Monday, November 5, 2012

Week 18: in which I slowly step ever closer to Mordor and in which I have a couple of pretty good ideas (if I do say so myself)

Hello everyone! Get ready for an awesome, and slightly scatter-brained email, because it's comin' atcha!

First off, t-shirt of the week! You thought I'd forgotten about this, didn't you? Well, you're right. So remember how I was talking about everyone's attempts to be philosophical? Well, here's yet another example of existentialism turned... well, I don't exactly know. So it was this hipster-esque character, you know, with the big, black-rimmed glasses and the skinny jeans. And the t-shirt was light gray with big print: "If the door isn't open, it must be closed." At first, I assumed it was yet another failed attempt at being deep and enigmatic. But then it occurred to me that maybe he's just trying to learn opposites in English, in which case, SUCCESS! See, that's something I've learned on the mish: never make assumptions, because although you're probably right, the alternative is kinder.

Oh, and before I forget, let me take this opportunity to publicly wish Uncle Tom a Happy Birthday! Or maybe it's Nick's birthday that's coming up? Well, I can't actually be sure, but it's someone's birthday and I hope it's happy and full of our world-famous, seven-layer, chocolate-frosted cake! Love you, mystery relative!

In other news, I ate the world's best muffin at Mrs. Field's the other day. Yeah, you know her. That pleasant old woman who lives in the vending machine and pops out okay-ish cookies when you pay a buck or two? Well, turns out her fresh stuff is incredible. And totally worth the $12 you pay for it (less than $2US, but you could also find a pair of Hong Kong jeans for that sort of money).

On Saturday I taught my first French class! And it was awesome! Really, I had so much fun, and the French came back so much more easily than I anticipated, thank goodness. We had about six or seven people come to the first class, so I thought that was pretty good! And they picked up so quickly-- I made them talk a lot more than was comfortable for them, a trick that I learned in the MTC, and they were awesome. And may I say that attempted French in a Chinese accent is so adorable.

Sister Taylor and I decided that we would put in a requisition order to the mission office for 1 LEMON YELLOW MOPED, EQUIPPED WITH 1 SIDECAR. It would be perfect. We'd get around so quick, and the one in the moped could be making all the calls while the other weaves gracefully through traffic at an alarming rate. Plus, we'd look just like they do in Aristocats, which is always a plus. That movie is classic.

Speaking of classic movies, I have been seriously pondering Lord of the Rings this week. Yes, that probably comes as a shock to those who know me best, but hear me out. So Frodo is the hero of the epic trilogy, but as he daily took his tiny steps closer and closer to Mordor, did he ever feel like an epic hero? Probably not. He probably felt dirty, small, lonely, and inadequate. Those days where he and Sam wandered around in the mist for hours (We've been here before!) probably seemed like a huge waste of time. But from the viewer's perspective, his adventure was epic. When he finished, he could see that yes, he succeeded. Yes, he actually accomplished something and made a difference. And my mission is the same way. Sometimes everyone will cancel last minute or a person we're teaching will take about ten steps backward in one lesson or I'll say something dumb or call someone the wrong name. And I'll feel like I haven't gone anywhere or done anything worthwhile. But big adventures consist of little steps. And every day, I manage to do something good. I do something worthwhile, however small. And that's enough. The Lord doesn't expect us to work huge miracles every day. Those little steps, those little good things, they turn into the big miracles. That's how life is supposed to be. We rarely do one big, amazing thing. It's the little steps that get us There And Back Again.

Something else that I've learned this week is that good things just keep on coming. When I was younger, every time I left Scotland to come back home, I cried because I didn't want that time to end. When I was getting ready to go to college, I cried because I was scared of that change. And choosing to leave on my mission was a very difficult decision because I gave up things to go. A period in my life ended, and it was a very happy, fun period of my life. I was scared that I'd never have that time back, and guess what. I was right. But it doesn't matter, because good things keep on coming. We can mourn things ending, but let's not forget to look forward to those new, exciting things. New people to love, new areas to serve, new things to learn, and new ways to become more like Jesus Christ. Miracles just keep happening!

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