I know this is my second post within a couple hours of each other, but I feel like I need to record my feelings somehow before I forget them. I have been struggling a lot lately with not feeling the Spirit and not really learning anything from church. As some of you know, I had a bad experience last semester in my old apartment. I HATED going to church...I did my visiting teaching, but I was rarely there to fulfill my calling as the Relief Society chorister. I don't know what got into me. I think it was a combination of a lot of things, some of them being my own fault and insecurities. But either way, I was pretty inactive in my own ward.
I decided to move into a ward with a couple good friends. I really think that this move is just what I needed to get me back on track spiritually. I have learned a lot from last semester, and am using what I learned this semester. My new apartment is great. I still wish I saw my roommates more, but they're really nice girls and we get along well. I love my new ward. I still don't know a lot of people, but I am trying hard, and that is the key. I didn't try last semester, and as a result knew NOBODY in that ward. People didn't even know I moved out.
This semester I am in the Compassionate Service Committee. I try hard to fulfill my calling the way the Lord wants me to. I just visit taught with my companion, and I felt the Spirit so strongly when I was with those girls. It wasn't awkward like most visiting teaching is, and I can tell that this will be a good semester VT-wise. One of the girls is a convert from Mexico. She's so cute and full of zest for the gospel that she has just learned about. The other girl is an amazing return missionary who is interested in a lot of things, and really easy to talk to. My companion is so natural, really nice, and we get along well. I hate to say it, but sometimes callings and going to church just get plain old BORING and TEDIOUS unless you make them fun.
*edit* My visiting teachers just came over, and we had another great time! We learned a lot about each other and had a great conversation about the roles of women and how important they are.
This semester I have been trying really hard to do what I needed to do to feel the Spirit. For a while, I felt nothing. I didn't learn a lot at church, nothing clicked with me. Once I started doing my calling, visiting teaching with an eager heart, and reading my scriptures, everything fell into place. I am making friends in my new ward (something that was a BIG issue with me in my last ward), I feel as though God trusts me to be his servant, I went to a few institute classes with Matt that have helped, and I am trying really hard to pray every night to include God in my life.
I think the major difference is my effort. God was always there for me, I just pushed him out because I was nervous at church, or didn't like my VT companion, petty things like that. Once I moved, I think it gave me that push I needed to start over again. I feel the Spirit so strongly today. It's good to have that back in my life after a period of its absence.
Everything at church today was about the Spirit and personal revelation. Everything I needed to hear.
I am so grateful that the Spirit told the people in charge of planning lessons that we needed to learn about him. I am so grateful that the Lord never leaves us, and even after we stray, we can always repent and go back to His open arms. I am so grateful for good examples in my life that show me that I can be spiritual and unique. I am grateful for service. I know that through serving the Lord and the people in His church that I have grown closer to Him. I felt so numb before, but now know that Christ's Atonement has the power to change people for the better, even when it doesn't seem like they'll ever change. I have a testimony in God's love for His children. I know that He is present in all of our lives, and wants the best for us. He gives us challenges, but with them, the resources to learn from them and find hope and strength. I love the scriptures. I still don't know a lot about them, but what I do know is how I feel when I read them.
I am by no means perfect. I have struggles and imperfections that I battle every day. Sometimes it's hard to look in the mirror and realize that there are problems in your life because of your own doing. But after I realized that, and tried earnestly to find the Spirit in my life again, it happened. It took a while, but it's back again, and I am so grateful for this feeling.
To anyone who is struggling with this, I urge you to read your scriptures, pray to the Lord and ask Him to help you. Immerse yourself in service, and find strength in those around you. I feel so much better now that I have started doing this again.
Sorry if this is super-uber Mormon, but I feel as though it is important to share how I feel, and admit that I have not always been as strong in the church as I could be. The wonderful thing about it is that you can always go back.
Quotes from today:
"I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand what I should do."--(he was led to do the right thing eventually)
"We have to trust the Spirit will lead us."
"The Spirit can have an effect on your life, but only if you let it."
"If we're humble, and we're listening, and our attitude is right, the Lord will answer our prayers."
"People get concerned with what THEY have to overcome. They have to face that challenge alone. We knew we would come to this earth with all sorts of weaknesses. But we knew there was a way out with Christ. We don't overcome it alone. Walk in the meekness of my spirit, and you shall have peace."
"In a world where you can be anything, be yourself."
"Be still and know that I am God...Let Jesus be your companion."
"The Priesthood and Doctrine are all we need in this Church. Everything is just an appendage of those two things."
"Nothing in this life is of greater worth than the Holy Ghost."
"Life never gets easier like you expect it to. Learn how to use the Holy Ghost now so that you get in the habit of using it as life goes on."
"The word repentance means to change yourself with the help of the Savior."
"Do what you can to bring your sisters unto me."--what the Lord wants us to do to serve Him.
"Wom of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough, we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith."--Margaret P. Nadauld.