Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Power of The Atonement
    Well, this last week has been a bit stressful, but I found great strength and support as I relied on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and sought revelation through prayer.
    I had been quite stressed out at different times with all the things that we had going on and not enough time to get to it all.  The first week of a transfer is always difficult due to transfer planning and Zone Goal planning and such, but it was also piled on top with training a new Zone Leader.  My new companion is Elder Craig from Middleton, Idaho; I just love this elder, and he and I work well together.  Also, he has an amazing voice, so we've been singing in many of our lessons, and it's really brought the Spirit into every environment we are in -- including our companionship!
    During the first few days of the week, the load of responsibility stressed me out, but then we had two back to back appointments where we taught about the Atonement, and I think it was more for me than anyone else, haha.  As we taught, I felt the need to rely on the Lord more, as I had only been relying on myself and my own strengths.  I had been taking everything upon myself and not allowing Him to lift my burdens.  During each lesson, I shared the scripture Mosiah 14:4, "Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows...", and I testified of an experience I had during the beginning of my mission.
    Around the middle of last summer, while still being trained by Elder Ahumada, I had been going through an intense personal struggle – being too hung up on not understanding the "why" of my trial, and feeling utterly helpless.  As I was venting one evening about my frustrations, my loving trainer listened, and listened, and listened some more; then he gave me his heartfelt and sincere advice.  He tried to put himself in my shoes, but could only go so far, so he led me to understand more of the One who could -- that is, our Savior, Jesus Christ.  He gave me a talk to read that referenced Mosiah 14:4, and I learned more at that time of the power of the Atonement and how Christ's sacrifice was not only for our sins, but also so that we may find peace in Him.  That lesson I learned carried me through the rest of that summer, up through now, and has taught me more once again this week; I owe a great debt to my trainer, Elder Ahumada, and I am truly grateful for him taking to time to teach me how to understand and apply the Atonement.
     So a few nights ago, as I reflected on our Savior's sacrifice for us, and prayed for revelation as to how I could cope with my stress and overwhelming responsibilities, I found my answer.  It came by promptings from the Spirit and was centered on my need to focus more on my companion.  I have followed the counsel I received and have witnessed a change in myself, my companionship, and my renewed attitude towards the work.  I know that our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered for US in the Garden of Gethsemane, gave up His life for US upon the cross at Calvary, and conquered death - - arising from His 3-days tomb - all for US.  This He did, "...that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." (Alma 7:12).  And if we will remember Him, rely on His Atoning Sacrifice, and seek help through prayer, our Heavenly Father will answer us and teach us what we should do by the power of the Holy Ghost, and we will find the peace we so desire.
    Looking forward to a great week full of faith, hard work, and miracles : )
From Maine with Love,
Elder Dustin Carr

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