and just like that i am a normal person again, doing normal things (mostly) and living a normal life just as i was 18 months ago. sometimes i wonder how my life would be if i never decided to go on a mission, if i never left my family, my job and my studies to go to the other side of the world and teach people of something that, at the time, i couldn't comprehend in the slightest myself. i wonder who i would be or what things i would be doing. how many followers on instagram i would have or maybe how lost i would feel.
i never wanted to serve, not even a little bit! lucky i had such good support from my family and friends my whole life who kept me on the right path in the right way. it led me to do something that has and will impact me for eternity.
stepping on the plane to fly to melbourne (mel-bin) was the most exciting/ terrifying thing that i have ever done, it was the biggest plane i had ever seen. 2 stories with stairs and hundreds of people from all over the world traveling for this and for that all smashed together equipped with one blanket and pillow each along with a tv to endure the long 15 hours ahead! lucky i had a sleeping pill because as missionaries we are not allowed to watch movies etc to keep ourselves entertained.
i remember going through customs (stoked as that i got an australia stamp on my passport) and walked through the gates and straight away saw my mission parents, the people who would become family to me, president and sister maxwell. they are just the best! and i love them so much. we talked and walked and drove and talked. the craziest thing was getting into a car that had the steering wheel on the right side not the left.
we arrived at the mission office jet-lagged and tired as it gets. i immediately experienced tender mercies when i met a missionary who knew someone in my family. and when i came to chocolates and a letter from my lovely mum! heaps of other things as well. then i found out that i would be going to TASMANIA. i was a bit confused and couldn't believe that i was actually going there, but little did i know that that place and the people there would absolutely change my life forever. s/o to my family in tas! i love you all.
and that was the beginning of my new life, a life of change and growth and happiness. i experienced so many hard times, i didn't know hardly anything about the gospel at all. i felt as if i had only been a member a few months. i was just lost for words because i had nothing to say, my heart was empty and my head was confused. i read all the promises and blessings that god has given us through the scriptures and just had to act in faith to be able to reach this high standard that i had set for myself. all i wanted was to be a good missionary! i didn't go all the way to the other side of the world to be bad at this, so that is what i determined to do. and that decision changed my life.
i fought like i lion to figure all this stuff out, up and down all around. i just didn't want to have to worry about messing up in a role play or taking the lesson the wrong way. i didn't want to worry about not remembering the scripture in the lesson or not asking the right question. i wanted to worry about who i was going to help be baptised and how i can help the ward grow. i wanted to worry about old missionary stuff! one thing that i learned is that you need to sort yourself out before you can truly help other people. pmg says that we cannot convert someone past our own conversion and it is true! i wanted to be converted so i could help others change. i but first needed that change myself.
i think that at one point or another in our lives we all come to this. we all at some point realize that we need to do something different, that we need to be better or we need something. that something is always jesus christ, he is the only way that we can change. he is the only way that we can grow in a way that will carry to eternity. we can change our clothes or our hair every day if we want, people might see a difference with their eyes, but are we really changing ? the gospel is so beautiful because it teaches us who we can become.
i had a remarkable mission president who has a gift to see people through gods eyes, i know that he does. he sees his missionaries for who they can become and helps them become that. we all have such uncomprehendable potential, to become better every day and eventually perfect, just as god and jesus christ. how lucky are we to know this? and its something that made all the difference for me. just understanding who i am now and how high up the mountain is i have to climb to reach the heights i meant to be at. if we see ourselves as who we can/ want to become, we eventually will become that. if we let our goals become more than goals, but desires they become apart of us! and when these things become a part of us things start happening.
throughout my time in australia i learned more than i have the whole of my life. i feel that heavenly father knew how much i needed a mission to help me grow and to learn. just to prepare me for life. he gave me 101+ experiences that i couldn't have had any other way but on a mission, things that i learnt there will be engraved on my heart forever. i learnt to love with all my heart my saviour jesus christ. he has done so much for us. we are all stuck in a huge hole full of mud and social media and pride and spiritual and physical death. but heavenly father loved us enough to throw a big ladder down for us. to provide the way for us to get out of the hole and not only that but to be completely clean of the mud and the filth that comes on us. he provided jesus christ our brother to be the way out. to save us! and to help us to change.
if i learnt anything on my mission that was it. i know that jesus christ lives and that through him we can live again in happiness. all the things that seem to matter so much here in the world just don't matter. the gospel is simple, all we need is to love jesus christ and let everything else we do fall in line with that and we will be happy, he has promised us that. heavenly father always keeps his promises.
if i could give anyone advice based on what i learnt it is to only care about what god thinks. to do and say only things that god would be happy with, no matter what anyone around you has said or done. no matter what the voice in your head says, just to always ask yourself if you would say or do this thing if god or jesus christ were standing beside you. as we make these small and simple choices every day we shape eternity, for better or for worse. if we let jesus christ into our lives he will change us. he will clean us so we feel fit to be in paradise after this life. we all have potential for it. will we choose correctly?
as a newly returned missionary i set goals to continue as much as i could in the life i was living the past 18 months. i have been doing okay, but it is so hard sometimes! there are so many things that distract time and i feel time is slipping through my fingers. I've realized that it really is our choice. we all know what is right, we all know what we are supposed to be doing. its just about actually doing it. choosing the right! every good step we take makes us happier, because our spirits are closer to heavenly father. although our brain doesn't remember him, our spirit does. so we need to choose daily just to make our spirits happy!
i love being an rm. i love my saviour jesus christ