I have been thinking a bit lately what it really means to leave the world behind in the service of God. It seems impossible.
This world throws ads and music and stars and work and money in our faces. We need the stability that comes from being a part of the world.
Even as a missionary, I feel bombarded by things like this. I can see the stress it causes and as a bystander of sorts, I feel grateful that I have this gospel so that I know where to turn for peace in such a chaotic world.
The song in our songbook, ”Considere the Lilleis of the Field” often comes to mind. I have this super cool opportunity right now, where I am as cut off from the world at large as it gets while still being a functioning part of society. I don’t listen to popular music, watch television, know anything about the news, have a computer, access social media (okay, that might change in a few weeks, but for now at least) or see any popular culture type things.
At first, separating ourselves from such cool, fun and at times useful things seems incredibly difficult. It is really a blessing. The world is suddenly a lot quieter. My goal is clear and my focus on the needs of others is increased. In this extreme environment I have really learned where I need to turn for peace and I have found this peace, the peace of God, in incredible ways.
I am preparing myself so that I might always be ready to drop the world at any moments’ notice in the service of God or others (it is the same). In doing so, I have never been happier! I know that as I plan my life so that I am not of the world, but just a light in it, that I can keep this happiness and it will only grow.
One example of that, outside of myself, this week was in one of the new members to our congregation. She was having a rough, rough week. She had so many things go wrong and then had an argument with a loved one. It got really intense and as he left, we showed up to a heated scene. She was crying and her friends were telling her to do millions of things about it, very loudly.
After a time, we were able to get her friend and her asidefrom the group, pray and just read in the Book of Mormon. Just as I knew it would, after about a year of experience, the lesson in the book applied directly to her and it really was able to fill her with peace. The tears left and were replaced with a warm glow.
She was so thankful for the gospel! There truly is an opposite in all things. We do go through hardships to become stronger so that we might more fully experience joy.
Otherwise, we just kept on working with Beauty and Christiana and Mathew and Eric and we met a new friend, Patience, who loves to hear from us. 🙂
Singen is such a special place. Somewhere between the Africans and the Germans and the other Americans I have built some truly meaningful relationships and have really seen how this makeshift family will pull together to help one another at all times. As followers of Christ, we show love at all times in the face of all things. I need a lot of work on that, but I have seen some amazing examples of that here!
I am just so grateful for this experience. What a cool life I get to live out here on the German-Swiss border!
Have a great week and remember to keep smiling!