Our training from Australia by way of Skype last week focused on My Path and Success in School Begins at Home also touching on My Continuing Mission which is the new initiative for returned missionaries. I am grateful for this opportunity of training before we even get to Sydney. There is so much to learn! My heart has been turned to the people we will serve.
I feel a love for those young missionaries who are still serving their missions but who will be returning home after we are on the scene. I remember when our children returned from their missions. They did not have easy transitions and I am so happy to see an initiative put in place that will help these young people make the transition to the rest of their lives.
And I have been pondering the 'doctrine of education'. This is a new term for me but the concepts are very familiar.
The Doctrine of Education is:
- You are a child of God.
- He wants you to be like He is.
- He will help you.
- However, He will not do it for you!
- He wants you to get started. Now.
It is with regret that I realize how many opportunities I have missed in my life by not following this doctrine. When I read President Uchtdorf's statement from the May 2011, Ensign: "For members of the Church, education is not merely a good idea - it's a commandment" I fully recognize that I have not stepped up as I could have.
For 15 years we lived in South Texas where the Spanish language was very common. And previously we had lived a few years in Nogales, Arizona. You would think that with so much exposure and opportunity we would have learned Spanish. But we didn't even though many of our friends spoke fluent Spanish. I took an evening class in Nogales many years ago so I had a little bit of knowledge. Steve had the opportunity to participate in language training through the US Government so also learned a little. But my stubborn pride kept me from recognizing and acting on the opportunity to become bilingual. Just think how much more serviceable we could be if we could fluently speak Spanish!
In reviewing all of the material for the various initiatives in the Self Reliance program I am recognizing that I have passed by many opportunities for growth and education over the years. As I consider why I passed them by I have come to know a little more about myself. My fears, my lack of confidence, my pride and sometimes just being lazy all contributed. Then I wonder how I can translate that understanding about myself to help those we will serve to avoid that same pattern so they can be lifted as is the intent of the Self Reliance initiative.
Perhaps helping people actually internalize the Doctrine of Education is the most important thing that will help. I hope that somehow we really can help make a difference to those we will serve.
The countdown says we have 71 days until we enter the MTC [Missionary Training Center]. The days fly by as we try to finish our 'to do' lists. The last Hepatitis B shot is done. Now we have only one more Hepatitis A shot which is scheduled and our immunizations will be finished.
This week I managed to go through most of my clothes. What will I bring to wear on the mission? What will I pack to wear when we come back? What do I still need for the mission? Some bags went to the consignment store and some are ready to be given away. And I was really lucky to actually find a skirt perfect of the mission at the consignment store - for only $7.00 which was a steal. Just a few more items to find.
One of my major family history projects is done. What a great relief. It frees up my mind to work on the next project. Steve is reviewing 7 years of his journals in preparation for writing our stories of the miracles that occurred during those years. What a journey down memory lane! What a blessing it is that for so many years he has been so diligent in keeping a journal. After he is finished the review the real writing will begin as we will each write out our memories and impressions of those experiences. We each write in our own font so our family will know which voice is speaking. The intent is to have the stories written and printed to give to our families for Christmas.
However, I have become resigned to the fact that it is highly unlikely that all of the projects on the list will be completed. I am sure there will be boxes packed and labelled "to be organized after we get home". But we can only do our best and then put it all in the Lord's hands.
So we look forward to the next week anticipating the opportunity to check more things off the list. Have great week!