December 15, 2010
Family! People! I have so much to say. (I know this is a surprise to you!)
Sometimes I miss everyone so much and I just want Christmas to be OVER. Isn’t that horrible? And then I read those Missionary Christmas stories Mom sent me and remember that I’m selfish and it’s not about me. And then I love Christmas again.
Sister Mackley transfered up to Bishop and my Sister Clark has gone home to Utah. I’m with Sister Reynolds now and she has a billion sides just like me. I can’t wait to find them all. I want to tell you more when I know more. I want to tell you this for now…
Last transfer was insane. We dropped nine people and I just loved all of them. We passed six to other missionaries. We found thirty new investigators. I am telling you this so you can understand the rollercoastery mess that is happening to my life.
To be counted as a new investigator you have to be found, taught a lesson, and committed to a return appointment. Think about how many people you have to talk to before one person makes it to that point, how many times you have to sincerely present the truth you know in your heart, which is exhausting, and then times that mess by thirty. People, woah. So much of my heart just spills all over this town. All over doorsteps and parking lots and playgrounds and just…. everywhere. Everything. I am telling you this so I can begin to explain something I’ve been learning…
Somewhere in my mind I had this notion that on my mission I would become a graceful, mild-mannered, very ordered young lady.
A few days ago I remembered that notion and had the distinct impression that God was laughing.
Let’s be real, I have never been “mild” about anything in my life. I just care so much about everything. My first week I bawled in this man’s living room because he knew it was true and we knew it was true and he refused to act. It would probably be more professional to refrain from spilling all emotions at once to a man you’ve taught only twice. A few weeks ago I told someone “I’m glad you can say you trust God, but if you do not choose to follow this commandments, God will know that He can only trust you to follow Him when it is convenient, comfortable, and easy for you.”
Woah! Did that just come out of my mouth?
It would be more graceful for me to stop charging people like that. It would be more graceful if I could be a ballerina in the gospel, delicately spinning through the valley, each joint aligned, ordered and balanced– picking up and dropping investigators in sweet breezes of wisdom.
But… I’m just not professional or graceful in those moments! I am a mess and I am just as emotional as ever, and I’m learning that God isn’t expecting, or even hoping, for that to change. There are things I’m not good at: organization. knowledge. diligence. I will become more organized, naturally as time goes on. I will gain more knowledge. I will become more diligent. I am already. But every time I try to make that my focus God reminds me that I’m here because of the things I’m good at already. And He is going to squeeze as much love and faith and hope as He can out of me. I just don’t get to be graceful and ordered in public.
And well … that’s okay because I don’t want to be anyway. I just thought maybe that was expected.
Is this making sense?
I am not the girl that poses on your parents’ couch, ankles crossed, cooing in approval of their finery. Instead I will sit cross-legged on the carpet and talk to your grandma about fireworks and fried food! I am still me and I am most powerful (and most happy) when I speak with my whole heart, no matter how scary or bold or sobby-emotional or tongue-tied I sound. There’s no use trying to dilute this. Sometimes I am a little embarrassed a few days later when I replay the moment in my mind, but this is just who I am, OK? I have always been more… raw.
I photocopy pages of my journal for you to have. I jump. I cry. I wave my arms and take deep breaths between long paragraphs of enthusiasm.
I am this way if I know you and love you AND I am this way if I am meeting you on your doorstep with ten seconds til I never see you again. I am this way if I am teachin in your livin room, singin in your choir, or riding in your car.
I will always give all that I have.
SO … now I’m going to try not to be embarrassed of this anymore. I’m going to stop holding myself to the weird ballerina standard.
Whew! All of that just came out. Woah.
Love you! See you next week!