"Why should we think to earn a great reward if we now shun the fight?"
That is a line from the famous hymn "Come, Come, Ye Saints" that was written during the travails of the persecuted Saints traveling West. Every time I sing or hear this hymn, it moves me. This line in particular. It's a true Gospel principle. At times in life and in the field, I wonder why things have to be so hard. Well, for one, nothing I'm doing even compares to the struggles that the Saints went through, let alone the struggles Jesus Christ went through for us. Yet the principle remains the same. We are called to all be disciples of Jesus Christ - and how can we think to earn our reward after this life if we're not willing to do the work? The humility of this hymn always hits me and makes me rededicate myself to the work I'm doing.
Well, we're officially the "old guys" at the MTC! That seems strange to say since we've only been out here for two weeks, but we will no longer be at the MTC when I write my next blog update. The MTC experience has just flown by faster than I ever imagined. I've learned so much, grown spiritually, and made extremely close friends. I absolutely love my district. I know for a fact that a few of the Elders and Sisters I've gotten to know so well will be lifelong friends that I'll never lose touch with.
Teaching has been a rewarding yet frustrating experience. One of our mock investigators has taken three lessons to simple understand the concept of prayer. It's really humbling when you realize that there are many out there in the world who have never had the benefit of praying. On the other hand, other times my companion and I have seen how much we have grown in unity through teaching. Our most recent lessons work well, communicate good points, and share the Spirit with the investigators. I'm sure once I get out into the field with an Elder who has been doing this for months that I will be humbled even more.
If there's one personal thought I could share this week, it would be to live life to the fullest. On the mission that means to focus on the work "with an eye single to the glory of God." Obviously, that's easier said than done. I want to write home, I want to hear from my girlfriend, and I'm developing deep connections that I want to continue after I leave the MTC. However, as much as I value those things...the mission rules make it easier to do that. I'm beginning to realize the value of not e-mailing all of my friends, the value of only writing home once a week, and the value of not being able to keep up with the ouside world as much. While I miss all of those experiences and fondly look forward to their return, my mission experience is being boosted every day as I focus more on the work.
That applies to life at home - live life to the fullest. The priorities are different, but don't become dragged down in "the thick of thin things". Figure out what is most important in your life, focus on those things, give them the time they need and deserve, and be sure to have no regrets afterwards. All we do should be focused on those important things in our lives, because whatever they may be for each of us, those are the things that will bring us the most happiness and success. And of course, keep your eye single to the glory of God in all that you do, whether it's missionary work, a career, or in family.