Joy of all joys! My son is returning from his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Days Saints. Today! At 2:33 p.m. to be precise. I have ordered a banner, balloons, borrowed more signs from my kind neighbor, and killed a fatted calf–okay, a pork roast from Costco will be in the crockpot.
All of these outer activities are in celebration for the inner work that Cameron has been willing to do on his mission. I wrote here about the barking dog’s drool that fell on him while he was teaching a lesson as a new missionary.
After his “intermission” where he came home for 5 weeks from Mexico City to be reassigned to Arkansas, because of Covid 19, he was adjusting to a new place and companion. Cameron asked me how he could help his companion who wouldn’t get up and was eating candy and top ramen as his main food choices. I paused, and then asked how he, Cameron had changed, because I told him, “I could have used those same words to describe you earlier in your mission.” Cameron said that he had a senior companion that was patient with him, and didn’t nag or make him feel guilty. His companion was also very encouraging with any little changes Cameron made. I told him, “There is your answer. It is Christ’s way. To keep inviting, to be long-suffering, and to love, love, love.”
I am so grateful for Cameron’s patient companion who by being Christ-like, changed my son. When we feel like there is hope, that change will make us better, then we are willing to let the old, bad habits die. When we feel love and trust coming from those around us, it’s a celestial chain that can pass from person to person. Cameron’s chain started with the earlier companion who helped Cameron have vision, and then Cameron was able to pass that love and hope onto his next companion–and on and on and on.
This same companion, who wouldn’t get up? He insisted that they not drop an investigator of the church that was not showing up and keeping commitments. This person later got baptized. Cameron learned a lot about hanging in there and not giving up in this time away. He learned to value things and listen, in a way he had never before.
This inner work that we are willing to do, will make us the happiest. The balloons will pop, the feast decay, and the signs will fade. Our inner decisions of forming our character and spiritual lives are eternal. Trusting Christ and letting Him help us through our difficulties, be willing to change and be more like Him, is worth everything.
I am not just feeling happy today, I am feeling supremely joyful!