the promises of God!

The purpose and mission of Jesus Christ included that He would “take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people,” “take upon him their infirmities,” and “succor his people according to their infirmities” [see Alma 7:11–12].

To fully receive these gifts our Savior has so freely offered, we all must learn that suffering in and of itself does not teach or grant to us anything of lasting value unless we deliberately become involved in the process of learning from our afflictions through the exercise of faith…

… When we can link our suffering to an assurance of purpose in our mortality and more specifically to the reward awaiting us in heavenly places, our faith in Christ increases and we receive comfort to our souls.”  

-Elder Evan A. Schmutz 
(October 2016 General Conference)

We had another awesome miracle happen! We had a bible referral not too long ago and we actually had the chance to meet with her in person. She is the nicest lady and has a sincere desire to follow God and Jesus Christ. She told us about some of her struggles and experiences with other religions and how she prayed that she would find the right representatives of His church… and she did!!! We had a brief lesson with her and by the end, she was already excited about getting baptized! It has been the coolest experience. She is so prepared and ready to accept the gospel! We can’t wait to meet with her again on Wednesday.

I seriously cannot wait to see you guys in THREE WEEKS! I think I would like to spend most of our time in Cattaraugus, W. Seneca and maybe Batavia for a bit.

I love and miss you all very much! Only three more weeks :)
Elder Peterson

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