Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 6: My Voice Shall Forever Ascend

Tracting is like flossing.  After several days it does stop putting you in horrible pain, and you do it because you know it's necessary, but you will never ever enjoy it. It's all good, though!
As all men have agency, it is a choice to obey all commandments, including this one: "Be of good cheer."  If you're walking through sweltering heat with blisters on your heels and a load of books on your back after having someone persistently accuse you of being a wandering cultist, it is still up to you to decide what face you'll wear on the way home.  It would be very easy to sulk and complain and let a raincloud follow your steps (which would actually be very much a relief in this heat), but when you remember who you represent, who's name you wear on your shoulder, you suddenly have a very good reason to force your chapped lips into a smile, or at least to raise your voice in a refrain of "There is sunshine in my soul today" until the irony makes you smile for real.
As a representative of Christ, I've come to find that wearing his name is the only way I could do any of this, but not just on the outside.  It has to be part of who you are.  To be a true representative, you must come to know Him by doing the things you think He would do and you know you're doing it right when you begin experiencing the things He experienced, which is the most blessed and most challenging part of this work.  Our Savior experienced the greatest of joys, and the greatest of pains, was both greatly loved and harshly reviled.
Everytime someone insists that they don't need you, or don't want you and what you have to offer, when they close their doors to you with so little regard, or even become accusatory, calling you false and hellbound, and even those you thought would hear you inform you instead that they would rather you not come back, you hear the words of the scriptures "He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief" and understand.
But then, when you find yourself called early one morning to the aid of a less active sister, and suddenly you're kneeling beside a couch, grasping the hand of a woman writhing and crying out in pain as you wait for help to come, and feel a strange and strong desire to weep with her and take that pain away though you've hardly known her a minute, you hear the words of the scriptures again, "My bowels are filled with compassion toward you" and understand.

Instances like these must surely be the work of my Savior, confirming to me that this is what it feels like, in some small part, to be like Him, to be a witness of Him, to be His hands, to represent His church.  More important is the peaceful feeling the Holy Ghost fills me with, assuring me that I am not doing this alone.
I realize a lot of my writings home lately make it sound like this is all pain and suffering.  I apologize and assure you, it's not, though they are my moments of significant learning.  But you learn to find beauty in every day.  In cooking one of my favorite recipes from my mother, and having a dinner that tastes like home.  In having an impromptu sing along with a member of the ward that knows Saturday's Warrior songs on the piano.  In a boisterous game of ultimate frisbee with ward members and other missionaries, skirts and ties and all.
As Nephi says in 2 Nephi 4, "Why should I be angry because of mine enemies?  Why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow?  Awake my soul!  Rejoice, O my heart!  Oh Lord I have trusted in thee and will trust in thee forever.  I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh.  Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God."

Sister Valdez

No comments:

Post a Comment