Friday, September 17, 2010
September 13, 2010
This morning we went to the temple. It was a wonderful start to the day and a wonderful start to the transfer. I received a wonderful confirmation about my travel plans, which sounds funny, but I did. I wanted to know that it was the right thing to do, not that I was making an effort to run from everything that makes me nervous about going home. It's not. It's the right thing to do. I don't know why and maybe I never will, but I need to travel. It will all work out. It already is. I know that sometimes when we do the right thing, things are hard, it feels like hell itself is rising up to meet us, but this time it's not. Everything is falling into place.
I had a rather direct answer to my prayers the other day in the visitor's center. When Sister Hamano and I left the call center to go down to the floor I , for some reason had a sadness come over me. I was sad about a lot of things. I was having a hard time concentrating. While on the floor I became very easily frustrated and was caused to go the the Christus, listen and then head for a bathroom stall to be alone. I prayed. I called for my Father in Heaven and felt Him around me. It felt so natural to speak to Him in that moment. I expressed what was going on and then remembered then endless admonitions that we have received from Prophets and apostles, both living and dead, to look outside ourselves and serve. I then expressed my desire to serve, that I wanted to just help someone. Give me peace and help me help someone, lift someone. So then I went to the floor again to stand and wait for visitors. It didn't take long before and visitor found me, walking up to me as I approached him. He was a young man named David, just graduated from BYU and on his way back to Gaithersburg Maryland, not far from my house. The first thing he said to me was, "Hey! can you help me..." I was shocked at how direct Heavenly Father had decided to bless me with an opportunity of service. with a smile I couldn't hide I said, "Yes! what can I help you with?" He was lost, actually stranded. He had been stranded by the storm the night before and now had to wait for his engine to get fixed. He had never been to Nauvoo and was having a hard time "wrapping his brain around this place". We talked about the map and briefly about how God brings people here for a purpose and how excited he should be to be here. He wanted a tour so I grabbed a Sister and we went along. The spirit was very sweet. At the end of the tour we talked a little about youth programs and his plans for home and then got him settled into some plans for the rest of his day, Sunday and Monday. Then he was happily off to the temple. My heart was full as I watched him leave. I always knew God answered prayer, but my testimony has grown so much about how quickly and directly he answers them. He is so mindful of us. I love Him. I love God and I love Jesus Christ.
Yes, we had transfers on Sunday. I am still in Nauvoo. My new companion is Sister Schetelaar. I am thrilled. She's an awesome missionary and incredibly easy to love. I want to be easy to love. That's something I'm working on. Softer though I may be than before my mission I can still be kind of prickly when I want to be. Thank goodness we always have more to work on. Life would get boring if we ever stagnated. Sister Schetelaar and I have set some good goals. We're gathering scriptures this week to help us better teach about Heavenly Father's Plan for us and it is going to be so fun. I love that lesson! It is so full of God's love!
The last day Sister Hamano and I were together was wonderful. We served at the Brigham Young home and told stories as we studied. I was reminded very clearly about certain things that happened right before I left on my mission, things I need to follow up on. I have a goal to write back ten letters today. It should be good. After that happens I will be all caught up and ready to go.
I am excited for this week. Sister Schetselaar and I are going to plow through it. I can't wait to learn as much as possible from her and I hope to be some benefit to her as well. I know that it's all going to go to fast and that, I guess, is my constant for the transfer. It all feels very strange to be at this point.
We were blessed to be able to listen to Elder Hallstrom this week. I learned so much while he was here. I guess the most important thing is that I have learned so much while I've been here. He spoke about "The name of Jesus Christ". Specifically, "In the name of Jesus Christ", which is a phrase used quite often among the Latter- day Saints. He spoke about it's true meaning how special and sacred it really is when we do use it. And how much it can teach us as we think about it's use. It most often refers to " The authority of Christ", "The mission of Christ and "The essence of Christ". I'm excited to go through to Book of Mormon and figure out which way it's being used.
We watched a movie for sociable, which was strange but approved by president. It was a good movie: "The Christmas Wish". It made me think hard about my Savior and my interactions with others. Justice is never ours to administer..... it is God's. We are to become like the Savior and, as such, should learn mercy and love before ever paying a mind to justice.
Eric Sande and also Sister Morgan both said something about missions along the same lines as one another. Eric was referring to his future mission and said, "I know my mission will eternally change me, but I am not scared". Sister Morgan said, "The things here in Nauvoo have changed us for eternity". Eric's comment was the first to bring the concept to my attention. Missions really do change eternities, for everyone involved..... missionary, investigators, contenders and members. Missions draw lines. It redefines lines and continually invites all people to pick a side. It alters eternities. It has altered mine anyway. I know I have said it before, but there really is no going back. We only go forward. "My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is bright", not to mention in the hands of someone who loves me more than I can comprehend. Sometimes, when I listen to myself, a lot of my fears and trepidations feel silly.