My cousin left after staying with me over 3 months. It was nice to have her here...to come home from work every day to a yummy dinner every day...to have someone to go places with. I am back to my routine life...Maybe it actually won't be so routine this month. I have postponed things I have to do too long. I am going to be so busy this month, grading tests, writing tests, preparing for next semester and translating for conference. I guess busy is good when you don't have much else going on in your life.
I went to the Escape house yesterday with a group of friends. They put us in a room and we had to solve a mystery. They told us that this guy Gary was killed and we had to find the treasure he hid before he died. There were too many of us in that dark place with flashlights looking for clues. Each one of us found a piece of evidence and we finally worked together to figure out how all those clues fit together to lead us to the treasure. It was fun...I thought the best contribution was from the person who finally found the light switch so that we don't have to search in the dark. Here is a picture of us holding the treasure (we found it with 16 min left!)...
My cousin and I did a lot of puzzles while she was here. I didn't think I would enjoy it but it actually helps me relax as I take my mind off other things and focus on making the puzzle. Someone gave us a few puzzles for free as well one day. When we made one, we discovered it was missing some pieces. I felt that my effort of making the puzzle were wasted. How could one piece out of 500 pieces make such a difference? Well, it can because the puzzle is not complete without it.
In our lives, we each hold a piece of a puzzle. We don't quite know where it fits sometimes since we don't see the whole big picture. Heavenly Father guides us and tells us where to place that piece. Each of us is important and needed, as without each of those pieces the picture will never be complete.
I sometimes questioned why Heavenly Father is asking me to place my piece in that particular place. When I was wanting to place it somewhere else or not wanting to place it at all. Heavenly Father has allowed me to step back and see the whole picture once or twice in my life. I was able to behold the finished image and I knew why my piece was needed in that particular place at that particular time.
When I felt impressed to go home after graduating from BYU, I wondered why Heavenly Father wanted me to go back to Palestine when I wanted so badly to stay in the United States...In Palestine, as I was sneaking in to get to church and facing all kinds of hardships living in a place of conflict, I still wondered 'why am I here?' But, now I thank my Father in Heaven for placing me in Palestine during those hard 12+ years. Those trials were exactly what I needed to grow and to develop the testimony that I now have. He has also shown me how my testimony has helped and lifted others and I am eternally grateful for that.
A few years ago when I was told to quit my job with UN and go on a mission, I actually didn't question His commandment. Because my life has taught me to trust Him and to trust that He knows what is best for me. I trusted that my puzzle piece would be needed in England. This time, however, He actually didn't allow me to step back to see that picture. I don't know why I went on a mission, and may never know. But, I trust my Heavenly Father, He knows!
I hope each of you will know how important you all are in Heavenly Father's plan. Each of you is loved and each one of you has a skill and ability that is unique. Without you, the picture will not be complete. I hope each of us can pray to know what Heavenly Father wants us to do, whose life He wants us to touch, whose knees He wants us to strengthen...then to go forth and act on those promptings, serving, loving and lifting others.