This blog chronicles Matthew Staib's progress as he serves an LDS mission over the course of twenty-four months.

You can also read his personal blog at different, defined.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Of Opposition, Confirmations & Change

Dear all y'all.

This week was very much a week of opposition, but not entirely in the bad way.

When we say "opposition", we tend to think of bad things that happen whenever we're blessed. This week taught me that the opposite effect of opposition is just as true. For all the hardships we endure, if we endure it well, we are blessed soon afterwards. We had a couple days of solid rejection, unavailability and people making bad decisions. The very next day, we found a few families that welcomed us into their homes, tearfully asking us to pray on behalf of others and wanting us to strengthen their relationship with God. There truly is opposition in all things.

Zac and Brianna were confirmed Sunday. Their whole family was there to witness it. The entire Rasdon family is now baptized. Zac is receiving the priesthood next week. The father is getting the priesthood soon. They're growing and improving. It has been a physical, emotional a spiritual change for them.

That leads to the point I realized recently. I came out on the mission expecting nothing to change much. Not myself, not the areas I affected, not the world or people I left at home; none of it. Or at least, not to change much. I didn't feel like I had the potential to change anything, and honestly, I'm not sure if I even wanted anything to change.

Asking for life not to change is both the Devil's way of doing things and going against the divine nature we are instilled with as God's children. As divine beings, we are changing ALL the TIME. Every experience changes our outlook on the future and on life, no matter how minuscule it is. And because we always change, we have to make a choice: do we want to change for the better, or for the worse?

If we're not moving forward, Satan is in control, and pulling us backward. As divine beings, we have the power each day, through the choices we make, to progress or digress. Nothing can force us to do that other than ourselves. Strip away all our material possessions, titles, standings and callings -- strip all that away and you  see a person. A human with personality, motives, dreams, desires, fears and morals. We ourselves need to change that human aspect of ourselves, the divine nature, into something that desires changing for good in order to eventually become like Christ.

Yeah, a lot of this is me rambling, I suppose. But that's how life is. We cannot escape it. And if you refuse to believe you can be any better, read scripture. All the hope in the world we have to change for the better can be found through Christ's comforting words, "Go, and sin no more."

Elder Whetten leaves next week. I'll get to use the computers once more on Saturday. I'll miss him. He's been such a good role model to me of a hard-working AND productive missionary. Now I have to continue to give Pocahontas that service.

I love y'all and all y'all have done to influence my life. Whether it's been a big or small influence, those things are, nonetheless, moments to look back on and learn from.

Someone once said something to the effect of, "People can't remember what you say, but they can always remember how you made them feel."

Many people have made me feel loved and blessed. Thank you.

-Elder Staib

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