Thursday, March 6, 2014

"Merci pour les leçons qu'on a apprises, mais pas enseigné..."

This week was well...kind of crazy...

Let me just start with a little story.  It was Sunday night...everything we had planned for the day had fallen through, which is fine, but the entire week was like that.  Tuesday I sat in the Charleroi apartment all day with Soeur Mangum waiting for a new washer while our companions did legality in Paris.  Wednesday we spent all day in Brussels for zone conference.  Thursday I spent getting tested at the hospital and then recovering.  Friday was weekly planning and Branch council and ward missionary coordination meeting.  So we were pumped to actually get work done on the weekend.  Instead we spent all of Saturday walking all over body was home. After all of this I found myself standing in the doorway getting ready to go out and do...who knows what for the last hour of the night.  It was my turn to pray and I couldn't control myself and I said, "Merci pour les leçons qu'on a apprises cette semaine, mais pas enseigné..." which means, "Thank you for the lessons that we learned this week, but didn't teach."  Soeur Walker and I had to stop praying for second we were laughing so hard.  Seriously couldn't breath after that one... We just couldn't believe what had happened to us this week.  We taught just five lessons, but I think some of my hardest work on the mission happened this last week.  It didn't make sense!

As a missionary sometimes we think that we are the teachers.  But that is absolutely false.  Just like I said out of frustration in my prayer, we learned many more lessons this week than we taught.  This is a parallel for my entire mission, and for life in general.  When I look back on my mission it is much more about what I've learned than what I've taught.  On that note, even when I'm teaching, it's not me.  There's nothing I can say to make people want to change, that is all the Spirit's work.  But anyways, life is all about learning.  That is why we have trials.  I have been thinking a lot about trials lately, especially because I see so much suffering here... I've had my own fair share of trials as well.  If God really loves us, why does he allow people to go hungry, or to be sick?  Why do church members lose family members or have other difficulties, even though they are doing everything right?  Why does he allow his missionaries to have hard weeks?

 It's because life isn't supposed to be easy.  We are here to learn.  We have trials so that we can be shaped into the people that God knows we can be.  Trials are blessings in disguise.  Even Christ the greatest of all, he had to suffer the most.  So he could learn and experience everything that we would, so he would know how to take care of us and comfort us.  I've seen how the lessons I've learned on my mission, can immediately bless someone else.  I've seen it over and over again.  Where I've had a similar experience with someone I'm teaching, so I know how to help them through their own trials.  So everyone, when things are looking down, look around you!  What are we supposed to be learning, and how is that going to bless the lives of others?  Last night I helped someone decided to not take her name off the records of the church by testifying about trials, faith and grace.  All because of lessons I've learned throughout my mission and even as recently as last week.  And that was all through the Spirit, guiding my every word and helping me reach into my own experiences and difficulties to bless the life of someone else.  I pray that we can all do this more.  To turn to our Savior in the midst of our trials and see what lessons we are to learn.  He will lift us higher than we ever think is possible.

Weeeeell, that's it for this week, sorry if you couldn't follow my rambling.  Enjoy the pictures!

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