Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Crystal at Wanna Be Balanced Mom Crystal is such an awesome lady and wonderful mom of two.
Any woman can serve a mission.
But only a strong, wise women will learn and grow from it.
Here she is:
Hello Everyone, it's great to be here today guest blogging for Tylaine. I recently had the opportunity of meeting Tylaine in person a few weeks ago, and have really enjoyed getting to know her more through her wonderful blog.
Well, today I thought I'd share with you a few things I learned while serving and LDS mission. What inspired this post was actually my very own journal. While reading up a bit on my missionary journal, I'm reminded of just how HARD my mission really was, and I mean this in a good way. I've heard that a mission teaches you 15 years worth of lessons all compacted into 18 months-2 years, and boy do I believe it! My mission was the hardest thing I've ever done, but of course wouldn't change a thing about it. What it has given me, is priceless.
As I was reading, I came across one of the many entries that talked about my struggles out there. I had written down parts of this Ensign talk that really spoke to my heart at the time, and I'd like to share it with you. I think we can all relate to this at one point or another.
Be Not Afraid
by President James E. Faust
"I learned the lesson that life's burdens don't seem to be so great if we don't allow ourselves to get paralyzed into a stupor of inactivity by our sorrow and pain."
He goes on to talk about the children's classic The Secret Garden, author Frances Hodgson Burnett. The author writes this commentary:
"So long as Colin shut himself up in his room and thought only of his fears and weakness and his detestation of people who looked at him and reflected hourly on humps and early death, he was a hysterical half-crazy little hypochondriac who knew nothing of the sunshine and the spring and also did not know that he could get well and could stand upon his feet if he tried to do it. When new beautiful thoughts began to push out the old hideous ones, life began to come back to him, his blood ran healthier through his veins and strength poured into him like a flood...Much more surprising things can happen to any one who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has sense to remember in time to push it out by putting in an agreeable determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place. 'Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow.' "
Sometimes we allow ourselves to fall into this trap of self pity and doubt, and forget about the huge potential we really have. Most of us don't even know what we are capable of, and sadly may never know. It takes great strength to rise above our burdens.
The beginning of my mission was especially rough for me. I couldn't speak the language yet, was completely exhausted, homesick, and feeling inadequate in every way. It took a little time, and a lot of patience before I began feeling like I knew what I was doing, and could say what I wanted to say.
I didn't see a whole lot of lives being changed while I was there, and sometimes wondered why I had come in the first place.
A few main things I learned on my mission was:
#1- My mission was mostly for ME, to go through the ups and downs, and to prepare me for the life I was about to lead. All of our REALLY tough lessons, ALWAYS lead to something great!
#2- We may never know of the lives we've touched or the people we've inspired or helped along the way. All we can do is be mindful of others who may be in need of encouragement, kind words or even a little love. We may be an answer to someone's prayers without even doing much but simply being there with a smile on our face.
#3- Be grateful for our OWN individual talents, and have faith that we too have something extraordinary to offer the world. Push out those negative thoughts, enjoy the sunshine, stand up on our feet, and do it!