Onward Ever Onward

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Hey ya'll

To be frank this week was even slower than the last. With a heavy heart I must confess I have little to report to you. Yet this work still bolsters my very soul and when it seems like I couldn't move forward any more I find the vigor and zeal I require by remembering whose work I am really doing. It certainly is not about me.

Some events that made me smile or giggle or shudder this week include:

General Conference of course. I was not only spiritually fed and enraptured by the words of President Nelson, who surely is a prophet that speaks on God's behalf, but I was physically fed by the generous Tongan branch, with whom I enjoyed conference. I ate a lot.

We had a lesson with Beth, one of the first people I met on my mission who was recently baptized. Beth is a very inspiring individual with a great story, but on this occasion the notable occurrence was when her traumatized dog attacked my ankle with great fervor. It did not feel great.

Directly following this lesson we were pulled over by the police. Some very strange procedures and a few other peculiar incidents led us to believe that there was a manhunt in progress for someone with a similar car to us.  

I had my very first 24 hour exchange. My 24 hour companion was super chill and we got along nicely. Him and a few other missionaries did some digging and were able to find the King Lear Ensemble Scene. They found the idea that I was an actor quite amusing and have teased me about it ever since.

Today I was almost struck by a vehicle going 60 miles an hour. I was 6 inches away from death. Puts things in a different perspective. Morbid advice for you all, but ensure that you have all business in order. You are never assured another day.

To compensate for that disturbing tangent I will share with you something that brought me a deep peace and comfort. A speaker in conference mentioned the well known story of Peter walking on the water to meet Christ. In all honesty I was carried away in my own imaginings of the account so I don't recall exactly what the speaker said but I am sure it was wonderful.

I imagined Peter so vividly climbing out of the safety of the boat and onto the water so that he could be with Christ. As he went to his master for a brief time Peter miraculously walked on water. However as soon as Peter shifted his focus from Christ to the "wind boisterous, he was afraid"

What follows stirs my soul.
Peter "beginning to sink" cries "Lord, save me!"
"And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him"

I know firsthand that centering one's life on Jesus Christ will give us the power to do miraculous things, just like Peter. The deep joy that comes from blessing someone else's life with miracles, or the peace that comes from being blessed by them, is astounding. I hope that in their own time, everyone will have the opportunity to experience it.

But even more humbling to me is the idea that when we fail to dispel our doubts, and our faith and focus on Jesus Christ falters because of its imperfection, he is there to catch us. No matter how frightening the winds of our lives seem, or how insurmountable the mountainous waves appear, Jesus Christ will never let us drown. He will always catch us no matter how far it seems we are sinking. His love is unfailing.

Don't worry I didn't forget about the songs.
Instead of My Room--Charlie Burg
Are You Coming Over--Hard Car Kids
Circles--Mac Miller
Tonight I wish I was your Boy--The 1975
When the Ice Goes Out--John Gorka
Two Little Feet--Greg Brown
I Feel Energy--Dirty Projectors

I love you all. See you in a week.

Elder Winegar

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