“We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord’s service because we never are. We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up and He always keeps His word.” President Henry B. Eyring
Missionary work is hard work. It takes a great amount of physical and spiritual discipline. Childhood is filled with experiences that seem difficult to adults but to the child it is just perfect fun. As a child, I ran around all day outside in the blazing Arizona summer. I never wore shoes. My feet got so tough, the burning asphalt was hardly even felt. I didn’t mind. Once it rained so hard that the streets became rivers and I got to ride around my neighborhood in a rowboat. I thought it was a great adventure. Once on a flight to Washington, DC with my young children, our plane was unexpectedly grounded in Minneapolis for the night due to stormy weather. That meant we stayed at a hotel but our luggage stayed on the plane. Without a toothbrush or a change of clothes, to me it was a major inconvenience, but to my children that night was the most fun of our entire vacation. (We did get to go to the Mall of America after all.) As an adult, I have become less enamored of these “adventures” and now I tend to think of them more as hardships or trials.
But here’s a question to think about.
What happens between childhood and becoming adults that turns life’s adventures into things to be “endured”? Is it that the experiences are harder to bear, or is it that our youthful exuberance for life gets lost somewhere in the process?
This last week we had a pretty inconvenient storm. By the time the hurricane reached land, several missionaries were evacuated from the dangerous areas. On the morning after the storm, thousands of people were without power. Some had to move a second time when even the “safe houses” lost power. But do any of these steadfast missionaries seem the slightest bit annoyed by such a trial? Nope–not at all. Missionaries are in a magical state–somewhere between “life is one big adventure”childhood and “adventures are not cool” adulthood. They still have such an enthusiasm for life. They are not bothered by everyday annoyances or even natural disasters.
I think faith is their secret. Missionaries have faith. They smile AND “climb the mountain” and they become strong enough to do whatever they need to do. The Psalmist was right–“But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble.”