I’m sitting in my apartment admiring the sunshine and this lovely spring and I can’t help but think “this time last year I arrived in Marzahn, Berlin.” Where did the year go? Why did he act like a turtle but ran like a hare? We’re one fourth done with 2 0 1 5. One fourth I tell ya! I just looked back at my NY’s Resolutions….whoops. Haven’t accomplished any of them in the first quarter. What I have accomplished is managing to hold my head up high while taking one too many credits, working, and lining up a summer job.
I’d be lying if I said post mission life is a walk in the park compared to my mission. All too often missionaries think when they return life will be so easy because nothing comes close to the trials you experience on a mission. It’s true, nothing can compare to mission trials. I don’t have investigators who can’t keep commitments, or companions that are personally struggling. I do, however, have family members that are struggling and I’ve faced personal heartbreak this semester. These issues were easy to ignore as a missionary because I focused all my time and attention on others. Now I have no name tag to hide behind. This has been the biggest transition for me the past 5 months.
Last night I watched the Women’s Conference (which you can do by clicking HERE). Whenever I watch General Conference or listen to a fireside/devotional, I leave a section of my notes blank to write down any promptings. President Eyring’s message about helping others prompted me to write this blog post. We never know who is within our sphere of influence. I pray that I can positively influence my family, especially my younger siblings as they reach the age for missionary work, but if nothing else I pray I can touch someone’s heart via the internet.
Going on a mission was the best decision I ever made. Better than deciding to go to BYU, better than deciding to buy a pet fish and name him Glen, better than deciding to study Recreation Management. My mission taught me a plethora of Christlike attributes, but humility takes the cake. (Which is a bit ironic, because humility isn’t one for taking cake…) Being humble and patient in a world full of instant and loud gratification is not entirely easy, but it is worth it. Perhaps this definition from LDS.org will help clarify.
“To be humble is to recognize gratefully our dependence on the Lord—to understand that we have constant need for His support. Humility is an acknowledgment that our talents and abilities are gifts from God. It is not a sign of weakness, timidity, or fear; it is an indication that we know where our true strength lies. We can be both humble and fearless. We can be both humble and courageous.”
I cannot understate the role humility has played since my return home! I quickly realized my weaknesses; I thought if my sphere of influence can’t even help my family how did I ever think it could help strangers? Silly Satan. He messed with the wrong returned missionary. I know that God gave me talents so that I can fulfill his work. They might not be talent show worthy (hey everyone, watch me as I bake blueberry muffins!) but they are apparent. I can make films, I can whip out a 8 page paper in a couple of hours, and I can make people smile. (active exercise: write down your talents now! don’t be shy.)
It’s okay to miss your mission as long as you use that to inspire you to live like the RM you pictured yourself. Use those God given talents to help someone, study your scriptures, pray as often as you desire, and continue to expect miracles. The truth is, our missions never really end when we return, t h a n k f u l l y.
On that sappy note, shall we look at some memory lane photos?!