Monday, July 23, 2012

Isle of Wight

We are going there today! I don't know if we officially have permission, but Elder Livingston is excited about it, so I guess so. The only island I won't have been to in the UK is Isle of Man (and Gibraltar, but I think I'll try to go there before I die). We get to go hang out with Elder Botta and Elder Mannucci ("Oh my day-zeh!") and go to a place called Osborne House. No idea what it's about, but we will figure it out :)

We finally got to do service this week! And the sun has finally arrived! I'm grateful for July weather, better late than never. Also Shalen is getting baptised on Saturday! Woo hoo! We've got a camping group of youth passing through for church on Sunday--20 kids, 10 adults. And who is teaching youth? Ewan! Woot! He's opened his art exhibit in the art cafe and is super talented.

We've been talking lately about judging others and how that is counter productive to learning, developing charity. understanding the many ways in which the Lord operates, and making friends and forwarding missionary work. I'm grateful that Heavenly Father's prerogative is final judgment, and ours is merely temporary judgment, to keep us safe. I know that understanding each other and not measuring according to arbitrary standards that, most of the time, WE don't even measure up against, is exactly what is tearing precious human relationships apart. If we could look into the secret chambers of another's life, we would find there enough suffering and sorrow to disarm all hostility. I'm not perfect by any stretch at this, but I know and feel on a regular basis peace that comes from leaving judgment to the Lord and loving someone for who they are--not feeling sorry for their circumstances and victimizing them, but respecting them as people and seeking to learn edifying truths from them.

I'm grateful for all you are doing to forward the work of the Lord and setting an example of quiet, consistent religion that is neither overwhelming or timid. I'm reminded of the time when Jesus is going through the cornfield with His apostles and they take a few ears of corn to eat. Hiding amongst the stalks are the Pharisees, who leap out and go, "Ha HA! We've got you!" and Jesus, in His ever-patient way, explains that it is neither theft, nor breaking the sabbath, and that they've finished fasting. I'm grateful for your humility in sharing the gospel and inviting them to partake in what matters most.

It's so good to be a missionary and to see how much I've grown from what I was. I hope I will always be as thankful for serving here throughout my life as I feel right now.

Love you all! Thank you for writing :)

Love from,
Sister Willard

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