Monday, 12 December 2016

Small and Wonderful things . . .



"The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. But who gets excited by a mere penny?...It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won't stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted with pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. what you see is what you get." ~Anne Dillard

A few of the small and wonderful things which bring untold joy into my life. It's the small things in life which truly mean the most. Simple abundance . . . it's the best.

  

Today we will take off our Missionary Badges and that will be that.  Our Eighteen months as Service Missionaries for the church will be finished.  It doesn't seem possible that eighteen months have passed so quickly and yet they have.  I thought I would share today some of the blessings we have received throughout our mission with you. 



 photo DSCN4222_zpsoeemapzk.jpg


These are just a few of the many young people we have had the priviledge of working with and along side of over the past eighteen months.  This particular group, bar Sister Gregson who is finishing this week and going home also, have all already gone home having finished their missions.  The examples which have been set for us by these young people that we have served with has been utterly amazing.  Each and every one.  And there have been over 250 of them.   They set the standard for us.  They amazed us.  They inspired us.  Their dedication and love for the Saviour and the people they serve is boundless.  They have been such a blessing to us.  To see first hand all of the work and preparation they put into what they do both physically and spiritually and the growth in these individuals has been so wonderful to see and to share.  I don't think there are words enough to describe the calibre of these young people in our church.  I am so grateful for the opportunity we have had over these past eighteen month to come to know them better and to work with them.  One of the blessings of our mission is coming to know and understand the dedication of these youngsters in a very personal way.


 photo 12273526_10206642679577678_1285090605797019159_o_zpszwxqrbml.jpg

These smiles are real.  They are really happy.  Despite the door slamming and the harsh words they receive from people probably on a daily basis, they are really happy to be doing what they are doing.  Why?  Because they love the Saviour and they know how very much He loves each one of us.  They have a message to share and they love having the opportunity to share it.  They don't want you to become members of the church (Although for sure that would be nice) they just want you to know that God loves you and has a plan for you.  That there is a great joy to be found in this lifetime, a joy that you can carry with you into the next.  Its a simple thing really.


 photo 12509589_10206987892447784_370473548565028052_n_zps9zpayiyk.jpg

That the book of Mormon is true.   I have always thought that the Book of Mormon was true, but over these past eighteen months, I have come to KNOW that the Book of Mormon is true.  My testimony of it has deepened.  It is a beautiful book filled with many precious and enduring truths.  It does not seek to take the Bible's place, but rather it serves to uphold and work along side of the bible in deepening our understanding of the things which God wants us to know about Him, and about the Saviour, and about how they want us to live our lives.   The scriptures are the road map we need to get through this dangerous terrain called Life.  No man could write this book.  It is inspired.  It is of God.  And reading it, studying it, pondering its words will bring you closer to the Saviour and our Heavenly Father.  I know this is true because I have lived it.  I have put these principles into practice and tested them, and I have come to know for myself that they are true, not just because someone told me they were, but because I have tried them out for myself.

 “No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.” ~Jeffrey R Holland


 photo passover2_zpspx1i1chn.jpg


I have come to a deeper understanding of the atonement of Jesus Christ  . . .  and all that He did for us in the Garden and on the Cross.  It has become more real to me than it ever was.  I don't think I will ever be able to partake of the Sacrament again without knowing just what it means to us, what it should mean to us, what it can mean to us.  I have had eighteen months to ponder, study and live these things.  I have walked in His footsteps in a personal way and felt Him walking along side of me, and sometimes carrying me.  I have been able to feel a portion of what He felt during those moments and it is astonishing to me.  The reality of what He did brings me to my knees.  It is impossible, and yet  . . .  it happened.  And I am so very grateful that it did.


 photo 91143787be6c352ffec646c7aae7f3c7_zpsz99bzg8o.jpg


I have become a better me.  We have become a better us.  I have worked alongside of my husband and served with him in a capacity  which most couples never have the opportunity to do.  We have grown together.   Serving a mission together has deepend my love for and appreciation of this man I have chosen to spend my life here on earth and in the eternities with.  What a special blessing this has been.  


I have come to love my fellow man.  Not just my friends and family.  But every one. I have come to see the "Paul-like" potential in "Saul-like" men/women.  I have come to see the goodness in everyone, even if they can't see it themselves.    These are not just words.  I really do love others now, even when they make it very hard for me to do so.   My heart is filled with love and compassion for everyone and where they are on this journey called life, and I can only say that it comes from a place in me that I never knew was there before.   Love without boundaries and without expectation.

 


We are all in this together.  None of us are perfect.  We can draw on each others strengths, and strengthen each other's weaknesses.   Why else are we here?  When I say I love you.  I really mean it.  They are not just words. 

I am sad to see our mission ending, but I am also very excited to see what the future holds.  Bring it on!

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

⊰✿⊰⊰✿⊰⊰✿⊰⊰✿⊰⊰✿⊰
“These things I have spoken unto you, 
that in me ye might have peace. 
In the world ye shall have tribulation: 
but be of good cheer; 
I have overcome the world”
~John 16:33
⊰✿⊰⊰✿⊰⊰✿⊰⊰✿⊰⊰✿⊰


Spiritual Enlightenment 




In The English Kitchen today.  Sweet and Sour Meatballs.  Seriously delicious!


May the week ahead of you be filled with many small and wonderful things. Along the way don't forget . . .


 ═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════



 And I do too!



6 comments:

Suze said...

The ship's internet has been down for hours and hours. I am sad that you have reached the end of your mission. You both have been blessed. God bless you today and always.

La Table De Nana said...

I applaud you..I know you do not want or like recognition for being good and charitable..but one cannot help but admire what you have done these past 18 months:)

kate hazlehurst said...

Hi Marie, another beautiful blog! Lots of love xxx

Sybil said...

Marie, that verse. John 16--33 is one that I love and has sustained me many times. I am so pleased that you and Todd have had such a wonderful, fruitful 18 months...Now I am sure our dear Lord will have even greater things for you to do, and will give you the strength to carry them through.....but first I think he might be prescribing a rest.!!....I have just finished wrapping 30 small gifts for the folks who come to the coffee and chat on Thursday. Helen asked for a vol. to go to her house tonight to help, but I don't like going out at night so said...never fear, bring them down to me and I will soon wrap up the job !....she brought everything down at six now it's just after eight and they are all done, they were easy to wrap as were mainly chocolate oranges or something called Mikado chocolate sticks I think...now checking the e.mails etc...then after the Vet on the Hill at nine it will be bed time. Hope the travelling has been ok. And you had reasonable weather..night night xx

Noelle Perry-Earle said...

Marie, you inspire me and reading this blog daily has helped me and uplifted me more than once over the past couple of months. Thank you for that gift.

How wonderful that you and Todd have had this life changing experience together over the past eighteen months. What a gift to you and to those who you have touched. It's been wonderful to share with you during this time.

May the time to come bring you even more happiness, health and joy to come. I am blessed to know you and I love you dearly. xx

Marie Rayner said...

Thanks everyone for all your love and wishes. I am sorry for the late response. You have all been with me on this journey these past 18 months. Now back to normal! Love you all! oxoxoxo