Thursday, November 24, 2011

Aaron: Kinda sorta freaking AMAZING missionary:)

Hey! Hey! Hey! :)  Kumusta kayo lahat?  Things, are still pretty good here in the Philippines.  The last few days have been pretty tough because we haven't been able to teach as many lessons as we'd like.
On Thursday we had a GREAT day :)  It was the day after going to the temple, having a P-day with other elders in our zone and playing bball with some members.  On Thursday we taught some great lessons to our investigators.  I was able to open my mouth and express my testimony in Tagalog much better and we had asked one investigator if he would pray about getting baptized.  So things were going really well and we were in a good mood and really excited to get back to work on Friday.
Thursday night we had a great planning session and were hoping to teach 8 lessons on Friday, keeping really busy and getting a lot of work done.... But Friday was SOOOO pangit!!! (Ugly:P)  We ended up walking around to appointments and everything for 8 hours without teaching a single lesson!!  Every lesson fell through because people either weren't home, were busy, or even hid from us so that we would go away haha.  SOOO lame!  It was a rough day and I hope I don't have too many like it.

So last week I told you about Alma and how amazing he was as a missionary right?  So now I should be telling you about how awesome Ammon is right?  Wrong! :)  Even though Ammon is an EPIC missionary and I love his story, this week I learned a lot more from the story of his brother Aaron.
Ammon was super successful as a missionary am I right?  Chopping off bad guys arms, converting kings and queens, bringing an entire nation to a knowledge of their God.... WOOT! :)  But Aaron wasn't all that bad either was he?  While Ammon was the one who converted King Lamoni, king of the Land of Ishmael, Aaron converted the king of the entire Lamanite people!  How's that for a successful missionary? :)
Although Aaron's mission ended up being amazing, it sure didn't look like it would turn out that way in the beginning.  He and his companions suffered some BIG time trials before they found success.  While Ammon was in the Land of Ishmael working miracles and converting kings and queens what was Aaron doing?  Did he have the same success?  Nope!  In Alma 20:30 it says that he had "fallen into the hands of a more hardened people and they would not hearken unto their words."  They were "driven from place to place until they came to the Land of Middoni... where they were taken cast into prison."  Yikes!  Not quite as happy as Ammon's story, eh?  How do you think Aaron felt when he heard about Ammon's success?  Haha, I can imagine him saying, "You had HOW many baptisms while I was stuck in prison??" :)
Even though Aaron's mission started out tough, like I said, it ended up great.  From this I learned that even when you work your hardest you may not find success.  Don't get discouraged, better days are sure to come.  Don't EVER compare yourself to other people, in Aaron's case Ammon, this will only bring discouragement.
Another thing I respect Aaron for is what he gave up to become a missionary.  He was a prince!  If he had stayed in Zarahemla a couple more years he would have been made king!  He made a huge sacrifice and left a great life behind in order to become a missionary.  I wonder if he and his brothers ever became homesick like missionaries do in our day?  I'm guessing.... Yes! :)
In Alma 20:29 it talks about Aaron's trials in prison.  He went from living the high life as the son of a king to "all kinds of afflictions."  At home he had all the finest food and drink he wanted; on the mission he suffered hunger and thirst.  At home Aaron lived in a palace; on the mission he was bound in strong cords in a prison.  Do you think Aaron ever had the thought, "Why did I ever leave home for a mission?" cross his mind?  Again I'm thinking.... Yes! :o)
Even though he suffered through all these HUGE afflictions, Aaron was "patient in all his sufferings."  What a great example, eh?  In Alma 17:11 the Lord promises that if we will be "patient in long-suffering and afflictions...I will make an instrument of thee in my hands."  Aaron was patient in his trials and the Lord helped him find success and bring about the salvation of many souls.
(Yikes, sorry this is SOO long, hope you haven't stopped reading yet :P)

Many of you are starting new journeys like Aaron.  You're either in your first years of college, high school, or having new challenging experiences in Parenthood.  Like Aaron it may seem tough at the beginning.  Like Aaron you may wonder why you're even trying, and why you don't just go back to an easier life.  But I KNOW that, like Aaron, even though things may seem tough now, if you are "patient in long-suffering and afflictions" the Lord will help you and guide you to success as you rely on Him.
So when times get tough, think of Aaron, and know that although things may seem tough right now if you're patient things will be AMAZING in the end :)

I love and miss you all!  Happy Thanksgiving haha!

THE Elder Powell :)

Oh yeah..... this might be cool to know.....  We're having our first baptism this week! :D  haha Ingat!

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