Last Monday, we learned how to make tortillas, and beans, and rice, and chicken, and salsa, and pico, and now basically I'm Mexican. Mom and Dad, you are going to love me lots when I get home :)
Then it was Thanksgiving. Oh my. So good. Mama Melissa took good care of us! Wow. I'm still not hungry!
Okay that's a lie. On Saturday we felt guilty for all the food we ate on Thanksgiving, so Hermana Brown and I decided that we should make healthier choices...So we ate an ENTIRE BOWL of salad. Each. And yes, we spent like 10 minutes trying to take a picture of it...
And I won't even mention McDonald's ice cream.
When I was thinking about what I should write about this week, I realized that it all had to do with food. Ohhh dearrrr. What's happening to me?! Haha :)
In other news, this week Miguel came to dinner with us and a member (and they totally hit it off!), a baptism, and church. Wow. Hopefully he'll have a baptismal date by the end of the week! He's awesome.
Tambien. Members are THE BEST! First of all. They feed us. (There I go, talking about food again...) Second. They are awesome in lessons! We worked really hard to have members come to lessons with investigators, recent converts, and less actives this week. And oh my miracles. It was incredible. Members make ALL the difference. And they feed us :)
So this week, I have been thinking a lot about President Monson's last General Conference talk, perfect because almost all of our lessons and talks in church yesterday were from his address. Our ward mission leader told a story in sacrament meeting about a national biking competition he was a part of years ago. Long story short, he began this really long race with a shot of intense pain up his heel that extended through his calf. Throughout the course of the race, he pushed through the pain and was able to move from last place to second place, and to help the third place winner (who was one of his friends) finish as well. He explained five things he learned from this experience:
1. You do not get to compete in the Nationals unless you are qualified.
2. You are not exempted from personal injuries even though you are allowed to start the event.
3. You may discover that if you get in the race against a lot of other competitors that you are stronger than many of them, even if you feel a lot of pain.
4. You may discover that you can be compassionate and still be a competitor who gets on the winner's podium.
5. If you focus on the goal, you can suppress a lot of pain and still get the job done.
Not only do these things apply to bike racing, they apply to life and missionary work specifically. We have to work hard, we don't really get to rest and be lazy. And when we remember the Savior and His life and work for us, we aren't even tempted to slack off.
President Monson said, "We, as servants, can expect no more than the Master, who left mortality only after great pain and suffering." He also said, "While we will find on our path bitter sorrow, we can also find great happiness."
Even though I don't think missionary work can be described as easy, it can be described as happy. As we focus on the goal of helping other come unto Christ, we will be able to see miracles and changes in others that bring the greatest happiness we can find on this earth.
I love being a missionary. It's just awesome. And miracles happen all around us. What greater work is there? It may be hard sometimes, but it is never hard enough to quit. Not even close. Because when I think of my Savior, ah. There aren't even words. I just know that I must keep going and I must give it my all. Actually, I must give it more than my all, because that's what He did for me.
Never give up. Give more.
LOVE YA! OKAY BYEEE! :)