So this morning, during my personal study I reflected on some things that I've learned while being on a mission. All the things I've learned can basically be put into 4 different categories: Gratitude, Faith, Sacrifice, and effort.
Gratitude: A grateful attitude to the Lord allows us to see the many tender mercies and miracles that are place in our paths every day. The more we give thanks for what we have, the more we notice the little things that we receive. The Lord is so giving and the least we can do is give thanks.
Faith: Faith leads to action. When we really have faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, we desire to be as He is. Perfect. And even though we'll never achieve perfection in this life, we can have confidence that the Atonement of our Savior will make up for what we lack. As we exercise faith, we receive more faith. It's an ongoing cycle.
Sacrifice: We are servants of the Lord. Christ came to earth to do the will of His Father. We are here to do the will of our Father too. Our purpose and the purpose of Christ are (or should be) exactly the same. But because we're human, the natural man has the tendency to lead us astray and to make other things look more appealing occasionally. We have to constantly make a conscience effort to sacrifice our will, our wants, our desires, to submit our will to the will of the Lord.
Effort: All we're really asked to do is to try our best. Be better today than we were yesterday. As a missionary, effort can be shown in obedience. It can be shown in planning, goal setting. One thing I've learned is that just because I put in the effort, doesn't mean I'm going to get an outward reward for it. If there's one thing I've learned while being here, it's that exact obedience brings miracles, not baptisms. I'm so grateful for the things that I did before my mission that helped me know how to work hard, but I've learned how to work even harder while on my mission and that's something that will bless me for the rest of my life.
I also read in Preach My Gospel chapter 8 today, in the section that talks about setting goals and the very first sentence says "Goals reflect the desires of our hearts and our vision of what we can accomplish." I thought to myself What are the desires of my heart? What do I want to accomplish that I can control? Something that doesn't involve the agency of others... Just my own effort. I took the time this morning to set goals for the last 6 months of my mission.
I can't believe how fast the last year has gone. It's gone by so fast and so many things have happened. My life is changed forever. I'm a completely different person now than I was when I went to the MTC. Sometimes I read through my old journal and it's amazing to see the growth that I've made. I will forever be grateful for the decision I made to serve a mission. My future will be so much better because of the things I've learned while here.
I love you all and I'm so grateful for the love and support you've given me! Have a stellar week.
Love Sister Nield