I am currently sitting here at a computer I don't own, with a phone that isn't activated, a camera that is shattered to pieces, signing away my brand new Mazda 3 Sport, pondering over how frustrating this past month has been, and also how blessed I really am. It is funny how the Lord works really. Can I tell you about my past couple months?
It all started when I put my mission papers in. I was so excited and thrilled and READY to be a missionary. One week later, my best friend in the world left.
The next week brought on a whole new load of emotions.
Family "Issues" began to occur.
"Problems" began to take place.
I won't go into every nit picky detail, for privacy sake!
But all in all...
Change began to set in.
Things were NOT going MY way.
And who was I to turn to?
Why was this all happening NOW.
(funny) Because I really thought that I was left here alone to deal with all these new occurrences all on my own. In fact, I had never felt THIS ALONE in my ENTIRE LIFE. And the adversary was really working on me, placing new doubts, questions and concerns in my head every minute of everyday.
There hasn't been one single day since I opened my mission call, that my faith has not been tested and tried
by instances.. or even people!
Now, I'm not telling you all this to cause a pity party for myself, but in hopes that maybe someone out there has felt the same thing. Or is dealing with similar problems right now in their life. Can I just say, it gets better?
For a minute there, I was MAD.
Here I was trying to do the right thing, become a better person, and SERVE.
I thought I had given up everything, why was I so alone?
Well, it gets (funnier) because little did I understand, I hadn't given up 'everything' NOT YET.
The same couple weeks that we had PLENTY of 'issues' take place... my...
Camera was Shattered
iPhone got lost in the mail
Laptop (with all my documents/pictures/information) CRASHED
Car was bought!
So the past two weeks I've been stranded without my everyday items that i spend SO much time using. And it took me quite some time to figure it all out.
I wasn't ever alone. I was distracted.
I see now why it is so important to forget yourself, to serve, especially in the mission field. Finally once all my 'everyday distractions' were...uhh... 'out of use' I had pleeennttyyy more time to focus on things of more importance.
Of course, the 'issues' that were currently going on and other such problems and emotions didn't just CEASE to happen, but I had found a new way to deal with them. Not having my best friend around to talk to, not having worldly 'distractions' to take my mind off of everything, I have HAD to rely on my gospel knowledge, my testimony and my relationship with my loving Heavenly Father to get me through HARD times. No more asking "why me?" it was now onto the question "what do i need to do to get through?"
I think someone was trying EXTRA hard, to prove a point to me.
As I was grumbling away at how 'unlucky' I was... I found this article...from Elder Holland
"In Times of Trouble."
What caught my attention first, was the VERY FIRST PARAGRAPH of this article. He says:
I wish to discuss a problem that is universal and that can, at any
time, occur anywhere. I believe it is a form of evil. At
least I know it can have damaging effects that block our growth,
discourage us, diminish our hope, and leave us vulnerable to other
more conspicuous evils. I wish to discuss it because I know of
nothing Satan uses so cunningly or cleverly in his work. I refer to
doubt—especially self-doubt or discouragement, and of despair.
We all have troubles, but the “germ” of discouragement,is not in
the trouble, it is in us—or to be more precise, I believe it is in
Satan, the prince of darkness, the father of lies. And he wants us to
have it in us. It’s frequently a small germ, but it will work and it
will grow and it will spread. In fact it can become almost a habit, a
way of living and thinking, and there the greatest damage is done.
It erodes the deepest religious commitments we can make—those
of faith, and hope, and charity. We become unhappy and soon
make others unhappy, and before long Lucifer is happy.
Was this message for ME.
I think, no sorry let me rephrase...
Satan will try to distort EVERY, GOOD, THING.
I know at such a time, in my family, at this age and with all that is happening, the advesary will do EVERYTHING in his power to stop any form of 'Righteous Living.'
I have a testimony of the gospel.
I am preparing to SERVE a mission for the Lord.
There are people waiting to hear MY message.
And he will do everything in his power to stop it.
He knows i'm not going to jump onto some mad party boat and break all ten commandments, the W.O.W and law of chastity in the next forty two days causing my missionary assignment to be put to rest! That is simply unrealistic for me! So why not start with personal discouragement?
am-i-right or am-i-RIGHT?
He then says, (and this is my favorite part)
"If you are trying hard and living right and things still seem burdensome, have courage. Others have experienced these things before you.
Do you feel unpopular and different? Read about Noah again and see what popularity was like in 2,500 B.C.
Does the wilderness stretch before you in a never ending sequence of apparent burdens? Read Moses again. Calculate the burden of fighting with the Pharoahs and then a 40-year assignment in Sinai. (18 months will do thx.)
Are you afraid people don't like you? Prophet Joseph Smith could share a few thoughts with you on that subject.
Have a health problem? Can you take courage from your shared sacrifice with that giant of a man who has defied disease and death, has defied forces of darkness and cried when there was hardly strength to walk, "Oh, Lord, I am yet strong. Give me one more mountain." (see josh. 14:11)
Do you ever feel untalented or incapable or inferior? Would it help you to know that everyone else feels this way too, including prophets of God? (ex. Moses)..."
Elder Holland always gets ya.
As soon as i realized this, i realized all the blessings that can come from any trial of your faith, as long as you persevere. I know I have a work to do, i'm only nineteen, things aren't just going to 'get easy' NO WAY. Thats not what i'm here for. But fortunately i have been blessed.
For one, my phone was found and they ended up not charging me a warranty fee (thank goodness??)
My camera was shattered but come to find out there is a warranty that covers all damage or new camera.
My laptop...well the documents/information was thankfully able to be transferred onto an external harddrive and i hadn't lost anything.
My car, was sold for asking price before i left so i wont have any debts, fees or loans to carry over with me in the mission field.
In other words, i have waaaay less worries and less distractions to be concerned about that when all this started. Which is resulting in all my time and efforts being dedicated to the work in the mission field, which means a lot to me.
And on top of that, i have learned so much from every trial or negative experience in the past few months. I am so blessed to have the knowledge i do of the true and everlasting gospel. How blessed am I?
In the gospel of Jesus Christ you have help from both sides of the veil and you must never forget that. When disappointment and discouragement strike-and they will- you must remember and never forget that if our eyes could be opened we would see horses and chariots of fire as far as the eye can see, riding at reckless speed to come to our protection, and they will always be there, these armies of heaven."
In short, count your many, many blessings.
Thanks for reading, xoxo