Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Taking the Road Less Traveled

How to express a mission..... I feel completely inept.  And words are inconveniently failing me at this moment.

My mission is very special to me. Mostly because I wanted it to mean everything. Imagine yourself being given the chance to go out and give all you can to serve the Savior by striving to "feed His sheep" and invite others to come unto Him in a special and unique way for a set amount of time. And while you do this, seek to love others as the Savior loved everyone no matter how they treated you. If this was your opportunity, first of all, would you take it? And if so what would you want to give or make out of the experience??
       I think many desire to give everything. All that they have, and the very best "them."  I assure you dear readers those were the feelings I had in my heart as I started my mission. Along with feelings of being completely overwhelmed and an uncertanty of if I could really do it or not.
   I remember that when I went into the Missionary Training Center I thought I would automatically "feel" like a missionary. But I didn't. And it bothered me.

    But over the course of my mission I have learned that life is about becoming. We never change or become something greater and more Christlike in an instant. But to become more than we are and hope to be is a journey that extends an invitation to all, but is found less traveled.
   I think in part it is because we cannot make it without a guide. The creator of the path Himself, Jesus Christ. We cannot hope to walk in His footsteps without Him showing us the way.
   We often want to do things "our way" instead of His way.  We must be willing to let Him walk with us and trust Him at everyturn.
    It is in persuit of becoming more like the Savior that He draws out the best in us and the best that we have to offer... if we will let Him.

I guess I can try to relate my mission to a difficult hike. And as I start this hike I have this huge backpack that is filled with all my selfish likes and interests, bad habbits, you name it. And even with this huge obnoxious back pack (or "natural man") the Savior invites me to come and walk with Him in steps that He has walked. He continually reassures me that it will bring me experiences and joy that I can experience in no other way and that this is an important part of my journey in life, and He knows because He has experienced everything that I could ever go through and knows me perfectly.
  So off we go and it is hard and as I struggle He points out something in my backpack that if I set it aside it will make the journey not only more enjoyable, but easier.  He shows confidence in me that I can do it if I step where He steps and do what He does.
     There were times where I didn't think I could do it, and that I am not cut out for this journey. But the Savior will just encourage and comfort me and show me what else I can do without to lighten my load so I can become the hiker I need to make it through this hike and so step by step challenge by challenge I learn to trust to hand more of my challenges and weaknesses and shortcomings over to Him.

   Now please do not mistake me that I am expressing that I have come to some great arrival. Quite the opposite. As the Savior has lead me through a mission. I feel so much joy and my soul has never felt so light than it has in the service of the Master. I have gained a friend. I have learned I can love to learn and grow by doing hard things, and as I look ahead to the greater mountains and valleys that lay before me, I am not afraid because I know in whom I can trust and who will walk with me. 
      I am so thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it fills my soul to overflowing. I know it is true and real. I know that through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can always have hope to become and change for the better through sincere repentance. I invite you all to turn to Him in prayer and to be willing to walk (or hike) the individual paths that He leads each of us. It will require changes and sacrifices but I know that each one is calculated for our good. I know He knows us personally and knows how to make beauty from ashes and build us to all that we can be. He is there with outstreched hands always inviting us to take the road less traveled.


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