Lesson Number 2

Friends!
 
And the weeks just get faster and faster. But that’s what happens when you are having fun! As promised last week, I will continue sharing the major lessons I have learned during my time here. The second lesson I have learned is one that seems quite negative at first, but has actually greatly benefitted my life.
 
Before my mission, I like to think that I was a pretty easy going and care free kind of person. Looking back, however, I have found that I was not! This realizaton first dawned on me when I was living in Blackburn. Blackburn will always have a special spot in my heart. When I arrived there, I was very anxious to do as much as I could. As the scripture says, I was “anxiously engaged.” What I did not understand about this scripture and mindset is that being anxiously engaged does not mean being impatient when results don’t happen immediately. For 4 months I worked as hard as I could to see the results I felt I should see. These results did not happen as immediately as I had hoped. In fact, I was being so preoccupied with what I felt should happen that I did not notice the good that was happening along the way. I only saw one thing- the end result of what I thought should happen; nothing else mattered.
 
With this mindset I soon became uphappy with the results. I soon found that nothing seemed to be working and felt that my efforts were near useless. Nevertheless, I countinued to work as hard as I could, always with the end result in mind. Finally, one night, I realised that I was very unhappy. I realised that something was wrong and that I was not meant to be feeling like I did. So, what did I do? I humbled myself, and prayed sincerely to my Heavenly Father to know what to do. The answer I received was very clear and distinct. It came from Alma 26:27.
 
It reads, “Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites [or Blackburnites], and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success”
 
I took courage and began to work with a new mindset. With the mindset that I would continue to be as anxiously engaged as possible, but with a new sense of patience and understanding. I did so and within weeks, miracles happened! What was the lesson I learned? I learned that patience truly does yield success. This applies to everything in life! Be patient! Sometimes trials come! Sometimes we have challenges where no immediate solutions seems clear. Just remember to be patient. You can not always control circumstances around you, but you can control how you react! It will all be ok. I promise. This lesson is one that I learned line upon line and precept upon precept; one that I am very grateful for. I hope you all take note and choose to be patient! I love you!
 
Elder Walker

 

Intro: Lesson Number 1

Hello friends!
 
Another week has gone by! More lessons have been learned, more laughs have been shared, and a lot of food has been eaten! Ah, the life of a missionary really is great. As I reflect on my experience here and remember the lessons I have learned, I have come to see exactly what I was meant to learn with each experience. I find it strange that looking back, I can see so clearly exactly what I was meant to learn, but during the actual experience I never knew what I was meant to be learning. As I have reflected and cherished, I have noticed one overarching theme from this nearly 2 year experience along with 6 major lessons. Over the final 6 weeks of my time here in England, I would love to share one of those lessons each week, leading up to and culminating in the overarching theme, which I will share to close my time in this beautiful country.
 
The first major lesson I have learned here is that of the power of love. Exactly what is love? Is it merely a flippant word that we toss in at the end of a rude joke? Is it merely a thing we say to people we supposedly care for? Or is it more? Is it an actual substance of something or some sort? While I may not know all the details and all the answers of exactly what this word means, I have come to understand through personal experience that it does mean a few things. It means caring for and carrying for. It means reaching down to lift up. It means empathizing, sympathizing and understanding. It means having compassion for. It means feeling what they feel. In short, it means and implies an actual power. A power or motivation to serve others. To say it even more straight forward, it means love is the motive. Love is, or at least should be, the motive of everything we do. When we act with love as our motive, we allow God to guide and direct us. With His help at our side, we can be certain that our decisions will work together for our good and for the good of those around us. Any time I found myself confused, bothered, or flat out worn-out, I always asked myself this question, “Why do I do this?” Every single time I came to the same conclusion in a matter of seconds, “Because I love these people.” 
 
Think of the things you are willing to do for those you genuinely love. For your family. For you dearest friends. Some may say they would die for them. But the real question is, would you live for them? Would you serve selflessly for them? This is the true test. Love is the greatest motivation on this planet. If we are to become who we want to become, we must make it our task to love more fully. As I close, just ponder this question. What if love were our only motive? What if everyone on this planet acted out out of pure love?
 
I love you all!
 
Elder Walker

 

Be humble!

Here is this week’s post!
 
So it has been a couple weeks since you have all heard from me! Don’t worry, I am still alive and well. I hope that you have all been enjoying your summer weather! Assuming you have been having summer weather that is. Here in England, we have had a couple of great days! But that is about it. But hey, do I complain? I do not! Why? Because I am a missionary! As missionaries we learn so many lessons about missionary work of course, but about life generally as well. One of these lessons that I have been thinking a lot about lately is attaining the attribute of humility. What is humility? Humility is the ability to be humble. What does it mean to be humble? It means to be meek, teachable, and temperate. So to acquire humility is to acquire the ability to be meek, teachable and temperate. 
 
At some point in our lives, most of us hit this stage where we begin to think we know everything. This age is usually (as parents attest) around the time of teenage years. While it may be a fun joke that teenagers know everything, it can be quite damaging if we actually begin to believe this little anecdote. We do not know everything. In fact, we do not know most things! It is pride to think so, the opposite of humility. Pride is destructive and should be avoided like the plague. And why would we want to be prideful anyways? Why would we want to cease learning, growing, and changing? Why would we not want to become happier and healthier? Why would we not want to love more fully and be more fully in control of ourselves? Who wants to lack any degree of happiness? I surely don’t! And I do not believe that you do either! The antidote to these problems and restraints is to be humble. Humility is happiness. I have learned that here as a missionary. I hope you will each choose to be humble! It is a choice! I love you all! Have a great week!
 
Elder Walker