Tuesday, January 7, 2014
I would also like to share something that my companion shared with me! She shared with me how to truly experience joy. She gave me three coloured stones, each with the letters J, O or Y written on it. She told me that the J stands for Jesus. The O stands for others. And the Y stands for yourself. Only when you prioritise your life in this way - Jesus, others and then yourself - can you truly experience joy. When you put Y first, it spells something nonsensical. So that's the theory, let me tell you how we apply it. When we put Jesus first, we do as he would do.
We walk and preach not just the dignified or wealthy, we go among the poor areas, the people with disabilities are problems and addictions and we love them. When we consider others, we preach to people that scare us, we listen to people when their list of complaints are endless, we always ask how we can help and we live up to our word. And when this happens, then we are blessed. Then we get the opportunity to meet blessed souls such as V, who is paralysed because of something in her brain but who told me she was so grateful for the movement in one of her arms, so grateful to live in Australia and then describes the horrors of Vietnam, Cambodia, South Africa in times past and tells us she is so grateful. She tells us of her plans to help teach children how to read when she can barely move unassisted and the opportunity she has been blessed with to give a talk in a public setting - because she is that inspiring and I've never met a sweeter spirit in my entire life. And whenever we offer to help her out of her chair, whenever we try to help or we ask if there is anything we can do for her, she tells us, 'yes there's something I'd like you to do! Can you get the photos from the fridge because I want to share with you my Christmas?'
When we follow this order, we are blessed with the shining innocence of a 13 year old who wants so much to learn about God, we meet a new little sister whom we love so very much. When we follow this order of priorities, we are blessed with the opportunity to meet a new friend as she prepares for baptism. The light of Christ shines so brightly from her. She positively beams as she shares with us her experiences, how she felt the comfort and knowledge of her Heavenly Father's love for her personally and her eagerness to share this message of hope and love to all of her family back in China.
This is real joy. This is why I said I haven't been happy like this in a long, long time. I know that when you truly love people, serve people (maybe you can start with your family or with just one person - which is how I think I was able to taste a bit of joy at home) then you can be more than temporally happy, you can know that these things you feel will never pass away, but will go with you into the eternities.
I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary and the opportunity I have to share my thoughts and feelings and experiences with all of you! I love you all, and I especially love the people in Adelaide!