Hey all!! :)
Well hey, yet another week has passed and I am again in awe at just how fast time flies. There have been so many times this week where I have been able to see and feel just how amazing missions are, and particularly how perfect mine has been for me. The growth and the desire to be better is unending and I LOVE IT. It's not very often that we are able to truly see change in ourselves so I'm super duper grateful to have been able to see just a little glimpse this week. The previous Bishop of the first ward I ever served in on my mission spoke in the 3rd Ward on Sunday with his daughter. WORLDS COLLIDING. It was crazy. Its fun to think of little missionary me just hitting the mission field running blindly but with a big smile on my face. It's still pretty similar....running as fast as I can...mostly blind (still have no idea what I'm doing). It's the best leg of the race of life so far :)
As I have been thinking of what to write this week, I keep coming back to some personal experiences I've had throughout my mission that have been on my mind lately. This week was a bit tricky. I was down and pretty much out for a few days with a nasty little stomach bug. So that was really annoying. Mosiah 4:27 seems to be a theme of my mission. Coming up on a year ago my dad sent me that scripture telling me quite clearly to stop pushing myself too hard or I would not be able to finish my mission. He said it a bit nicer than that but it was pretty clear that he was directing me to make better choices ;) And he was right. It was a hard reality to come to. I wanted to do so much, accomplished all the things God wanted me to. And so pacing myself wasn't necessarily in the plan. But I have gained a great love for this verse of scripture and what it teaches as I have pondered it this week. "And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order."
I want to share a little something that stood out to me this week in that verse.
So...what are "All these things"?
Talking to literally every single person I see, have amazing personal study every morning, work well with my companion, remember to eat a healthy lunch, write that report to send to the zone leaders, do your hair so you don't scare everyone away, exercise each morning, daily contact all of our investigators, update the ward mission leader, get members to every lesson, have a stellar nightly planning session, write in your journal...
Basically. There's a whole lotta things.
But here's the important part
"It is expedient that he should be diligent"
So often we get focused in doing "all the things" that we miss the point. The point is (expedient-aka very important) that we are DILIGENT in all things. The dictionary definition of diligent is: having or showing care and contentiousness in ones work or duties.
So what really matters in WHATEVER we do is that we show that we truly care about it. That we truly love what we are doing at that moment. And if that's all we do all day, it's okay! So sometime the way that we show a love for life is by simply taking a step back and enjoying it. That doesn't mean that that's all we do. Believe me, I know that's it's in THE WORK that the true joy comes. And there is no happier work than this one. But in order to do it, we need to exercise wisdom and order and do the things that matter most, everything else comes over time.
So that's my little thought of the week :) it has brought me a lot of peace to have that perspective. It's a lesson I know I'm ALWAYS going to be relearning and reapplying but it's one that I've needed :)
I'll end with a cool moment we had this week.
So Jonathan has been trying to find his place in the church. He feels a bit like the odd man out. He has a few friends, but just doesn't feel like he really fits in. Sister Hodgson and I have been absolutely racking our brains trying to figure out how to help him, and this week it felt like it finally all fell into place. It came up in a lesson that Jonathan wanted to learn more about family history, so on Tuesday we met him at the family history center and had people help him set up his account. Sister Hodgson and I had to leave to skype into a meeting, but when we came back an hour later Jonathan could hardly keep a smile off of his face. I have never seen anyone so excited and so content. That night he called us and we talked for a good 10 minutes. One phrase brought tears to my eyes. "I like where I'm at right now" followed by his expression of gratitude for us not giving up on him and saying "I found my place, I found something I can do to help people and to help myself" Now this is coming from a 71 year old man that has traveled his whole life. He rock climbs, he bikes distances I can only dream of, he has lived all over the world, served in the army, he has tried every religion, political view, and practice you could imagine looking for his place in the world and never being content with any of it. And where does he find it? With. His. Family. In. The. Gospel. I can't even imagine the joy that all of his ancestors are having in knowing that their temple work will get done (of course they can choose to accept or not :)
THAT is missionary work. If that's the only good thing that happens for the rest of my life, I'm completely satisfied. What a miracle the gospel is. We can truly find our place in it, no matter who we are.
Loving it here in zoo town :)
And I promise I still love you all too ;) hahaha
Big Dipper ice cream. Yum.
Rain and Rainbows