My mom asked me this week to respond to her question about how sacrifice applies to missionaries.
Honestly it is difficult to explain, no one can really understand until you have actually gone through it. Its just one of those things that people can talk about all the time but cant fully comprehend until you experience it. I'll try to explain using a personal story.There was a time in CCM when I was frustrated with learning the language and all I wanted to do was to talk to my mom about it, but there was no way I could call, it is not allowed. My mom is always the person I go to for advice when i am having hard times, but that was something I had to sacrifice coming on the mission. Talking to my mom wasn't an option for me any more. A lot of times we deal with stress by either talking to our parents, playing sports, or distracting ourselves in some way like tv or video games. On a mission none of this things are allowed. So you have to learn to be creative and work with what you have. Leaning on my heavenly father to support and help me during the difficult times has been the only way that I was able make these sacrifices.I have learned that putting my confidence in him and having faith that everything will be okay is sometimes the only tool we have for coping and certainly the best one. The scriptures are another tool we can use. At times it can be really hard to give up everything that we have, everything that is familiar and comfortable but honestly we just have to learn to rely on God and be creative. I think also a good way to sacrifice is to humble yourself. I have learned a lot of humility in the mission.
This week we had lunch with our recent convert C. She shared her life story with us and it is amazing and very humbling. On the plateau we basically have everything we need. TV, carpet, iphones, food, and families. We really have everything. Carolina had literally nothing. Her dad abandoned her when she was born and her mom abandon her when her sister was born. Her grandmother raised her and her sister. But when C turned 10 her grandma died. She was left alone to take care of herself and her little sister. She had an aunt who did what she could to buy them clothes and food but they literally had nothing. C worked and studied really hard. She ran races to make a little bit of money. And finally she started studying here in Lima. She bought her own little room with a table. She was constantly sending money to her little sister but was just scratching by. Finally she was able to meet her husband D. They started living together and making a little bit more money. Before she could get her title she had her first son. Now they are doing really well they are members of the church and have what they need to get by. When her son gets a little older C is going to go back to work. Her story is amazing to me. She came out of nothing and really making something wonderful with her life.
It is important to remain humble as we sacrifice. Its important to rely on your heavenly father, and its important to remember that sacrifice is to give up something good for something better. The sacrifices that we make to serve a mission for a year and a half are so small in comparison of what we receive. I couldn't imagine my life with out a mission. I would not be who I am today with out my mission. It has really impacted my life and I haven't even finished yet. The things we learn the experiences we have and the relationships we create with our heavenly father are priceless.
Love you all,
See you next summer