My Dearest Family,
Mom made an interesting comment to me in her letter. It has now been just over 9 months since I started my mission. Her comment was that I have been out for the same amount of time that Meg and Sarah will have their little ones inside. The funny part was that she said while you two are just about half way now, I can consider myself as "delivered."
As I have sat here thinking a bit more about that comparison, it has taken on a little more significance than I think Mom intended it to be. As I thought of "incubation" time and how much time and sacrifice it must take to just have the baby (let alone raise them to their own adulthood). The time that I have spent thusfar on my mission has really been an eye opener to me in many ways. I have been in a sense incubating the spiritual part of me that will determine how faithful I am for th rest of my life. How I deal now with my own frustrations and pains, along with the joys and smiles, will help me to prepare a focus for my church service in the future.
Elder Buxton shared with me last night a story that has helped me to understand a specific part of God's plan for us. Obedience to the commandments. There were two large groups of children playing at two different playgrounds. The first group was gathered all towards the center of the playground, not playing much, nor running around. They had the jungle gym and the monkey bars, and enjoyed the slides and seesaws but did not venture very far, nor did they seem to be having too much fun. They seemed a little scared and fought for turns on the different amusements. The second group was very different. The children were everywhere, running, jumping, playing, chasing each other in the fields, playing tag and hide and seek. They invented games and all were involved in some activity or another, whether on or off of the play ground equipment.
So, what was the big difference in the two groups? Why was there contention and unease in the one, and involvement and joy in the other? The difference was the fence that encircled the second play ground, and the lack theirof in the first. The first group did not know what was further out away from the center pieces of the playground and didn't want to get hurt or lost. The second group knew the boundries, and, protected from outside dangers, were able to enjoy to the fullest the space in which they were found.
Which group are we in? Which group do we want to be in? In the first group we often can find ourselves staying very close to the middle, or getting very lost or seriously hurt by exploring too far. When we know the limits we can enjoy with complete safety and security all of the things that were provided for us and more. It is the same with the commandments. When we truly understant them and why they are there, we can more easily enjoy life, without having to worry about getting lost or hurt, phisically or spiritually.
Well, I've run out of time. But I love you all!!!!!!! Meg and Sarag, keep telling my niece/nephew how fun(ny looking) their uncle Matt is!