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Editor’s Note: As part of the #LightTheWorld campaign, Meridian’s authors have been asked to take turns chiming in a word or two about the service prompts that have been given as part of the #LightTheWorld calendar.
Sunday’s prompt was “Share a scripture with a friend or a loved one who may need a boost today.” To download your own copy of the #LightTheWorld calendar, CLICK HERE.
As a missionary in Blantyre, Malawi, I felt discouraged and downtrodden, as so many missionaries feel at one point or another during their service. At this moment of dejection, my companion shared a scripture with me that I will never forget and that made all the difference for me. Here’s what I said about that day from my journal:
“Today was just not my day. I tried so hard to be positive and upbeat but I ended the day with a good cry. We got out a bit later because of weekly planning and then after walking 15 minutes without finding a bus to town, we got a call from our security people and they said we left our back door open. So, we had to walk all the way back and it was way hot and my companions just don’t care about time as much as I do so they were walking slow and we had an appointment to get to and I was just frustrated.
Then, when we finally got to Chilimoni (God blessed us to find buses quickly) and we had our first lesson, I was leaning up against a wall, and then mid-lesson I discovered ants all through my hair and on my back. Yeah, I didn’t really feel the Spirit in that lesson. I was a bit distracted with the colony of ants in my braid. It wasn’t like the rest of the day was terrible—we had good lessons—but I was just emotionally and physically exhausted.
I really don’t know what pushed me to my limits today. Nothing especially terrible happened and we weren’t even in my area, but for some reason the flood gates were opened. As we planned this morning and tonight, I just kept calling every person I could think of and they all said they would “get back to us”. I guess I just feel a little discouraged, though my pride hates to admit it. Guys, this is hard. I have been called to step up and I’ve been striving so hard to change everything I can to be better and to do everything right and yet nothing seems to be happening. No one is really progressing or coming to church or doing anything. I guess I’m just feeling completely inadequate and unsure if Heavenly Father is pleased with my efforts.
I am doing my best every day, but somehow, I feel like I should be doing better. I don’t know what more I can do. Unless God wills it, no matter how hard I try, we will not find the prepared. Sister Dlamini reminded me of my own words about how the Lord is hastening us. He has to refine His tools before He can do the work. She just reminded me that this is the Lord’s work, not ours, and so if we are doing our best and nothing is happening it’s ok—the Lord knows how to do His work.”
Then she quoted from Ether:
5 And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a afurious wind blow upon the face of the waters, btowards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind.
6 And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.
7 And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being atight like unto a dish, and also they were tight like unto the bark of Noah; therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters.
Then she told me, “The Lord did not calm the seas for the Jaredites, but He prepared them with water-proof barges to carry them through the rough seas.”
When my companion shared those scriptures with me, it helped me see myself and my calling in a new way, opening my perspective and helping me to move forward with joy, despite the rejection and less-than-comfortable circumstances. I saw that I wasn’t there to sail peacefully on. I would pass through storms (even the storms of my own weaknesses and imperfections), but ultimately as I followed Jesus Christ and prepared myself, He would enable me to weather the storm.