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Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Missionary Attitude

RoseE wrote this in her personal blog, and I stole it for this because it is a peek inside her head on how she feels about serving a mission. Eventually. Read to the end.

"So I quit my job last night.

Said goodbye to the theater. Not a permanent goodbye, because they just rehauled the payroll system and during the changeover all checks are paper and must be picked up (great timing there), but as far as working goes, as far as one-in-the-morning slogs, as far as getting covered in foul-smelling melted butter and being scorched by exploding cheese bags . . . yeah, done.

The cheese bag thing was in honor of my leaving. See, nacho cheese comes in bags, and dispenses by its own weight, not a pump or anything. So when there's very little cheese left in the bag, it doesn't come out. So we put a second bag of cheese on top to push the rest of the cheese out of the first bag. And as I'm trying to dispense some cheese . . . well, it was going slowly, so I pushed down on the top bag to force the cheese out of the bottom bag, and the cap popped off the top bag and shot one-hundred-and-fifty-degree pseudo-cheese substitute straight into the air and all over my arm and shirt. Eeew. Then OWWWW! And then sprint to the sink to rinse it off.

I got revenge on the universe by calling everyone else 'Exploding Cheesebag' for the rest of the night. I even answered the phone like that. And I chased Alex through the stand to make him give me the sanitzier back, which was neither mature nor professional nor safe, but it was my last night so I didn't care. So that was fun. And I will state for the record that before the cheese incident, my shirt was CLEAN and I was returning it CLEAN and it is not my fault the darn thing is covered in cheese now. Life goes on.

Really. It goes on, reckless and heady. Even with my afternoons free, I'm barely going to have the time to throw my luggage together before scrambling down to Provo and into the MTC. And that's the way I like it, really. Every momentous change in my life has been in the midst of frenzied busyness, with minimal ceremony and very little time to ponder or regret.

I once told my friend Avram that I was looking forward to serving a mission, because it would be an adventure. He looked at me with that stern disapproval RMs are so good at and informed me that if I was serving a mission just to have an adventure, I was going for the wrong reasons. I understand why he said that--a mission is for the love of the Lord, not to be a tourist. But I was never quite able to articulate what I meant by adventure. When I went to Lac du Bois for the first time, that was an adventure. I was scared, yes. Frustrated, yes. Homesick, yes. But it was an adventure. I was stepping out of my world to live by choice in a completely different place, a completely different life, that wouldn't last forever and had to be savored, every second.

When I went away to college, I was NOT in the mood for an adventure. I was scared, frustrated, and homesick, and just plain miserable. There was no openness to new experience, no willingness to learn this new way of life. Just the fear and the loneliness and the self-pity. Thankfully, this got better, but the first few months were rough.

So an adventure isn't really about the event . . . it's about how you approach it. Everything's an adventure. But it's only fun if you charge into it as the spunky, resourceful heroine. Open your eyes. Learn. Experience. Become more than you were when you began. I want my mission to be an adventure. No time to be scared. Never look back. Love every minute, particularly the awful ones. They make the best stories, after all.

I got cards last night from my twin-cousins, Crystal and Camille. Fairwell cards (sic). Serving the Lord aside, it's quite something to be a hero to one's younger cousins and little brother. I could get used to it."

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