Monday, January 26, 2015

Be Joyful, No Matter What

Pictures pictures pictures! The pictures will tell you all the ups and downs of the week. Well not all. I realize that these photos don't quite show exactly what we do. We only take pictures when we are waiting for the onibus or back at the apartment or as we're walking. You won't actually get to see us talking to people in the streets or teaching lessons... which is what we spend most of our time doing. BUT at least you get to follow along the adventure in between. 

Missionary life is awesome. It's full of lots of happy things. Many people wish they could have the opportunity to live mission life... at least for a day, right? Why? Well you feel spiritually connected and edified with the Spirit. You focus on what's really important in life and you find that God really knows you specifically. You learn new skills and develop your knowledge of the Gospel and the scriptures. You become more of the person God designed you to be!

Most people think, wow! God must really bless those missionaries and pave the way for them. Sometimes people think that we're not real people because we live this way. But I think people forget that life is still life! We also face unfortunate everyday challenges just like everyone else.

For example...

sometimes an old man photobombs your ice cream selfie.

and sometimes you drop your spoon onto your neighbors roof. (missing pic!)

sometimes you can't even open your eyes for a picture at the end of the day

sometimes your companion attacks your face with Brasilian chocolate

And sometimes it rains so much that it's better to stay outside than drench everything you touch inside

And sometimes you step on chewed up gum that someone so thoughtfully placed on the ground. 

These things could happen to anyone.. missionary or not. Crazy life still goes on. It still follows me like I'm a black cat or a broken mirror. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I was born on the 13th. who knows! 

What I've been learning though, especially on the mission, is that these things are just a normal part of life and the best way to handle them is to smile. and find the positive!

At least I could snap another picture without the creepy old man.


At least i got the spoon off the roof to sterilize and eat lime mousse my companion made and the Sister Training Leaders for my 14th month mark. 

At least we worked so hard that I couldn't open my eyes for a picture at the end of the day! At least I got to eat Brasilian chocolate and then attack my companion back! 

At least it rained! It hasn't rained for almost a month!! And the gum... well.. I'm not sure... at least it wasn't two pieces of gum?

I know these situations are kind of ridiculous but they often leave us frustrated. No one likes stepping in gum or walking around in wet clothes all day! But in the midst of annoyances, there is joy. I think my friend Neal A. Maxwell sums this one up pretty well:

"Though our trials are tiny compared to His, alas, we are often grumpy. Jesus was of good cheer because then current conditions did not altar His sources of ultimate joy. Are not our fundamental sources of joy the same as His?"

So with that,  be joyful! No matter what life hits you with. 

I'm off! Till the next time!

Sister Hawkins

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