This week we have completed 3 more of the 10 exchanges total that we need to complete. It sounds pretty simple, but it really takes a lot of thought, prayer, and energy to train a new person every other day. We are getting by though with Heavenly Father's help and it is SO worth it. These Sisters are amazing and Sister Walker and I are finding so much joy in serving them, listening to them, and learning from them.
I have been thinking a lot about my mission and my focus on a mission this week. I have basically been pondering my purpose as a missionary. In a missionary's call letter it states that a missionary's purpose is to, "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." It also promises that as we serve will will have greater blessings and more happiness than we have yet experienced as we serve in the Lord's labor of love among His children. As with all blessings, these blessings are conditional upon our faith and obedience. To me, what a mission is about, and what LIFE is about, is losing yourself in the service of others.
In the last General Conference Cheryl A. Esplin shared this touching example of selfless service...
"A Primary teacher shared the following example. “Today,” she said, “our five- and six-year-old class made love necklaces. Each child drew pictures on strips of paper: one of themselves, one of Jesus, and some of members of their family and loved ones. We glued the strips into circles that looped through each other to make a chain that we turned into love necklaces. As they were drawing, the children talked about their families.
“Heather said, ‘I don’t think my sister loves me. We are always fighting. … I even hate myself. I have a bad life.’ And she put her head in her hands.
“I thought about her family circumstances and felt that maybe she did indeed have a hard life. But after Heather had said this, Anna, down at the other end of the table, responded, ‘Heather, I am putting you in my necklace between me and Jesus because He loves you and I love you.’
“When Anna said that, Heather crawled under the table to get to Anna and threw her arms around her.
“At the end of class, when her grandmother came to pick her up, Heather said, ‘Guess what, Grandma? Jesus loves me.’”"
I love Anna's example. She wasn't so concerned with her own needs or even with her own relationship with God. She was concerned about Heather. And she knew just as Christ knows, that Heather is a child of God. We are surrounded by children of God who need our love, members of the church and not. Cheryl A. Esplin later stated, "When we reach out in love and service even in the smallest ways, hearts are changed and softened as others feel the love of the Lord."
Putting others first has brought me more happiness than anything else I have done on a mission. I know that that is why there are great promised blessings in our mission call. I also know that these blessings are available to everyone. I know that when we lose our lives in the service of others we come to see them and ourselves for who we really are - beloved children of God.
Lastly here are the lyrics to "Have I Done Any Good?" I hope that you enjoy these profound and meaningful lyrics.
1. Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone's burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
2. There are chances for work all around just now, [!]
Opportunities right in our way. [!!]
Do not let them pass by, saying, "Sometime I'll try,"
But go and do something today. [!]
'Tis noble of man to work and to give;
Love's labor has merit alone.
Only he who does something helps others to live.
To God each good work will be known.
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.
Serve someone this week! It can be small. You'll be surprised by the happiness you find.
Much love and aloha,
Sister Lindsay Evans
Photo 1 - On exchanges Sister Schmidt and I were able to show someone a clip of Elder Christofferson's talk about Fathers. This person was a member, but no longer active in the church. He was waiting for his wife to get out of the temple. We found him at just the right time. His wife came and we were able to teach and testify through the Spirit. I believe God knew it was exactly what he needed to hear.
Photo 2 - I'd say it was a good week! Miracles are happening all around.
Photo 3 - Hundreds of guest cards or "referrals" obtained by the Sisters in the Visitors' Center. They have even more contacts online! Amazing! I love these Sisters.