I have two favorite missionaries in the field right now. They both happen to be serving (well one got home this week) in the Poland Warsaw Mission. One is my neice (who just finished). She is the preferred neice of the world because she plays with the kids in the pool, takes them places, and is generally super fun. The other is one of my best friend's daughter, who is also a favorite in her own right, who was our babysitter when we lived in West Valley. I have known her most of her life (since she was 10).
Ever since we got to Brazil, I have been receiving forwarded copies of their letters from their moms. It has been such a thrill. They have the best stories. They are amazing! I seriously feel a high when I read what they are accomplishing.
I was just reading Tamara's last letter, and one of kierstyn's letters, and I was so touched by how much fun they are having, and how much work they are doing. I just can't get over how wonderful missions are. I always encourage every girl I know to go, and every young man. But still, I am always a little shocked when they end up having such marvelous experiences.
I think no one can know until he or she goes what a gift missions are from Heavenly Father to the server. You think you're going to help other people, well, that's true. You think you're going to help the Church, which is true too. But, in Heavenly Father's math, every reason is 100% important. Or, in other words. you might think that going on a mission is 50% for other people, and 40% for your own personal benefit/growth, and 10% for the good of the Church. But actually, your mission is 100% for all of those things, and more, and there is no way to count all the good it does.
Being down here in Brazil is a lot like going on a mission because everything we do is showing the standards and beliefs of the Church. Liza went to a party last night, a big bash, a debutante ball. They are really popular here. She wore a dress with sleeves. She was the only one--lesson number one; dress standards. They had an open bar for everyone and her friends wanted her to try some things, but of course, she said no, not even a sip. Lesson number two: no alcohol. Then she had to leave at midnight because the next day was Sunday (which was too bad because the party STARTED at 9:00pm) This was the hardest for her (but she didn't really have much of a choice because we picked her up, but nevertheless) the third lesson was: keep the Sabbath day holy.
It's slow going, but it's the little things that count. Little examples add up, and one is eventually the grain that tips the scales toward the gospel. It's not a matter of convincing someone, or debating, or proving. The Holy Ghost confirms whatever truth you share, if you share it with conviction...and then it's up to them... and a little at a time is totally normal. Let's all be better missionaries. Who's with me?