Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Have faith. Have hope...

Since transfer meeting got pushed back, I will be able to email today. As for what has been going on the past week… it all led up to Saturday. On Saturday we had our interviews with the President Blatter that always go very well. I enjoy meeting with him and talking to Sister Blatter while my companion is in his interview. Later that night we got our transfer calls. We found out that I will be going to Olympia 4th Ward and Elder Lacasse is staying here in Stadium. Although I feel it is time to leave the area I wish I didn't have to leave Elder Lacasse.

It seems that it is always the anticipation to something that kills me… whether it’s a test, race, or date. It’s always the moments or hours before that kill me. It is no exception with transfers. Ever since I got my new call I’ve been antsy. I am looking forward to meeting my new companion and doing work in a new area.

Saying goodbyes are never fun. Last night I was able to go see some ward members and 2 investigators who I have grown close to and bear my final testimony to them. That testimony is that me, myself doesn't matter. It’s the work that is being done that does. That they need to read the Book of Mormon and realize how wonderful it is. That all the questions they have about the church can be answered. To tell them that the church is special. That we believe in some weird stuff but these beliefs are true. They are not supposed to be easy to follow or understand all the time. I just pray they can gain this truth and find joy and satisfaction from it all.

Back home my life was very worldly. I loved my friends. I loved running. I loved school. I loved relaxing. I went to church every Sunday. I went out with the missionaries once in a while. But, 85% of my time at home was doing things that didn't revolve around the gospel.

Therefore I feel coming out here has been very difficult. I felt my life was pulled right out from under my feet. I knew no one. I didn't know what I’m doing. I have only 1 ½  hours each day to think about myself. All that I had for 18 years is gone and probably wont ever come back. It is the hardest change that’s happened to me in my life.

Why would someone do this… pay to lose everything they’ve known? From just about anyone’s point of view it’s so dumb. Yet, 90,000 missionaries are doing it right now.  It is worth it. No one will truly understand why it’s so worth it until it’s been done. I’m only ¼  through this thing and I don’t think I even understand all that I will receive from it.  I don’t know if anyone will understand all they will receive.

But it is not just you the people you meet for 2 years or 18 months. You get to be selfless. The burden of focusing on yourself is gone. The Lord takes it from you if you give it to Him. The happiest missionaries out here are always the ones who are not focusing on themselves.  The ones who have given up the world and serve the Lord. I want to be that missionary who struggles going home after 2 years.  Who loves their mission more than the place they left to go on a mission. What a great calling this is.

If your thinking about thinking about a mission… GO! You will not understand the blessing from it till later.  But, it will be worth it. I love this church. I love God, I love this opportunity I have to be here. To give this up to Him its not easy but it is worth it. All God asks is to give our agency to Him, to align our will with His and trust Him. Have faith. Have hope.

-Elder Johnson

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