Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Sacrifice to Give to Others
Hey guys, I hope everyone had a great Christmas and really felt the true joy of the season. I thank those who sent me things in the mail for that day; it truly meant a lot. But the best gift I received that day was just talking to my family, I haven't talked to them in 7 months and oh how they have changed. Jessica gets more beautiful and older every timeI see her, Dylan has a deeper voice than me and can now probably beat me up and my Dad is still the happiest and most positive man on earth. Truly they bring me the most joy, I'm so thankful for their love and support.
It's cold here, it was 21 degrees this morning and snowed a little a few days ago. For me, it's cold but I'm a wimp. On exchanges, we walked like 6 miles in the cold windy air!! It was legit, I felt like a hard core missionary from the good ol' days. I'm blessed to have a car.
Things here in ABQ have been tough- not going to lie, it's been tough since I've been here but the past transfer or so the work has been struggling here. It's SUPER hard finding YSA here in this area to teach. A lot more live more by campus but on this side of town it is a lot more houses and families. My companion and I are still trying to work our hardest and trying to figure things out. I had prayed and fasted many times for the work here to grow and that I'd have another two baptisms before I leave and now it doesn't look like we will even have one. I don't mean for this to sound depressing but I want to show you the reality of missionary work sometimes. We have one investigator and have only had one for a transfer and a half now.. the other ones we have a lesson with them once then they just never answer or call us back. Now, I'm thankful for this. I'm thankful for the struggle it is working in this YSA branch and for the lessons I have been learning. We truly have changed less active members' lives here though, there's a few we see and are helping and that brings fulfillment!! So, the point is that sometimes sacrifice needs to take place. Sometimes I need to sacrifice my desires, wants and time, to others. Like I don't choose to go around all day driving or walking to addresses where YSA's in the stake live who are most likely moved or hate the church; BUT I do it knowing it's going to touch someone's life and that we will be blessed with someone in the long run to teach. Sometimes we need to sacrifice and do things that really isn't what we want to BUT we have to try to love it. Our mission president always quotes " Learn to love your work. Learn to enjoy everything, you'll be healthier and happier." I truly have learned that lesson here. I absolutely love it here and the people but I've really had to learn to love the work here and because of it I still am happy, I still have the desire to find, teach, and baptize. The Lord is teaching me valuable life lessons and I thank Him for it.
My mother was the supreme example of this. I remember one Christmas season a lady, who was a little bit older and had physical issues, could not decorate her house or christmas tree. My mom who is ALWAYS busy it seemed like could have not offered, I say offered because I swear that woman was never asked by anyone to do anything, she would just get up and do it before they would even think to ask for her help. So, she probably told this lady that she's going by to help decorate for Christmas. Well it was a Saturday which she usually always has a lot of projects that need to get done but instead she dragged me with her and maybe my brother, I can't remember, and we went to go help this lady. As a teenager and that punk kid I was, I of course complained and asked how long we would be here, she said not very long at all. Just have to decoarte the tree real fast, you can do that easy and I'll put some decorations around the house and we will be done. Well, right when we walked in I swear a tornado hit the place and dropped off so many dang christmas junk it could decorate 5 houses. haha My mom just looked back and I can't remember the words but its was probably around these lines of "Well... never mind, its gonna take a while. Suck it up and get to work." haha To me that was a wonderful example of sacrificing her time, her own projects needing to get done as well, being the end of the week and being tired, still going over for what seemed hours to help this kind widow. My mother forever has left imprints in my life, I continue day by day to be reminded of the wonderful lessons she taught me. I know that she always gave of herself for others and didn't complain about it, just did it, even if she didn't want to, so why should I just quit or give up? No, I need to push along. I want you all to know I live every day similarly to the story I shared. I swear I'm still following my mom today, that she's helping me out with this work and whenever hard days or tasks come- I remember her looking back saying, "well... get to work. Suck it up. Push forward. Don't give up, you can do it." And, honestly that has been a sustaining factor for me these past 23 months and will forever be.
This week I invite you all to sacrifice for others, go the extra mile, get over yourself and your problems and look outward and I testify that as you do that, for some reason your OWN problems will go away, and you will find more joy in life.
Elder Justin Taylor