Dear Friends and Family,
Hello world. Miss me? I’m still breathing, believe it or not.
Way back in my fourth transfer (about last October), my companion Cardoso-choro told me that when you hit your tenth transfer, you just get tired. The tole of day-after-day giving all your heart, might, mind, and strength to the Lord and His work begins to wear on you in all four areas (emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically). Although no one day of Dendo may be as physically exhausting as running a marathon, you typically don:t run a marathon every day for two years without taking any breaks. Even if you did, although you would certainly be mentally-focused on the race, and while your heart would certainly be in it, it would not demand every ounce of focus or emotional stamina you could wring out of the brittle human frame.
Dendo, on the other hand, often does. Dendo demands everything you have. You can get by pacing yourself or giving minimum effort, but you can:t do that and be a true disciple. You can’t do that and gather the elect. No, a true disciple must give more if he expects the power of Almighty God to match his own input. He must put it all on the altar of sacrifice every day. A true disciple’s goal at the end of the day is to hit that futon face-first and die. If he wakes up the next morning, then he held something back that day. And that’s not good enough. A true disciple knows that he only has two years to serve the Lord, and the rest of his life to think about it. There is no more important work than the work of salvation.
What Cardoso-Choro understood was that, once you have done “all that you can do,” then the grace of the Savior Jesus Christ carries you whatever distance remains between you and what the Lord expects. In fact, that grace is available before, during, and after you have exhausted your own efforts. That grace is an enabling power that makes possible what never could have been possible by human faculties. It makes weak things become strong (Ether 12:27). It was this power that gave Samson his strength. It was this power that enabled Nephi to break his bands in the wilderness. It was this power that allowed Ammon to astonish the Lamanites and convert thousands. These are things that mortal men cannot do.
Likewise, even though a mortal cannot continue to sacrifice 200% every day, a true disciple with access to the grace of Jesus, can do just that. If he is cleansed through the atoning blood of the lamb of God and sanctified by that power, then he can confidently pursue the will of the Lord without fear of being insufficient.
Therefore, I don’t hold back. I can’t. There’s too little time for that. I know that every day, the enabling power of His amazing grace will carry me as far as I need to go. It does not take the tired out of the missionary. It just enables him to do the work anyway. And so, as a tenth transfer missionary, I am tired. Every day I am tired. I am very, very tired. I am wearing myself out in the service of my God. I invite you all to do the same. It is a happy way to live.