As a missionary, my testimony has come from experiences in my youth and during my first year at BYU. While pondering it over these past few weeks, I have realized that almost every one of my spiritual experiences has come after a trial of faith. For example, at BYU, I was incredibly nervous about accepting my calling as an Elder´s quorum instructor. Everyone is generally really intelligent at BYU, and my Bishopric was composed of mostly BYU professors. Some students were RMs too, which meant they knew and understood the scriptures better than me. I prayed about it a lot--more than ever before. This was one of my first real, legitimate experiences with sincere praying. I decided that if my calling as instructor had come to my Elder's quorum president as revelation, I should have faith and trust in him and the Lord.
In the end, it turned out to be a great experience for me. I was later called to teach during Spring term as well, which entailed teaching to a quorum of 75! It was like teaching a college lecture, and I had to use PowerPoint and study in depth before each lesson, aside from my weekly load of normal class studies. It was a great experience for me. Throughout the year many people, even some professors, complimented me and said, "Good Job." What more, I even enjoyed preparing the lessons since I learned so much about the gospel, the scriptures, and other people. What would have happened if I had never accepted the calling? All of those blessings would have been withheld from me.
More often than not, we have to show faith before we receive blessings. Unfortunately, we commonly do just the opposite in the world today. For example, we buy the new HD tv and pay the debt off later, taking in the reward before performing the hard work or enduring the trial to pay it off. In the church, however, we often have to work before the blessings come into our lives. Though tough at times, in the end the Lord´s system makes more sense. We really appreciate the divine blessings after having had worked so hard to receive them. They take on a new value. They make us better people. And with time, they make our faith even stronger.
Just like the Bible Dictionary says, "Faith is to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true" (Heb. 11:1; Alma 32:21).
Though one of the most simple gospel principles, it is one of most applicable in our daily lives.
A little bit further down in the Bible Dictionary, it says this: "Although faith is a gift, it must be cultured and sought after until it grows from a tiny seed to a great tree."
I know many of you have faith in the church, faith in your families, and faith in yourselves. I admire your example. I am also so grateful for everything you all have done for me. Many of you have served as youth leaders, teachers, scout masters, or just simply as friends. Much of my testimony comes from special experiences that happened before heading off to college and then on to Argentina. Simply put, my youth was just great. Thank you for making it so awesome.
Like always, I really enjoy your letters and support. I hope you all have an incredible December and that Santa Clause treats you well! haha. Happy holidays, and I will write more next week.