Monday, April 24, 2017

Hail & Promptings, April 24, 2017

Hey y'all!

This week was pretty good. I got a new companion! His name is Elder
Nigh and he's way cool. He and I like a lot of the same stuff so it's
been cool. It's his first bike area though so that has been fun.

Dallas Daze

This week was crazy for a day. We were about 8 miles from our
apartment and this really dark storm cloud was in the distance (you
can see storms coming from miles away here) and so we did a few more
things and decided to head back. It was about 7:30 and would take
about 30 minutes to bike it home due to all the hills and such. So on
our way back people kept reminding us of the storm that was right
above our heads, like we appreciate the concern but we do see it you
know 😜. So we finally get to our apartment and it's dark now, as we
get into our apartment around 8, it starts pouring. Not water, but
hail. And man that hail messed up a LOT of stuff. Roofers are
definitely in a good place living in Texas. Cause hail is a bad thing
here. One funny thing though was though this huge hail was coming
down, these really ugly ducks that live in the complex ponds didn't
even care. They sat outside straight up taking the hail! None died it
appears either, that's a miracle in itself! But ya, everything's
bigger in Texas, including hail.

This week has been good though. One thing I've thought a lot on is
acting on spiritual promptings, specifically the first one as they
come. To think of this I like to recount Nephi with killing Laban. If
you read the story, think of it as if you were him. Nephi was a pretty
stand up guy and wanted to help people when he could. So first he's
commanded to get the plates and that Laban would be delivered to him.
He then says the famous line, "I went not knowing beforehand what I
should do," or something along those lines. As he strolls in he sees
this man passed out on the ground. Nephi being a good man I'm guessing
went to see if he could help. He walks up and notices it's Laban, for
whatever reason, he decides to check out his sword. From the
description he obviously was taken into examining this Sword. As he
does this, the spirit constrained him. Now when I am constrained by
the spirit, most often and for me honestly never, it's not an audible
voice, "hey do this," but rather that feeling we get that prompts us.
Nephi wasn't spoken out loud too, and angel didn't come and make it
obvious to, Gods voice didn't announce it from the heavens, he was I
only prompted as we are all the time with, "kill Laban." Imagine his
reaction to that! I woulda second guessed it too! It had to be my own
thoughts right but the spirit prompts again, "kill Laban," and Nephi
ponders on it and eventually we know he obeyed the voice of the
spirit. Are we able to follow promptings like that? To first discern
it is the spirit, especially if it's something saying to kill someone!
Then to act on it immediately before the opportunity leaves? I'm
definitely still learning. But the benefits of acting on the first
prompting are of great magnitude much past ourselves. If Nephi hadn't
done what he did following the spirit, Aaron many years later wouldn't
have the means of teaching King Lamoni's father about the creation, for
Aaron began "reading the scriptures unto the king." And we know where
that story goes, nations are brought to the light of Christ! If Nephi
hadn't followed that prompting, Aaron wouldn't have had the scriptures
to teach, and that's just one of many repercussions. My invitation is
that we may stand worthy first to receive spiritual promptings,
reverent enough to hear them, wise enough to discern them, and
courageous enough to act on them. It's my testimony that if we do,
miracles will happen in our lives and the lives of those around us.
Though we will most likely ever to be prompted to do that which Nephi
was to do, the things we are promoted with are of the same magnitude.
May we live our lives in a way according to being able to receive such
word and act on such, bringing into our lives the power and revelation
of God. Of this I pray in Jesus name, amen.

Elder Hiatt

Monday, April 17, 2017

Focus is Hazy, April 17, 2017

Hey y'all!

So this is gonna be lame but I can't focus today to write 😜.

Transfers are this week so that's cool! I'm staying and my companion
is leaving. We are sad but it'll be good.

This week we had a big zone Conference and that was good. President
Taylor talked a lot about what a Seventy does and his process in becoming
that, it was hilarious because he lives around Salt Lake and had to
like hide from people he knew because nobody could know he was getting
called. He also talked about how important the role of women are in
getting called. They basically give the yes or no to an authority
being called.

The week itself for work was......not fast so I don't have a ton to
talk about but I hope everyone loved Easter!

Sorry there isn't more, my mind is fried.

Love y'all!

Elder Hiatt

Monday, April 10, 2017

He was a Carpenter, April 10, 2017

I've pondered recently on something I can relate to about our beloved Savior Jesus Christ. He was a carpenter. All through high school I worked at a furniture and cabinetry shop and learned a ton. I also competed in competitions for cabinetry and it taught me principles and a new perspective on the Savior's grace.
⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️Read more below! ⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️
So these competitions I did consisted of the photos below. At the beginning of the competition they'd give us this pile of material. Just enough to complete the designated project. Then they'd call everyone over and they'd have a finished product made and painted and allow us to look around it. To study it so we had a vision of what we were to do with our own material.
We'd then get a big sheet of plans on how to create this project. They were like reading a different language! They'd begin the competition and you'd have about 6 hours to complete this project as best you can. I'd sit back that first time I competed and think how nuts it was to somehow decipher these plans. Well first I'd begin tackling the plans, understanding what it was that they wanted me to cut to what size and such. After I'd get an idea of what to do, I'd begin. Cutting and routing, gluing and nailing. As I went I thought I was doing pretty good, my spirits rose. But then as I went, I had realized I made a wrong cut.
My heart sank, the vision of my cabinet looking like the one at the beginning crumbled. But it wasn't too bad, I thought 2nd or 3rd was still well within reach. Well I continued to work hard. Within in another hour, another mistake. Then another, and another. Miss nail here, wrong cut there, things began failing. I continued on just to be able to say I finished. But at the end of it all, I didn't even get to that. I looked around and many did finish. How bad I felt to have done so terribly, I wanted to try again but that was it. I would just have to wait for next year. With frustration and anxiety I watched the winner be awarded the grand prize. I wanted to be there.
I reflected on these competitions this week, and thinking of how they are much like our life. We get here, placed before us is an array of tools, materials, and plans. We are told to make a perfect product and we can come back home. So we begin. We feel around the tools, look at our material, wondering what on earth it is we are suppose to build. Many begin making whatever they can. But there are many who heed the voice of e prophets of God, calling to look unto the perfect example, to study and learn from Him. The Savior Jesus Christ. Exemplar of perfection, of how our lives should be built. Of what we are to create for ourselves to be able to return home, to gain the grand prize of life eternal with our families and our Eternal Father. Those who follow this course begin, a vision in mind of their own raw material being something great some day.
With sweat on our brow we labor. We feel like we are doing pretty good. Oh but soon we see, we made a mistake.....our plan ahead alters a bit. Man okay well maybe it isn't so bad. We can still be pretty good right? That can still count for something? We continue on, another mistake, one after another. Well dang maybe we can finish at least? Come time we feel haven't. We look how others are doing, excelling, looking so flawless. How could we ever be that? Can we even make it back? That perfection required was long gone with the first mistake, where's the retry?
What is the difference here? The difference is, the competition is over. The Savior already did it. The outcome is decided. You've won, the grand prize is in your grasp, its for you to claim! So why must we too build our own? Hasn't Christ already made the perfect one for me? Of course He has, His grace holds claim upon you. What we must build is not to put forth as a decider. No the Savior asks us to do so that we may learn from each cut, each mistake, to learn to create the perfect cabinet. There is no limit of materials from Christ, we can retry, through Him we always can try again. No matter how many mistakes, there is no limit to His supply. It is infinite, His Atonement is infinite. We make our own, in the words of Brad Wilcox, not to "earn heaven. But to LEARN heaven." By grace we are saved, and through it we may be changed. We can learn what this competition has to offer without fear of throwing it all down the drain at each mistake. We can progress and learn the skills with every chance to try and try again. All we must do is try, go to our Savior when we mess up, show him what we have done, and he lovingly supplies a new piece to give it another go.
This is called repentance. Stop hanging on to broken and imperfect pieces. Stop hanging on to heart ache and sorrow. To shame and guilt. Stop looking at others and comparing yours to theirs, the competitions already been decided enough of that already. You're here for the knowledge and experience and you can rejoice in others progress just as they can yours. Stop trying to cover it up, trying to fill it with glue and sawdust desperately trying to hide the inevitable. Just go ask for a new piece!! Try again, if you mess up....repent and give it another go! The Savior's Atonement is there, it has no limit. So stop hanging on to broken mistakes. Just get a new piece and try again. Learn the joy that can be found in progression and improvement. The plan of salvation has been restored in full, we have all the means to claim our prize. So repent and learn the value in what the Savior has won for you.
Of Him I testify in His Holy Name, even Jesus Christ, Amen.