Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Time to share a little missionary wisdom:
Usually, when RMs share their missionary experiences they share the most spiritually pumped moments. The times when people break down crying, emotions are high, and miracles are popping up like daisies. Something that's worthy of 100+ likes and 67 re-postings on Facebook. It creates a pretty picture of missionary work, but as I've said before, a little morphed. Unlike daisies, mission miracles are more like tulips in a parking lot. There is a lot of digging required, water, and protection from passing cars. And then hopefully you get one, beautiful, blooming flower. It's worth the work, but exhausting.
So how do you not get discouraged every time some punk-kid runs over your sprouting seedling with his bicycle? When I arrived to this lovely country called Mexico I learned pretty quickly to count the tender mercies of each day. It began with Spanish. In order to get through a day of not understanding anything around me I often turned to the skies for comfort. Finding the same constellations in the night sky as I did for my BYU astronomy class, hearing a random English song played on the radio, feeling a gentle breeze wrap itself around me. These were my consoling messages from the big guy upstairs. The, "it's going to be okay" and "you're only in a different country, not a different planet" and "be patient, the language will come" moments.
I continued to progress with these little nudges. Now the bicycle has changed. The punk-kid has been switched out for a soccer mom in her SUV, running late to pick up her kids from practice. But I've been doing this for 11 months now. I'm far from perfect, but have a little experience to share with the other hermanas. A few strips of caution tape to put around the tulip.
In the mission, and in life, the jaw dropping miracles will be few, but the tender mercies will come by handfuls. You've just got to look for them. Learn how Heavenly Father speaks with you individually. He speaks to me through the sky. Paints a masterpiece in the heavens to cheer me up and let me know that at least He thinks I did a good job. Sunsets, and other little victories keep me there, kneeling by my run-over, dry, tiny seedling, sprouting out of the hard pavement. The tulips are few, but they make for a pretty table setting in the end.