Thursday, September 15, 2016

God does not protect us from pain. He perfects us through it.

Man, these P-Days come by real quick! Maybe it's because nothing really goes on here, so these emails are really tough to scrape up, but I do it anyways!

So I tried Brother Blackham's advice of serving my companion. Last P-Day, while he was napping, I decided to iron all of his shirts. I didn't tell him or anyone else because I'm not supposed to expect anything in return. And honestly, after doing that, it made it a lot easier to be kind and accepting to him the next couple of days! He's still the exact same, but it made me feel like I'm supposed to take care of him, so I was just a lot nicer.

I'm branching out more to other districts and zones, because conversing with the same 15 missionaries can get kinda boring. It's really nice to meet other people because they all have different stories and personalities and characteristics, so it's all a nice change of pace.

During choir on Sunday I think it was, our choir director shares a ton of stories and stuff, and everyone loves it! So the story that he shared this particular Sunday was my favorite. His story (from his perspective) was this:

So I was watching a video of this man showing a demonstration of this machine. He grabbed a chunk of peanut butter, and slapped it on top of this black rock looking thing. Then on top of that, he put another black rock. So basically it was a sandwich of these black rocks and a chunk of peanut butter. The man then proceeded to put the "sandwich" in this machine that compressed it into a tight ball. The ball then started to heat up and glow a hot red. The man demonstrating the machine said "Okay, now we are going to let this sit here for a couple of days before taking it out, and we will see what happens." So they let it sit there, burning itself up for a couple of days. Afterwards, the man turns off the heat, and takes out the ball of burnt mass left inside. He takes a hammer and cracks the black ball in half and to my surprise, he takes out a beautiful diamond.

The demonstrator said that this diamond was the peanut butter. After all of the heat and pressure put on it, it looks almost identical to a normal diamond, and almost indistinguishable to the naked eye.

His point to telling this kinda weird story was this: If that peanut butter could think and act for itself, there's NO WAY that it would want to be put into that burning compressed furnace for days. It would be terrified to face that kind of challenge. However, after going through it, after seeing what it became, there’s no way it wouldn’t want anything different.

our teeny tiny classroom 
God sometimes works this way with us. He puts us through difficulties and trials and hardships that seem impossible and terrifying. But after we've pushed through it, we look back and are so grateful for it.

God does not protect us from pain. He perfects us through it.

Anyways, that's just my thought for the week. Sometimes it's comforting to know that there's always a reason for our struggles. I'll talk to you in another short week! I love you all!

Elder Austin Russell Cook

Elder Brown took my phone and took this fantastic selfie
my companion
All of the languages taught in the MTC

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