Feliz [belated] Pascual!
It’s P Day again! And the end of another busy week at the MTC! It’s hard to believe I only have one P Day left here…I’m going to miss these elders and sisters in my district/zone. Hermana Miller said the other day, “It’s just so unfair, Heavenly Father puts you in this awesome place and puts all these incredible people in your life and we get to be best friends and just like a family…and then he ships them off to Mexico!” I agree.
We really do have a lot of fun though. The other day we played this horrible game during our language study time. We would throw a ball around the room and when you caught it, you had to say the imperfect conjugation of a verb. If you dropped the ball or said the wrong word, you had to eat some of the nasty candy we keep in the room (because nobody wants to eat it). The candy? JuJuBunnies and Peeps. I escaped the JuJuBunnies alright, but then came the Peeps round. I’m pretty sure Satan himself invented Peeps. There is absolutely nothing good about those freaky little neon ducks and bunnies. And guess what: I had to eat three. 3 WHOLE PEEPS. I’m not even being dramatic when I say I almost got reeeeally sick. I had no choice though, the elders were shouting, “Las Reglas! Las Reglas!” and you can’t just disobey las reglas. So I ate them all and felt super sick for a few hours. But I survived. And rest assured, imperfect conjugations are now ingrained into my mind until the day I die.
On Friday, we got out into the real world! Hermana Daines had to get her mouthguard fitted so we got to go on an adventure to the Dentist!! YAY DENTIST! (Yeah I said that. I was excited to go to the dentist. The MTC does wierd things to you…) I don’t think I have ever been so giddy in my life. I was stoked to see that the world was still there and music still existed and I got to sit on the comfiest couch in the world (The chairs at the MTC are the most uncomfortable things in the universe and all we do is sit on them. All day. Every day.) I took about a billion pictures. I have never felt so alive! I felt like I was breaking out of prison. Pure exhiliration.
Easter was such an amazing experience here! Bishop Causse came and spoke to us for the morning devotional about love and The Atonement, Sheri Dew (love her) came for the night devotional about the things we need to always know and remember on our mission in life to escape Satan’s power, and for movie time we watched David A. Bednar’s talk about the Character of Christ from a couple years ago at the MTC. I wish it was available to you guys cause, whoa. That Elder Bednar is one incredible speaker!
And that’s kind of what’s been on my mind all week. Elder Bednar talked about how the Character of Christ is that he turns outward in service, compassion, and love always, when the natural man would turn inward in selfishness, self-absorption, and self-pity. He spoke pretty directly, saying, “This mission is not about you. Who cares what you want?…Get over yourself.” Are you serious? I love when apostles are blunt like that. But his main point was that the only way to find happiness, true happiness, is to serve others.
The age that I’m at now is a time when people feel like they need to “find ourselves.” So, they try to travel, try to have adventures, try to be independent and do what they want when they want to do it. But very few find their answer. Why? Because they are so self-absorbed that they completely look past the true meaning of life.
Christ says for himself, “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” [Matt. 10:39]
And it’s so true. When you’re serving others and listening to spiritual promptings and acting on them, you’re being a true instrument in the hands of God. What more confirmation could you ask for than the one you receive when you act on a spiritual prompting of service and find out it was exactly what that person needed at the time? Not only do you know that God is aware of the person’s needs that you served, but that He is also aware of you and knows that you are willing to act on any job He gives you. There is no better feeling.
It seems to go against logic, to forget yourself and think about others when you feel like you’re going through your own personal hell, but Heavenly Father promises us that if we do, we will receive more happiness than we can imagine.
And I know it’s true because I’ve felt it. For the last year, I have felt so useless and stagnant in my life. I couldn’t figure out where to go, what Heavenly Father wanted me to do, or even what I wanted to do. I was frustrated and depressed and I turned completely inward. I stopped reaching out to people, stopped being social, stopped caring about others, and focused solely on myself. Isn’t that what high school and college are about? But, instead of finding answers, I just dug myself deeper and deeper into this hole of selfishness. I distracted myself with media and technology. I stopped my good habits of prayer and scripture study. And (obviously) none of it helped. I was avoiding myself by being obsessed with myself. I’m not proud of it. But lately, I can feel myself changing. I can feel myself becoming the outgoing, fun, full of life girl that I used to be. I missed that girl. And I got here by losing myself in missionary work. I’m reaching out toward my companions, my district, my zone, my investigators, the volunteers in TRC and I’m paying less attention to my needs. I’m praying more than I’ve ever prayed in my life. I’m searching my scriptures for specific answers. I’m listening. I’m paying attention. And I’m changing. And it’s awesome!
But you don’t have to be on a mission to do any of these things. There are people to serve literally everywhere you turn. Everyone has something hard they’re going through. Find them and help them. The Lord will make sure your needs are met, I promise. So despite what you’re going through, try to fight the natural man that wants you to pity yourself. Turn outward and find someone who is having a hard time, and make their burden lighter.
Lose yourself in the Lord and you’ll find yourself. Every time.