Monday, February 10, 2014

You can Choose the Consequences

Called to Serve: Reno :)

 Reno may be different from Temple Square, but the Lord is here, God's children are here, and I am grateful and excited beyond belief to be here

How is it that it's already half-way through February?  Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I thought that Valentine's Day might be a little weird as a missionary, but I am more excited about it this year than I have ever been before.  I am so grateful to be a full-time representative of Him who has the purest love of all, and who is it all for?  Each and every one of us.  You and me.  Your neighbor, your friends, you acquantances, even those you will never have the chance to meet during this life...His love is for them.
I am definitely wearing out these boots every day...I've never been so happy to see such broken shoes!
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)
I testify to the reality of this verse and the impact it has had on my life.  I know that the greatest manifestations of love can and will be found as we follow the footsteps of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I am amazed that He beared all manner of afflictions in my behalf.  I know that He overcame all forms of death that we could each live again.  Why?  How?  The answers are found in His great plan of happiness in the first and basic principle that we each lived with Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father before coming here.  He died for us, His friends, because He knows us, because we lived with Him before.  Imagine what kind of relationship we must of each had with Him for His willingness to suffer so much on our behalf.  I invite you to each ponder this, the greatest act of love this world has ever known, and why it matters to you.  I testify to each and every one of you that Jesus Christ is our elder brother, our friend, our advocate and He is our Savior and Redeemer.  I know He lives and I know this with everything that I am.  I choose to represent Him because He first chose to represent us, to represent me, and those whom I love and hold dear to my heart.  He has given me everything and continues to do so every day.  I love Him and give my heart to Him today, this Valetine's Day, and every single day to come for eternity.  What a happy and joyous image it is to think of being reunited with Him again one day.  Coming to know Him better has changed my life and I testify to the reality that He truly teaches, loves, gives, heals, one by one...and that means YOU are important to Him.

 Up close with the biggest horse painting ever! :)
I've thought about how it is because of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father that all consequences are brought about.  We feel sad, we feel happy, we feel guilty, we feel relief all based on if it coincides or contradicts with the laws of heaven whether we fully recognize it or not.  This past Sunday our lesson was on agency and how we are free to choose right from wrong, but not free to choose our consequences.  I have heard this throughout my life but really gave it some thought during class and since then during my studies.

Cool painting in downtown Reno "GO WEST"--Born in California, raised in Washington and Oregon, I am certainly a West coast girl
We may not be able to choose which consequences come from which actions, but we certainly can choose the consequences we want in our lives. Everything ties back to our Heavenly Father and His laws of justice of mercy.  If we want to find happiness, if we want to find success, if we want to feel peace and joy in this life and in the life to come, we make the choices that will bring about such consequences.  You can choose your consequences.
"I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise."
(D&C 82:10)
I testify to each and every one of you that God keeps His promises.  Each day I have seen that as I do as He asks, I receive the consequences I want most in life.  I want to see people feel the spirit, so I choose to each day give everything I can to exactly obedient.  I want to help others know that The Book of Mormon is true, so each day I strengthen my own conviction and sure knowledge that it is the word of God.
What do you want to see happen in your life?  What matters most to you?  What do you cherish?  What do you hold dear?  What are your fears?  What do you yearn for?  What do you feel missing in your lives?  Remember WHO'S you are.  You are a child of God, you are a brother or sister of the Savior of this World.  They have created consequences for each of us to receive as we come to them.
The Shipp family in the ward got a new puppy! Ahh how I miss my dogs.
Devin experienced this first hand this last week.  Devin is one of the new investigators that we have met since our jump roping with our friends in the streets.  Devin is only about 24, but his home, his heart, his family, all have been broken and he feels lost looking for a way to repair it.  In our first lesson with Devin, he came to the realization that God lived because of how he felt.  He could feel the spirit of God.  He could feel closer to his Heavenly home. Tears of joy filled his eyes as he realized that he had known it all along.  As he looked through his life he could see that God was there, he just hadn't allowed himself to believe it.  With this new realiziation he then received the consequence...a desire to pray.
When we came to Devin's the next time there were drug deals happening outside, people yelling and screaming, music blaring but Devin prayed...for the first time in his entire life.  The spirit filled the room.
"I never want to lose touch with Him again,"  Devin whispered after his humble prayer.
I saw Devin's whole outlook on life change as He came closer to God.  His whole life he had been living in a way that brought consequences he didn't want.  Now, he was seeing that choosing and obtaining the consequences he wanted was as simple as deciding and acting.
It is windy beyond belief here in Reno! (Mom & Dad--doesn't my face look EXACTLY like it did when I was little?)
"Yea, even that ye would have so much faith as even to plant the word in your hearts, that ye may try the experiment of its goodness." (Alma 34:4) 
I testify to you that the greatest joy, the most sincere love, the most profound potential comes from the faith that you have, and allowing God to use it to give you that which you desire most in life as it is in line with His will.  His whole purpose is you bring about your eternal life, and what a glorious consequence that is for us to choose and work towards.
We somehow survived the wind! Really, I thought we would be blown over.
Will you each think of the consequences you want in your life and then pray to know how you can achieve these things?  I promise you God will provide a way.  He did not send us here to fail, He sent us here to return to Him.  Listen to Him, for in Him every good consequence lives.
Three Sisters in our Valentine's Socks!  Thanks Mom.
I love each and every one of you.  Have an amazing and wonderful week! Happy Valentines Day :)
Love Always,
Sister Briggs
SHOUTOUS: Mom & Dad, all the Briggs family (I missed you this weekend in Washington! You are all in my most sincere prayers!), The Donakey family, Robert too :), Nicky Lin, Grandfather and Grandma Jeanie

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