Many of you know that virtually all of my friends left on missions within the last year, excluding two or three that I haven’t kept in contact with very well. I’ve been getting most of their weekly missionary emails since they left home, and it’s been really fun and eyeopening to watch them grow and mature.
Anyway, yesterday I got an email from my ginger missionary (serving in South Korea), one of my very closest friends for most of high school (before life blew up). His thoughts were just so… I don’t even know. It was just really beautiful writing coming from him, a human who isn’t really a writer but more an artist and a musician and a really loyal friend. I let his spelling and grammar be, but I threw in some paragraphs because honestly, his stylistic blocks of writing are just so discouraging to look at, haha.
From a ginger to you:
“So I’ve been thinking a lot about the Christlike attribute of humility lately, especially in connection with the mission presidnets rencouragement to us to be more deditacted and concecrated missionaries. As i thought of this my mind went back to something Grant said to me in an email when I was still in the MTC. He quoted something his own mom said to him during his mission talking about how two of his cousins when they came home from their missions. She said something along the lines of “I have seen many boys leave for their missiions and return as men, but your cousins returned as men of God.”
I’ve thought about that over an over. What makes the differnce from a misionary that returns as a man, and a missionary that returns as a man of God? I’ve come to the conclusion that the answer is atleast in part humility. Humility is more than modesty, wich is how i often tend to think of it for some reason. That is only a very small part of it. Humility is doing the will of God in all things. And being humble enough to do especially the things you may not want to. Joyfully and eagerly obeying mission rules, not begrudgingly, but constantly relying on the Lord through prayer and study with a spirit of urgency. The attitude we have as we do things is just as important as actully doing it. So being able to be not only humble enough to obey with ecaxtness, but being humble enough to honestly want to.
This applys to more than just missionary work of course. Humble submittance to the Lord should be a pattern we live through our entire lives. And if we have humility. True, pure, humility, we will do all the other things we are supposed to, because God will be our source of action, not ourselves.”
I’m impressed if you read through all of that and you’re still going. I just wanted to throw in one last thing. As I was reading this, I was reminded of a Greek phrase mentioned several times in my favorite TV show, Fringe: “Na eínai kalýtero ánthropo apó ton patéra tou.”
“Be a better man than your father.”
So whatever it takes you to accomplish this, Reader, I hope you do it. We owe it to the world–this place we don’t remember asking to come to–to improve ourselves, one generation at a time. It’s so we can all return home not just as men and women, but as men and women of God.