I've spent a lot of time trying to think of what I would write home today. I've tried to remember miracles that may have occurred this week, or something out of the ordinary. After much thought, I've come to the conclusion that although nothing particularly exciting has happened this week beyond having the opportunity to call home and hear the voices of my incredible family, there is always a good message to share.
I have so many weaknessess. Those who know me well are very aware of this I'm sure. I'm passionate about a lot of things, and often I'll let this passion get the best of me at the expense of others. One of the many important lessons that serving God is teaching me is that in order to do His work, I need to constantly forget myself and be humble. The humbling of an inherently prideful soul, which is mine, is no easy task.
Sometime last week I was on the bus with a man that I perceived to be very prideful. As I did my best to spit out my best Cantonese and share my message, he would backfire with phrases that he seemed to think were extremely profound and logically superior to my views. He told me that God was a part of my family and not his, and that he was governed by his individual choices in life. I tried to tell him that the principle of choice does not disprove God, but in fact magnifies the idea of His existence because of the way our choices directly affect our happiness, and prove the existence of right and wrong, and good vs. evil. Of course I couldn't really get that out very well, especially because I was too exasperated by the look on his face after every time he spoke. If anyone has seen Batman Begins, they'll remember in the beginning when Christian Bale gets in a fight with that big chinese guy who says, "I am the devil." You remember his face when he says it? Yeah, same face.
Naturally, my first reaction inside was the though, "OOoo, I bet you think you're so awesome, putting the slam down on a white kid who has been speaking your language for four months." This is an example of my own pridefulness. The more and more I've looked back to this experience, the more and more I've realized that I truly don't really know anything. This man did not cause me to question my faith -- in fact, I'm grateful to him because he gave me cause to reflect even deeper on my beliefs. And in this time of reflection, I've come even closer to my Savior Jesus Christ. Maybe not the result the man was hoping for, but I hope one day he too will learn that there is an opportunity for strength in every moment of weakness.
And that is my message today: weakness is nothing but a medium through which we are made more powerful, more effective, more successful, and more happy in this life. "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong," (2 Corinthians 12:10). Christ is not a school-teacher who says to his students, "Raise your hand if you want to be saved by grace." He tells us to do our homework, prepare for our tests, and do everything we can to succeed. We will make mistakes on our homework, miss points on our exams, and be discouraged on the way. But if we come unto Him in humility, seeking to utilize His Atonement, we will be enabled to eventually perfect the mistakes we've made in the past, until we can always get the right answer.
My wonderful friends and my beautiful family, know this: I am a representative of Jesus Christ. I seek always to humbly serve Him. I diligently seek to live by the statement made in Luke 12:43, "Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing." I know that my Lord has come, and will come again, and because His grace is sufficient to fill in the gaps of our inevitable infirmities, I know that living the commandments of God will enable me to do the work I've been sent to do. I am not perfect, and neither am I truly a good teacher. But the Spirit whispers the words of the Master, who is Jesus Christ, the son of the living God, our Eternal Heavenly Father. My weaknesses are what enable me to remember my Redeemer, and know that there is not only light at the end of the tunnel, but there is light on my path the whole way.
Christ lives. We are all meant to receive His grace, and His enabling power. May we all be strengthened in our weaknessess. I love you all, and pray for you.