My Mission President has spent, basically, all of his mission trying to tell me to not run faster than I can. And this week I learned what happens when we don't sustain our leaders by our obedience.
This week was hard too. I was running faster than I had strength (sometimes literally). I was pushing for goals that, while admirable, aren't exactly attainable right now. And then we lost our 3 most promising 'gators. Murphy was one of them. All of them were sudden and, on Murphy's part, pretty rude. It cut me deep. Simply because I know the pain they're going through and they turned their backs on the balm of Gilead. It was the straw that broke our backs, that day, and I ended up sobbing in front of True Grit instead of teaching her about the temple. But it turned out to be a good experience anyways. I don't want to focus on the negative because this story has a really good turnout. So let's just say that we were at our breakin' points and then this happened:
#1: True Grit is the big sister I never had. 5 minutes before we met with her, Murphy had just cut us off completely and inexplicably, so the weakness juice was leaking already. I broke down crying about the intense week we'd been having and she nursed us spiritually back to health. She rubbed my back while I cried and said "it's gonna be okay. Just pray for them. Because they don't know what they're doing." She told us to never let ourselves be degraded, to never feel beneath anybody because we're the strongest ones out there. I cried harder, cuz then she said "you girls are the example to my daughter of what kind of woman she should be. I want my boys to marry girls like y'all." She bore testimony of why she joined the church-- that we were loving and unjudgemental and that's what we needed to be. And it's because we love people so much, it's why we don't flinch in the face of such vehement and occasionally violent opposition. She said "go show the world what it's all about! Is the Iron Rod out of glow?? No! Then smack those fools upside the head with the Iron Rod!!" Then she told me that I should be a Southern Baptist for Halloween. I apologized for crying on her and she said "well, remember when the shoe was on the other foot? When I thought I couldn't go on? And I thought that there was no hope? You not only convinced me that God loved me and that I was precious to Him, you showed me. You gave me hope."
I got to bear some of the most powerful testimony to her. She was saying that she wasn't pure "like us." I said "NO. You're more than pure. Not only because of Christ's Atonement but because God gave you the most precious spiritual gift. You love just like the Savior loves. You exhibit the most Christlike of all the Christlike qualities. God gave that to you in the Pre-Existence and you have used it since then."
Love really does conquer everything. And I mean EVERYTHING.
Sunday rolled around and it brought such blessings and miracles. We had 2 ward council members tell us that we're doing a great job and that they love our vibrancy and enthusiasm. The Joker set his own goal with the Bishop to get the Melchezidek Priesthood. I just felt that the members were actually happy to see us walk into the room. And just this morning, we had our Assistant WML call us and say "NONE OF YOU ARE LEAVING, ARE YOU??" I told him no and he said "okay, GOOD."
So, the assignment for the week is to read Mosiah 24. And then pick an experience that was brutally hard and find all the moments where God helped you out. And how your testimony grew stronger because of it. Then find a friend and share it with them before next Monday and report it back. if you can't find a friend, blog it, tweet it, post it on facebook-- make sure someone knows that YOU know God is not only alive but looking out for each and every one of us. BONUS ROUND: go out with the missionaries for an hour.
I love y'all so very very much. Please be good. Read your scriptures. Say your prayers.
Or else I will smack you upside the head with the Iron Rod.
Love, Sister Gunson