Elders Gillespie and Sitivi on Exchanges
Sometimes I look at myself, then I look at others around me, then I look at things happening in the world, and I begin to question lots of things. Why allow these wicked things to happen in the world? Is Satan winning the battles we're fighting with him? We know that he will ultimately lose the war, but could we as a whole be doing better? Why would Jesus die for someone like me? Why would Jesus die for someone like him? Why is it so hard to overcome temptation at times? Why do I keep giving in to evil thoughts or actions? The Spirit is willing, why can't the body be!? Jacob 4:14 I often seek for knowledge of things I cannot understand. Sometimes my questions are not worthy questions. Diligence, patience, long-suffering, all are principles that Christ taught. "Your afflictions shall be but a small moment, and if you shall endure it well, it shall be well with you." There is relative truth and there is absolute truth. Christ taught absolute, eternal truths, and man creates/discovers relative truths. I suppose gravity is an absolute truth, but gravity can be affected by a greater law known or unknown. Mankind’s understanding of the universe is constantly changing. The truths of the Gospel are unchanging and in a state of perfection and absolution. Our knowledge, our understanding, our easiness of the way are all affected by who we are and what we do with what we know. We are judged according to the knowledge we've been given and according to the desires of our hearts. I love people. Especially those who are living unawares to the truthfulness of the Gospel. But for some reason, I have a hard time loving those who are willingly defying God against the greater knowledge that they have. I become indignant and my heart becomes depressed at the sight of apostasy. I pray that God will allow me to see as he sees. I pray to see the bigger picture of life. God's plan is perfect. Our plan is not. Sometimes we give into temptation even against our greater knowledge of God. But as God's plan is perfect, he has provided with us a perfect chance to change and follow in Christ's footsteps. Christ died for us because of his love for all sinners. The joy they feel when one returns to righteousness from iniquity is so great. Greater than that of their joy in someone who needs no repentance. The sorrow they feel when one turns from righteousness to iniquity is greater than any can imagine. They yearn for all to come unto Christ. They yearn for all to understand that YOU CANNOT BE TOO FAR GONE. They understand perfectly our circumstances and our desires. Therefore, they are the only ones qualified to truly help us overcome sin and lift us out of the pit of sorrow. I ask for Jesus to be my guide in all that I do. I am a peculiar person, I am a sinner, I am ultimately in need of a Savior. We all are. Thus I share this glad message to the people of Idaho and all who will hear. Jesus is the Christ, he is our Savior, and our Redeemer. He has paved the road to eternal life. If we look to him in all that we do, we will be a light in the lives' of many who are in need. Billions walk in blindness, Let us love our enemies and be forgiving of all. If we are not, it will simply become the blind leading the blind.
I LOVE MY MISSION! How great is our God?! I'm a living testimony of the healing power of the Atonement. I invite all to allow themselves to feel of our Saviors redeeming love through faith in Him and repentance!
(Portions of his email to his Mom, Betsy Peila:
It's been an interesting mission! I'll tell you what! I've experienced almost every emotion you can feel these past 16 months… These past 6 months, especially, I've learned more than I can even express in words. I love hard things we are given in life! They're so hard! I also have a testimony of obedience! Because we are obedient to the commandments, we receive blessings! What a surprise! It's not like the scriptures say that about a thousand times or anything! (Sometimes -) I feel alone at times in obedience. I'm by no means a perfect missionary, nor am I perfectly obedient, it simply amazes me at the easiness of falling into the tempter's snare! I hope to see changes in myself as I strive to keep a broken heart and a contrite spirit as I partake of the Sacrament weekly and as I always think about the Savior's example. It was perfect! I only have about 8 months left, which may seem like a long time, but I know it will fly by. That makes me nervous sometimes. Am I really using my time here in the Saviors service as wisely as I could be? Anywho, food for thought!
Love ya,Elder Gillespie)