Well folks, shall we do business first here? I think yes. Moves call was yesterday! And you know how Sister Roe has never been in an area longer than four and a half months?? Well that record has officially been broken! Cause guess what! Sister Roe is staying in Stavanger for at least one more transfer! And the best part! She is staying with Sister Thurgood! Oh yeah! So we're pretty excited! But we do have some change headed our way, as we will be moving apartments!
|Taylor is famous in Norway for her sheep laugh!|
Okay. So this past week we had stake conference, which was awesome! I love stake conference! I love the fact that there are so many people involved in it, and how focused it is on missionary work and how it's a team effort. At one point in Stake Conference Elder Herbertson of the 70 was speaking and he asked 2 questions, he asked how many missionaries there are in our stake, the answer being around 40. Then he asked how many members are in the stake. Answer: 2000 circa.
That means that the percentage of missionaries to members is about 2%. Then we went through how many missionaries and members there are in the world. And the percentage of missionaries to members is roughly .5...
Then he said, "Are we as members of the Lords restored church going to leave the MOST IMPORTANT WORK IN THE CHURCH to .5% of the membership? No. It is too important for that."
You see, the thing is, we can't do it alone. Yeah we do work, and we do our best. But there aren't enough of us to go around, and we can't do missionary work in the most effective manner. Only the members can do that kind of missionary work, only members can reach some of those people.
Then, talking to a couple different missionaries this week too I've noticed a couple of patterns about a mission. When we're on missions, we are on a rate of accelerated growth. Growth occurs most when facing trials and hardships. So missions are hard.
|We are staying in Stavanger for another transfer!|
Then I remembered a quote from Elder Richard G. Scott, of the matter he said, "May I share some suggestions with you who face...the testing that a wise Heavenly Father determines is needed even when you are living a worthy, righteous life and are obedient to His commandments.
Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are EVIDENCE THAT THE LORD FEELS YOU ARE PREPARED TO GROW MORE. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain."
So while we are on our missions, we are stretched to the limit faster and more often, perhaps, than if we didn't serve missions. But why would anyone choose such a thing, knowing that, it will not be easy, it will not be comfortable, and it will hurt. How many times do we, as missionaries become irritated or frustrated when we are just trying to do what we know is best?
In the Book of Mormon in 1st Nephi 16:18-32 we read of the story of Nephi's broken bow. Nephi was just trying to take care of those around him yet he was given this trial. Why was he given the trial though? Elder Neal A Maxwell tells us;
"Nephi's broken bow doubtless brought him some irritation, but not immobilizing bitterness. After all, he was just trying to feed the extended family, so why should he have to contend with a broken bow as well? Yet out of that episode came a great teaching moment. Irritation often precedes instruction!"
So what is the point of this monologue? The greatest pattern I have seen on my mission is that it's up to us! We get to decide HOW we react to situations we are in, how quickly we will learn the lessons the Lord has for us to learn. We can make whatever situation into what we want it to be, whether we will be irritated, frustrated, flabbergasted, happy, humble, patient, or willing. IT IS UP TO US.
And part of that is based on our understanding of the Atonement and our personal knowledge of our individual worth. There's a quote from Elder M. Russell Ballard that was shared in my sophomore seminary class that I will never forget, especially after recognizing this pattern in my life. It says:
"...When Jesus Christ becomes a reality in your life. It isn't that He somehow makes you do things that you wouldn't do otherwise. Rather, you find yourself wanting to do that He would do and respond as He would respond in an effort to bring your life into harmony with His. "
So, it's up to us. Are we going to enjoy life?
I know that because of our faith, our willingness to be taught, and to actually learn and apply the lessons of the gospel, that we really can enjoy every moment. Life is a blessing, it's just up to us to choose to view it as such.
I love you all! I miss you all! I pray for you all daily!