Friday, October 23, 2015

What Manner of (Wo)men (October 19, 2015)

Well, here I am, still in Nagamachi! I am training once again, one Sister O who is also half Japanese (but her mother was born and raised in the States so she looks half but is still learning the language).

She is absolutely hilarious and I feel positive that we'll have a transfer of much clumsiness and laughter, clumsy brought to you by yours truly;) I sent off my angel Sister A up to one of the coldest parts of our mission... But she will do great things:)

This week I mostly just want to share my transfer theme as I begin my seventh transfer. I picked 3 Nephi 27:27, which reads, "And know ye that ye shall be judges of this people, according to the judgement which I shall give unto you, which shall be just. Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am."

It's a fairly famous verse about embracing our godly lineage and becoming greater than we are, but the phrase I chose is, "Even as I am."

I like it, 'cause I think these four words together describes a lot of what I have pondered about and learned about over the course of the last nine months.

I wrote a poem about it that I would like to share, but first, I just want to say, I know that God lives, and I am so grateful for the light and knowledge we have because of His love for us. I know that His Son, Jesus Christ, walked this earth and died for us to find hope in our darkest night. He rose again that we might have the strength to keep going when our strength is exhausted, that we can know that everything will somehow work out, even when we can't see even one step in front of us. Somehow, despite our weakness, despite our inadequacies, we become enough when we trust in Him and grow through His love and mercy.

Here's the poem.

What manner of men
ought ye to be?
He asked, a question we each carry
within the depths of our hearts.
The question each human life curls itself around
of who I am today, and who I will become
An answer we spend decades to find, searching every nook,
every cranny of our finite, human minds, yet somehow, we cannot find
a satisfactory answer.
Stated simply, quietly, eloquently. Wrapped within a single breath.
Our Master looked me in the soul and answered,
Even as I am.

He walks with me, this Heavenly Friend,
although I may not notice
when plodding through the storms of life,
the wind steals the sound of his footsteps away.
He walked with me on my darkest night
I remember His hands, steadying me when I fell.

I remember what it felt like when the world around me shattered and I
felt alone; I remember what it felt like when I realized I would never
be enough. A scarlet stain of inadequacy on purity's plain, a
breath-taking disturbance in the motion of the stars, I remain, even
as I am, a blot unfit for every breath I take, somehow majestic in
spite of every last mistake.

Every flaw magnified in the spider-webbed reflection,
every line a bold declaration of where I yet fall short.
The wilted wings of a newly emerged butterfly,
soon to be beautiful, but not quite yet.
A mottled kaleidescope of half-baked talent and nearly-enough,
Alone in the universe, but with one sure Friend.

There is a reason I follow Him, and it's not because His footsteps are bigger than mine, although they are. There is a reason I honor Him, and it's not because He walked on water, although He did. He is my Savior, Jesus Christ, and He is the only person who can see me for who I am and will yet become and how long that road will take--and love me all the same. He is the only One who can work within me and through me and accomplish great works despite my unworthy frame.

He is the only one that can make me worth it,
enough, whole, complete,
or perhaps
even perfect

even as I am.

I love you all! Take care.

SENDAI SOUTH ZONE 大会!!!!! (conference)
Actually just muffins beforehand. #DailysMuffins

(Note: Lisa's new companion, Sister Oldroyd, is the one at the lower left, second closest to the camera.)

Bonus photo: Mission Leader Conference, October 7, 2015.

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