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



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