Monday, September 8, 2014

Alma 26:27 - A Scripture Boost from Mom

Prologue to Adam's weekly letter. Once in a while we are lucky enough to be able to "talk" for awhile through emails on letter day (Mondays). What follows are a couple paragraphs from Cindy's letter to Adam followed by some email exchanges with him. This conversation leads directly into Adam's letter. The best part of this post is witnessing how the Lord watches out for his missionaries. Often the best source of encouragement comes from home. In this case, Cindy (Adam's Mom) was able to give Adam a spiritual boost directly from her studies of the Scriptures. Moms know their sons. Combine that with the guidance of the Holy Ghost and you get a powerful force of love!

Adam Hugs His Mom Goodbye at the MTC

Mom – Sunday Night 12:56 AM 9-8-14 (We really should do this earlier in the day.)
Saturday after going to the soccer game with Cooper and  the rest, we did some yard work.  Dad edged the whole lawn so it looks pretty nice.  We have had some rain lately that keeps the lawn growing and nice and green.  Saturdays go way too fast!  I had wanted to go to the temple so Dad thought that was a great idea.  Turns out there was a BYU game on that night so nobody at home was going to miss me or anything.  I got all dressed and ready to head out the door.  When I got in my wallet to grab my recommend it wasn't there.  I remembered that I had given it to dad when we went to Kalin's wedding and sadly hadn't used it since so I asked dad where it was.  He went upstairs and checked his suit pockets and said it wasn't there.  He said he remembered putting it someplace obvious.  We looked in all the places that we thought were obvious but couldn't find it.  Meanwhile, the last session came and went so I stayed home and put on my pajamas and read scriptures for awhile instead.  Today while we were waiting after church for dad to be set apart Kevin got in Dad's suit pocket for some reason and pulled out both of our recommends!  What's up with that?!?  Wouldn't you think that going to the temple was a good thing, and that Heavenly Father would want me to go, and when I said one of those little prayers to help me find where dad had put my recommend that He would have helped me find it?  We tried to find a lesson in the whole thing.  Dad said that sometimes you have to go to church to get answers to your prayers.  Whatever!  I'll try to get there again soon.  The good news is that while I was searching our drawers and closets I found a little wad of money that I had apparently forgotten about.  Yay me!

I have successfully read the scriptures now for 64 days in a row.  Haven't missed a day.  I am on Alma 27.  There are some good missionaryish scriptures in Alma that I am sure you have read.  Alma 17:2,3&4ish are good and I thought you might like chapter 26:26-28.  I thought they were good missionary verses too.  I also liked 17:10 just because. 

Adam – Monday Morning 8:38 9-8-14
As far as your whole temple story, I don't know if there really is a direct answer. Something I've learned as a missionary is that sometimes the Lord answers our prayers much differently than we would like. By not finding your recommend at that moment, you were able to take some good time to read your scriptures, and find some extra money! Sometimes, the blessings of the temple (or other things) can come from just showing the desire to go. Like they always say, it's the thought that counts. (Now, of course, that's not an excuse to get out of the ACTION part.) I would take a guess and say that the next time you go to the temple, you'll understand more why your prayer was answered how it was.
That Alma 26 reference actually answered exactly what I was looking for right now... :)
Mom – Monday Morning 9:03 AM 9-8-14
So if Alma 26 was just what you were looking for, maybe that's why I stayed home from the temple cause I read that night from Alma 17 - Alma 26.  If I hadn't had so much time to read that night I would have only made it through a verse or two.  So maybe it was all meant to be a blessing for our missionary whom we love very much!!

Adam – 9:32 AM
That's possible too! :) It definitely is a blessing for me. :)

Mom – 11:24 AM
Not sure if you are still there, but now I'm curious.  Why is reading Alma 26 a blessing for you?  Are you struggling with something?  Should I worry or pray harder??
Also, I would love to see a picture with your face in it!  ;) ;)

Adam – 11:27 AM
New haircut.....

Mom – 11:32 AM
Anyway, nice haircut!  Is that a faux hawk???
My Grandma Sommers/Finch would say it was "sharp"!
And ARE you ok?
(Running down to the school office for a few minutes before sacred lunch break is over.)

Adam – 11:44 AM
Haha kind of. Elder Lloyd said it would look cool on me, then my district leader said it was okay and also agreed that it would look cool, so we tried it last night. :) It feels pretty sharp, my hair is kind of prickly in the short parts!
And yeah, I'm fine, don't worry. Just in the kind of mid mission mid life crisis sort of thing. I'm explaining it in my letter, don't worry.

Adam's Letter.


I was gonna make some comment about how fast time flies, but I figure after 50 weeks or so, that you guys maybe get the idea that it's going fast. :)

As usual, we had a bunch of cool experiences here and there this week. Things started off with our journey all the way to Angers. Monday night we had to catch a train to Rennes. We missed our actual train, so had to catch another one about an hour later. As a result, we got to Rennes around 9, had to catch a bus around 9:30, and got to the Rennes apartment around 10. All along the way, we were able to talk to a whole bunch of people. A couple Americans, an older couple on the train, and a couple other random people on the bus. The next morning we talked to a bunch more people on the way from Rennes to Angers. After the big conference, we ended up sitting next to the sisters on the train ride home, and that's where things really started to happen! The power of 4 missionaries. :) Essentially, we ended up teaching the whole train car all together. And, later on in the week, one of those people ended up becoming a new ami for us!

Times like that are awesome as missionaries, times where you can just sit and talk openly with people. It's not always easy to come across them in the street, so we feel pretty blessed to have those times. Beyond that, we had a pretty good week. We weren't able to set anything up with Iona, but we're kind of leaving that to her for now. We want the desire to come to church to come from her and not from us. Saturday afternoon I felt prompted to call someone, but I didn't know who. So, I just pulled out the phone and started going through our long list of contacts. I came across Louis, a less active member, and felt like I should call him. We set up a rendezvous for that evening and it went really well! We also started teaching another less active family this week, Beatrice and her son, and they already fed us! Super delicious Guatemalan food. Anyway, there are tons of little stories I could tell from the week, as is always the case.

But this week I want to be "the honest missionary", I want to be real. That's something I'm working on.

I'm tired. Thirteen months of missionary life wears on a person. There are missionaries out there who can work at maximum capacity for all two years and still be as fresh as ever when their time comes to go home, and that's amazing. But I wouldn't put myself into that group. Mom, today you sent me the reference of Alma 26:27. In that verse it starts off by saying "Now when our hearts were depressed". That part really hit me. It's not that I'm "depressed", not at all, I promise. Just the way that's worded. Their hearts were depressed. To me, that sounds like they're tired. Tired of being rejected, tired of confronting the same types of people and the same difficulties over and over, and, if being a missionary back then was anything like it is now, tired of and as a result of trying their best to worry only about others. To me, those are the makings of a depressed heart. And that's a little how I feel lately. Now, don't think I'm sick of being a missionary or that I don't like it anymore, that's not at all what it is. I love this work and wouldn't rather be anywhere else or rather be doing anything else. But that doesn't mean it's easy.

After hearing and answering questions like "Are you Jehovah's Witnesses?", "Why do I need to be baptized again?", and "What are you doing in France?" almost every day for over a year, it gets kind of, well, old. That "blue fire" that we say new missionaries have is kind of down to the coals right now. In that verse it follows up and says "and we were about to turn back". I'm not really about to "turn back" per se, but I do have times where I think "ugh, here we go again..." when people start asking these questions. Times where I'd rather just be a regular member who blends into the crowd. Neither of which is really good for a missionary to have. So, it's been a weird week or two. I've just felt kind of...out of place, in a way.

But then comes good ol' Mom (with a little help from Alma). You can always count on your parents. The scripture goes on to say "behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." The first part is the most important to me. The Lord comforted them, as he'll comfort me.

On my mission, I've learned, and I'm learning how to rely on the Lord for strength and for comfort. I didn't really understand what people meant by "relying on the Lord" at the beginning of my mission, and I'm only really starting to figure it out. But today (thanks to all that scripture study Mom :) ) I felt a little bit closer. But, understanding and building a relationship with the Lord is something that takes a lifetime, and much more, so, I've gotta keep working. 

Sunrise in Lorient - The Power of a New Day
"An Opportunity and an Invitation to Change and Become More Like Our Savior". - Elder Adam Bigler

Well, I'm about out of time. Thanks for the letters today everybody! Keep doing good at school and soccer and scouts and drama and band and work and work/school and all that stuff. :)

Elder Bigler

Frenchism: Be thankful for English. Le Livre de Mormon is 653 pages long. Just a little bit longer than the BoM.

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