Monday, April 21, 2014

THE SWEET AMONG THE SOUR

Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
    I have always said that I wanted to sit down and create a playlist for my mission. I think when I first got to the MTC the song in the background would have been some song by Justin Bieber or One Direction or maybe even the Black Eyed Peas (Let's Get it Started, anyone? Anyone?). As I've gone through my mission, different songs have become my saving grace. You know, the song you always play and you just silently cry while you listen to it because it describes exactly how you are feeling. Oh wait... maybe that's just me... Awkward... But this is a song that I play a lot. Its by Mindy Gledhill and its called I Will Rest In You. Here are the lyrics..

Lord I´m in the dark
Seems to me the line
is dead when I come calling
No one there, the sky is falling

Lord I need to know
My mind is playing games again
You´re right where you have always been

Take me back to you
The place that I once knew
As a little child
Constantly the eyes of
God watched over me

Oh, I want to be
In the place that I once knew
As a little child
Fall into the bed of faith
prepared for me

I will rest in you
I will rest in you
I will rest in you

Tell me I´m a fool
Tell me that you love
me for the fool I am
And comfort me
like only you can

Tell me there´s a place
Where I can feel your breath
Like sweet caresses
on my face again

Take me back to you
the place that I once knew
As a little child
Constantly the eyes of
God watched over me

Oh, I want to be
In the place that I once knew
As a little child
Fall into the bed of faith
prepared for me

I will rest in you
I will rest in you
I will rest in you

    Today the sun is shinning, families are out hiking, and I was planning on writing an email that was both witty and moving, but as I sit down to begin this email, my words evade me. Sometimes I think about how I got to where I am in life. I think about my road map and the perfection that it would be, and then I measure myself compared it. I'm not where I wanted to be or who I wanted to be, but I also am not the map maker. Although things are difficult, and the trials seem never ending, I have this odd sense that I am right where I need to be and exactly who I need to be.
     Something happened to me on my mission. I learned that all those questions and doubts that other people have that I try to help them were the same doubts, fears, and concerns I have. All the sudden I wasn't sure if God loved me or my prayers were being answered. I realized I felt alone and lost and confused too. And then what do you do then? What happens when you were supposed to be the one to help everyone else, but you don't have those answers yourself? I've asked myself that a lot. Every time I meet someone new or get to know a member and they start to tell me their concerns I think "How am I going to even open my mouth about this when I am struggling with the same thing?" But time and time again the Lord has given me the words I have needed. I haven't acted like those weren't questions that I had too, but been able to tell them that I have been there or that I am there. I've been able to testify of the power of the Atonement and that Sunday always comes. On the Friday of Christ's death the world was in turmoil. There was little hope, light, or faith for the future. I am sure that the Apostles felt dark, forgotten, and misunderstood. They had memories of happy moments, and maybe even glimpses of light, but it wasn't enough. It was a day of despair. But time went on, as it always does, and Sunday came. The Savior was Resurrected and the sorrow and pain of Friday was swallowed up in the joy of Sunday. Sunday always comes.
        I had hoped that my Sunday would come all at once, that I would wake up and the pain and the problems of the past would be gone, but it seems that my Sunday is coming by degrees. My Sunday isn't coming by my problems being swept away, but in the small and simple things, the sweet among the sour. It's coming in pretty sunsets, friendly English speaking travelers on the street, and Pepsi Maxs. Its coming in taking the long way home so we can walk through a pretty cemetery, and late night pillow talk with a companion. It isn't a light being turned on in a dark room, but the sun rising, slowing and steadily. And although I find it hard and I don't know what to do a lot of the time, I know its what I need, and its going to make me into who I need to be.
         Before I came on my mission I would imagine how my 18 months of service would go. I saw lasting friendships, amazing conversion stories, and testimony after testimony builders. I thought that I would look back on my mission and the days that meant the most were the days that I call the "big" days. The days spent at Zone conferences, miracles stories to find a golden investigator, or watching your investigator be baptized. That is what I thought a mission was about, because that was what I had heard, but that's not my mission. It isn't that those things don't matter, because they do. They are sweet memories and they add to my mission experience, but the things that have made my mission aren't the "big" days. When I think back on my mission so far I see a flurry of memories. Laying in bed talking to my first trainer and both of us apologizing about being wrong about each other, TJ and I standing in the snow yelling at the top of our lungs, Sister Hilton and I singing in the elevator even though we knew there were people at the bottom that could hear us, watching Marianne break down and holding her while she cried, sitting on the ground while Elder Rushton told me about everything he had been through, playing in the rain with Sister Bradley. The memories rush by, and I think about how I have been strengthened by the little things. It reminds me of something I read in Do Not Attempt in Heels. She said,
"As I look back on my mission, I see so many different faces and places. I feel like I must have walked all over this country! I've talked to so many people, looked into so many Italian eyes. I've borne my testimony, invited people to listed to the discussions, come to church, read the Book of Mormon, come to English class, be baptized. I've talked about the Madonna, the Saints, the Pope, the Bible, Padre Pio, Jehovah's Witnesses, Evangelists, miracles, visions. I've felt the influence of the Holy Ghost upon me as I've borne my testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. And I've told these children of God time and time again that God loves them. And who's listened? A handful of people. Whose life has been changed? Mine has."
   And from Emily Snyder, who said...
"When I turned in my papers, I had no idea what I had signed up for. I had no idea how truly broken I would become. I had no idea the depths of pain and confusion I would experience. So many people say that their years on a mission were the best years of their lives. I would never say that. But my mission gave me the greatest years for my life- mainly, because I have learned to be okay with broken dreams and broken expectations.
    I wish I could say that I never question and that I never doubt why certain things have happened. I still shed tears over things that haven't happened the way I had expected they would. I am still waiting for many of my hopes and desires to be fulfilled, but I have learned the absolute beauty and power of broken dreams. My brokenness bonds me to my Savior and makes me more of who I ultimately want to become. Because of my mission, I cannot doubt His love and His hand in orchestrating the details of my life. It has all be worth every tear."
   I'm learning a lot and growing a lot through all of this. Sometimes I don't really know how I make it through the day, and then I remember the promise the Savior gave us, "And whoso receiveth you, there will I be also, of I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you to bear you up." (D&C 84:88). The Lord is with us, and his angles bare us up. I know that to be true.
    But, I'm now going to change the subject to some lighter material...
        Funny Quotes!
SoJo: "...if I were to birth the Holy Ghost..."

SoJo: "I'm the worst homing pigeon ever! I am!"

SoJo: "I mean we all have good consciences... I mean some of ours get fudged up..."

Elder Shanklin (my DL): "If you could choose between being the Avatar..."
Elder Ellsworth (my ZL): "NO ONE wants to be the Avatar!!! Everyone thinks they do, but really the don't... TOO MUCH RESPONSIBILITY!!"

Emma (a member from Sweden) to SoJo: "You're from Arizona? Why aren't you brown?"

Me talking about a future spouse: "The most important thing to me is that I can be myself around him..."
Emma: "RIGHT? Me too! Let's face it, we're going to fart in the future!"

Me to SoJo: "Is this about me? Am I going home? Is he writing the 1st presidency?!"
SoJo: "No... he would probably talk to one of the twelve first..."

President Evans: "I'll always remember the 17 Miracles... and those elders..."

Elder Duncan: "THE 17 MIRACLES ARE ONE?!"
        Happy Birthday 17 Miracles!
    I hope that everyone is doing well back home! I know that it's a busy time of year, but summer is coming soon! Before you know it the kids will be out of school, the temperatures will be soaring, and we will all be praying for fall to come. Well... all of us except me because I live in Norway where you have the most beautiful weather around. But I love you all and think of you often. I'll be seeing ya in 6!
Lots of love,
Kat
P.S. Lori!!! Happy birthday girl!! I need to see a pic of that cute baby bump of yours!! I hope that this week is great and that you had a blast with all your favorite Easter candies!! Can't wait to hear what you guys did! Love you!

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