Okay, my bad. That’s all I have to say.
It’s been for days since I last posted. #nativemontanatongue (They say “fer days” and other great things there. And I loved it.)
In my defense, I graduate, started a new job and am in the thick of wedding planning. Which let’s be honest. Every chick flick you’ve ever seen has lied to you. Wedding planning is the worst. Thank goodness for Pinterest and future mother-in-laws who have done this many-a-time before. (Like three. Let’s get real.)
I have a confession. I feel compelled to blog but I have no idea what to say. But recently, my mind and heart have been full.
So here it is. Do with it what you will.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.
Love is the single greatest attribute to have on your mission. It fosters everything else. Obedience, diligence, patience, humility and happiness. Love is the answer.
Once upon a time I had struggles with my companions.
Once upon a time I wanted to wring the neck of our investigator who wouldn’t keep his commitments.
Once upon a time I got homesick.
Once upon a time I felt inadequate.
For every challenge, every problem, every set back, I found myself on my knees. Pleading, repeatedly sometimes, for God to assist me. Though it came in many ways, the answer was always the same. LOVE.
Love your companion.
Love the people you serve.
Love the work.
2. Satan doesn’t love you.
As missionaries, we are blessed with a promise that God will fill our mouths with his message. Sometimes, that message is for the people closest to you — like a companion.
One of my dearest companions was struggling with a problem. It weighed heavily on her mind until it almost seemed to consume her, threatening to halt our progression in that area. She was a phenomenal missionary. Our investigators needed HER spirit, her past, her personality, her testimony. Satan knew that.
One morning during a painfully long weekly planning session, (trust me, you’ll hate them too) we began to talk frankly about what had been troubling her. Her mind was clouded. She was confused. Satan was hard at work trying to distract this faithful and strong sister.
I offered a silent prayer to the Lord.
“Help me to help her,” I begged.
I opened my mouth. What came out was a rousing pep talk. But I only remember these four words:
“SATAN DOESN’T LOVE YOU.”
He really doesn’t. In a world where hundreds of the living and the dead love you and are rooting for you, why listen to the Evil One? Why listen to the one dubbed as a liar from a beginning. He does not love us. He will not guide us any where we want to be.
Trust God. Trust your heart. Trust the spirit. Trust the Savior. And trust that you are enough.
3. Everyone has a story.
I take public transportation to get to work. And well, so does everyone else in the greater Salt Lake area. People from all walks of life get on and off Blue line from Sandy Civic to Salt Lake Central every 15 minutes. And just like the other 7 billion people in the world, they have a history, a story.
On one of my first days of work, this idea of everyone’s story hit me differently than it ever had before.
I began to look at men and women differently. I wondered what hard decisions they were trying to make. What joys were they clinging on to? What were there sorrows? What gave their lives meaning?
I get so wrapped up in my selfish world that seems to only revolve around journalism, Eric Whitlock and whatever I’m having for my next meal. This is the worst thing I could do. We are all God’s children. He has weaved his love and his care into our lives. We have to love each other. We have to be mindful of each other. We have to respect each other.
As you go into the mission field, NEVER look away from someone because you think you know their story. You don’t.
When you sit in the MTC those first few days, scared and unsure, don’t think of the one who doesn’t love you. Think of the ones that do.
As you walk the streets you have been called to labor in, fill your soul with love. As you do, your soul will change.
I’ve always described my mission as this:
Before Montana, it was like living in black and white. Now, it’s like I’m seeing the world in technicolor for the first time.
So go. Hold your head high. Be strong. And walk into every magnificent tomorrow as a disciple and servant of our Savior, Jesus Christ.