Elder Colton

Elder Colton

Monday, August 27, 2012

"I don't know...CAN you?"

Hola mi familia y mis amigos

One of the things we do a lot as missionaries is pray.  Hopefully that doesn't come as a surprise to anyone.  And as I've been praying a lot more now than in any other point of my life, what I say in my prayers has also become much more important to me.  A couple in one of the english wards (congregations) in our area pointed something interesting out to me (hopefully I haven't already mentioned this in a past letter).  He's an english teacher (or was before he decided to become a professional map maker/artist) and his wife is a lawyer (and a professional map maker/artist), so language is very important to them.  They talked about the word "can," or in other words, "to be able to". 

Typically many of us include in our prayers something along the lines of this: "Please bless me so that I CAN do well on my test tomorrow," or "Please bless my children so that they CAN stay safe."  Heavenly Father, or God, answers our prayers if we pray to Him in the name of Jesus Christ.  (If you doubt that then write me a letter and I will write you a jolly letter in return telling you to open your eyes and actually look for the answers.)  So when we pray that we CAN do something, we are basically asking Heavenly Father to grant a blessing that he has already given. 

For example, when I was little and still enjoyed annoying my younger brother Kevin (because we all know I've completely grown out of that by now) he would ask something along the lines of "can I use your lacrosse stick?"  A very reasonable request.  I would respond with complete sincerity and without a lick of sarcasm: "I don't know...CAN you?" or "Of course you CAN use it...but I'm not going to let you."

Heavenly Father is ready to grant us a lot of blessings.  He's basically the perfect Dad who just wants to help us out. But if we don't ask him the right way, then he can't infringe on our agency (which is the right to choose or act for ourselves).  He knows, just like every parent, that if he can't force Himself on us.  All we have to do is ask for something and then in the best time for it, he will give it to us.  But before he can give it to us, we have to ask for it. 

So for the past few months, I've been working on changing my prayers from "Please bless us so that we CAN find someone who wants to be baptized" to "Please give us someone this week who will be baptized next month."  It works a lot better.  Give it a try.

This Sunday, an incredible woman named Maribel is going to be baptized.  One of the pictures that my brother hopefully will upload is of her and her soon to be husband (despite the fact that they aren't smiling, I promise they are happy.  They just don't like pictures very much).  On Saturday, they are going to get married and this past week we went to the marriage office with them to help them get their marriage license.  Please pray for her that this Saturday, she WILL be married and then on Sunday that she WILL be baptized.

Love you all,
-Elder Colton

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