Saturday, December 27, 2014

Happy 2015!

So this week was CHRISTMAS!
It was awesome

Christmas Eve is a lot more important here in South America than Christmas day so Christmas Eve we couldn’t get an appointment with anyone. Elder Walker and I were talking about what we could do all day that’s when we noticed that we had another box of "He is the Gift" cards that was left over from the conference. We had the best idea. We had to share the pass-a-long cards with everyone we could find while singing Christmas songs in English walking up and down TerrĂ³n Colorado. I’m not going to lie, our day was awesome! We started around 2, Christmas ties, Christmas hats the whole shabang and we started to climb the mountain asking people if we could sing Christmas songs to them and their families. We shared 80 pass-a-long cards and got about 60 referrals. It was the best day I’ve had so far with "He is the Gift" pass-a-long cards singing our hearts out until we could sing no more. It was such an amazing moment and we met some super awesome people that we will see again next week. 

Next week we start the New Year. 
That makes me think of a lot of things, but most of all, I think about the year that has passed and all of the experiences it held. 
2014 was my only full year concentrated to the Lord. I have seen moments where I wasn’t sure how I would continue on and others that felt like they could have been the happiest moments of my life. I have seen a large change in my life over the last year and can now see my own progress over this time. It all comes down to a parable found in John 15:1-11

The parable talks about a grapevine. How Jesus Christ is the vine, and if we obey the commandments we are like the branches of the vine that bear fruit. When we disobey the commandments we cut ourselves off from the vine.
John 15:5
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” He who has cut himself off from the vine must pass through what is said in verse 6
“If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”  Sometimes we obey all the commandments but feel we are passing through many trials, afflictions, so much so that we feel that we cannot move on. However, if we endure, we come out much stronger and with the ability to bare more fruit, we are told that
John 15:2
“every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”  Just as we must prune the grapes back every year to bear more fruit, the Lord prunes his children back to me the most humble and fructiferous possible.

I have seen the hand of the Lord in my life this last year as he pruned me back and helped me grow. As we approach the 1 year mark of my Dad’s passing, at first I only felt confusion, and injustice, I had only done just as the Lord had commanded me to do, how could He do this to me. What a selfish thought, and how close minded I was to think like that. However, I now see better, that God always has a plan, I may not know that plan but we can only march forward exercizing what is true faith in Him. For the purpose of this life is to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Sometimes we feel like we don’t understand and we throw the white towel in like a toddler who doesn’t understand how to put together a puzzle. 
The only way to cultivate faith is by acting.
“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (James 2:17).

So my CHALLENGE to you all is to think of all the ways the Lord has "pruned" you this past year how you can use those experiences in the next year to better “walk by faith.”

I love you all,
Happy New Year.

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints is true. I know that my Savior lives, and that he leads this church through his living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. I know that He lives and loves every one of us. 
Talk to you all next week 
Elder Lyle

Everyone watch this video

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