Guest Post, RM Style
So do you remember that one time I told you the story about how I went out tracting with the sisters in my ward the day after Christmas?
Remember how I mentioned a certain Sister Maybin, who returned home from her mission in January?
Yeah, well, I managed to convince Sister Maybin to write a guest post for you, just so you can see how awesome she is firsthand. Although she's not technically Sister Maybin anymore, having completed her one year and six months of labor, she's a forever sister now, and I will always look up to her as a missionary and as a disciple of Christ and an example of a righteous woman.
So, if you've been wanting some advice from an RM (which I want basically 24/7) I've got you covered.
When you leave to serve a mission, do so in faith. Let go of your expectations and understand that God is in control. God lives, He loves us and has a perfect plan for us; each day is a part of that plan. I’d like to think each day is perfect because it is a part of a perfect plan. Each day we have experiences that will shape us, will guide us. The majority of the time these experiences will come in the form of choices. If we study our scriptures, heed the promptings of the Spirit and trust that our obedience will bring the promised blessings, we will be prepared to make righteous choices.
Please note that righteous choice will always be the right one, regardless of the consequences. God's plan is bigger than today, this week, this month or year. Even if it seems like you’re slamming your head against a brick wall, God has a plan. He will provide. This applies to even the direst situations. I have seen it in my life and the lives of the people I have met and taught. These are eternal principles; they’re tried and true and can be applied to any and all situations. Your mission can change everything about you, if you humble yourself enough to let it.
Please acknowledge now that although you are righteous, valuable, and that your contributions to the world are significant, you are not yet the magnificent creature God would have you be. Let Him refine you. Take every opportunity to develop patience, temperance and compassion. Understand that effective communication not only between you and the Lord, but also with every person you meet from now until eternity, will speed your progression. This communication will help you gain the wisdom to become a Celestial being. Beneath all our mistakes and pride we truly are Celestial. Use your mission to do what God would have you do and be who God would have you become and learn to love love love every child of God you meet.
Learn to look for the tender mercies of the Lord: they’re everywhere. God is always trying to show you how much He loves you, trust me. He’s also trying to show you how to love the people around you. Seek opportunities to share that love with those who might not recognize it. Service is the Lord's Zoloft (note: Zoloft is an anti-depressant drug. If you're like me and didn't know.). If at any point on your mission you find yourself in a “funk” (because it happens) find a rule to obey, find someone to hug, something you can do for someone else. I promise that if you make obedience a priority one day you’ll find yourself exhausted on the couch thinking “I need to go do tha…” and before you can even finish your thought you’ll be up on your feet and halfway finished. God blesses those who put Him first, it happened to me!
Remember that God wants His children to be baptized just as badly as you do (if not more, probably more) SO that means He’s working just as hard. If an investigator drops you or a baptism falls through, it’s not your fault. God already knows, He’s taking care of it. You’re just there to do your part, share your heart and love love love everyone.
Remember to be yourself. It’s true, you were called to be a missionary, but you were also called because you are you. You have something someone needs, SO GIVE IT TO THEM! You don’t have to be perfect and your numbers don’t need to be perfect, just make sure you’re doing something worthwhile each day.
Don’t worry about where you’re called to serve; you wont see any of it anyway. You’re not there for the scenery,you’re there for the people. No matter how stinky they are, no matter how rude or inconsiderate, you’re going to learn to love the snot out of them. You’re going to think about them every day, you’re going to pray for them, fast for them, and want to shake them when they don’t read their scriptures. You’re going to wish you could take your brain and stick it in their heads so they finally understand, but you can’t do that. What you have to do is do what you know how to do when you know how to do it. I wont say “do your best” because who the heck knows what your “best” is! If you know how to give a compliment, give a really great compliment. If you know a really great scripture about the law of chastity, you share the crap out of that scripture. Do what you know how to do when you know how to do it, that’s all God is going to ask of you. Isn’t that easier than the ambiguity of doing your “best”? However, that means you’ve got to figure out how to do other things. If you’re terrible at talking to strangers you’re going to have to buck up buttercup and talk to that strange man who’s moving around beer bottles in the trunk of his 1980 Cadillac Coupe De Ville. JUST DO IT.
The point is, just be happy. Love every moment, and don’t let one second pass you by. Don’t waste time thinking about home, you’re not there. You’re in the best place in the world with the best people in the world being the best person you know how to be, and I think that’s better than home.