Monday, January 9, 2012
I Love My Mission... still!
What a beautiful and emotional week this has been. Sister Rodas' last moments have been so tender and special. We've been trying to take pictures with those that we have worked with and come to love... and it's really made me reflect and start to catch a glimpse of the bigger picture of what has happened here with hundreds of people in the last 7 months... and what it has done to us.
Although it's overwhelming to try to count all the tender mercies witnessed, changes experienced, love felt, tears shed, prayers answered, lessons learned.... Sister Rodas made a quick tally and we realized that we have taught a total of 1,177 lessons together. Numbers do not matter at all... but it does start to give a slight glimpse on what we've been through, done, and learned together. I love this girl. My mission has been overflowing with blessings and joys... but my precious time with her is one of the most precious gifts my Father could have given me. She is just who I needed at this time... and hundreds of people here needed.
Watching Sister Rodas say goodbye to all these people has brought me to realize even more how much I truly and deeply do love these people. With some bitter, mean, stubborn, hardened people.... it is a true miracle and answer to prayer how much I care for them.. and how their rages and errors don't phase me or change one fiber of my tender feelings for them. No other way... and perhaps no other place, culture, or calling could have taught me this kind of love and patience. The longer I'm here... the more I realize that I lack of these celestial qualities... and the more it brings me on my knees pleading to be completed in countless holes I continually find in my own character and soul. I am eternally grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ that has forever and is continually changing my perspective, daily purpose, and myself as a whole. Have I mentioned how much I love teaching the Plan of Salvation? Every time we get to share this perfect plan... the more the pieces of the puzzle start to fit in and sink even deeper in my heart of the role that the Atonement plays in our eternal progression and destiny. Even in my short 16 months on the mission... it has blessed, strengthened, and changed me in so many ways. I look forward to the future with peace and excitement... knowing that if I do my part... the changes, progression, and joy will continue. It is my greatest desire each day of my mission and for the rest of my life to obtain a greater understanding and application of this infinite gift... and to do whatever the Lord allows me to do to help others use it too.
This is a joyous work. I wish and plan never to stop. I loved what I read in 1 Thessalonians 2:9,
"For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God."
There will never been thanks sufficient to my Heavenly Father for this inexpressible joy.