February 23, 2011
(Happy Birthday B-rad!)
I feel weird today. Last night I had a dream I was captured by Armenians. I busted a sweet getaway and woke up right as one was about to find me in one of our recent convert’s pantries. I am still scared.
I think I’ll just write a list of things.
1. All the sudden I’ve been bombarded with great letters and packages on all sides and it’s been WONDERFUL. Such good timing. I’m so grateful! Thanks!
2. Today I learned most of the first lesson in sign language because Kels sent me two great books of religious signs. I knew how to sign a lot of the fill in stuff but couldn’t remember how to sign things like: prophet, restoration, Book of Mormon. It filled in the gaps so fast! I loved it!
3. Sister Reynolds was down for the count again this week so we stayed in almost every day. I de-junked, organized, categorized and post-it labeled EVERYTHING in our apartment. I went crazy. There is no old missionary junk anywhere anymore. All proselyting materials are ordered by type and language. The place is spik and SPAN friends. Also, my immune system is a apparently a rock. I’ve yet to hit the couch coughing.
4. On p-day we went to the church to meet up with our zone. We played basketball and volleyball and it felt so good. After that, someone showed up with 50 Nerf guns– literally. We built trenches and had an all out WAR. In other words, I put down my letter writing stuff and became an elder this past p-day and it was fantastic. I needed to laugh and be a kid after being cooped up and crazy all week.
5. Sister Reynolds heard there was stake choir last week. “I might as well be sick on the couch at church instead the one of home. Go sing B-town,” she said. I did! I loved it! Isn’t she good to me? Thankfully she got better Sunday night and we’ve been goin strong ever since.
6. Transfer calls are comin on March 5th– Jesse’s birthday. I have my predictions about where I’m going… we’ll see what happens.
7. I want to tell you something I’ve been thinkin about lately– but I’m still not sure how to explain it. For a while now, since late January, missionary life feels normal. This is not some new thing I’m doing– it’s my way. I am not a newfound balance of past and present, not a compromised combination of Lyndsi Shae and Sister Brown… I am just me. I am Sister Brown. This happened and somehow it doesn’t matter what is left or what is left behind. I have become this person. I am becoming this person– a constant transformation. My definition, my identity— is always changing. I cannot detect in what specific ways but I know I am being taken care of. I know it’s okay. Because I am changing in one common direction: Forward.
In Matthew 5 Christ says “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” The footnote says something about the Greek word for perfect meaning something like– complete, fully developed. God is fully developed. He has complete joy, complete knowledge, complete understanding. He wants us to have all of that as well. That’s what the gospel is about– being fully developed. Through Him we can grow into that. He lets us grow into a little bit at a time. He could give it to us all at once but he doesn’t– because we cannot understand, apply, make habit of it all at once.
“I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fullness. For if you keep my commandment you shall receive of his fullness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace.”
Be ye therefore: progressing. Grace by grace. I can do that.
“And for this cause ye shall have fullness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fullness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one.”
3 Nephi 28
Be ye therefore: joyful.
That’s what we’re teaching people. We are not here to change your religion– to join you with a label and a specific organization of people. This is deeper and more eternal. We are here to invite you to come closer to Christ– to increase your faith in him and change your heart so that it might experience a fullness of joy. This is not about a manmade club or a category of membership. It’s about God speaking to man today. He will give answers to you personally for your own life. He gives answers for the whole world to a prophet. A living Moses guy! Today! It’s about you uncovering God’s plan for you. It’s about becoming whole, healed, and sanctified through the Lord. It does not come from an earthly opinion or interpretation of the bible. You do not have to trust our opinion or any other. You can find an answer for yourself instead. Only when they discover the truth for themselves will they choose, with great enthusiasm, to become “Mormon.” But by then it is no longer a label or an organization of people– it is the literal church of Jesus Christ restored to the earth today. Now. Here. It is the way to eternal life– to a Heavenly Father who has become their stable and everlasting source of love, joy, and truth. Labels and stigmas and all other earthly ignorance fall away and their true quest becomes seeking God and becoming like Him. That’s what this is about! Be ye therefore interested.
People! Share this stuff!