By Sister Call
210 days ago I arrived in this little area-- we'll call it small town. 210 days ago I was overcome with concern. I didn't know how to do missionary work in a town with 4 stop lights...you could knock every door in a week! And could there possibly be more cows than people? It seemed like it to me. My only consolation was my imagined confidence that I would be transferred out as soon as possible. I just knew I wouldn't be here long!
Then 210 days happened.
210 days that changed me and are making my actual transfer out of small town immensely difficult. My time here has shaped me...I feel different after serving here and I think I know why.
These people have taught me how to love the way that Christ loves. The people here, members and non members alike, truly live the gospel of Jesus Christ. They "are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that [they] may be in."
My time in small town was not without challenges, but I felt I was able to face these challenges with greater strength because of the love of the people here. For 210 days I could feel the love and encouragement from these people as I did my best to love and serve them. Though my attempts were imperfect and inadequate, I knew that they loved me for trying, not by any merit of my own but because they were Christlike people! I honestly felt their Christlike love. Their examples were crucial in helping me learn that we really do come to love those that we serve. As we do our best to serve as Christ served, we are blessed with a greater capacity to love as Christ loved. The distance between where I am and where I should be in the "charity department" is immense but with the help of everybody here in small town, I feel like my eyes have been opened to the joy that comes from Christlike love. That is why I feel different. Loving people the way that Christ loves adds a new dimension to life that is truly indescribable.
I love these people with all that I have and all that I am. They are an extension of my family and small town is an extension of my home. Though I may just be your average Mormon missionary, I dare say the love I feel for all that these last 210 days have encompassed is anything but average.