January 16, 2012
I had so much to tell you before I read my e-mails, but now that I have my mind is filled with other things and it’s hard to know what to say…and I have about 20 minutes.
We have so many miracles going on. Miracles you can measure in number, like baptisms coming up and tons of lessons being taught…and then we have miracles you can just feel-in our companionship and in the countenances of our people. These are miracles you could never quantify.
I love my mission so much.
I love my companions.
I have so much desire in my heart to really understand the people here and help them find what they need.
I have a great love for listening to people.
I love listening.
Even more than I love talking.
I’ve been thinking lately about something I learned when I lived in The Connexsh at BYU with the girls.
We had this plant in our kitchen– the kind that hangs from the ceiling in a bowl and the branches kind of pour down over the sides. It was beautiful and belonged to Sarah’s sister who was a botanist.
But the plant got lonely when we all went home for Christmas break.
No one watered it and by the time we all came back it was withered and dry.
But no one took it down. Maybe because we were sad. Or busy. Or just not worried about it.
I kept my eye on it though– me and that plant had a special attachment.
I’d water it from time to time—just in case…and one day I came in the kitchen and cast my usual glance in its direction…and it was flowering! It’s colors were back!
I called Sarah in. “Look! Look what the plant’s doing! It’s not dying anymore!
“Oh it’s still dying” she said “my sister taught me about this.”
She explained that, for the past few weeks, the plant had gone into somewhat of a survival mode.
It withered and dried and stored up its energy so that just before it dies, it can exert all of its energy stores to produce flowers for new seeds. It will leave the seeds behind.
That way its kind can live on, even after it finally goes.
I’ve been thinking about that lately because when you’re nearing the end of your mission, people say you’re “dying.”
“When is Sister Brown dying?”
“Aren’t you dead soon?!”
I hear this all the time.
And you know what? It really does feel like I’m dying in a way.
Because I know I’m never coming back.
Of course I’m coming back to California and I’m keeping all the people I love…
but I’ll never be a full-time, black-tag, young sister missionary again.
It will never be the same.
Being a missionary is hard. It has to end eventually or I’d never make it.
But I sure do love it. I have really, really loved it.
At times I have felt withered and dried, like I hadn’t had any nutrients in a while and I needed someone to come and water this mess. So often, especially in those moments, I’ve wanted to burst forth and send forth all my colors and all my love and all my testimony.
I want to give it all away before I really go!
These days I am up for the challenge.
Sister Stewart is helping me make sure that my mission lives on even after I go.
I love her and I love this feeling.
Bring on the flowers!