Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Week 43: "EL ES LA DADIVA"



Lots of things so listen up good.

1. The weather is great, we are having lots of success, and we saw lots of blessings this week. I am just super duper happy.

2. HAPPY LATE THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!! Our thanksgiving meal was a pizza, and it was great. To be honest, I completely forgot it was Thanksgiving until lunch time. Forgot again, and then remembered at night. When I did remember, I decided to say a prayer in where all I would do is give thanks for the many blessings that the Lord has given me. In that prayer, I mentioned many of your names (and would have said all if I could!), many things that God has given me out of pure love, and for the opportunity I have to be his servant. I realized as I was praying how much my mission has already brought me so much closer to My Savior, and a kind of happiness that I have never experienced. I truly have no idea where my life would be if I hadn't made the decision to be a missionary. I am so grateful for this time that I have to serve him and his children. It was a very powerful moment and a very long prayer, because the Lord spoils me with too many blessings. Brought me to tears because of my overwhelming joy at all that I have been given in my life.

3. EL ES LA DADIVA!!!! He is the Gift!!! Christmas is here everyone, and its time to remember why!!! This is the best part of this letter.

Many of us forget why we celebrate Christmas. We think its about the presents, or the food, or the parties that even come after. I am guilty of this as well. But now that I had grown a little closer with the Lord, I love this season even more! We celebrate Christmas for Him!!

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is launching a worldwide initiative to remind the world why we celebrate Christmas. Starting today, until the 1st of January, you will be able to visit the website http://www.mormon.org/christmas to learn more. In this page, you can see videos and read posts of other people who are discovering, accepting, and sharing the joy of Christmas. I invite you all to do the same! GO to this page and watch the video. I got the goosebumps so so hard the first time I watched it, it is so awesome.

On the 7th of December for the entire day, on the main page of youtube, There will be a link to this video and advertisements inviting you to learn more. In Times Square NY, there will be many advertisements posted on digital screens for the entire month of December. On top of that, there will be opportunities for you to meet with Missionaries (like me!) in your area to learn more about this initiative. The goal is to discover, accept, and share the Gift of Christmas. This is happening all over the world, and it is a big deal!

If you want to fall in love with Christmas a little more, and trust me its definitely possible, go visit this page and go crazy.

There is no better time to be a missionary, to be teaching the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, than in the season of his birth. What a blessing it is to know these things, and what a blessing it is to be able to share it. I love you all and hope you can all understand the core of Christmas. If you aren't quite there yet, you have 24 days to learn. Hurry up because CHRISTMAS IS COMING!!!

Elder Bernal

Week 42: "God answers prayers [...] we must be willing to do what it takes"


Well, this week we had cambios, and unfortunately, my biffles Elder Evans is going to finish his mission training a greeny in Puerto Penasco, so he will be leaving me tonight :( Its ok, Im trying to keep myself together. dont cry cause its over, smile because it happened right? thank you instagram quotes. Good news is that I am now reunited with ELDER ALVARENGA FROM PARAGUAY!!!!! WHAT A COINKIDINK! We are gonna be compas otra vez for this cambio and it is going to be awesome. Finally a latino companero!!

So I had a really awesome experience this week, and learned a lot of things that I hope are going to stick with me. The biggest one that I want to share with you guys is about prayer. When we pray to God, it seems that we often would like to think that God will just miraculously "give" us what we want, without requiring very much on our part, and that all we need to do is have faith, and it will be given to us. For example, if we are out of work and looking for a job, it is easy to say "God, please give me a job, so I can start to work and provide for myself. Please do something, so that I can start work." But I have come to realize that this is often not how God goes about answering our prayers. God answers prayers when we really desire to receive an answer, and this means that we must be willing to do what it takes and show that desire in our actions, not just sit around and wait hoping that it will arrive. Instead of asking God to just simply give us our wish, we should ask him what we can do to achieve it, and help us align our efforts with what he knows is best for us.

This Sunday, we had Stake Conference, and we had brought a family with us to church. The chapel was absolutely packed, and sitting all the way in the back, we couldn't hear hardly anything. We decided to move to one of the other rooms where they were airing the conference on televisions, but once we moved, we realized there was only the visual, and no sound. After losing our seats, and a large amount of time, I was feeling pretty bummed that this family was just sitting bored in the church after making the effort to come. As the other members struggled to fix the audio problem, I started to pray and ask God to just "fix this problem, and just miraculously make the sound come on, in 3, 2, 1 ..... " and that's when it came to me. Although yes, God is omnipotent and absolutely performs miracles in miraculous ways, of which I can also bear witness, I think we see his hand manifested more powerfully in our lives when it performs through our own. In that moment, I changed what I was praying for, I asked God to bless me with the knowledge of what I should do, so that this family could listen to conference and feel His spirit, and His will could be fulfilled. The subtle thought came to me to ask them if they would prefer to stand on the side where we would at least be able to hear, but not see, an idea that given the circumstances, wasn't very ideal. They agreed. As I opened the door to the conference room, one of the sisters of our ward, recognized our situation, immediately stood up, and offered her seats to our investigators. It all happened so fast and so perfectly, as if it were "coincidence." They now had great seats, and could perfectly see and her the conference. My prayer had been answered because I had acted. God was not going to force me to get and up try something on my own, but he did provide me with the perfect idea in the exact moment to answer my own prayer, I just had to be willing to do it.

God answers prayers. I know it, I´ve seen it happen, and I know its true. But we must realize that in order to grow the most, we must be willing to offer ourselves up as a means for our prayer to be answered. When we ask God to bless the poor and feed the hungry and to help the sick, then may WE be willing to help the poor and give the hungry a meal or do whatever we can for the sick. When we do this, the Lord will have more power in our lives, and in turn, we will become more powerful.

Love you all. Pray boldy, and then be bold!
Elder Bernal