Monday, December 28, 2015

It´s How We Handle the Challenge that Provokes Growth

December 14, 2015
my comp found bird poop in my hair no idea how long it had been there for haha, "you look like you are getting fatter!!", finding spiders in my laundry basket "oh how sweet of you to decide to lay your eggs in my bed sheets."
I have my first Latin companion! We spent the morning talking, well she talked and I just nodded and said si si si and awkward laughed here and there when she made long pauses. After a solid 2 hours I broke down in tears in front of her but because she only speaks Spanish I couldn´t even explain to her why I was crying. And it wasn’t that pretty cry some people are capable of doing with one or two tears and a little sniffle. It was that snot coming out of your nose, weird noises coming out of your throat, red puffy face cry. So if I didn't win for best first impression of your new comp I want to meet the missionary who did better than that!

In life we get into a routine where we feel comfortable. It might not be easy but it´s familiar? It´s normal for us. In the mission that doesn't exist. The moment you think "hmm, yeah I think I can do this?" WA-BAM something changes. You seriously can't be a successful missionary or a disciple of Christ if you aren't completely relying on the Lord.
It's not the trial we experience that makes us strong. It´s not depression that makes us deep. It isn´t sin that makes us appreciate the atonement. It´s how we overcome sin, depression, and our trials that makes us strong. The thing itself does nothing for us. It´s how we handle the challenge that provokes growth. It´s how we overcome adversity and how we help others overcome their own battles that makes the darkest moments the most precious. That is why the Atonement is the MOST precious gift! Because it wasn´t the actual afflictions, temptations, and pains of the world that he suffered that make the Atonement so wonderful. It was that he CHOSE to endure it. He chose to overcome the sins of the world. Not just feel the sins of the world, but he OVERCAME them.
So what does "being strong" mean to you? Buff, fearless, doesn´t cry easily (haha not me), can bench 200 lbs, can carry 2 hermanas suitcases down the stairs at ONE TIME?! How many more descriptions of strong would you have named before you said the word love?
Jesus was the strongest person to ever walk the earth. But he cried openly. He mourned with those that mourned. He wouldn´t carry suitcases for the hermanas so he could casually sneak it "yeah, I benched more than this at home." He gave his literal life for us. He who could have been born in a cradle made of gold was born in a manger with barn animals and probably wouldn't complain if he had bird poop in his hair or if spiders laid eggs in his sheets. "The greatest among you will be your servant."
So yeah am I nervous do I kind of feel nauseas about this next change. Yes. I am terrified! But He is with me. I know that I am not alone and neither are you.
Con amor,
Hermana Israelsen
PS there is this kid who is like 2 and he always sits by me in Sacrament. We are like super tight and he shares his toy cars with me and we basically understand the same amount of Spanish :)

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