This is the last day I'll be serving in the temple, which is a place where we do sacred ceremonies in my church. I've been serving once a week ever since mid December. We don't get paid for the work we do but that's okay because we receive many spiritual blessings. God's spirit is in those holy temples. I received guidance and healing from God because I served in that holy place every week.
I've been asked to help teach the youth in my church this Sunday about repentance and what to do when we stumble or have setbacks. I am well acquainted with this topic since I was "repenting" for about 4 years with my bishop and had constant "setbacks" or relapses. I'm hoping to teach them that it's okay to have the occasional setback if we continue to make consistent effort at becoming better. It's all about making progress over time, sometimes years, and eventually reaching a point where we don't struggle as much anymore. One of the only things you shouldn't do is throw in the towel because we don't have a perfect track record. This is how I approached my own addiction and things did get better in the end, even if it did take years of struggling.
Had a good Saturday spending time with my Mom. We were out shopping for more mission stuff, as we've been doing every weekend for the past month or so. It's actually been a good bonding experience to spend time together every weekend. This longer period of abstinence has also been good for our relationship. She knew what I was going through and it feels great to have no guilt while being around her.
I taught the youth in my church today like I posted about earlier this week. I said most of what I wanted to, even though I went over my allotted time and had to skip some things I prepared. I worry about the youth of the future a lot. It seems like the world is only getting crazier and they will have to deal with those problems as they get older. I sincerely pray that they won't lose their faith because of the evil in the world. I also hope that I was able to strengthen their faith just a little bit today by teaching.
I had the opportunity to go teach with some missionaries serving in my area today. We went to talk to someone they've been teaching for a while. I found out that he is struggling with an addiction to alcohol. We started to talk about faith in Jesus Christ and how vital it is to our religion. I was able to share my own experiences with addiction and how exercising faith in Jesus Christ is what ultimately healed me from my own addiction. He said that he really needed to hear the things I said and was glad that I shared my experiences. We struggled with different things but the addiction experience is very similar across the board. I'm humbled at the opportunity to help others on their own spiritual journey, especially those going through addiction. I'm sure that I'll teach many others struggling with addictive behaviors on my mission and it feels great to be able to offer guidance that's more than just "stop doing it."
Staying clean. I'm in a weird spot where I'm just waiting to start my mission stuff but it's in 10 days. One thing I don't want to do is get bored and lapse this close to going out. I'll stay busy by reading and spending time with family. I'll also spend less time on the internet because that's been going up for me recently.
I was able to have a really cool experience with a friend of my older brothers. He grew up hanging out with my 3 brothers and I knew him pretty well but haven't spent much time with him for a while. He jumped on Discord the other night since I was playing video games with my brother and cousin. After it got late and everyone else left, I told him that I was serving a mission soon and we started talking about our religion. I then learn that he's had a born again experience similar to mine and has grown much closer to God as a result. We then started going back and forth about deep religious topics that no one talks about in our religion unless you've had this spiritual experience. It was surprising because our individual studies were very similar and we had studied about the same things. I credit this to being led by God to study the deeper principles, which will only happen to those who humbly allow themselves to be led by Him.
Super busy preparing the final things for my mission and attending my sister's wedding this week. I start online training for my mission in 1 week and I'll be flying to Oregon for the wedding Wednesday through Saturday. My life has become much more meaningful in general without PMO. I'm able to actually move forward and progress as my brain and spirit heal.
Six months, half a year, 90 days x 2... Crazy man. I didn't think this was going to happen this year. Life is so much much better for me right now, even better than before I became addicted to PMO. I attended my last addiction recovery group Sunday. I'll say here what I said in that last meeting. I struggled to stay sober for more than 3 weeks at a time. When I submitted to God and asked Him to save me from the addiction, I'm suddenly able to stay sober for 180 days. I haven't reached this achievement through my own power though. It's really my 21 days plus God's 159 that equals 180 days. The best part is that God's power is infinite so it should really look like this: 21+∞=∞. As long as I keep praying to be saved from the addiction, He will deliver me from that evil. If I become prideful or think I can do it on my own, I'll slip right back into the addiction. It’s really an easy price to pay in order to be delivered from PMO addiction though.
Had an awesome time at my sister's wedding. I'm super grateful that I was able to be there for her before leaving on my mission.
I'll be starting my online training tomorrow for my mission. Sadly I won't be able to continue posting journal updates while on my mission so this will be my last update for now. My church is pretty strict about which websites I can visit while on a mission and Reboot Nation isn't one of them. Posting each day has been very beneficial for me, both to record my recovery journey and to better understand my personal thoughts and feelings. I'm thankful for my church and for the opportunity I have to serve others for 2 years. I'm eternally grateful for God and His son Jesus Christ and for the healing they have given me this past 6 months. Life is so much better without PMO and it's absolutely worth whatever sacrifice is needed to overcome it.