Letter from Joseph Weiss written June 29, 2013 and mailed July 1, 2013.
Everybody has to make sacrifices to come into the mission field. One Elder in my district ran track for BYU and had a promising freshman year, which he left to come out. Another left his starting forward position on the Air force Soccer team. Others deferred scholarships or left girlfriends. For me it was $10,000 worth of hard work or a year of my life. During that year of sacrifice, my thought process was something like; “I’m earning my money for my mission.” Then my first week here (at MTC) it was something like: “I spent a year of MY time earning MY money for MY mission. So, now I’m in the MTC making MYself the best missionary I can be.” That attitude didn’t work at all.
I was arguing with my companion. I was only focused when I wanted to be. So one day my comp and I are planning a lesson and we disagree on a key component of the Plan of Salvation or Plan of Happiness. So we proceed to argue until the spirit is completely gone. Then we have less than an hour until we need to teach this lesson. So we say a prayer. I feel like garbage without the spirit, but my comp saves the day and we enter the lesson a decently prepared companionship and one severely humbled Elder. In my state of humility I was able to sincerely testify of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Things worked out probably better than they should have. Grace was given and the spirit was there. However, I was left with some serious introspection to do. I looked inside myself and truly saw how selfish all my motives had been for over a year. I’d been over trying to meet some self-imposed standard of something I didn’t understand. I realized that missions weren’t about taking, but about giving to people around you and in turn giving back to God like it says in Matthew and in Mosiah 2:17. That the $10,000 is the Lord’s money. I gave it to Him. I chose to do that. I chose to GIVE a year of my life. But my heart wasn’t there. I took $10,000 and a year of my life but then had a hard time letting go of something that was never mine to begin with.
This last few days I’ve decided I’m focusing on giving. The rest of my mission I’m going to try to give it all to people around me. That’s what Christ would do. As I’ve focused on giving myself to those around me I’ve become so much happier! It’s night and day to how I was when I entered the MTC almost 10 days ago. Instead of paying attention, I give my attention. Instead of thinking so much, I listen much more. I’m growing so much! I know God is guiding me and helping me. He is teaching and preparing all of his children to become happier than they are now. If you don’t get along with someone: If you’re having heart problems, give more & take less.
GIVE MORE and TAKE LESS!
It seems weird, but it will resonate in your heart and you’ll find more joy and peace in your life.
I know with every bit of me that Christ paid the price for my mistakes so I can have peace & joy in this life on this Day!