I feel so blessed. I gave my last talk at church before my mission starts. So many of my family drove or flew in to see me. I was both happy to see everyone and also nervous to speak in front of so many people. My Dad and I also invited some of our neighbors to come to the church meeting. Many of our closest neighbors came. It was great to have their support too.
My speaking assignment was on a subject I will spend the next 18 months experiencing for myself - Service and Love. Some of the questions I asked myself are: “Do we serve because we love?” Or “Do we love because we serve?” I think the answer is both. We serve because we love God. We also come to love people as we serve them.
One of the stories I told was about my personal experience in learning to love more. Here’s the quote from my talk notes: “…living in an apartment with 6 girls can be tough, especially when it is time to clean. One time, I was going throughout my life, working on homework, classes, and work and I noticed for about 2 days the sink was getting piled up with dishes. As the dishes were getting higher and higher in the sink, I began getting irritated at my room-mates. One day I finally did the dishes and a funny thing happened, I began to get happier with every dish I washed. By the time I finished washing the dishes I loved my room-mates more than ever.” My service helped me feel joy, love, and peace.
I also liked one of the stories about Jesus from the Bible. It inspires me to serve even when I don’t feel like it. Again, here are my notes: “When Jesus Christ heard that John the Baptist, his cousin, was beheaded he went off by himself in the desert. When the people heard he was going out, they followed him. Matthew 14:14 says, ‘And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.’ Not only did he heal their sick, but when the disciples urged Jesus to send the multitude away so that the people could buy food, Jesus would not hear of it. He told the disciples to feed them. There were only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes, with this they fed more than 5,000 people.” When I feel sad or discouraged and just want to nurse my own wounds, I try to remember my Savior’s example.
How blessed I am to be surrounded by people who love and support my decision to serve a mission. Thanks to all those who made a personal sacrifice to be with me. Thanks to all the other family who couldn’t visit me in person but have sent their love and prayers my way. I love you all.