Ahoj! Things are going well and I am absolutely loving my time out here!Today I would like to address the age old question of “why is life so hard?”. As a missionary I have had the wonderful opportunity of having a hard life! For example, just this week as we were working as missionaries do, and trying to share our message of joy to people on the street, we were seeing very little success. No one seemed to want to talk to us. It seemed this was yet another “dry” day without finding anyone interested. Then, out of the blue, this woman on a bench asks us to open a tough water bottle for her. We do so gladly, and she then asks why we are here and the conversation progresses. What a miracle! We were finally talking to someone! Until a mildly drunk man walked up to us and asked, “are you those boys from America?” to which we obviously responded yes. He then continued to rattle off horribly crude and profane lies to this woman about who we supposedly were and what we were doing here. He then continued to tell us to leave his country and never come back, and apologize to the woman that she had to deal with us.
I was pretty distraught. A total stranger had seemingly ruined this miracle and said absolutely horrible lies about who I was to this woman. Experiences like this have not been as rare as I thought they would be. This was the third day of my mission where I had experienced this kind of opposition. And I expected it to go as the other times had, with the woman looking at us in disgust and leaving without another word. But before we could chime in to try to clarify the truth and to do away with the lies, the woman looked the man in the eye and in essence said “stop right there. I have been talking to these good boys for the good part of half an hour. If they were half as bad as you made them out to be, I would not still be here. Now every day I walk through this area, and I always see you at that pub drinking with your friends. No matter the time of day. Now go back to your drink and leave us be”.
I was doing all I could to refrain from cheering! The man then scuffled away mumbling about how at least he warned her. The woman then turned to us and explained how sorry she was for that and how there is so much evil in the world. She then continued on about her dislike of alcohol. We then were able to share a wonderful message about how we believe it is a commandment of God to not drink of alcohol and talked about the wonderful blessings God promises when we follow this commandments.
From this I learned. Yes, life is hard. Yes, sometimes it is just plainly unfair. But I strongly believe that this is just the price of mortality. Everyone has agency. Everyone is able to choose for themselves good or evil, and sometimes this effects others. Sometimes Bad things or hard things happen in life for seemingly no reason. But one thing I know. We have a God in Heaven who loves us more then we can comprehend. We are allowed these hard times in order that we can grow. We are allowed these hard times not because we always deserve them, but because through them, we can become stronger. In the Book of Mormon, in the book of Ether chapter 12 verse 27 it reads:
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
I know that there is a plan for each of us. I know, like in the story I shared today, that life gets better as we endure the hard times. If we keep that hope and faith in Christ, we can do all things that come our way. I know these things to be true with all my heart. Life is hard so we can learn and grow because we have a loving Heavenly Father. We can do hard things! We do hard things!
See you next week!