Monday, December 19, 2016

Scriptures - Post from 12/19/2016

This week was sweet. We had district meeting/interviews.
Now Elder Cowan and I pulled a little joke on President Johnson. So president likes to show a picture of him and his parents from before he went on his mission. In it he wears a fat tie super short. So when elder Cowan and I went to district meeting we both grabbed the fattest ties we could find and tied them short. Haha. Sister Johnson started laughing when she saw and then president saw and said "ohhhhhhhhhh. You two are starting trouble. You don't know what you've started. You are going to rue the day Elder Segon and Cowan. You're going to get it." 😂. Sister Johnson made us stand up so she could get a picture.

Haha president asked about goals I want to set for 2017 in my interview with him. My goals are:
1. Develop Christlike attributes by studying and working on one attribute every month.
2. Not drink caffeine.
President said they were good goals. Haha so I got the stamp of approval.
 I just love the scriptures. They are so great. I love how they mean different things at different times or how you can pick something up that you've never seen before. I learn every single time I read from the scriptures.

In the beginning of my mission I was really struggling and I was just really wanting to go home, to the point were I was thinking about calling president about it. I opened up my scriptures and found this scripture in Alma chapter 26:
27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, 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.

So in this scripture the sons of Mosiah were missionaries. And they were not finding success and people were telling them they were useless and all these things. And they were about to give up but the Lord helped them. This literally comforted me so much. I was just like the sons of Mosiah who faced challenges and were ready to go home. But the lord strengthened them and told them "Get back out there!" And so He did with me too, through this scripture. I found strength through the Lord when I was weak.

This week I read 1st Nephi Chapter 3:
14 But Laman fled out of his presence, and told the things which Laban had done, unto us. And we began to be exceedingly sorrowful, and my brethren were about to return unto my father in the wilderness.
15 But behold I said unto them that: As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us.
16 Wherefore, let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; therefore let us go down to the land of our father’s inheritance, for behold he left gold and silver, and all manner of riches. And all this he hath done because of the commandments of the Lord.

Now this scripture speaks about how they were "unsuccessful" in their efforts. They were trying to get scriptures from Laban and he wasn't giving it to them. They had tried 2 times already to convince him and trade with him for the scriptures but Laban tried to kill them both times. They were "unsuccessful" in their efforts. Just like the sons of Mosiah they were ready to go home. However the thing that's different in this story is that Nephi stands up and is the one that strengthens them and turns them around. Now that wasn't easy... Nephi was sorrowful too, it says, "WE were sorrowful." But he found the strength and courage to be able to strengthen and encourage his brethren.
So what I learned is that you can be the one to help others turn around when they are leaving the court.

I once needed strength from the Lord, and because I found it I can strengthen those I serve with. There are still going to be days when I am weak and feel like I can't do it anymore, and that's when I can call upon the Lord and cry for strength. And then get back on the court, continue onward, strengthening my brethren, and serving the Lord. I've thought about this a lot this week. I want to be like Nephi. I want to encourage others when they are discouraged. I want to strengthen others when they are weak. But that means I must be strong and that I must have courage. Even when I am sorrowful I have to be strong enough and have faith to be able to tell my brethren "hey, lets go back. We can do this. We can do this easily with the Lord on our side." It's not always easy but it is possible.

That is the gospel message that I share. It's not easy but it's possible... and it's worth it. And even if you are "unsuccessful" again and again, you just get back out there and keep going. Never give up. Endure to the end. And if you do that, you will find true success, despite all of the flaws, weaknesses you have, and all the "unsuccessful" efforts made. Because the only true time you are unsuccessful is when you have given up. Stay strong. And keep moving on. The Lord is on our side. And our Heavenly Father is pleased with our efforts. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

❤️ Elder Segon.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Why am I out here? Update from 12/12/2016

Let me tell you what. My new area is sweet. My companion is a goofball!! My district is sweet. The sisters are so great. At district meeting they were even helping me teach by asking other missionaries questions. It was great. We caroled after district meeting with the two Williamsport districts. It was great. I got super sick this week. It was horrible. My stomach was all messed up, I felt like I was going to throw up, I had a mad fever, a headache, and the chills. It was bad. So we had to stay in the apartment one day because I just couldn't do it. So I had a lot of time to think. I got to start thinking about why I was out here? What was the real reason for me serving? And it all finally clicked. I understood the importance and the simplicity to my purpose. It was great. Who knows, maybe I was sick so that I had time to ponder this. But what I had come up with really struck me and I decided to write it down and this is it:
When I was young I would always say "I want to be a missiomary when I grow up." As I kept growing older I started making decisions that were poor. I made bad decisions. I didn't know who I was and I was trying to find out who I truly was. I struggled with depression and I just didn't know how to deal with that. Because of that I made some crazy mistakes. Thinking about who I was and the things I did is just shocking. I had some friends that were great influences on me and parents who never gave up on me. I saw that my friends who lived the gospel were just so happy, they had a glow to them, they shined. I wanted to be like that and I knew the gospel their source of light. And through that I was able to have my heart softened enough to give the gospel a try.  So after time as I continued to be around these wonderful examples I had, my best friends, I started to gain a testimony. I pulled out my scriptures every once in a while and I would say a prayer every once in a while, and I mean like once every two months or so. As time went by I found myself doing that more and more. And over time I began to read the scriptures daily, pray daily, participate in church, and I had a desire to be the example to others that my friends were to me when I was struggling. I had gained a testimony. A solid testimony over time. There was never a specific time when i realized I had a testimony, or that I was changing, beginning to be happy, or anything. It all just kind of slowly became clear, as if a thick fog was getting thinner and thinner until the fog was completely gone. I found out who I am and who my Savior is, I found true happiness, I found out that God is real and that He loves me, I found out that Jesus Christ truly did suffer for me and my mistakes, and I've found that this gospel is true, that even though I've made these horrible mistakes I am still loved and that I can be forgiven and cleansed of my mistakes. This gospel is happiness. 
So with my new testimony the missionary idea came back. My friends and I always talked about going on missions and how excited we were to go on one. I don't think I actually ever thought about why I wanted to go on a mission. I knew God has asked all young men to go on a mission. I knew all of my friends were going on a mission. I knew my parents wanted me to go on a mission. But I never thought about why I wanted to go. I didn't even know what to expect about a mission. But it was enough for me to accept the call I received. And being out here serving I've been happier than I ever have before. I've come to have a Godly love for His children. Ive come to love to serve others and to help them in any way I can. But I don't think I ever really figured out why I am serving or at least why I am still out, until now. It took me 9 months to figure out why I was still out here in Pennsylvania serving. The reason why I am out here is because this gospel, the message that I try to share with everyone, has changed my live in such a dramatic way. I struggled so much trying to find happiness when I didn't live the gospel. But with the gospel in my life I have found joy. Pure,simple, and authentic joy. I have found out who I am and what my worth and potential is. I am a child of a loving Heavenly Father and because of that I have infinite potential and worth. I have found out that I don't have to dwell on the mistakes I've made because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ paid the price so that I can receive forgiveness, even have my sins washed away. And thats why I am out. I want to help others come to know who they truly are, that true happiness can be found, and that Jesus Christ has suffered for them. It's so simple but its so beautiful. What we go out and try to share will change every single persons life. There are people in dire need of happiness, forgiveness, and a knowledge of who they are. 
I'm just so grateful to be able to share the message we share. Our purpose is so important. There is nothing more important than this. We are literally saving lives temporarily and eternally. I love the people of Pennsylvania. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love this work. It is true. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

The ward here is awesome. I love it here, despite how disgusting this apartment is...
Sorry about this weird font... I don't know how to fix it..
It also snowed a bunch last night. Pretty crazy.
Love you
Love Elder Segon

Transferred - Update from 12/05/2016

This week was fast and slow.
We had zone conference on Tuesday and that was amazing. I love how
Heavenly Father makes you feel so special. At almost every meeting I
have a question answered. At almost every meeting I feel like the
whole thing was put together for me. It's truly so beautiful.
So the subject caught your eye huh? Well it's true, I'm getting
transferred. I'm going to be going to be the district leader in
Williamsport walk area. I'm so excited. My district has 3
companionships. 2 sets of sisters and one set of elders. I'm going to
be follow up training an elder named Elder Cowan. I messaged him the
other day and he said the only problem with the apartment is mice.
That's not too bad. Back in Somerset I slew probably 8 mice with my
bare hands, just kidding. I caught them with a mouse trap. But yeah
I'm super excited. The work in the Williamsport zone has been going
really good so I'm excited to be able to serve there. I hope it will
be a place that I can really improve my teachings and Christlike
attributes. It's not too far from where grandpa was born too! Actually
I think this is the closest I will be to where grandpa was born! When
President Johnson called me in the morning he said "you're pretty
scared aren't you elder segon? Getting another call from me means
you're getting another assignment huh?" Haha. I love President
In fact, when we had zone conference he came up to me a couple times
and started talking about the Sacramento kings. Haha he's so funny.
You'd think your mission president would encourage you to not think
about that. But he kept telling me to give up the kings. At the end of
the day he said "have you thought about it elder segon? Are you ready
to repent and give up the kings?" Haha I said "yea I'm ready
President." Haha he laughed.
At zone conference the new missions video for 2016 cam out! It was so
sweet! You all should try to go on YouTube and find it and watch it.
Just search 2016 ppm video. It was awesome.
I've had some really amazing experiences this week. I always do. Know
that. They are amazing and they come from God. And they are sacred.
I love you all. I miss you all. Hope you have a good week!

Ye Cannot Go Amiss - Update from 11/28/2016

Another week here in Erie, PA.
The snow stopped so it's been pretty warm here this week. Around the
high 30'S to low 40's. Haha that's so weird thinking that that is warm
to me. So weird. "The mission will change you." ;)
Wow. Look at my view right now.

Those clouds are so sweet. Haha I just looked at the picture and the picture isn't that great. But the clouds are all pinkish.
This week I wrote some quotes from Elder Holland on a whiteboard. One of them says:
"When you struggle, when you're rejected, when you're spit on, or cast out, or made a hiss and a by word, you are taking your place in standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived-you have reason to stand tall"
Like a day or two after I wrote this quote on the whiteboard these two guys drove by in their car honked the horn and flipped us off. Man I was so mad. I had a lot of angry thoughts going through my head. Then what do you know. They turn around and drive by us again and a guy rolls down his window and started cussing and yelling at us, or in other words he made us a hiss and a by word. What I wanted to do was yell back and agh, but what I did was i smiled and waved. Waved and smiled to them as they drove away. I have a reason to stand tall. Christ was persecuted beyond anything. We are just getting a little tiny tiny taste of that cup He drank. 
But it's fun. Despite all these hard times I'm happy. I literally have so much happiness I just can't keep it on. There is nothing sweeter than this.

Thanksgiving was sweet. I ate like 7 pounds of food after 1 breakfast, a Linner, and a dinner.
On that night as I was saying a prayer I was listing things off that I was grateful for. Before I began that prayer i noticed pictures on the wall of joesph smith, Christ, and a temple. These were very very big things that I Am grateful for. Some of the main things. But I didn't see a picture of a family on the wall. So I looked for one because they are one of the greatest blessings of my life. I didn't find one. Then I thought, I don't need a picture of a family to remind me of them. I don't need them on the wall because I've got them here in my heart. I love my family so much. I wish I spent more time with them before my mission. They truly are the greatest gift Heavenly Father has given me so that I can be encircled with love. I can't wait to see them again! So when I had begun this prayer I realized something else. I truly understood the plan of salvation. I truly understood the gospel. I knew it but I didn't feel it before. It's all because He, our Heavenly Father, loves us and wants us to have joy and to live with Him again. The commandments, the trials, the blessings, our live on earth, our families, our injuries, our sorrows, everything is for our benefit and happiness. He loves us. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to return to live with Him again. How touching, how beautiful the plan of happiness is. I know that Heavenly Father truly loves us. I know we are His children. I know that the plan of happiness is that plan that has been created for us to experience joy and receive eternal life. All of our trials and sorrows are things that will help us grow and to one day have exquisite joy. I know God ordains families and that families can be together forever through His plan. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I love you guys and miss you guys.
Love Elder Segon