Monday, February 22, 2016

#38 Feb 15, 2016

 I was asked to give a talk in the branch about service and callings. I listened to a talk that one of the other Hermana's gave me from Pres Uchtdorf  about being Genuine. It's from the Priesthood session of conference last April and it is sooooo goood!

 But in there he talks about us being genuine in our spirituality. About not showcasing our testimony, even if it is very strong or if you are trying to appear better than you are. He then poses the question "why are you here? why do you serve in the Church?" And he says that we can respond with a number of things. That we are obligated. That we do it to please others. I've added some of my own superficial responses. We are here because we want recognition. We are here to make a name for ourselves.

Right before I read this talk, a less active young man asked me in on of our appointments why I was here in the mission. It was a question I have received many times throughout my mission and I have always responded the same, in a way that I thought was a good answer. I would tell them that I had never thought of going on a mission. That I didn't even want to, but that the lord promised me certain blessings, specifically in my Patriarchal Blessing, if I went of the mission. And so that's why I went. I explain a little more when I tell them and then tell them that I have received the blessings that I expected, but in different ways than I expected. To me this answer was, well cool! And after I would explain, everyone would be impressed and think "Wow what a cool story Hermana Rust has". And that made me happy. So that was the game plan in this same appointment. So I said all that to this kid, and when I ended, I expected the same response. Well that's not what I got. He looked at me and said "It's interesting. Very few of the the missionaries that I asked respond that they are here because they love God." Well if that isn't a slap to the face, I don't know what is. And that's what it felt like. A slap to my spiritual face. I felt foolish. I felt... phony. Here I was, trying to impress with the things I had experience, that somehow I was better than others because I had this great promise, which it is a great promise, I'm not discrediting that, but that I was somehow the "chosen one". But is that why I am obedient? Is that why I serve? Is that a good enough reason. President Uchtdorf tells us that no, these reasons are superficial. That If we have other alternatives, like to impress or to get gain or to receive a specific title, then it's not the reason that we should be serving. We serve because we love God and desire with all our hearts to serve him. And at the end of it all, not to receive any kind of glory. That's why and how we serve. And that's something I've always struggled with. I'm competitive. I want the title of "trainer" or "Hermana Leader". I've wanted to come back from my mission with great stories of physical and spiritual showiness that I can brag to who ever would listen. And I'm a touch disgusted with myself that for a while, that was my motive. To impress my investigators with my vast knowledge of the scriptures. Or the spiritual experiences that I've had to show... I don't even know what. But that's not why I'm here. I'm here to help. I'm here to serve. I'm here to teach. And I'm here to learn. I'm here because I love God. Nothing else matters.

 Oh humility. It'll get ya. It's gotten me. I've been cut down to humility and it stings. I don't like it. But I'm grateful for it. I need to be cut down so I can grow taller and stronger. Yeah this is what I have been learning. It's been a topic on my mind a lot lately. And I'm finally learning. Ok I'm going to get off my soap box now! 

This is a weird fruit Sapote. Shortly after I took this picture and cut into it, 4 little worms crawled out. So I can't tell you how it tastes because that would mean I would have eaten worm and I'm not about that life. 

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