Hello everyone!!! Sounds like everyone is healthy and happy and enjoying life:)
Thank you for all of the emails, prayers, and support. Trust me, no effort is wasted. Not even in the slightest.
I have learned probably 20 different things this week. That's how it is usually for every week. I'm getting nervous, because the cycle is ending and what most likely will happen is my companion will get transferred and I will stay here. Hahah this is incredibly nerve wracking! I hardly understand what anyone is saying, yes even still, and because of it, those we teach are much much closer with my companion than they are with me. The unknown is scary.
But the biggest thing that I've thought about this week is happiness. There's a lot of things you feel like you figure out in life and you've got done, and then you go on a mission and your whole world is flipped upside down, and you have to relearn a lot of things you thought you already knew.
Confidence is a big one of those things. Another one is happiness.
Happiness is the number one thing I feel like I've always known how to find with ease, no matter any trying situation I've been placed in. Coming on the mission however, made it more difficult to find.
At the beginning of this week, on a down day, I thought to myself, "I just am not happy". That's all. There's nothing more to it. Thus far I've tried my best to avoid thoughts like that because there's no good use for them. But this particular day I was struggling. My thoughts progressed into things such as, "How can I be fully happy without knowing these people? Without knowing how to help them because I don't know what they need or what they're saying? Without having my family and friends with me?..." Blah blah blah blah blah.
And this is what I have learned. Nothing is permanent. Any negative feeling are always relieved.
Even if it takes a long time, they are always temporary and happiness in something, even if it's small, is always found again.
Happiness is also in some part or another, a decision. There is no good that comes from sorrowing over the things that happen. It won't change anything. It certainly won't make you feel better.
I am in a place experiencing things I would never have dreamt of. There are people all around me experiencing things I never dream of having to deal with now. We all have different trials and experiences but one thing is consistent. That is our loving Heavenly Father and his desire for us to experience joy and happiness in this life.
The Plan of Salvation is also called the Plan of Happiness for a reason. I know that if we pray for help, our loving Father in Heaven will help us. Especially when we may not always be able to pray for certain trials to go away. We can, however, always pray that Heavenly Father will help us in dealing with them and to not be so discouraged.
On topic of the Plan of Salvation, that brings me to the person I am writing about this week - Sister Sadie Wells. I'd like to write something for her. For the many who read this that may not know, she was a girl I went to high school with, who just recently was killed in a car accident on her mission. I didn't know her hardly at all, but I wished I had. Everyone I knew only spoke good things about her.
Being a missionary is already a hard thing without things like this happening.
There are several missionaries I've been with thus far when they received news they had lost a loved one back home. Their strength through these difficult times seems similar as to that which I have heard about the wonderful spirit that was present at Sadie's memorial service.
I know that the Plan of Salvation is real and that we will get to be with our loved ones again. I can't imagine going through life without this knowledge. Of course we get to see our loved ones again!
Our Heavenly Father loves us dearly and has sent us to this life for a very special purpose - to learn and grow and experience mortality so that we could become something better. And the blessings we learn and our lost loved ones will be waiting for us when we are finished. I'm sure it's much harder for us than it is for them, because they have that constant eternal perspective.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Sadie and her family.
Life in the Philippines is hard. Not just for me, but much harder for the people that live here. The things that some people have to go through is just often incomprehensible to our minds for those of us who live in a country so blessed as America is. We have much to be grateful for. That, I've found, is the key. The key to happiness is gratitude. If we are aware of how truly blessed we are and the good things going for us in our lives, sorrow and sadness do not stay long.
All is well.
Have a wonderful week. Strive to strengthen your testimonies.
Love Sister Russon