Did you guys know that I love you? ALL of you. Seriously, if youre reading this right now just know that I love you :) Hmm, Im trying to think of any shout outs I need to give to people haha, Oh! Haley I heard you are going to live with Amanda up at school! That's so exciting!! Youre going to have so much fun up in Rexburg! And please keep me posted on Ashley Englebrect and baby Gracelynn. I cant wait to see pictures!! Well sorry I cant really think of anything else to tell people so I guess ill just get right to it then...
So it has come to my attention that most all of my emails have sounded so super happy and peppy, which I'm glad for, because I truly am happy :) However, I'm going to talk today about the reality of missionary work. I tell you guys all of the good things throughout my week because I want you all to know that I truly am doing well, and I also don't want anyone to worry about me. But get ready for the 'missionary reality check' as I like to call it haha. Because I'm here to tell you that a mission is not all daisies and unicorns. It's work. HARD work. Possibly the hardest work you will ever do in your entire life by far. And it will only get harder. Why? Because the Lord is hastening His work. And he needs His missionaries to be strong. Now, please don't think that im claiming to be this strong and super awesome missionary, because im not. And I will be the first one to admit that. Being on a mission ALL of your many weaknesses only become more and more apparent to you as you keep going along. And so it has definitely been with me. Ether 12:27 has taken on a whole new personal meaning for me. Coming out on my mission I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I can definitely say that I didn't know how hard it was going to be either. It is hard. VERY hard. But I wouldn't want it any other way. Because as hard as it has been for me I have already seen far too many miracles to out weigh the toughest of times.
And so to all the future missionaries out there Ill tell you this: read your call letter over and over and over again, until perhaps you have it in your mind and in your heart EXACTLY what you your purpose is. Until you know what your purpose truly is before you even get into the MTC and out into the mission field. I hope you believe me when I tell you that from the moment you receive that call you better be ready to work and to fight. And to be obedient. Because that is exactly what you have promised the Lord that you will do. And another thing that I would stress is to please remember this: "You only have ONE chance to serve a mission. And you have ETERNITY to think about it." you are accountable to the Lord for how you use your time as a missionary. So use it wisely. Because its not your time. It is the Lords. And these are His other children that He is trusting you with to find and bring them into the fold.
Missionary work is hard. It is physically and spiritually draining. So get ready for an emotional rollercoaster haha. Because you're going to feel inadequate. You're going to feel unqualified. You're going to feel so much anxiety. You're going to feel stressed out beyond belief. You're heart is going to feel depressed sometimes. More likely than not you're probably going to feel very homesick. You're going to miss the people, things, and opportunities that you left behind. You're going to wonder why you're even out on your mission and find yourself asking "how in the world am I going to be able to do this Heavenly Father?" And more than anything satan is going to work on you like he never has before. It might even be so bad that you just want to give up and go home because you don't think you can do it...And so to anyone who has ever felt like this I have this to say.... WELCOME TO MORTALITY!!! That's just all part of being a full time missionary. But it doesn't last forever. I cant stress that enough so please remember that. Whatever it may be that you are going through, whether youre a full time missionary or not...whatever your trial may be, it wont last forever.
I have gone through all of these crazy emotions and feelings and still do honestly. But the other day I read a talk called "The Fourth Missionary" (I HIGHLY recommend it by the way:) and as I was reading it I decided that I want to be the Fourth Missionary. Because it describes the Fourth Missionary as the one who gives the Lord everything, but most importantly he gives his heart over to the Lord. Although he left behind so many things at home, people he loves, opportunities that could've been his, and many other things he metaphorically speaking puts everything up on the shelf to serve his mission fully and faithfully. And so this week during one of my personal studies, and finding that I am struggling immensely with SO many things...I actually wrote down a list of people, things, and opportunities that I left behind to serve a mission. I took that list and put it in a box and actually put it up on the shelf in my closet. Not to be taken down until my mission is over. Because I want to be the Fourth Missionary. And I want to give my all to the Lord and be able to look back on my mission when I stand at the feet of my Savior and honestly say "I gave it my all."
This week I had a very close friend of mine ask me how I deal with feeling of complete despair, and I had never really thought about that before but I guess this is how. I just remember that these hard times wont last forever. Most importantly I think of the Savior. And about His Atonement. I think about what this perfect man did, what He went through to save all of us sinners. And I feel so grateful to Him for it. But because the Atonement is so hard for any mere mortal to comprehend I often times think of the Pioneers. Come Come Ye Saints- is by far one of my all time favorite hymns and forever will be. And I'll tell you why. I sing this to myself ALL the time. Because, when I think of the pioneers and everything they went through (persecution, physical and spiritual trials, etc) I can't complain. How can I? Have you ever actually just sat down and listened to the lyrics of the song? Here are these people who are suffering all manner of afflictions mostly physical but their spirits were still SO strong because they knew where their testimonies lied. In the strength of the Lord. I love the second verse when it says, "gird up your loins, fresh courage take. Our God will never us forsake." They knew, despite their MANY afflictions, that their trials would not last forever. They left behind everything to be obedient to the Lord, having faith that He would fulfill His promises. But in His own time. "All is well, all is well" That's the part that I sing to myself all the time.
Random side note*OH MY GOSH SISTER MCCUEN JUST KICK MY COMPUTERS AND SHUT OFF ON ACCIDENT AND I JUST ABOUT HAD A HEART ATTACK!!*
Okay I am so sorry again that I didn't email everyone back personally, but please know that I love you all more than you know!! Also im sorry this email is kinda like all over the place haha. But again I love you all! Until next week,
Sister Amy Elizabeth Callaway
P.s. Look for the miracles this week :)