Monday, March 25, 2013

It was the very first time I lost my mind for a week...

    The thing about leaving is: it's hard. No one really prepares you for it. "Good-byes are hard, but you'll be so excited it won't matter!" or "it will be so hard to leave your family." None of the things people told me helped, because it wasn't what or who I was leaving, it was why. The "Why" scared me so badly as I sat in the airport that I wanted so badly to call my parents and have them come and get me and call it good.

    But I didn't. Satan kept working on me.

    My flight was supposed to leave at 1:20 didn't leave until 5:30 pm. I then had five minutes between flights to make my next one. It was kind of a rush, but I made it. Then I arrived in Salt Lake City. Awesome, right?


    I was in Salt Lake bags were in New York. True Story. I finally made it to the MTC at 1 a.m. and all I had with me were the clothes on my back, my passport, and my scriptures. My luggage was supposed to be delivered that morning, at 10:30 a.m. It actually arrived at 10 o'clock that night. SO, I spent 48 hours in the same clothes. That was rough.

    But, I had my companion (Sister Bronson), and I had a name tag that identified me as a representative of Jesus Christ. I also had (have) a wonderful district full of Elders and Sisters to support and sustain me while I was floundering. But the fun doesn't stop there...

    My bag broke. I carry so many books and things that the strap actually broke on me. I still haven't fixed it yet; I'm working on it. We'll see how that goes. :) Every minute of our day is accounted for; we have classes, and it's wonderful, but it's kind of like drinking from a fire hose. I have marvelous teachers and I have grown so much in the past few days -- it's ridiculous, but it's hard.

    Missionary time runs differently. You have the longest hours and the shortest days. It doesn't seem humanly possible and yet it's true.

    My companion and I were called to be Coordinating Sisters, which is kind of like the female equivalent of a Zone Leader. It is a lot of responsibility on top of what we already do. One of my teachers summarized missionary work best -- God requires his missionaries run faster than they have strength, but He will make up the difference.

    My district leaves for the Great White North on April 3rd and we are chomping at the bit to be out in the field. :) God is good. The Atonement is great. Missionaries are AWESOME!

    So, life is hard. I wouldn't have it any other way.

With love from Can-Win.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Missionaries Away!

    Taegan and Patrick left yesterday for their missions. Taegan arrived in SLC late last night (sans luggage), but happy to get there. No word otherwise from her.  Patrick is still travelling due to flight delays and missed connections. Yesterday was a painful experience for everyone I think -- so very happy/proud and yet so very sad.

Monday, March 18, 2013

I can't think of a proper title, this will have to do.

"...Ye are eternally indebted to your Heavenly Father, to render to Him all that you have and are.." -Mosiah 2:34

My brother and I were set apart tonight. It was wonderful and very surreal at the same time. The one thing I really loved was how different our blessings were. My brother was blessed that he would be able to stoop and bend and reach out with the gospel. He was blessed with strength, health, and love for his companions. I was blessed to have a sensitive heart and a soul in tune with the spirit.

We leave tomorrow. I leave in a little over twelve hours. It's freakin' me out man! But I'm very excited. Last night we had dinner with one our favorite families, the Brimhalls. Sister Brimhall mentioned a scripture, and the particular order in which certain words were listed. Doctrine and Covenants section 4 focuses primarily on missionary work, and in that section is the verse she spoke of.

"Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind, and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day." (verse 2)

The order in which those four words are written is the order in which we should aim to serve. First with heart. We need to serve with our whole hearts, having love of God and all those we come in contact with. Second with might, with all our enthusiasm and joy. Third with knowledge. What we know comes third in the list, because it's not as important, but that doesn't mean we don't need to prepare ourselves to the best of our abilities. Fourth comes strength. Physical, mental, emotional, all of it.

I love it. It makes so much sense. I just felt like sharing.

I would write longer but I'm tired. It's after midnight now, and I have a plane to catch tomorrow.

Go. Fight. Win. :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pride goeth before the fall...eth.

The Lord said:

"Remember the words which I have spoken. For behold, ye are they whom I have chosen to minister unto this people. Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?" -3 Nephi 13:25-26
This scripture was one of the reasons I decided to go ahead and start working on my papers. This was a confirmation to me that if I put the Lord first, and accepted His call, He would prepare my way. In this time of my life I don't need to panic or worry about money, or food, or whether or not I can afford to live in a specific manner. The Lord will provide for His servants, just as He provides for the fowls of the air. 
This brings me to my next thought. My home ward has been positively stellar in providing for both my brother and I. They will be funding the majority of our missions, and various members have given gifts of money, talents, and time. My brother and I have been terribly blessed by them, especially our wonderful Bishop and his wife. That's not to say that we have laid back and let ourselves be pampered. We have worked as much as we can, and the ward has been kind enough to fill in the difference.
But today I went out to lunch with a wonderful Sister, the mother of one of my dear friends at school. We sat and traded stories of our families, talked missions, life, and had a wonderful little outing. When she asked me what I wanted/needed for my mission, I brushed her aside and assured her I was fine, that I didn't need anything. She persisted. I again, told her not to worry, I needed nor wanted for anything. She looked me in the eyes, and sat quietly for a moment before she said,
"Stop being so stiff necked. Please do not deny me these blessings. Let me help you. What do you need?"
Finally cowed by both look and tone, I explained that I only really needed for one thing: money for travel. She happily gave me a lovely little sum that eased my mind greatly. My pride did not allow me to accept her help at first, and I'm sorry to say that it gets in the way very often in situations like this. It's something I need to work on.
The reason I even brought this story up is this: when someone offers the help you need, take it. Whether it be service, money, time, or effort. Take it. Especially if you are a missionary. Do not deny the people around you the blessings they will receive in giving you these things. Do not let your pride get in the way of accepting help. Allow the Lord to provide for you through His other children. Allow Him to bless you and them! If you do that...
..everybody wins. 

Leaving Jerusalem

So, it seems I started my own blog in January of 2008, which has as many entries as my journal: One! I know that Taeg will be sending entries to me (the fabulously intelligent behind the scenes editor) and that will keep all of you filled with wonder and awe, but perhaps I might add my own musings about mission life here and there as the Spirit dictates (my own brass plates so to speak). Stay tuned; 4 days and a wake up until our missionaries depart.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"The hard is what makes it great."

I've been wondering on and off about what the topic of my post would be. Life has been a whirl of appointments, mission prep, and packing up my life to be stowed away for a year and a half. The closer I get to my report date, the more I begin to have tiny revelations about what it is I'm doing.

The first is that the Lord will confirm your call. My brother's story is amazing. He knew where he was going before our papers were even sent. He knew the exact mission. I on the other hand had no idea. Not even an inkling. When I read the words Winnipeg Canada it was like a light went on inside me and I thought "Oh! Of course! Canada!" It was perfect, and I'm grateful for the confirmation.

The second revelation is once you have your call, once you formally enlist yourself in God's army, the adversary works on you nonstop. It's obnoxious, and draining, and sometimes downright disheartening. A lot of missionaries I know tend to gloss over this part of preparing, but I'm pretty sure every one of us have felt it in one way or another. For one close friend and I, it's the fear of inadequacy, the fear that we can't do this. (Just for the record, she's serving in Argentina now.) I struggle daily with trying to keep myself from backing out of going. It's not that I don't want to, because I do! But I'm so afraid that I won't be strong enough to do it, that I feel I shouldn't even try. It's totally bogus, but the adversary is a crafty fella.

For any of you movie junkies out there, at least one of you will have recognized the title of this post. It comes from the movie "A League of Their Own" starring Tom Hanks. Yes, it's a baseball movie, but the quote was totally apropos. As I've been inwardly panicking about going on my mission, this quote just keeps coming back. And it's so good. When one of the main characters quits playing baseball in the movie, Tom Hanks asks her why. She replies, "It just got too hard." His reply is beautiful.

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great."

So that's the attitude I've taken and applied here. A mission is hard. There's no way it could or would be easy. I  didn't decide to do this on a whim. I decided to do this because that's what a set of Sisters and Elder did for me and my family. So I'm paying it forward. It will be hard. There will be days where I don't think I can do it, when I want to go home, or just stay in bed all day. But here's a reason it's called the best two years. :)

So Canada better be ready for me.

Cause I'm bringing it.