Friday, October 28, 2011

Lessons learned on the mission:

Today, I just thought I'd share some lessons that I've learned on my mission.  As missionaries, we leave everything behind for two years to go teach the Gospel.

The first one, I'd say, was prompted by what I did on Wednesday.  Wednesday morning, at five-thirty in the morning, we got a phone call from one of our members.  We had talked about maybe us running with him in the morning.  I was half hoping that he had forgotten it, since I despise running.  To quote Neal Armstrong, first man on the moon, "I believe that every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don't intend to waste any of mine running up and down a street."  (I'm quite willing to spend a few playing soccer, though.  Interesting.)

But, sure enough, at 5:30 we get a call saying that he'd be in front of our house at 5:45, maybe 45 minutes before we normally get up.  We got dressed, put on our running shoes, and huddled back in the covers in hopes that they would still have some residual warmth.  He arrived all too quickly, and we got into his little Protege.  (Incidentally, this is exactly the same kind of car that I had back at home.)

We drove over to a little park he knew of, Greenbank Park.  It's a nice place, and all the jogging paths were lit by little streetlights.  I'm groaning, still half asleep, and really wishing that I was back in bed.  We got out of the car, and walked over to the path.  I thought it was interesting that there on the pavement, there was a little line that marked "Start / Finish."

Rocky ran too.

We got jogging, and it wasn't all that bad.  Sure, I was tired, and I was just trying to maintain my position a couple dozen yards in front of Francisco and Elder Lindsley.  I think that's the longest I've run for a long while.  The path that we were running on had little markers painted on the concrete, "1/4 mile," "1/2 mile," etc.  I had thought, when I saw that first one, to run up til the 3/4 mark and stop running there.  Somehow I missed it, and for the first time in two years, I ran a full mile non-stop.
 My companion tells me that running is more mental than physical.  (In that case, I'll just get cut by thinking about running.)  I didn't believe it until I saw that marker there. 

In life, we can do whatever we want.  We're able to grow up and be whatever we want.  The choices that we make will determine who we become, and ultimately whether we are happy or not.  In the words of Lehi, a prophet living about 600 BC,
Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself. ~2 Nephi 2:27
We can be happy, I know, only through Jesus Christ.  He is the source of all that is good, and can help us in more ways that we can imagine. 

Now for lesson two learned in the mission:

It's not a good idea to microwave a hard-boiled egg.

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