The Battle Between Light and Darkness

March 12, 2012 – Gyumri, Week 7
The Battle Between Light and Darkness

We set high goals for next week. It is not only a matter of what we can do, it is also a matter of what God can do. We must find and we have agreed to sacrifice what it takes to reach our goals. We have committed ourselves to speak to everyone with love, power and authority.

Elder Connor is learning quickly. He is humble and is a great listener. He is not scared to try new things. I have found that as I have sought to be guided by the spirit, he has learned more about how to recognize the spirit. I hope he can build his faith now so that he will find and baptize many people throughout his mission. It is easier to expect less than excellent, he is learning to shoot for the stars. My love for him increases as I pray for him and see the good. He looks up to me and I pray that I can place him on higher ground for the rest of his mission.

Here are some thoughts from this week, they aren’t organized in any specific order.

This week I had a very intense experience. I have been under a lot of pressure this week, which was to some degree self-imposed. I have been trying very consciencously to be patient and to forget myself. I have been seeking peace in being grateful, especially for the my hardships. Last night I was sick and tired and I had made a mistake in an accounting processes when  I got a call from one of my leaders. This leader was irritated and told me everything I did wrong. I explained a little bit, but desided that it wasn’t needed to defend myself, so I apologized and said good night. I was fighting an inner battle. The natural man in me wanted to be angry at this leader and then the spirit was fighting to be patient and forgiving. I took the oppurtuinty to teach Elder Connor saying, ” as a leader you will feel the weight and pressure of your responsibility, be careful not to speak when you are irritated and don’t take it personally if one of your leaders feels that pressure and takes it out on you accidently”. I’m not telling this to boast or to show that I am forgiving. Rather I want to share what I was feeling as I went through this process of apologizing, teaching and forgiving. I was crying and I felt a physical battle happening inside of me. I was not crying because of what my leader had said, rather I was crying in an emotional and phsyical battle. Satan and our natural selfs will seek to satisfy selfish and self-centered desires, but we must not let darkness fill us. We must let the spirit child of God within us fill us with light and dismiss the darkness that too easily enters our hearts.

This week was, in many ways, disappointing. But, the Lord blessed us with those ‘back-door blessings’ and has reassured me. I have been thinking a lot about what I need to do better in order to become worthy to find the elect and baptize in the way that President Kimball envisioned missionary work. The need for the spirit in the work is more than vital. Without the spirit we cannot teach, nor can we find, nor can we baptize unto repentance and conversion. That has been my personal focus these last two weeks. I have been working on doing something that F. Enzio Bushe said. He said, “ there are always hundreds of different desires fighting for supremecy with us. The act of categorizing them is a very painful, but needful process to become in the eyes of God a mature person.” This has caused me to ponder/ask in almost every situation, “ What is the spirit trying to tell me?” We have been led by the spirit more and more. During our last meeting of the week the Lord gave me a very clear answer to my prayer, “What must we do this week in order to find your chosen children?”. I was told that I need to open my mouth more. I need to project my spirit and speak with more love power and authority.

Elder Cook

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