Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The golden ticket of missionary work

June 30, 2014

Sister Granado and I were driving to church this week when an airplane flew overhead. I thought--said out loud actually "I think this is the longest I have ever gone without flying on an airplane." Sister Ganado laughed at me and said "this is the longest I’ve ever gone without doing a lot of things." and then we started to list things we haven't done since becoming missionaries: 

wear flip flops
listen to Taylor swift
get on Facebook
take a 2 hour nap 
sleep in
text a friend
wear pants
go to class
watch a YouTube video
see a movie in theaters 

and so forth. I began to think about alllllll of the people on the street that ask us about who we are and what we do, and about the lifestyle of a missionary. They are all fascinated by the things we give up for eighteen months or two years. They always ask, (usually about the time we mention "no Facebook") "is it worth it?" 

Well. Let me answer that question with a literary work. Actually, this comes from the movie version of that book. 

I hope you have seen more recently than I "Charlie and the chocolate factory." It's at the point where Charlie finds the golden ticket and races home to his parents and grandparents. His grandfather becomes so excited that he gets out of bed and jumps around sing-muttering something.

At this point Charlie looks around at his tiny house and few, humble possessions and says something similar to (I don't trust myself with a perfect quote) "one lady offered me five thousand dollars for this ticket, and another man ten thousand. We could really use the money." his grandpa stops dancing around the room and looks Charlie in the eyes. 

"Money is everywhere. They print more of it every day. But what you've got right there, there's only five of them in the whole world. Only a dummy would trade it for something so common as money. Are you a dummy?"

Being a missionary is hard and yes, there are a lot of sacrifices. But the things that we give up are so trivial: naps, texting, movies, even jobs or educational opportunities. Most people can work their way up the career/ educational ladder. NOT everyone has the opportunity or is able to serve a mission. 

Some people focus on these sacrifices and become depressed but the truth is that they don't see the value of what they're getting in return. The opportunity is so rare. As missionaries we are able to help other people change their lives, have a front row seat to modern miracles of God, and to change ourselves almost entirely for the better. Missions offer skills, experiences and opportunities that are incredibly unique and valuable. These benefits aren't consumed in a day; they prepare you for a lifetime. And I believe they are preparing this missionary much better for life than what I temporarily gave up could have. 

So when I think of the sacrifices I've made to be here I think "only a dummy would trade a mission for _______ (Facebook, sleeping in, swimming, wearing pants.) I'm truly lucky and grateful to be able to have this missionary experience!

Love you as always 

Hermana Thomas  

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