Thursday, August 4, 2011

Email to My Family

Last week, I got an email from my missionary brother which got me thinking. I wrote in my journal about it a couple days later, then emailed an excerpt to my family a few days after that. I thought it might be beneficial for others to read it too, so here's that email. 

From my journal:
"In [my brother's] email to me this week, he said something about following the Spirit, and that if I wonder what it sounds like, it sounds like me. That got me thinking a little about how I would describe what it feels like to follow the Spirit."
"I've been asking for the Spirit's help while I'm buying souvenirs, and it's been helpful. Sometimes I'll make my selections but feel unsettled about it. Then I'll think some more, re-evaluate, and put something back (sometimes surprising myself), and the stress vanishes. Sometimes I feel the Spirit telling me to wait and be patient, and sometimes it just says 'Either way is fine. The choice is yours.' I'll usually feel the Spirit as inclinations in one direction or another. Often I don't get confirmation until after I've made my choice. It usually speaks to me in feelings. And sometimes I'm left to act on my own knowledge and wisdom."
A couple times too, I've had some time to wander around downtown, and I've just asked Heavenly Father to guide me as to where I should go. I was guided through the streets in the same way I described, by subtle feelings and impressions in one direction or another, and I tried to keep a general sense of direction as to where I was. It's funny because both times, I ended up finding small churches to visit (and then I had help in visiting a couple other places too). To feel in tune with the Spirit, I kept a prayer in my heart, sung hymns in my head (especially ones like "Lead Kindly Light"), and tried to keep an open mind/heart. Then I followed the feelings I had and received either confirmation or a "stupor of thought."

I know what it feels like to have the Spirit, and I know that it's a good and desirable feeling and what I should be doing. So even when I'm feeling lazy or rebellious, I know the direction I should be going, and I can work on humbling myself and getting back on the right path. I still need to work on always inviting Heavenly Father to be a major part of what I'm doing, and sometimes I'm slow to listen to the Spirit when it whispers. But life is a process and requires constant repentance and change. The Spirit is awesome, testifies of truth, brings peace, and always leads us to do what is right. 

I love you guys!!! Hope you're all doing well, and I hope to see you soon.

P.S. If I don't see you until Christmas, can I just use your souvenirs as your Christmas presents? ;)

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