Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 9: First Lesson, Zone Conference on Love of Christ and Faith

Y’all are saying I have been out like two months and its scary! AH!!! I can't believe it!! I have been out for a full 6 weeks in Colorado and two weeks in the MTC!!! Its nuts!!! This week was super interesting. We had another zone meeting and I had my first lesson with a person that was interested in the church. The sad thing is she only came down from Aurora to just have one lesson. It went okay, we learned what we could do better the next day and I just love doing an alright job and then really learning what you can do better. She lives out of our area so we cant really teach them everything and to make news even worse. All my pictures got deleted! AH!
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH oh my gosh. :(((((((((((((((((((((( dang it. I am sooooooo frustrated!!! Ha ha ha I only had about like 60.. :(My goodness. But I did figure out a way to make my pictures smaller so I can email them! So yeah that’s always good :) But dang it!
Anyway, this week was a little hard towards the end. It started out really good! We had another zone meeting and it was really good. We kind of lost our focus for trying to get 42 baptisms by the end of December. We just focused so much and we kind of forgot the whole reason why we were trying to get 42 baptisms. We were shooting for 42 baptisms because we wanted to give Christ a gift. More people to come unto Him and for the people to get to know how amazing Christ was and I took away two things from that meeting. This is why I am really glad I went to institute and had amazing teachers to show me all those things. It really made an impact in the meeting. I remembered the scripture account of Christ on the shore after he died and went to see his disciples. They were fishing at night and Christ was talking to Peter on the shore. It is in the account of John. This is when Christ asks Peter if he loved him three times and Peter says, “Yes”. But what is so interesting about this story is that he asks, “Do you love me?” three times and it might not make sense why he asked him three times. Peter answers each time and says he did love him, but it does make sense in Greek. In English there is one word for love but has different meanings; I love you as a friend, I love you as my brother and I love you; like I care about you a lot and I would do anything for you type of love. It is really interesting that we say, “I love you”, but sometimes we don't know what type of love it is. But in Greek there are three types of love. The New Testament original translation is from Greek.
So there are three types of love in Greek but they mean different types of love. Eros is one of them and that means an intimate, romantic type of love. The next one is Philia; it is a brotherly love, love of a friend. Then Agape, it is a love that means that I love you more than anything, a selfless love. What is so interesting is putting the Greek translation near the English scriptures. So in the Greek account, Christ asks Peter. "Dost thou agape me?" so in English basically Christ is saying. Peter do you love me more than anything? Then Peter says unto him, "Lord thou knowest that I philia you" "Then feed my sheep." then Christ says again unto Peter; "Peter dost thou agape me?" and Peter says unto Christ... "Lord thou knowest that I philia you"... then the last time that Christ asks Peter if he loved him, he says; “Simon Peter, dost thou philia me?” and Peter says unto Him, “Lord, thou knowest that I philia you.”
Christ has an agape love for everyone and it’s really hard as humans to understand that love. That’s why Peter said philia to Christ because he could not understand the love that Christ was inferring. But what is so cool about this story is that Christ, is a God of love. He comes down to our level of our love and He takes what we give Him. Even though he loves us more than anything, because He loves us so much that He wants to just be a part of what we have and just wants all the love that we can give Him. I told the zone that in the meeting of all the missionaries in the Parker area, I told them that Christ always takes what we give Him. We need to stop focusing on a number to accomplish and focus on the best of the love we can offer to the people and what the best we can offer to Christ because He has given so much back to us. So all of the missionaries realized just do the absolute best you can at all times and in all things and He will take it.
Now obviously Love is important to have but really make that love strong in Christ. We must have faith in Him.
I remember another scripture account of Peter with Christ walking on the water. This is probably the coolest thing that I have learned this week, about faith. I will show you the greatest and prime example of faith, and faith in Jesus Christ. So the apostles saw Christ walking on the water and Christ saw that they were afraid and He said to be of good cheer, it is I. BE NOT AFRAID. Then Peter said Lord if it be thou, Bid me to come unto you and He said "Come" So Peter walked out on to the sea; to go to Jesus. So now you are probably thinking; “Wow, he is about to walk on water…” No, he is walking on the water. What incredible faith? Nope, that is the least amount of faith in the section of scripture. I am sure that it took some faith and trust in Christ for the Lord to say, “Come”. Now I relate that to our time. The lord is never going to give something we can't handle, especially when He says COME. But going back to faith; what is faith? Ether 12:6 says, “I would show unto the WORLD! that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen.” Peter sees Christ walking on the water. Christ has said "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed ye shall be able to move mountains." Why is such little faith required to do such a big thing? The size of a mustard seed is so incredibly small. Do you see the relation of actually how small the amount of faith he had to do a marvelous and huge thing? Walking on water; moving a mountain. I can't do that, but that is not a trial of faith or at least a big one because He saw Christ walking on water. And faith is a thing which you cannot see but you hope for to be true. So now I am going to show you the real example of faith, and the real trial of faith.
"But when He saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid and was beginning to sink." See that right there is another example of how small the faith was to walk on water. Faith and fear cannot exist in the same place and at the same time, and you also notice that he lost his focus on Christ. Wind in our day is the same as it is back then. Satan was working really hard on Peter in that time. One of Satan’s biggest tools is doubt, discouragement, fear..... It is one of the strongest tools that Satan has and will not sell for anything. So, back to the wind; wind is not a huge thing but it can cause so much of a distraction. Small distractions are enough of a distraction for us to lose our faith and focus on Christ. Like when we are doing homework and we get distracted by a cell phone. When we lose our focus on Christ we begin to sink. When we get scared, we begin to sink. You know why? Because the fear of something is worse than the thing you're actually scared of. "The Fear of failure is worse than the failure itself."
The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. Because the mind is so powerful, I am telling you that we are living far below our privileges. Look back to Christ and Peter walking on the water, we already established that Peter had just a small amount of faith, enough to walk on water. So what was the other side of his mind filled up with so that He could walk on water? He probably KNEW THAT HE COULD DO IT! Because he saw Christ was already doing it. Will power is sometimes all you need, just the power to believe that you can and you will. Or he was focused on Christ so much and he just wanted to be with him. So I am now going to show you the real example of faith. IT IS SO COOOL!! When he saw the wind boisterous he was afraid and beginning to sink, He cried, saying, “Lord, Save me." if you haven’t figured it out yet. The real example of faith here is when we are just down on our luck; when we are in our time of need. When we see all the things around us and are afraid. We feel like there is nothing we can do anymore to make it better. That’s when we lose our fear and doubt for a second, a good minute, maybe even an hour and just hope and have faith. Because there’s nothing we can do anymore except just say "Lord, save me".
Those three words changed my life and that’s when I really understood that the Lord is our Savior and Redeemer. Reaches out to us in our time of need, in your worst times, because that’s when your faith is magnified. The amount of faith in those three words probably had so much faith in them that it could not be avoided. The choices of words were perfect. The Spirit was in Peter in that moment when He was down, about to sink. He couldn't see Christ anymore. He was sinking, that’s why it was a real example of faith and because he knew He was there but he just could not see Him. What is faith? Faith is the thing hoped for, but not seen. When Peter said those three words; he was exercising such huge faith by a small way. Saying three words, “Lord, save me”. Now hopefully, you see the real weird thing about faith. HOPEFULLY! If ye have faith the size of a mustard seed you will be able to move this mountain. I wonder why the scriptures never said if you have bigger faith you will be able to… ya know? But now I know why. Do you see how interesting faith is? Peter had amazing and huge amount of faith and exercised it by just a simple way in a huge person (Christ) because of the situation. The reason why He was saved is because of Christ.
THROUGH CHRIST ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! Christ took all the faith that Peter had and made it possible. That is so crazy!! Then in the next verse it is says "And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him. O thou of little faith…wherefore didst thou doubt?” I told you! It was a little amount of faith to walk on water but when He exercised his huge faith in Jesus Christ, down in his dire moments. It says immediately Jesus caught him and stretched forth his hand. I don’t think Jesus ran to Peter either it. It just says immediately. I believe that Peter walked far enough to Christ so that He was able to save him when he said I need your help or Christ was already really close to him and all he needed to do was stretch forth his hand. We honestly don't know how far Christ is when we can't see him and when we ware sinking. He might seem far but He isn't. He is right there just wanting to extend his hand, but won't or can't until you say, ‘Lord, save me”. Sometimes He won’t save us because He doesn’t need to save us in certain situations because He KNOWS YOU CAN DO IT BY YOURSELF. That’s what I bet he wants to say to us all the time. "Just look at what you can do! Don't worry about me right now. I'll fill in the rest but just try and look at what you can do! You’re going to do marvelous things."
That’s what I mean that we are living far below our privileges. We honestly don't know how much potential we have but the adversary does and so does your Heavenly Father and the adversary is going to do all he can to stop you. He is going to use fear the most because fear is the strongest thing that he has against you. Because you won’t do it if you are scared; Or you don’t do it well if you do, because you are scared. Because the fear of talking to people and wondering if they will hate me or like me or not, is worse than you talking to them and if they like you or not.
That’s what I took away from that meeting. If I love my Savior; if I love Christ and love representing Him, I am and can, and will do my best. I can do what the Savior did and He loves me so if I do my best, I know that He will take what I can give him because I did my best and to do my best I must have faith in Christ that all things are possible and I really got down on myself yesterday.. I just was like having a lot doubts about myself and just feel like I am completely useless... I asked my Heavenly Father. “Why did you send your son down here to suffer for me?” I was about to go into all of things I don't like about myself and I heard a voice say. "Don't you dare say those things. I love you too much for you to think them and for you to hear them from yourself. I sent my Son down here because I love you and he loves you more than anything as well. Don't doubt yourself ever because I love you and don’t ever feel like you're worth nothing. You are meant to be you for a reason and that reason is for you are to be you for other people…"
I felt calm after that, I felt peace and loved. A mission is hard and what I really don't like about it is that I feel that I have to act that I am okay at all times. Sometimes when I am not and pretend that I am strong when I am not. I was never like that and I never want to be like that, I just need to get some space sometimes. It’s really hard when you can't but I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who comes to you in a time of need and helps you find a way to get over these things. I want to do my Heavenly Fathers will and I know that I can do it and I know that I can get through it. I love you all and all of your support and I am so grateful for it.
Last thing:
They had the primary program this week and it was really cool seeing all the kids sing and I was singing along and they were bearing their testimony, but one family and a kid had a real effect on me. They have kid in their family whose name is Austin but he looks like my brother Ethan. He’s 6 and looks so much like him and I was playing with him, playing with Legos and talking to him and he kind of acts like Ethan. And I started to cry a little bit in their house, wishing that I spent more time with Ethan, playing with him. I got letters from my brothers and it was so great to hear from them and what was so cool about getting them is just how much I cried after reading them... Ethan who is 9 years old shocked me so much. He wrote p.r. (please read) instead of P.S. I loved it soo much and what was really cool was on the back side of the paper. He ran out of room on the front side. so all it had was on the back is "have faith in yourself Garrett" I was absolutely shocked that He understood that and I just felt so much strength and I read the letter from Travis saying Hi Garrett I miss you playing basketball with me. Austin’s letter I couldn't understand much but I just felt love and I love my family so much now and I am amazed at how much love can build up in a person and just affect you so much. I love my family and I am really grateful for them now. I miss them a lot but I know that that is okay. Because people are amazing, especially my family.
I am grateful for all my friends back home. I find tons of people out here that are just like them from back home. This place reminds me of home so much and I love living here in such a beautiful place serving others and loving others. It was a pleasure to write all of you and share you my experience this week. I love you all and thank you all for your support. (:
Elder Harrington with Elder Mr Incredible

Elder Garrett Steven Harrington
1250 Main street
Broomfield CO, 80020

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Companions, Elder Smith Sep 2013 - Dec 2013 Elder Anani Dec 2013 - Jan 2013 Elder Farr Jan 2013 -