I have had a lot of time to meditate the last few days. It hasn’t been a result of lack of this to do but rather due to long drives doing the many errands we have in the office. We continue to have conferences for interviews for the Elders in all of the parts of the mission. We have all been trying to just keep up with the work and keep everything moving. The week just flew by though…I can’t believe I am writing you all again.
Mom would be proud to know that I have successfully become a real estate expert in Nicaragua. I have visited tons of new houses looking for a new one for the office. The President has asked us to look for one that is closer to the church and office so we spent an afternoon doing that. The things you learn on the mission huh…who would have thought?
Yesterday was a really fulfilling day. I never thought that driving for the most part of the day could be so satisfying but it was. I like a long drive because it helps me ponder on eternal truths. Let me explain.
We started at 9 am and we drove to a zone about 40 kilometers away to get some items for them for another area. Then we drove another 30 kilometers to pick up an Elder for emergency transfers. He was going to be flying to Bluefields, a coastal town with two small branches on the Caribbean. We then drove back to Managua to take him to the airport. Then we helped recover a materials shipment from Salt Lake. Then we picked the AP from the bus stop and went back to the office. Then it was 5:00pm. I proceeded to help update finances and other office work until we left again to pick up another Elder in the Bus Stop. He had come from Bluefields in small boat and Bus. We got him some food and then we drove another 40 kilometers to drop him off where the other elder had left the same morning. We got home after 11:00pm. I hit the bed and fell right asleep.
Like I said, these long car rides have been blessings for me. I have begun to think a lot about Jesus Christ and how he was in certain circumstances. I have asked myself for example how I can be a better representative of Jesus Christ as an office Elder. I appreciate Sean’s story about giving service. I have seen similar experiences in the mission when we serve. The people really feel the difference and recognize a missionary as a representative of Jesus Christ when he does what the master did.
I feel like right now I have to give a different type of service. Maybe this experience in the office is helping me understand that being a representative of Jesus Christ goes beyond all boundaries of knocking on doors, teaching lessons, helping paint houses, etc. I think the Lord wants me to be like him but he is giving me opportunities to see how I do in a different environment. I see new weaknesses and trials. I felt like I have been able to grow and change a lot in the office. I hope that I can develop attributes of Jesus Christ that will endure beyond the limits of the mission. One day each missionary has to say goodbye to the name tag but he won’t say goodbye to his attributes that he has acquired as a missionary.
It was at 11:00pm last night on a dark freeway that I was left alone to think about all of this. The Elders in the car were quite with drowsiness and I was meditating. I thought about when Jesus Christ first signed up for his Earthy Ministry. When the plan was all presented, He realized that his job would be the most grueling, the most difficult, the most tiring. He knew he would have to be perfect. Yet he willing suffered the will of the Father in all things. He said, “Here am I, send me.” He tells us to rest from our iniquities, trials, struggles, but yet he would suffer alone and would go to bed very tired many days. In fact, He wouldn’t even have a place to call home. I appreciate Him. I appreciate how he lived and his commitment to his first covenant with the Father to save us from the fall. He is our Savior and Redeemer. He is the man that made it all possible. I love him. The more I study about him and the more I experience, the more inadequate I feel to bear his name over my heart. But I do so with all respect. I am honored to be his representative and I join with Elder Russell in Mexico in saying that when one in is in the service of his fellow being, he is only in the service of his God. Godly attributes are acquired through faith and diligence in keeping the commandments when there is opposition.
“For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.”
We show him in all things, in all times, and in all places that we may be that we will be faithful to his name. We become like him little by little and not only others, but we ourselves, recognize the change within us. May we be willing to do what the Savior asks, where he asks, when he asks!
Elder Grant Russell