For the sake of our sanity and my time, most of my weekly will be a couple quotes. (They’ll be at the very end so you don’t have to read it right this second, though it will be worth your time)
This week was hard for me in many ways. To be concise, I’ve been struggling with feeling my mission has meant anything to the Lord with all of the mistakes I’ve made, and my failing to give my all my entire mission. As I expressed these feelings in tears to my companions yesterday, one of them (Sister Atkinson) told me in tears that it was an act of faith to leave my mistakes behind and that looking back was the quickest way to lose motivation to move forward.
I’ve never thought of leaving my mistakes in the past as an act of faith, but it makes sense. I need to study faith and Christ’s Atoning Sacrifice for me, and make it personal, more than ever. With only 9 weeks left, I so badly want to give my all, every day, ever hour, and every minute. Something I’ve tried to accomplish throughout my mission, but have never felt like I’ve succeeded. I don’t want to look back on my mission with regret. I want to look back on it knowing it was hard becasue I chose to truly and fully sacrifice 18 months of my life to give to the Lord to serve and teach His children. "If it was easy, it wouldn’t be a sacrifice."
A family member reminded me this morning of a few verses in 2 Nephi 4 when Nephi is lamenting over his sins, mistakes, and shortcomings. Depression, anger, giving in to the natural man, etc. My favorite part of this chapter is the end of Nephi crying to the Lord when he says,"Oh Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in the forever… I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness."
I know the Lord will answer my prayers for help. For strength. Sister Atkinson shared this poem during her talk yesterday, and it touched my spirit because I feel like I’m in different levels of this story all the time. A cycle, and one that I strive to stay close to the Lord.
By Scott Lewis & Elders from his mission
I had been in that hole for a very long timeIn the dark and the damp, in the cold and the slime
The shaft was above me; I could see it quite clear
But there’s no way I could ever reach it from here.
Nor could I remember the world way up there
So I lost all my hope and gave into despair
I knew nothing but darkness, the floor and the walls
Then off in the distance, I heard someone call;
"Get up! Get ready! There’s nothing the matter.
Take rocks and old sticks and build up a fine ladder."
This had never occurred to me-had not crossed my mind
But I started to stack all the stones I could find.
When I ran out of stones, then old sticks were my goal
For one way or another I’d get out of this hole.
So I soon had a ladder that was sturdy and tall
And I thought,"I’ll soon leave this place once and for all!"
I climbed up my ladder; it was no easy chore,
For from lifting those boulders, my shoulders were sore.
I climbed up my ladder, but soon had to stop
for my ladder stopped short-some 10 feet from the top.
I climbed back down my ladder and started to cry
I’d done all I could do. I gave my best try
And in spite of my work, in this hole I must die
And all I could do was sit and think,"why?"
Was my ladder too short? Or my hole much to deep?
Then from way upon high came a voice, "Do not weep."
And the faith, hope and love entered my chest
As the voice said to me that I’d done my best
He said, "You’ve worked hard, you’re labors’ been rough,
but the ladder you’ve built is at last tall enough.
Do not despair. You have reason to hope.
Just climb up your ladder; I’ll throw down my rope."
I climbed up the ladder, then climbed up the cord.
When I got to the top, there stood the Lord.
I couldn’t be happier; my struggle was done
I blinked in the brightness that came from the Son.
I fell to the ground, His feet did I kiss.
I cried, "What can I do to repay thee for this?"
Then He looked all around Him. There were holes in the ground.
They had people inside, and were seen all around.
There were thousands of holes that were damp, dark and deep.
Then the Lord turned to me and He said, "Feed my sheep."
Then he went on his way to help other lost souls,
and I got right down to work, calling down to the holes;
"Get up! Get ready! There’s nothing the matter!
Take rocks and olds sticks and build up a fine ladder."
It was now my turn to spread the good word,
the most glorious message that man ever heard.
That there is one who is willing to save one and all
And we’ve got to be ready when He gives the call
He’ll pull us out of the hole that we’re in
And save all our souls from death and from sin
So do not lose faith; there is reason to hope
Just build up your ladder; He’ll throw down His rope.
Have a wonderful week everyone!
Sister (Katie) Malan
After talking to a little girl, her brother, and her mom, this girl ran into the house demanding her mom let her grab something. She came back out with this pink unicorn-giraffe. She told us we needed to keep it. We asked her several times if she was sure and we looked at the mom, and she told us it was okay and that she loves giving people things. We named it after her and stuck it on the dashboard of our car. :3