I want to share something that has been on my mind for the last 6 months. Before you read will you listen to a little bit of this talk? Copy and paste this link. Start at 7:20 and go to the end of the talk.
Powerful huh?! What Elder Holland shared has resonated inside of me for months now. Paul says in the book of Corinthians, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."(1 Corinthians 13:11). It may not come as a shock when I say that I was not a man before I came on a mission and that I held on to those childish things. In part that made it really hard for me to adjust to being in the mission field. I wanted to hold on to those childish things.
The first time I listened to that talk it hit me like a ton of bricks! I was trying to move forward on a mission, while a part of me was reserved outside of the mission. It was hard for me to give up my whole self. I had to make a lot of decisions about what I wanted this mission to mean for me now, and what it was going to mean for me in the future. I realized that I needed to give my whole self to my Father in Heaven, or else this mission would mean nothing.
That hasn't been easy for me to do, it has been a process of growth and failure. As I have been giving up those childish things and attributes, I have come to know of the joy that Christ's Atonement actually brings into our lives. Before my mission, I thought I knew of that joy, but as I'd always read the conversion of Alma the Younger, when he says that it is of the most exquisite joy, I could never say that it at that level.
This last week was Christmas of course, and it was a great day, but that night was a completely different story for me. Shocker, I got pretty homesick after having called all of my family, they being the biggest blessing in my life. Yet it wasn't the kind of homesickness that I dealt with when I first came on a mission. I think in large part there were a lot of emotions that arose around the person that I was in high school, or the person I was before I came here. I was thoroughly sad at the way I was, and it kind of broke my heart.
Elder Anderson and I took a walk when all of a sudden I felt an overwhelming love, not from anyone here, but from my Savior! I began to cry a little bit, but it was because of the exquisite joy that came from my Savior, Jesus Christ! I felt His love!
Elder Holland says, "And the issue for time and all eternity is, DO YOU LOVE ME? DO YOU LOVE ME?". I do love my Savior, and I choose to be on a path that is dedicated to that thought. That I really do love Him!
"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they might have everlasting life."(3 Nephi 5:13).