525,600 minutes= minutes in a year (according to some song lyrics that I hope are reliable because I don't have time to check the math)
In transfers? In companions? In intercambios [exchanges]? In cups of Fanta? In contacts? In concilios [leadership meetings]? Or mission-wide meetings? In baptisms? In citas [appointments]?
How you measure a year in the life of a missionary?
How about love?
I had so much that I wanted to say in this email and I don't quite know how to say it all. Just know that hitting the year mark in the mission was a huge milestone and something I'll have to mull over for the next little while. I still have a little more that I want to do, change, and become, and I hope I can.
I spent my year mark on an intercambio in the nearby pueblo of Vitoria (intercambios have been a HUGE part of my mission these last six months, but I'll never forget my first real intercambio with Hermana Boyer back in Valencia. She changed my mission, for the better. I hope I can do the same.)
my old journals. I also re-read my call letter. I believe that there are certain times in your mission that you have to re-decide to serve.
And I have. Looking back at my farewell I'm surprised at the clarity and surety I showed. I know why I came, I know why I'm here, and I know why I want to finish strong.
Not just to complete another couple of transfers and see more parts of Spain.
Not just to meet new people and make friends (companions),
Not just to switch things up every week on intercambios,
Not just so get fat on Fanta,
Or contact to the letter of the law,
Or get to talk with mission leaders and friends and eat good food in concilio,
Not just to sit through or teach in more meetings,
Not just to get people to baptisms.
Not just to teach and pass a good 45-60 minutes.
But because of love. Because I love this gospel and this work that is an inherit part of it. Because I love God and he has been so good to me. Because I love the other missionaries I serve with and the people
in my areas, past and present.
And although I don't always love them in the moment, I'm grateful for the twists along the way that bring us chances to grow our abilities, our strength, or even just our faith.
I could have said a lot of things about this week, but I want to focus on that.
With a slight call to repentance.
Repentance isn't a bad thing (I've learned on the mission). It just means a change in Christ for the better.
Having been a missionary for a full year now, I'm well familiar with extending commitment invitations. I'm also pretty good at following up. So, if you haven't written me in the past 2,3 or 6 months....
Well, then, ahora es el momento [now is the moment], my friends.
Tell me how you are doing, one great thing you've learned this year.
I promise the blessing of a response. ;)
OK now that that's over with, here's some other potential subject-lines from the week I think you might enjoy.
The life and lice of Hermana Randall - another couple of buggers. And it turns out I still need to learn patience.
The once and future companion - Hermana Wiseman came down for a couple of days because her companion has to leave temporarily. I'm trying not to be too excited. Love that girl.
|Hermanas Een and Wiseman|
Concilio crack-down - it's amazing how the natural man jumps out and you think "they can't do that! They can't make me do that!" And you are right, they can't enforce it... But if they ask us to, we will.
Because obedience is the first law of heaven, and the one upon which all blessings await.
HallowEEN - we were Frozen again in the most mission appropriate and subtle way... But the little girl who got it made my night.
I'm really loving the New Testament right now, so I think I'll end with a scripture from 1 Thesalonians 2:8.
“So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.”
You are all dear unto me.
Lots of love,