How easy it would have been to yell at him. How easy it would have been to get mad. To get offended. How easy it would have been to not just take it out on him or the people of the city as a whole. But furthermore, how easy it would have been to be upset and confused towards Heavenly Father for leading me to such a place with a lack of so many answers, answers that would have been very comforting during those experiences that so frequently occurred. How hard it was at this time to have just been baptized, still with such a small sliver of knowledge of the gospel and feel that. To not have any boys talk to me because they are looking for temple worthy girls. Because they are looking for someone I do not exactly portray, that they didn't even talk to me.
Yeah, how easy it would have been to feel and react that way.
But I fought it. I decided otherwise.
I turned to this man in Caf Rio. Introduced myself. Shook his hand. I smiled so big and simply said, "I just got baptized. This is my first day here!" I said it with happiness. I said it with pride. With confidence.
How different things would have gone if I didn't do that.
I had to make a decision. And it's a decision I have to make every day. One you have to make every day. Several times a day. And what that is, to choose to get mad. Choose to get offended. Bothered. Confused. Or ... not.
The decision to keep going. The decision to be happy and follow the Spirit and counsel given ... or not. Choose to have faith. Choose to trust. Or not. What it came down to, and what it always will come down to, is choose God. Or not.
And I already chose who I wanted to follow, didn't I?
That is what happens when you get baptized.
To keep in mind, always, that everyone is at different spots in life. Everyone needs to learn different things, different ways. And to know that I could maybe be the one to help them learn. That you could be. To not get mad and prove them right, but to be me and prove otherwise. It's a question I often thought of following my baptism and my family's disapproval, and that is, "How do you teach someone that doesn't want to listen?" and "How do you teach someone that you may never get to speak with or meet?" And after much thought and prayer, I came up with an answer. An answer that inspired this blog to be started in the first place. An answer that inspire me to make YouTube videos. And answer that triggered my 'March Madness' traveling all over speaking for the past two years. And that is, by example. Teach by example. And what happiness that has brought! How many incredible people I have met because of that decision. How many incredible experiences! How many blessings.
When those times arise where you have to make that same decision I did, think to yourself, "Is this worth giving up my eternal salvation? Is that comment your ward member said to you worth giving up your eternal happiness? Is that look someone just gave you worth giving up the profound, indescribable blessings Heavenly Father has to give to you? Is it worth stopping yourself from returning to live with Him again? Is it worth your exaltation?"
To all those that feel that they do not fit in, I tell you with confidence, that you're wrong. To all those who are afraid to return because of past mistakes, I say, "Come!" To all those who sit there offended and holding yourselves back, I ask, is it still worth it?
This gospel is for you. These blessings and promises are for you. You belong a part of this. This what we're a part of is real. What you do does make a difference. His ways, his promises, are worth it. And how grateful I am that I decided to keep going. How grateful I am that I made the decision to trust. The decision to have faith. How grateful I am for the decision to choose God. I do not have words adequate enough to express my gratitude I have for how I feel. For who I have become. For what my life is today. It would not be have I not made those decisions.
Choose. Choose daily. Choose God.
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