|Elder Henry y Elder Carter|
How I came to this parable is a long and convoluted and needless story, but a great parable came to me yesterday. I didn't get the opportunity to share it with my district, so you guys get it instead!
First off, as a missionary, I am a tool of the Lord. We are always tools of the Lord, in the sense that He works through us like I work through a shovel to dig a hole, but during my mission I'm a highly specified tool. It's clear when you look at me what my purpose is; to spread the truth. In life generally it's not so specific, as we can be used differently for different things, but during our mission it becomes very clear how and where the Lord is working through you.
Here's the point I'm going to make. I've always struggled with pride. I think that I've gotten better throughout life at suppressing it, and being pretty humble considering how prideful I started out, but it's a big problem in my life still. But being such a specified tool lets me see that the glory is not mine. To explain this, let me talk about Picasso.
Say Picasso is making a painting. Without a paintbrush, it would be impossible, or at least it wouldn't look very good. It is through this paintbrush that the work is done, to bring something beautiful to pass. But does the paintbrush get the glory? Of course not. Picasso is the one with the vision, he's the one with the knowledge of where the paintbrush should go and what the paintbrush should do.
I'm a spiritual paintbrush for these next 2 years. The Lord is working through me to create something so much more beautiful and so much more grand than anything Picasso ever made. But just because the Lord is working through me, do I get the glory? Of course not. That's silly. And that thought helps me so much to remember Who's work I'm doing.
The great part about being a spiritual paintbrush versus a real paintbrush is that I have eyes. Despite the fact that I'm not able to take the glory for the beautiful 'painting' 'Picasso' is making, I (unlike your standard paintbrush) get to see, up close and personal, the work of the Lord. I get to see His strokes, His miracles. I get to see beautiful scenes laid out before me.
People pay millions of dollars to see a Picasso in their home every day. The value of being able to see the Lord in my life every day can't really be put in terms of a price, but I can tell you that it sure is worth more than anything we'll find on this earth.
(photos, then a few random emails and mail--he's Spencer what can we say?)
This is Elder Haskell. One of our zone leaders and he was our district leader and he's bein silly right now but he's the BOMB!
IMG__0020 Here's a picture of our zone on sunday before 2 districts left on monday. Getting 2 new ones today!!! Hermana Keil (the Polynesian one in the middle right) TOTALLY needs to meet Jessica Chatman. They'd be besties.
We had Elder Sheffield (the one that looks really old) with us for 2 days while we waited for his plane because his whole district left. We went from being the 12, to being District 13! We forgot to make our mockingjay signs though oops. He was really cool. Also, They're tearing out the sidewalk behind us so we got that as a nice backdrop for the picture haha oops
Here's the district + dos hermanas who just left on Monday studying (not everybody in the district is in the picture)
Here's the best shot I could get of the care package from Wendy. The whole district is LOVIN it!!! :) Just opened the fritos last night!
From a letter home:
Well I got my first haircut on Wed, they did a great job.
Anyway, yesterday was pretty good (it's 6:45 in the freaking morning right now). The days are so busy it's really hard to find time to write haha. I forgot to send you a great quote from maestro (teacher) Holman by the way. It was "Don't stress about the language, stress about the people." It was really helpful haha. So, I'm finally getting pretty decent at studying. My daily goals are 20 words and 5 phrases en español but it's really difficult to find good phrases to memorize. The 20 words is going decently well. On the one hand it seems like the MTC will drag on forever but on the other hand it feels like if I blink it'll be gone and I'll be standing in San José like a little lost puppy.
-Wendy gave me a HUGE care package!
-Thank you for the package from home! (photos and some personal items)
-got my Mission Belt replacement!
Can you get Madi Selee's email address for me? She wrote me and I have no idea how to write back haha
-Tell Tori that I miss her a TON and pray about her a lot!
- "Yanet" ended up being our new teacher so now we have 2.
I love you guys!
0. Oh my gosh I miss cattssssss. Also the email definitely didn't explain that the whole hermanas-diablos thing was a joke :P They're in on it too. We're actually getting pretty tight with the hermanas in our zone.
1. Saw (Jessica) Hermana Chatman today! That was great :) Tons of fun. I saw her at lunch at the main campus (we go to lunch on main campus every P-day since there's more selection there)
2. I haven't gained any weight! We found a scale on main campus in some corner somewhere
3. Volibol (Volleyball) is where it's at. We've been playing it every day haha it's a total blast although sometimes Elder Carter gets too competitive (he played actual volibol (He doesn't get mad at people but he gets to be a ballhog haha)) but yeah it's great fun. I'm pretty decent! :)
4. Class is going great. Our first investigator is now our second teacher so that's cool. She's a new teacher here at the MTC so she's still learning the ropes but she's really cool and knows the language well and everything. (AKA Nothing compares to Maestro Holman)
5. The reason my numbers were all funky last week was because I started on 1 but then got to my spiritual thought on like #2 or something so then I just went backwards since you want to end with the spirit haha
6. I saw Hermana Vance too! I WASN'T SURE IF IT WAS HER at first haha really awkward kinda but it is cool to see her! She's on West but she's getting fast tracked!
6b. Can you figure out when exactly Colton Johnson reports? I can greet newbies outside of their cars even though I'm not hosting because Wednesday is my P-day!!!! Woohoo!!
I love you! All out of email time. I'll write you sometime, if I have some time!