wow, it was so good to see my family on Skype this past Sunday! I first want to give a huge shout out to my cousin and best friend since birth, Savanna Reilly for getting her mission call to the SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, WEST MISSION!!! YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW STOKED I AM! haha. Unfortunately we will never get to see each other, but we will both have the opportunity to serve the amazing people of this country! And it´ll be way fun to talk to each other in Dominican when we get back! :DAs I got to here the crazy exciting news from her over Skype on Sunday, I also got to talk to her dad, (my cousin) Russ. Russ gave me some super good advise, and especially opened my eyes to something I had not realized. He told me that he reads every email I send home and that they are great and filled with great experiences and all that, however I still lack a major thing... Truly loving the people with 100% of my heart. He reminded me of various experiences I had when I was quick to judge and wasn't as accepting of the people and there ways like I should always be. For example, the day of Rosario and Ysidro´s wedding when our members were super flaky and didn't come to pick us up because they were "Too busy" playing basketball at the church. "Well," he told me, "You need to forget about the fact that they were flakes, and be happy they were even at the church playing basketball in the first place." And it is so true. How can I say that I truly love these people if I am judging them and thinking negatively towards them? They could have totally been somewhere else like a bar, or dirty club, or running away from bullets flying towards them. I should have been happy that they were at the church playing basketball rather than those things. Now obviously they should have helped us and followed through with what they promised us they would help us with, but it is my job to help them realize that, be an example to them, and love them. Not judge them. Because who am I to judge another when I have so many flaws myself? It is all about our perspective, and choosing to be like the natural man which is to judge, or change ourselves and be like Christ who would love no matter what, lead by example and do what he can to help the people repent and become followers of Christ. There are so many people breaking the law of chastity, not married, not having desire to be married, not following the commandments, ect... But you know what? I am still going to love them. They aren't married and don't want to be either? Well, that saddens me, but I love the fact that they are happy together. Now I will love them, and do what I can to help them change and live the commandments of Christ. My point; You cannot truly love the people if you don't accept them and love every thing about them 100% no matter what. That doesn't mean I should be happy or accept that they are sinning and do nothing about it, it means I should love them no matter what and help them come unto Christ. It reminds me of a quote I once heard in conference; "Don´t judge me because I sin differently than you." So next time I am quick to judge, I will tell myself those exact words and rather than judge like the natural man, I will love like Christ would, did, and does. I hope you all will try to put that in practice too.
Big shout out to my wonderful family and I am thankful for the opportunity I had to talk to them, especially my dad and mom on Mothers Day! Love you.
Lastly, big shout out to my stud cousin, Sister Sidney Reilly who just got home TODAY from tearing it up, bringing souls unto Christ, and serving the Lord in her mission in Indonesia. I love you and am so proud of all you did, learned, and taught. Those people you served are forever changed and blessed by your service and the gospel. You may be way sad that your mission is over, but in reality, your mission is never really over. There are always people throughout our lives who need us and the gospel of Jesus Christ. So keep that fire and keep being Sid the Kid!