Sunday, March 20, 2016

Most important things I've learned; loving truly, deeply, fully; Christ's way; people not scooters

New vs. old missionary shoes
21 March 2016

I'm officially an old missionary. You wouldn't even know these are even the same shoes :)

Final reflection
I had to send in my final reflection to the mission office today: we have a tradition that every missionary who goes home shares their final thoughts during their last transfer.  So here are mine.

Final zone conference

Most important thing I've learned
When President Blickenstaff invited us to write down our own vision, goals and plans for our mission, one thing I listed under my vision was I wanted to love God with all my heart, might, mind and strength. 

Probably the most important thing I've learned on my mission is how to better keep this commandment and the importance of loving truly, deeply, and fully.

I once heard a question that I've thought about long since. Someone asked an actor "Do you love yourself in the theater or the theater in yourself?" I tried to think about how I could translate that to a missionary version... Do you love the missionary behind the tag or the tag/ the work itself? In other words, are you in it for yourself or because you simply love it? 

I know that at times we all might get a little distracted from our real purpose from focusing too much on ourselves. Focusing on my intentions and purifying the reasons behind everything I do has helped me to love more fully. 

Loving truly, deeply, fully
So back to my vision for my mission: one day I realized the depth of our doctrine that each person born who comes down to earth can become a God, so by the transitive property, if I were to love God with all my heart, might, mind and strength, I also needed to love those around me with all my heart, might, mind and strength. Because, after all, they are potential gods too. 

It is our human nature to blame, to take offense, to seek our own interests, to be wounded, to want credit, to find fault, to withhold our favor, to not take responsibility for our sins, to think about what we are going to say next instead of listening attentively, to not let things go, to be impatient, to cut a conversation short because we think we have more important things to do, ultimately to love less. 

So how then can we love God and those around us with our whole being, with everything that we have?

Christ's way
In Christ's way. Though He was subject to all these human tendencies, he overcame them all. The most innocent suffered the most and yet, through all of this, not even momentarily did His love diminish. This is the kind of love we need to develop. 

C.S. Lewis said "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature you would be strongly tempted to worship. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no 'ordinary' people. You have never talked to a mere mortal."

People not scooters
My first day in Taiwan, walking out of the mission home looking at the street, I saw a lot of scooters. Now when I look out at the street, I see people. I want to know their stories and show them how the Gospel can bless their individual lives. 

Christ raises our vision, changes our goals and helps us see what we and the people around us are capable of. Your companion could be a god one day. Did you ever think about that? So my advice for loving your companion more fully: Trust her. Praise him. Let her be herself. And love the heck out of them. 

Matching giraffe shirts?
Like mother, like daughter :)
I know that we can't love God fully if we don't love those around us. By trying to forget about myself, I've become a better missionary and I know it will help you too. I hope that we'll all be able to think more about the divinity of those around us and as we talk to strangers, we'll remember their capacity for exaltation.  

Had a wonderful baptism this week! Such a happy day! 
Such a happy day!
Much love, 
Sister Hancock

P.S.  Here are more photos from the most recent Jiayi/Tainan Zone Conference on March 11th.

1 comment:

  1. Very wise Sister Hancock. I love your thoughts, and that CS Lewis quotes is one of my favorites! Best to you in your final days on your mission!