Saturday, September 28, 2013

Trust the Lord

I have been asked to speak in church this coming Sunday and came across this quote while I was preparing. This quote is so powerful! 

"To exercise faith is to trust that the Lord knows what He is doing with you and that He can accomplish it for your eternal good even though you cannot understand how He can possibly do it. We are like infants in our understanding of eternal matters and their impact on us here in mortality. Yet at times we act as if we knew it all. When you pass through trials for His purposes, as you trust Him, exercise faith in Him, He will help you. That support will generally come step by step, a portion at a time. While you are passing through each phase, the pain and difficulty that comes from being enlarged will continue. If all matters were immediately resolved at your first petition, you could not grow. Your Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son love you perfectly. They would not require you to experience a moment more of difficulty than is absolutely needed for your personal benefit or for that of those you love." -Richard G. Scott

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lord, I Need You

Some of my most spiritual moments lately have come when I've been running my little heart out on the treadmill at the gym. True story.

Tonight I was running and listening to this beautiful song. Sometimes I run to spiritual songs to help motivate me. This one really touched me tonight. I know I need the Lord. I can't do it on my own. I need His help SO much. How grateful I am that He is there for me and will help carry my burdens.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Lessons and Blessings

My mission was an amazing experience. It was life-changing. That is why I am so passionate about it (border line obsessive, really).

It's be impossible to completely describe how it changed me, but I really want to say a couple of things.

My mission taught me how to love with a deeper love than ever before. It was amazing to me how easy it was to love the people I came in contact with and served. I learned even more than before that I need to look past appearances and life situations and look on the heart.

The very core of missionary work is love. I didn't go on a mission because I felt obligated or because I didn't have anything better to do. I went because I love The Lord and I love His Gospel. I wanted (and still want) others to feel the joy and happiness I feel and to know what I know because of my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I wanted to share that. 

My mission also taught me a lot about endurance and pulling through hard times. Let me tell you, there were many days when my companion and I would be knocking on doors in the negative some odd degree weather (while wearing skirts, mind you.) and I really had to ask myself, "can I really keep doing this? This is so hard." We were constantly rejected. Not to mention, people thought we were absolutely insane being out in the nasty weather. But, it all came back to why I was there. I was there because I loved the Gospel and The Lord and I knew (and still do) that the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are true.

Another huge lesson of my mission was that God places us exactly where we need to be when we need to be there. He is very aware of us individually. We are His children. I experienced so many miracles relating to this. I just know without a doubt that I was called to serve in the Illinois Chicago North Mission and in the specific areas I served because I needed to be there.

My mission also taught me a lot about patience. Being with someone else 24/7 is hard.

I also learned a lot about companionship. I learned how important it is to counsel together, to work together and to be forgiving. I also learned more about conflict management. Definitely not fun. But, those were lessons I needed to learn.

My mission taught me so much about agency. It can be heart breaking to see people you love make wrong choices.

I could go on and on, but can you see why I love my mission so much? I love who it helped me become. It's so ironic- when you lose yourself in the work you truly find yourself.

I loved the experiences I had. I love the people I met there. I love the places I served (although, I have to admit I'd never want to live there. But that's a different story. :) ) I loved preaching the Gospel. I loved being an instrument in God's hands and seeing miracles every single day. I loved representing The Lord and The Church for 18 months. And I will never be the same. I have been changed. So grateful I had the opportunity to serve.

I was filled with so much joy and happiness this past week as I got to visit some of the people and places I came to know and love. Really, there are no words to adequately describe how I felt this week. So many emotions. So many memories came flooding back. So much gratitude. I feel so blessed that I had the opportunity to serve a mission.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

We Shall Reap

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." -Galatians 6:9

I love this scripture. There are so many instances in the scriptures where we see the phrase "in due time (or season)." There's much we can gain from these scriptures. Heavenly Father doesn't promises that our blessings will always immediately come, but they will come eventually if we are faithful. It reminds me of a quote by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. He says, "Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come." (Full talk can be found here.) Part of the test of mortality is to endure to the end. Not just endure, but endure faithfully. And eventually we will receive the blessings we seek and desire.