This has been a profound week for us, but not for the reasons you might think. We have lost things, we have found things and I wish to share some of my insights into what I (personally) have learned. And Elder Larkin has agreed with me as we spoke about it this morning.
Here are a few observations:
1. Things are just things. They help our life and make it more convenient and easier to do the work. We lost (2.5 weeks ago) our internet. It is not an easy process getting it back on, but it helps us appreciate what we do have. Particularly the ability to go quickly to the nearest chapel (there’s only 2 here) to get online when we need to. It is a bit rough doing it at 10:00 at night and in near freezing temps, however. We also lost something yesterday that is quite valuable in monetary value. It does not look like we will get it back. We have done all we can think of to try to find it, including prayer, but it is not more valuable than any person we know or love. It can be replaced…people can’t.
2. Losing People we love is hard. We received word yesterday that a dear friend back home had passed away on Monday of this week. We have had other good friends at home return to their Father in Heaven while we have been serving here. (It is the plight of the old to lose friends and family). We will miss him, until we see him again. Also, our dear, sweet mission president has been released. He came to us last July when the mission was split. He has been very ill for the last several weeks and had to be released to travel back to America to receive more treatment. We are heartbroken at his loss, but pray he will be made well. He was so loved by all the missionaries. We look forward to meeting our new mission president (called on 5 days notice) sometime next week.
3. We could return to our Heavenly Father at anytime. We had a close encounter with this last Sunday. We count our blessings that we are safe everyday! We taught this concept in our classes this last week and it really was a wake up call that we must all do what the Lord asks everyday if we are to be prepared to meet Him! No matter when that is! We are never lost to the Lord. He knows us and loves us and cares about our individual lives.
4. Seeing someone change their life by changing their heart taught us what we can find if we embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have helped the sister missionaries teach a Tongan minister several times this week. He is an amazing man, and the spirit has confirmed in him the truths he has been taught. Now he prays for the courage to leave his old life behind (loss) and start a new one (found). His old life includes his employment and associates. We pray for him, too.
5. We found our love for our YSA’s grew by heaps and heaps this last Sunday when they hosted a multi-stake fireside in Sydney. They bore strong, pure testimony of missionary work. Many of them are already working for the Lord, even before they depart for their missions. I don’t think we could have been more proud of so many that we love.
Hopefully, you will gain something from reading my reflections today.
Until next time…