Thursday, January 16, 2014

What I learned

Oh what a horrible day.

I started off by going to seminary. I had devotional and I chose to read my missionary poem.

(this one) 
The alarm bell rings at 6:30,
I stumble to my feet
I grab my companions bedding and pull off his sheets
A groan fills the room, is it already time to arise?
It seems like just a second ago
I was able to shut my eyes
The morning activities follow- study, prayer and such
When it’s time to leave the apartment, you feel you haven’t accomplished much
“We have a super day planned,”
My comp. says with a grin
I lowly utter a faithless breath,
“Yeah, if anyone lets us in.”
With the word of God and my faithful Schwinn, we ride off in the street prepared to
Face another day of humidity and heat
It’s 9:30 in the evening, the day is almost through
My champion and I are riding home not accomplishing what we thought to do
We ride up to the mailbox, hoping to receive a lot
Only to look inside and hear my echo reverberate “air Box”
We go up to our apartment, the day is now complete
The only thing to show for our work is a case of blistery feet
It’s past 10:30 p.m. My companion is fast asleep,
Silence engulfs me all about and I begin to weep
In the midst of sadness, I kneel down to pray
I need to talk to father, but I’m not sure what to say
“Oh, Father” I begin, “What happened to us today?
I thought we’d teach somebody, but everyone was away
My hands, my aching hands- worn, hurt and beat;
If our area was any smaller, we’d have knocked every street”
“Why on missions are the days so much alike?
The only difference about today was the flat tire on my bike
Will you send some cooler weather? The heat is killing me
I sweat so bad, it gets in my eyes, it’s very hard to see”
“Why do I have to wear a helmet, isn’t your protection enough?
People always laugh at me, and call me stupid stuff
Please send us investigators so I may give them what they lack
I want to give them Books of Mormon, the weight of them hurts my back”
“And what about my family: They don’t have much to say
I’m sick of not hearing from home day after day after day
Oh Father, Why am I here am I just wasting time?
Sometimes I just want to go home, I’m sorry but that’s on my mind”
“My companion, Heavenly Father, what are you giving me?”
The way he rides his bicycle, I don’t think he can see
Now you have it, I can’t go on, I don’t know what to do
That, my Father in Heaven, is the prayer I have for you”
My prayer now finished, I stand up, then jump right into bed
I need my rest for tomorrow, we have another long day ahead
Sleep start to overtake me, I seem to drift away
Then it seems a vision takes me to another time in another day
I’m standing alone on the hill. The view is very nice
A man walks to wards me and says, “My name is Jesus Christ”
Tears of joy well up inside, I fall down to His feet
“Arise,” He states, “Follow me to the shade. You and I need to speak”
My attention’s towards my Savior, total and complete
He says, “Your mission is similar of what happened to me
I understand how you feel, I know what you’re going through
In fact, it would be fair to say I’ve felt the same as you”
“I even know how you felt when no one listened to you
At times I felt not quite sure what else I could do
I know you don’t like to ride a bicycle, for you a car would be sweet
Just remember the donkey I rode wasn’t equipped with 21 speeds”
“I understand you don’t like sweating, in fact it’s something you hate
I remember when I sweat blood from ev’ry pore, oh the agony was great!
I see you don’t like your companion- you’d rather have someone else-
I once had a companion named Judas who sold my life for wealth”
“It’s hard to wear a helmet and have people make fun of you
I remember when they put thorns on my head and called me King of the Jews
So you feel burdened down by the weight of your pack
I recall how heavy the cross was when they slammed it on my back”
“Your hands hurt from tracting and knocking on doors all day
I guess when they pounded nails into mine, I ached in a similar way
It’s hard not to hear from home when your family’s not there to see
I lost communication on the cross and cried, “Father, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
“We have a lot in common, but there’s a difference between us you see
I endured to the end and finished my mission, so follow and do like me”
He embraced me with His arms and His light filled me with His love
With tears in my eyes I watched as He went back to the Father above
I stood with awe and wonder when a beep rang in my head
I listened and heard the alarm, then realized I was in my bed
My companion let out a groan, “6:30 already, no way!”
I sat up and said, “Come on, I’ll even carry your scriptures today!”
No matter what we go through,
when we feel we can’t take more
Just stop and think about Jesus Christ,
He’s been there before

When I finished, I looked up and people were crying. What a beautiful poem that is... I should have realized that was foreshadowing what I would be learning today.

After getting back from my elementary school that I intern at, the high school was in lock down. That means that its too dangerous to let anyone in or out of the school and the students stay in the classroom and turn off the lights and pile into the nearest closet. Fun huh? Not when you're stuck in your car.

At first I thought it was a drill, then I saw a police car. Then another. And another. Soon there was a HELICOPTER in the sky, circling. I thought I was going to get shot and killed. Then I saw this kid, poor guy... Everytime a new cop saw him they would frisk him or question him. His mom had dropped him off at school and left, not realizing he was stuck outside. After watching him roam with a look of panic on his face, I invited him to sit in my car. He was so thankful. We sat and talked and joked about different things we saw. It was fun. I'm kind of upset I didn't send him off with a Book of Mormon, though. Dang it.

So my day went on. I survived the lock down and after a long boring math class and a super awkward English class, I went to my car and started to drive. And after 30 seconds I realized the scary noise was coming from my car. Fantastic. So I see a orange note on my windshield, and thought "oh great, someone hit me..." and pulled over. NOPE. Flat tire. The orange note said:

"I noticed you have a flat tire, call me if you need any help, I'll change it for you if you have a spare"

How nice! The only issue was... When they ripped the paper you couldn't see the number... Half of it was ripped off.

So I was stuck with a dying cell phone, a flat tire and 1 hour and 30 minutes to get the tire fixed, go home and change then go to work. That's when I lost it. I started bawling my eyes out. When I finally calmed down I texted around to see if anyone who might be at the campus had a charger. Savannah answered and drove all the way back to help. I swear, this sweetheart is a total gift from God. She does SO much for me. I ended up calling AAA and the tire got fixed and I rushed to work (after almost running out of gas- the gas light was on...)

When I got to work I sat out for 30 minutes because we were so slow.

Then I was last to get my break and I was starving.

Then when I came back, I knocked a whole bucket of tea on the floors we JUST cleaned.

And so many more things...

I got home all bitter and grumpy. With a heavy heart and tears in my eyes I said goodnight to my parents and went to my room. That's when I thought of the missionary poem's last stanza.

No matter what we go through, 
when we feel like we can't take more
Just stop and think about Jesus Christ
He's been there before.

I'm pretty sure Jesus never had a flat tire on His donkey. Or felt the disconnectedness of a cell phone dying when He most needed it. But He has felt some similar things, and He can relate to me.

As I went through my nightly routine I thought deep and hard about this. Feeling guilty for feeling so sorry for myself, I picked up my phone to check for texts.

I have a friend who for Personal Progress is sending out a spiritual text of the day. She's kinda fell behind so I never know when or if they're coming. This one was perfect, though.

"Isaiah 41:13 'For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.' We all go through hard times. This past year has been particularly difficult for me. However, this scripture provided me with so much comfort. We don't have to go through these things alone. Heavenly Father is there to comfort us ALWAYS. This reminds me of the footprints in the sand story. 'One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there were one set of footprints. This bothered me because I noticed during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorry or defeat, I could only see one set of footprints. So I said to the Lord "You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there have only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?' The Lord replied, 'The times when you have seen only one set of footprints is when I carried you.'  I absolutely love this story. The Lord is always there for us, when we're scared, lost of feeling completely hopeless, he will ALWAYS be there for us."

How right she is. The Lord is always there for us. He understands us, He KNOWS us. We are so so so blessed. 

I love this gospel and I am so grateful for my Savior. 

Today was a good day.

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