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.