This week, Elder Lovgren talked about how the spirit prepares people. He said:
What I Learned This Week
The theme of what I learned this week is: People are ready when they're ready, and I cannot change people. I can only be an example and change myself. In the end, would I rather be "right" or would I rather be "happy"? (Do I want to be "right" by forcing them to do something they don't want to do? Or would I rather be "happy" and love them for who they are, and enjoy the friendship we have?) Those questions teach me patience, humility, and diligence. So many things teach me. Time and time again I keep running into the fact that I can't change people. It's not me but the spirit that changes people. All I can do is invite the spirit and know that it's the spirit that changes people, always.
The spirit changed me. I remember being at home and planning to not go on a mission. I needed some money and it was on my mind. That evening, Elders came over. (No doubt about it - they were inspired to come over.) The Elders came over and I just remember a blonde Elder, I have no idea what his name was - he was a dude from Utah - a normal guy, just out of high school, and trying his best on his mission. He bore his testimony and I just remember the spirit I felt in our home and how it was everything. I wanted to be like that guy. He didn't make films or have an amazing portfolio with a bunch of cool things - he was just a normal guy - but the spirit he had was everything and I wanted it.
Led to the Solution
I was in a humbled position, and I still needed money. No coincidence that the next day I was watching wedding films and thinking about how making wedding films was gonna make some money. I was watching couples come out of the temple and talk about eternal marriage. It made me think of my childhood and how glad I was to have been raised in the gospel, and how I had a warm and welcoming childhood growing up. Never did I ever feel pressure to do things I didn't want to do. Never did I ever have pressure to go on a mission. (Well, I did sometimes. Sometimes it was like, "Are you really gonna go on a mission?," but that's how much you guys cared about me. :)
I said, "Nah, I'm not gonna go on a mission" and you said, "Okay, just do something" and I did. I made films that I thought would fulfill my purpose. *I* was being prepared. I was living my journey and on my path. (Missionary work is real and true because we are doing the Lord's work. The Lord guides our lives more than we know and blesses us through others.) I was at a point in my life where I was humbled - I didn't have any money, I didn't really know what I was doing with my life, coincidentally the missionaries came over and shared a message that allowed me to feel the spirit, and the Lord placed me on a path to look up wedding films.
My Decision to Serve
Mom, I remember that day we were driving and I told you I was going on a mission. You were like, "What? You're going on a mission? You said you weren't gonna go." and I said, "Nah, I'm going." We parked in the Jimmy John's parking lot to have lunch and I told you, "I'm going on a mission, Mom, because I want a family like our family." I remember saying that and looking at you and I couldn't see your face because the sun was shining and blinding me. I remember thinking that's not a coincidence. This decision is righteous. Part of me felt scared to say my decision out loud and part of me felt scared of the reality, but never did I ever question going on a mission ever again. (We all know that I must have been further prepared because it took me a while to go on a mission, but after those experiences I never lost sight of me going.)
We're Always Planting Seeds
The blonde Elder has no clue what he did for me - he changed my life! He bore simple testimony and it changed my life because the spirit touched my heart. He's probably in Utah doing whatever and has no idea of the impact he had on my life. We never know how we'll affect someone.
|Sister Missionaries, Elder Rosenow, Elder Lovgren, and a family member ready to eat at a family's house|