Think of the end before the beginning!

Hello:

This week has been another wonderfully crazy weather week. We had a very nice snowstorm roll through Northern Alabama this week that dropped 8 inches of snow on the ground and made just about everything shut down. When it snows here in Alabama, it looks a little bit like “Armageddon” because everybody is a little bit afraid to drive in the snow and there is no equipment here to clear the snow away. That made missionary work very fun because we were able to walk in the middle of some of the busiest streets in town because there were no cars on the road. I also got in several snowball fights with my companion and we built a missionary snowman. That missionary snowman was pretty lazy, though. He wouldn’t ever move and didn’t talk to anybody. So we knocked him down and went on with our day.

Actually, the day that it snowed, we woke up in the morning and looked outside and there was no snow to be found anywhere and it wasn’t all that cold outside. So I left the apartment without a beanie to wear thinking I would be fine. Fast forward a few hours and I am tying a sweater that I was wearing to my head because the snow was freezing my hair and head and we are hurrying back to the apartment through a blizzard that is pelting us. Note to self: always have a beanie in my bag even if it doesn’t look like it is going to be cold!

This past week during my personal studies I was able to read a talk entitled “To Die Well” by a past counselor to the first Presidency of the LDS church, Elder Sterling W. Sill. It is a really good talk and really spoke to me as a missionary. The main point in his talk is to live your last hour first. Elder Sill relates the story of a relative who always reads the last chapter of a book before she begins to know where she is going to end up. This philosophy might not work as well with a book (kind of ruins the ending), but it works great for living life. If we always look to our last hour first and figure out where we want to be when we are finished then we will take the proper steps to get there. Goals and dreams focus people and get them moving in the right direction.

He tells another story of a man who sells his soul to the devil for twenty-four years of prosperity and riches. At the beginning of the twenty-four years, the man felt like he had forever to enjoy his riches and that the day would never come when his soul would be claimed by the devil. But that final day did eventually come and he realized the mistake he had made. If he had lived his last hour first, if he had an eternal perspective, he would not have made the dumb decision that he did. I am applying this lesson to my mission. Where do I want to be and who do I want to become before I metaphorically die as a missionary – awesome, spiritual, loving, Christ-like, better than I was when I came out and many more things. And by having those goals and those dreams in the forefront of my mind, I will take the necessary steps to become those things. I am so grateful that I have this opportunity to become better and be more Christ-like. I am learning and growing so much every single day! I love and miss everybody back home and hope you are having a wonderful week.

With much love,

Elder Neser

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