Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Note for Elder Bezas his first night in the MTC - from his father
These are letters we gave to Paul, sealed up and to be opened only on the first night of his MTC stay. He was to read them right before going to bed. The first letter is from his father; the second letter from his mother.
February 21, 2011
My Dear Son Paul,
When we left our home on high in the pre-existence, I imagine that we all felt like you do now. We may have felt like this was the right thing to do and that we would be grateful for it once the experience was over. We may have felt a bit like when you first get on a roller coaster and the sounds of the chain that is taking you to the top of hill where it all starts is making your stomach a little tight and you are thinking to yourself maybe I should not have gotten on this thing. Thankfully, Heavenly Father gave us the veil to reduce the homesickness and help us to focus on the experience of this life. Somehow I can hear his voice telling us “...fear not, be of good cheer, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you.”
Still, these are new experiences and while there is the promise of good experiences there is also the expectation of difficult experiences, as there was when we first came down to earth. We were promised a family to help, guide, comfort and cheer us. It might appear at this time that these supports have been taken from you, for a time. But that is not true. What you will find is that others have been given to you. I am your father, a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, the patriarch of our family and a member of your bishopric and I make you the same promise that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ made to you when you left the Pre-existence, I am with you always!
If ever you feel alone, discouraged or too far away, PRAY. If you pray in faith you will have power that will rain down upon you for you have been given a special blessing. It has been given to you from on high as you were set apart as an ELDER, one who has been found worthy to represent the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to the world. As you serve, you will feel this power grow and grow until that day, which now seems far away, when you will be released by the stake president who set you apart, by simply removing your name tag and you will feel its loss. So learn to feel and recognize that extra measure of the Lord’s spirit as his representative and enjoy it! It will be an experience and a feeling that you will hold dear the rest of your life.
It is true that you have experienced adversity in your life. You had difficulty as a child with speech and tactile sensations. You lost your brother and you lived far away from your grandparents and extended family of aunts and uncles. At times you felt unaccepted and perhaps even rejected by your fellow brothers of your quorum. Sometimes you were teased about being home schooled. You made mistakes that you had to repent from. You were hit by a car, and you lost your opportunity to be in Madrigals at East Lake as you had to move. You were taken away from your friends in Florida and moved here to where you did not know anyone. You got a difficult job which caused you to have to clean the backsides of people who swore at you, slapped, poked, pinched and bit you Charlie. You found out that you have trouble with your eyes that the doctors do not fully understand. However, to look at adversity alone is to focus only on the dark or difficult. It is the dark that makes the light so bright and brilliant. Your life has been full of the bright and brilliant!
You have been blessed with good looks and a sense of humor that has been a gift to those who have been blessed to call you a friend. You have overcome those early challenges to become an articulate speaker with a bright wit. You have a bright intellect which has allowed you to not only pass your classes but to be one of brightest in your class. You have compassion for the underdog and patience for those who are struggling in life. You won second place in the whole pack in the Pine Wood Derby three years in a row while others did not fare so well. You were blessed with a beautiful Patriarchal blessing that will guide you through your life. You gained even more friends in Idaho than the ones you had in Florida and the ones in Florida continue to seek you out, stay in contact and still consider you their good friend. With just the right timing you came to a new town and got right into a new home, a great school with wonderful programs that fit both your known talent of singing and your unknown talent of dancing, performing and MC in front of a large crowd; unknown to you but not to God. You not only got into the group but you were elected president by your peers, after only one year in the program. You did so well that the director awarded you the Choir student of the year.
Many have enjoyed your singing and playing guitar at performances, ward and public talent shows. You were nominated by your peers, again, as Mr. High School and took first runner up (I personally think that was due to your parents excellent grooming of you on the baby contest circuit in Utah GRIN). Even after you graduated your friends called and involved you in their social activities. They wanted to know of your progress, your job ups and downs and where you were going to go on a mission. Out of high school, while others were trying to figure out what they were going to do you had a chance for getting training and a job which allowed you to get a unique set of experiences and a pay rate that helped you to earn the money for your mission.
You overcame obstacles and other heartbreaks and you arrived at the choice to put in your papers to go on a mission and you were given a call that was a fulfillment of your patriarchal blessing. This is a testimony that your life is on track according to God’s plan for you and that he can trust you enough to send you to a place where the language will be a challenge and the people will need your special gifts of love and patience. I am also sure, by the impressions of the Holy Spirit, that you will seek out and find those whom you agree with in the pre-existence that you would come and find to share the gospel with so that they could spend their life in the joy of the gospel and their eternity in the rest of the Lord.
You have parents who are members of the church and return missionaries. They love the Lord and while they are not perfect, they have always tried to teach you the Gospel and what is right. You were no accident. Your parents hoped, prayed and fasted for you. They went through embarrassing tests to try and bring you here to your earthly home sooner. They have loved and adored you from the moment that you first started to grow in your mother’s womb. You can’t imagine, right now, of the joy that you brought into our lives. When we first brought you home, I sat on the floor with you in my arms and cried as the spirit gave me a glimpse of this day when you would be gone from our home. We have laughed with your smiles and little dances and Boogie Love. We were so proud of you that we put you up to the world to say look at how wonderful and beautiful is our gift from God. The world agreed and gave you lots of ribbons and trophies. We have worried when things were difficult for you and frightened at times for you. Yes, it is true; we have loved you and will always love you. Time and distance will not change that.
Paul, as you know, I do not believe in coincidence. With all of this as your base you have been prepared for a great and marvelous work of the Lord, now and throughout your life. You are in charge now of the direction of your mission and your life. All of this should be testimony to you that in the pre-existence you were one of the noble and great ones. Do not let homesickness, disappointment, sadness, tough days, or difficult companions cloud your brightness of hope for the work and your future. Focus and do God’s work now and I promise you as your father that God will take care of leading you through your life that will come after. This is because as you do His work He will manifest Himself in spirit to you and you will learn His way of doing things and you will learn to understand His promptings. That will be the voice that will speak to you through your selection of a wife, a career and your role as a husband, father and leader in His church.
It is true, I say all of these things because I am your father and I love you. But as much as I love you and as good as I am at organizing things for your good, your Heavenly Father loves you even more and He is the one that has put so many blessings, gifts and talents into your life for His purpose.
Paul, be humble in the midst of these great blessings, be believing in the midst of challenges and adversity and have faith in the midst of dark days and He will order all things for your good!
I love you son. Enjoy your mission it is a great adventure; your adventure!