You know those comments or jokes you make in your head when you are with people. The plus side to being in a Spanish speaking country is that I can make those comments out loud in English and no one understands but me. It's like a 24/7 comedian but it's just myself. I am worried about my social skills when I get home though, I think it might freak people out if they hear me talk to myself and then laugh really hard after?
So this last week I met Arnold. Arnold is my parasite. I got him because someone didn't wash their hands after using the bathroom but then they cooked our food... haha it's so gross but hey you gotta laugh at that. Arnold makes me super sick and eats’ all my food. After my exam to see what was wrong with me the lady was explaining it and the entire time I was thinking "I'm sorry can you use gospel words to describe what is wrong with me because I don't understand medical Spanish words."
We were walking up this hill to go to an appointment. I had one hand over my stomach because Arnold (my parasite, I need to clarify that because I make it sound like I am pregnant but I am not) was making me nauseous when a bug flew into my eye. I went to grab the bug out of my eye but I forgot I just put lavender oil on my hands and now the oil was in my eye. We are climbing up this hill and I have one hand covering my eye because it was now burning from the oil because of the bug, and the other covering my stomach because the nausea and my comp yelling at me from behind. And I just thought "I am going to laugh about this moment one day anyways so might as well laugh about it right now." And I did.
Do you ever have those days/weeks/or month where you just think could this get any worse? DON'T SAY THAT! IT WILL! This last week our only investigator since the first of November called us and doesn't want to see us anymore it was a pretty messy break up, I am not going to sugar coat that. Our house flooded, I had to go to the bathroom in a cup for an exam to see what's wrong but because I couldn't understand it was terribly awkward (ok actually that was funny not sad), we have to get a blessing on our house because weird stuff is happening, and my comp and I are polar opposites, black & white, Team Jacob & Team Edward, is the dress black & blue or white & gold. But this week I accepted the challenge from my mom to only say gratitude prayers. Out of all weeks I thought "dang.." but it completely changed my view on trials. The truth is the greater our sorrows the greater our joy! It's about finding joy in the journey and dude you are going to laugh about this in the future why not laugh about it right now! And thank Heavenly Father for our trials because a trial handled correctly can be a blessing in our lives.
This change I have come face to face with my pride. I found myself getting easily offended and frustrated with my weaknesses. Then I realized when we are humble we accept our weaknesses and don't get easily offended because we know we are not perfect but through the atonement of Jesus Christ we can be perfected, little by little.
This life isn't about having things it's about becoming something. "Don't let the voice of critics paralyze you whether that voice comes from the outside or within." We don't have to like or get along with everyone perfectly, but we do have to love them. As children of God we have a right to stand tall, not because of who we are alone but who God can help us to become. Before my mission or this change really I hated telling someone if they did something wrong. It was hard for me to accept correction and I didn't like to give it either. But now I am learning that by suffering silently you aren't helping anyone, not you or the person who is hurting you. "Fear comes from forgetting our identity." I mean do you really understand that YOU are a child of God? If you don't, go look in the mirror right now and realize your infinite potential through Him. We have a right to stand up for ourselves and those around us, but we should always do it out of love.
When I was 17 years old and bedridden from illness I wanted to end my life. I let my critics define me rather than my creator. I remember driving home from the hospital with my mom and asking "Will I always feel this way?" I promise you that spiritual light doesn't come to those who sit in darkness. It takes an act of faith. So this is me pleading, begging, and hoping that for any of you who need a sign to keep going THIS IS IT! The mission is hard but nothing will ever compare to those moments in my senior year of high school where I didn't believe God loved me. I don't know why I am writing this I was going to make more jokes but I just feel like I need to testify of the love of our Savior and Heavenly Father. We live in a world where our faith is constantly being tested. When the world shouts louder than the whisperings of the Spirit, who will you listen too?
"To love another person is to see the face of God." Remember that everything that changes our life is hard. Let the atonement CARRY you as it is carrying me right now. I pray that you fight the voices of the world and hear His because in those lonely sacred times that is when the spirit is the loudest.
I feel like I should say in the name of Jesus Christ amen.
I love you guys!! And you are NEVER alone.
Con amor, Hermana Israelsen