Dear Family and Friends,
I have decided to enlighten you with a conference talk once a month.  Today, it is my favorite talk of all time.  It is called “Cast not Away Therefore Your Confidence” by Elder Holland. I know it is one that everyone has read at least once, but it has been a beacon of light for me in my darkest times.  Read it, (the link is in the previous post on this blog) after you read it you can read my commentary.
The first thing I want to comment on is under “The fight goes on” He says “Unfortunately we must not think Satan is defeated with that first strong breakthrough which so dramatically brought light and moved us forward”.  Before coming on my mission, I was convinced that God had not told me whether to go or not.  Frankly, I’m still not sure, but something moved me forward and now I am here :).  I continued moving forward unil, for me, I was between Pharoh and the Red Sea.  Only for me, it was my just my hip.  THis past week , I went to the Hip specialist and the Red Sea has parted!  He said I would be alright and that currently, I don’t need a hip replacement.  In fact, he was rather surprised that I had only lost 10% of my rotation in my right hip.  After 15 years of having this disease, that is absolutely incredible!  Whatever form the light may come in, take it for what it is and keep moving forward.  He continues to note that however right the decision, don’t assume that it will just be easy, that you won’t  experience doubt and fear and whatever else.
“Do not Draw Back”
Have you ever felt peace and assurance that you thought you would never lose?  Paul counsels those who received such an assurance to “Cast Not Away therefore your confidence which has great recompence for reward.” How do we receive that reward? Through patience, faith, and endurance.  Elder Holland says something that my good friend Bekah said “feel the fear and move forward”.  Elder Holland concludes that idea with “Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you”. Or, in the words of my companion and President Hinckley, ” Things work out in the end, they always do. If its not working out, then its not the end”.
Elder Holland then talks about asking questions.  I am learning as a missionary, that the single most important thing to your conversion is to ask God.  It worked for Joseph, Nephi, and countless others.  It works for us as well.  He will give us answers if we truly want to know.  We have to press forward even when we are trapped between a rock and a hard place or Pharoh and the Red Sea.  Trust Heavenly Father and He will provide a way.
THe final point is Fear.  He notes that Moses only saw the bitterness of hell when he began to fear.  Essentially, in these moments, we have to cling to our moments where we felt that assurance and call to our rememberance that peace we never thought would leave.   I think that’s when having a grateful heart can really save us.  If we are well practiced at seeing the hand of God guiding our lives and leading us through our most challenging obstacles, we will hold on to that assurance much better and much tighter.  This kind of light is light we can capture to illuminate our path later.  Let the light that propelled you forward then, propel you now.
So… that is what I have been thinking about.  This principle is as true in the small things as it is in the big things.  With happiness, gratitude and with whatever we struggle with.  There is something we can hold on to.  If we cling to that, we will be sufficiently comforted and led.
Something that made me grateful:
For our devotional on Sunday, we had a legal consultant (?) for the church come and speak to us.  His name was WIlliam Atkin.  He referenced Joseph Smith’s first vision and talked about how Satan seeks to “bind our tongues”  He said “The adversary and his allies in the world seek to silence the voice of truth”.  He then talked about several countries that had restrictions on religions.  He gave examples of how the Lord provieded a way for such doors to be opened.
One such door was in Peru.  Apparently, Brother Atkin went there with Elder Worthen to write a law for Peru.  this year, 12 years after the law was written, that law was passed.  It made me want to study law.  It would be amazing to help people throughout the world gain religious freedom.
Something that made me laugh…
So much has made me laugh this week.  However this might be the best one to share with a mass audience.  We taught at the TRC for the first time on Saturday.  My Companion and I taught a native Korean girl.  We were teaching her the things we prepared and at one point I felt like I needed to say something else.  In my broken Korean, I started to construct my imperfect sentances and teach. My companion started flipping out and mumbling to me under her breath pointing repeatedly at our pre-written prompt.  Saying something like “what are you doing”? It was really only a couple sentances, but it seemed like forever.  We got a response from her on our lesson.  SHe said 2 things.  The first was “um…. AWKWARD” and the second “I learned Jesus LOVES me!!” Haha someday we will get better at this.
That is all for now.
Love you much,
Hansen Chamae