Thursday, September 25, 2014

Deep Waters‏

As I near the end of my mission and people ask me how I feel about my experience so far, usually all I can say is, "It's just such a happy way to live!" It is such a blessing to have every day filled with the spirit, to have such clear direction and purpose. And even in the hard moments, full of stress and worry - is there any better thing to worry over than someone's eternal happiness? (Answer: no.)

But really, that happiness, spirit, and purpose doesn't just come from being a missionary. It comes from knowing and believing the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yesterday we attended a fireside given by President Packard titled "What the World Knows because of Joseph Smith", and it kind of blew my mind to realize how different my life would be if I had never heard of the Restoration. One point that was discussed was the purpose of this life. It's been one of the most heart-breaking and frustrating experiences of my mission to meet people who feel like their life has no meaning. Every day they wake up and just kind of muddle along - they don't understand why they are here and what they possibly are supposed to be learning from all this. They have no sense of triumph or satisfaction from their past experiences and have no vision for the future. It's actually overwhelming how many people I have met in this mind set!

I feel so blessed to know that I am here on this earth for a reason, and that reason is to transform. Heavenly Father knows perfectly well what my potential is and all that I can become and He knows I am no where near that yet. He sent me here to experience joy, failure, heartbreak, and growth so that I can someday become what He sees me to be. And the attributes He wants me to develop come in a variety of ways - usually having to wait, struggle, work, and seek. It is not always easy and I am not always thrilled with the twists life throws at me. But I actually prefer it that way, compared to the alternative of never having an experience to push me! There is a quote in Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration that I love, "Perhaps I am meant to swim in deep waters. But better deep than shallow." What a blessing it is to know that everything we go through in this life is for our benefit!

On my mission I have fallen in love with the hymn "How Firm a Foundation", and especially the verses at the end of the song that nobody ever sings. After the first 2 verses, the entire hymn is sung from the perspective of God to those who put their trust in Him - and the blessings He promises are beautiful. My personal favorite is verse 4:

"When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o'erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress."

What an opportunity we have to share this perspective and purpose with those of God's children who haven't yet heard the good news!

Special prayers and love this week to my family and Grandpa.
Sister Gledhill

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