This is officially the first post on my blog! (Throws Confetti)
I am so grateful for the opportunity to keep a blog. A lot of missionaries do not, and so for that, I plan to utilize my privilege and update this every week.
Tonight, I want to talk about the Tender Mercies that God has given us as we go about our lives.
When I first got out on my Mission (Which was about 21 days ago), I was frightened beyond belief… The environment is very different from Arizona, the air smells different, even the PEOPLE are different. I found myself trying to adjust, but failing miserably.
This is me when I first met my trainer (left)
Whenever I am panicked, sad or BOTH, like I was for the first couple of days, my pupils dilate like a shark’s, ready to search for it’s prey… Literally cannot see my irises.
I was to be up in Florence OR for my first area. The drive from Eugene to the intended destination was long and scenic, and I got to know my trainer a little better.
The first day I got to Florence, my trainer said, “WELP! Ready to go OYM-ing?”
For some reason, missionaries really like to use acronyms instead of saying the actual words, so OYM-ing means, “Open your mouth”, AKA: Go up to random people and start talking to them about religion.
So, we did, and I was shaking like a leaf. It’s like telling a new born deer that can’t stand up yet to fight a grizzly bear, it was just depressing to watch.
I truly had to self- evaluate my decision to come out and my first couple of days really tested my strength and my ability to get used to change. I cannot believe how much I have grown from January 28th, to now, and it’s by sucking it up and continuing onward. It’s also by the tender mercies that God knew would make me feel better and be able to persevere.
First, I would like to pull from an amazing talk given by David A. Bednar back in 2005, Given in April:
He asks, What Are the Tender Mercies of the Lord?
“Since last October I have reflected repeatedly upon the phrase “the tender mercies of the Lord.” Through personal study, observation, pondering, and prayer, I believe I have come to better understand that the Lord’s tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Truly, the Lord suits “his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men” (D&C 46:15).”
Reading that, and really focusing on how it says that he suits his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men, gives me chills just thinking about it.
God loves us so much, that he WILL send you tender mercies, suited to your personality and to your conditions.
I really like cats, and I had to leave the best cat in the world. I still miss her everyday, but as my trainer and I go up the steps of our apartment after long and sometimes stressful days, Pickles, the pregnant cat comes to greet us and tries to come into our apartment everyday without fail. Some might think of that as an annoyance, but she always puts a smile on my face, and my days become that much better.
My favorite talk that I have always connected with was the “Forget me not” talk Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave on the October 11th conference. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with that talk, I will probably talk about it on my blog, OR you can read it for yourself on LDS.org, which I would consider really doing. You won’t regret it.) Didn’t know this, but everywhere you turn, there are forget-me-nots everywhere. They are a constant reminder that even though I am small, I am still not forgotten. My family loves and supports me, my brother currently serving in Trujillo, Peru knows and loves me, And also, God loves me and reveres my decision to serve wholeheartedly.
These are just a couple of the tender mercies I have been given throughout my short time in Florence, and everyday, I see new things in life that tell me, “You are at the right place.” “You can do this” “You are doing great things”
And I know that I was Meant to serve in the Oregon Eugene Mission because of the beautiful gifts my God has given me personally. They may be silly and small to some people, but they are ever so important to me.
Never forget the small things in life.
I challenge YOU, yes you, to note all of the tender mercies in your daily life. I can testify that you will be happier knowing of them and it will make the days that much sweeter.
“And they did land upon the shore of the promised land. And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them.”
– Ether 6:12