Monday, August 13, 2012

Perfectly Uncomfortable

Yesterday, I attended my parents ward for church. In Sacrament meeting, they had the president of the Sacramento LDS Mission and his wife speak. I absolutely loved their talks. A few things they said struck me as amazing and enlightening. One of those things was that the mission president said that in life, we should always feel a little bit uncomfortable.

How true is that? We should always be striving to look for opportunities that will allow us to grow outside of our comfort zone and become a better person. And actually, we rarely have to look for those opportunities. They often come into our lives without explanation or warning. We can only grow as a person by experiencing uncomfortable times. Through trial and struggle—no matter the degree of the pain (emotional or physical)—we will grow and become closer to the person that Heavenly Father intends us to be.

Well, I know I haven't written on this blog in awhile. But I will try and update you as best I can. A lot has happened in the past 5 months since I've written, and it all has been a little bit uncomfortable. Towards the end of March, I finally committed and made the decision to serve the Lord as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It took me three months to complete my papers which was way longer than I expected or wanted to take. But it was good because during that time I was 100 percent cleared by my surgeon. I now have no restrictions with my knee. However, I am still really careful with it because I still have flashback episodes of dislocating the knee cap. Some of those flashbacks trigger mini freak out moments where I have to remind myself to breath normally. Basically, my mind needs to catch up with my body. (That might take years. And no, I will not be participating in any group sports at the MTC or in the mission field. Too scared, and I've heard too many stories.)

Anyways, the funny thing is that after I started working on my papers, I got a job. Yup. That seems to be how life works. I am now a job developer (and sometimes a vocational specialist) for a company that helps people with disabilities find and retain jobs. I hate job searching. It's one of my least favorite things in the world. Even then, I am amazed because it is so clear to me why I have been blessed with this job. I've pretty much always worked in more prominent places in the community, in the nation, and even the world. I may not have always had the most prominent job titles, but what I'm trying to say is that is the kind of environment I am used to and comfortable with. Well, this job has me working in places I do not particularly care for and with people who may need a lot of assistance socially and physically. So yes, it has been a little bit uncomfortable for me. I am learning how to work and teach people that need extra help. The way I like to look at it is that I am helping the people and spending time with the kind of people that Christ would be spending His time with if He were on the Earth today.

Perfect, right? Because on my mission, I know I will be interacting with people who may have a lot of needs. When you do that, you have to adjust your thinking, your approach, and your words. Again, a little bit uncomfortable. But this job is putting me in the right mindset as to how I can simplify my words and relay my knowledge to others. How much more helpful can that be?

I finally got my mission call on July 5, 2012. I have been called to serve in the Brazil Salvador Mission, Portuguese speaking. I report to the MTC in Sao Paulo on Nov. 21. I cannot wait. I kind of can't believe it, and I try not to think too much about it or I will get stressed out. I am just getting ready for it one step at a time. But the more I do think about this mission and the struggles it will bring, the more perfect it seems for me.

I was actually wanting to go state-side. Reason #1 for this: I wanted to get out in the mission field fast, and I figured if I didn't have to wait for a passport or visa, I could be out in a matter of a month or two, (so basically I was wanting this to work on my time table – haha). Reason #2: I knew I would be perfectly comfortable serving anywhere in the states. Well, news flash, nothing about a mission is supposed to be comfortable. So what does Heavenly Father decide to do? Make me perfectly uncomfortable. And I say perfectly because he is stretching me in every way possible. Not only is He sending me to a country and city that I have no known connection to, He is also taking away my language—the language that I so love. I am so excited to learn Brazilian Portuguese, but yes, you guessed it, it will be uncomfortable. All I can say is: that man in the heavens knows what he is doing.