Thursday, October 10, 2013

Week 34: Broken Shoes Now in Bronze

I don't know who it was that gave the talk in a Saturday session of conference, but they told a story about a pair of dress shoes all worn-through, from a missionary who was the only member in his family. They had the shoes bronzed into a sculpture, to remind them forever of the importance of hard work.

I like this story because it shows that gloriously working in the vineyard of the Lord is oftentimes not very glorious at all.

When I came on the mission, I was filled with excitement that shone like the tabernacle choir and sparkling clean temple windows. Then I got here, and it was all Spanish I couldn't perfectly understand, dust and exhaust, diseased street dogs. I thought, ¨Where's the Spirit in all this?¨

Then I realized: it's my job to bring the Spirit.

A mission isn't inherently glorious and beautiful and spiritual. It's all those things when and only if the missionaries wake up with the 6:30 alarm clock, study diligently all the time, find the people who're prepared to change their lives, teach them with power and authority, and commit them to change. Then come the smiling baptismal pictures, the friends we'll remember forever, the spirit that tells us the Lord is happy with our work.

We can't just float through life. If we want to be happy, we have to do something about it. We have to take control of our futures, fight entropy. In the mission and in every part of life.

The glorious part is that Heavenly Father helps us in this effort. This week I've been praying a lot of enthusiasm, and it's come. I know that God will help us in whatever righteous goal we have. What we lack, he can supply.

So I encourage you and me and all of us to take a good look at how we're living life, and make any necessary attitude adjustments. It might not be glorious. It might require tearing up a good pair of shoes.

But, after all, they wouldn't be worth remembering otherwise, now would they? :) 

In other thoughts, Josselin's dad came to general conference! Which was beautiful. I'm writing on Tuesday because we had to go to Guatemala City yesterday so they could take my fingerprints. We talked to the guy who was putting ink on my fingers about how baptism is like the lines on our hands. When they're searching for a bad guy, there's only one set of prints that will match. When God is looking to let people into the kingdom of heaven, there's only one kind of baptism that qualifies as the key. He listened to the missionaries a while ago and went to church for four months but didn't want to let go of his Catholic baptism. Maybe the metaphor will stick with him. :)

Well, out of time. Love you guys!

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