(in case you didn't know what was going on: 3 Israeli settlers went missing. Israeli soldiers have been invading various Palestinian cities and arresting many Palestinians. Israel says those settlers were kidnapped by people from Hamas, but nothing is for sure yet).
I finally got some free a few days ago. I checked my calender and found out I had two weeks before I was to leave. Where did time go? I leave on the 26th of June (now it is less than 2 weeks). My feelings of frustration turned to panic. I must be nuts! I mean I have 2 weeks to prepare 14 Sunday School lessons and 6 talks. How come I didn't realize this sooner?
So, I have been preparing 3 lessons each day. I never thought I would be tired of preparing Sunday School lessons...but it is getting a bit exhausting! I think mostly I will prepare in Utah before I actually teach the lessons since I will probably not remember much from my preparation now especially with my bad memory.
For those of you who are planning to have me speak at your ward/stake, please don't freak out. I promise that with lots of prayers and hard work I can make this work! I am really looking forward to it and I am sure it will be a good experience. I guess if all else fails I have 24 hours on a plane! (Just kidding, I'll have something prepared before then)
So, needless to say I have been running around like a crazy person trying to finish everything I need to do. Luckily World Vision told me that they wanted to postpone my job start date. Yay, I won't have to worry about starting a new job before I leave to the US. I also may end up doing some work for UNRWA on the side when I get back, but nothing is for sure. At least I feel I have something to come back to in August instead of more hours of sitting at home. Not that I don't enjoy being busy doing nothing, but, you know, I gotta make some money eventually!
Let me share an experience with you. My friend told me the other day that she felt that she needed to remind me of the scripture: "Men [and women] are that they might have joy." She said she was cleaning when she saw my face and felt that Heavenly Father wanted me to know this. She said that Heavenly Father wanted me to know that He would like me to be happy; that I don't have to do it all and don't have to sacrifice my own happiness.
That really meant a lot to me. First to know that Heavenly Father cares about me enough to send me a message and then to know that He truly cares about my happiness. It is true, I have not been completely happy. With all my crazy busy time these days I had forgotten to enjoy life.
After this, I started trying to focus more and work harder. I am really finding out that life is simple and can be enjoyed. I think the key there is love...It makes a big difference once we come to a realization that we are loved. When I was reminded of Heavenly Father's love and His genuine interest in my happiness, it made a difference.
We are all loved by our Heavenly Father. He cares about each of us and is aware of all our needs. He tries hard to meet those needs in the way that is best for us. His goal is to help us all find true joy; the fullness of joy He has.
My lesson in Primary this week was about gratitude. The children mentioned things that Heavenly Father gave us and among those, were flowers and butterflies. When you think about it, the Lord did not need to create these things. He could have just sent us to a world which had fruit trees (so we can eat)...But instead He made a beautiful world so we can enjoy it and find happiness.
There are many in our branch that are struggling financially. Some are not able to put any food on their table. I always worry about them wondering how I can help. My friend always reminds me that the best thing I can do is to love them. Today I realized that she was right. As I spoke with one sister today, I realized that she knew that I loved her. And because of that she felt secure and happy in her life despite the fact that they have no money at all. One of the children in primary today wrote me a thank you card and then later came up to me and said: "I love you!" I also realized that the children know that I love them and that helps them feel secure as well.
As one of my firesides is about Charity, I have been reading a lot about that recently. Everything I read mentions how essential charity is. I think today I finally realized why. Really, the need we have inside of us to feel loved is so important. For those who still are not aware of the amazing love their Father in Heaven has for them, it is so essential that we show them our love. Our genuine love for them will lift them up and strengthen them even if we can offer them nothing else at their time of need. Hopefully, one day they will realize that they have a Savior who loved them enough that He was willing to die for them and they will allow Him to lift their burden.
Among his last words, Mormon tells us:
"And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him."
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.
May we all seek after Charity, the pure love of Christ. May we allow the Savior to teach us how to love others perfectly as He does.
I love you all and am grateful for your great example of charity. Each of you taught me a lot about this great attribute.