Each week President asks the missionaries a couple of questions that they respond to in their weekly letters. Last week he asked them to share how the statement, "the thrill of soaring begins with the fear of falling." has been part of their missions. The following are a couple of responses he received. I think it gives a pretty good picture of the growth we are experiencing.
The thrill of soaring begins with the fear of falling
"The thrill of soaring begins with the fear of falling."
There's a line in a poem that says, "What if I fall? But, oh my darling, what if you fly?" I think too many times as missionaries we get so scared of failure. We would rather set cushy goals, stay in our comfort zone, or limit our reach, just because we don't want to fail. We're dealing with people's salvation, their eternal life is at stake. I can understand the fear. There's so many times when I say, "I'd rather not" or think, "Maybe tomorrow". I worry about messing up in lessons or forgetting a key point. We all do. But there's one thing that always comes to mind: GOD DID NOT SEND ME HERE TO FAIL. He did not plan on me ruining lives, messing up constantly, or being a bad missionary. He sent me here for a purpose; to succeed. It was not an easy decision for me to come on a mission and I do not plan on allowing my insecurities to mar the path God has placed before me. The Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals. If we allow God to be active in our lives, we will not fail. We cannot fall with Him by our side. We can build a boat, save some souls, or increase our faith. I try to remember this constantly. When I limit myself or my actions, I limit God. Then, what's the point? I've stopped worrying about falling and started to feel the wind beneath my wings over the last few weeks. I'm taking a more active role in lessons. I'm committing myself to learn more about the gospel and better plan for the needs of my investigators. I'm pushing my boundaries and leaving my comfort zone in the dust. Why? Because I want to fly. Now, it doesn't always work out. I trip and struggle and blunder through many activities. But, I'm looking towards the sky. One day I'll be soaring. Oh, dear sister. What if you fly?
1. I love that quote. It means to me that those times that we feel the most vulnerable, the most likely to fail-- those are the moments that determine our character because they force us to have faith. It's in that gap between comfortable and perfection where we found out what we are truly made of. It is pure faith that would allow us to push off from the edge, and rely fully on the Lord to teach us how to fly. It is in those moments that our faith is defined. Do we believe Him? Do we trust Him? Those are the moments when we show forth the answers to those questions. If we're afraid, that's okay because that means we are about to jump. We are about to have faith.
When we lose sight of the nest, when we no longer have anything we are holding onto besides our faith in the Lord that is the only place we can truly learn to fly. We have no choice but to learn, and learn quickly.
But how worth it that is when we begin to feel what it is to soar! When we suddenly realize that our wings are holding us that we aren't falling anymore but flying! When we look around and see how far we have come! Suddenly we are soaring-- and that is the truest form of freedom.
I also loved the quote shared at MLC that says, "Today's surrender is tomorrow's freedom." I think this goes right along the same lines. Also "Relax, and feel it. This is supposed to be fun!" Same message. We have to let go of our fears that we will not make it. That we will hit the canyon's floor and find ourselves broken and destroyed. That we will never learn to fly.
Instead we have to embrace our Savior, our master teacher, and have faith that he will not let us fall. We may not see the way yet, but if we listen to him soon we will find that we are soaring, with no thought of the ground beneath us, our faces turned towards the Savior of the world and his light. Suddenly we know that we can fly-- not because of ourselves, but because of the Savior. That's when the true thrill of soaring begins.
For me this week, I want to remember who I am. Sometimes, in the little everyday things the person that I truly am seems left behind and forgotten. I forget that I am a child of god who has the most exciting truth of our time to share! I forget the power of the Savior to bless people's lives through me. I forget that I am brave, that I am kind, and that I can make a difference. And I think Satan's biggest tool is to try to make us think we can't fly. If we believe we can fly, then we will fly. He knows that, so he tries to convince us we have no chance. I already know I will fly-- and I don't want to forget that ever again. I know that I have the Savior of the world by my side, I just have to remember that he trusts me, and that he will help me every single day, in every single thing I do. If I am truly listening to him, then he will remind me who I am!
The Savior wants us to know that we are designed to fly. He made us that way. So that is my goal-- to remember that I am a goddess in embryo, and not only that but a child of a living heavenly father, and I have the truth!
If I know those things, then my effectiveness as a missionary will increase a hundred fold, because the thrill of soaring will be worth overcoming the fear of falling.
9.Every day I am seeing the hand of God in my life. There have been times here on my mission where I feel down because some of our lessons were canceled, member families were not at their home or nobody wanted to listen to our message about the restoration. I felt like I was not doing my job of being a good missionary and I was afraid that I was not doing my best. I remember the words from my father in which he said that, “The hardest times on my mission were the times when I became stronger in the gospel." I know that to be true because it has happened to me and I have felt more and more grateful from these trials because now I am not afraid to not have times of success. Through these trials comes the trial of our faith and if I keep trying and have faith that all will go well that things will happen and they will be a blessing to me and to the person whose life needed a blessing.
So I will do my best to have a positive attitude to when things get hard and I start to struggle that I can raise my head high and say, "let's keep trying because I know that someone will want to hear the greatest message on earth."
One thing that I've thought about is setting a goal to knock on five doors every day. Sister ----- and I have tried to do this since we got the idea at district meeting. I love the idea of allowing the Lord to lead us. Five doors is not a lot. But, it's a test of our faith. As we make time, prayerfully choose where to go, and commit to doing this, the Lord will guide us. I know that this is true and I'm so excited for the experience and growth that this will bring to my life.