That was probably the fastest week of my life, and some good things happened! We didn’t work very much because Sis Sumagpao got sick..but we went to MLC in Cauayan on Wednesday and that was the highlight of my week.
I mostly want to focus this email on things I learned at MLC. We had such a great meeting with Pres and Sister Rahlf. I want to share it mostly because everybody struggles with this in one way or another…and if nothing else, just so I have another documentation of it for when I go home. 🙂
The topic for MLC was on Divine Companionships. These things are great because they are eternal truths–and they apply to essentially any relationship we have–mission companions, eternal companions, children and parents, siblings…anytime we have a relationship where we need to learn to work together and love each other. It’s probably one of the greatest tests of life. But it has the potential to yield the greatest blessings if we are humble enough to learn the lessons from those trials.
1) Divine companionships are not found; they are created.
It takes work on both parts. Pres Rahlf emphasized it this way: “Marriage is NOT 50/50. Marriage is 100/100…100% no matter what. we have to be willing to give all to each other and to make sacrifices for each other. Don’t you dare keep score.” (keeping score as in, well I did my part and she’s not doing hers, and I always do this and he never does, etc)
Relationships only really fail when one of the two gives up on it. if there is even a glimmer of desire to hold the relationship together, and they both work on it together, it can become beautiful and happy. lots of times missionary companions have problems and then just kinda bail out by thinking, “I’ll just wait it out til transfers and I”ll be happy once this person is gone and I have a new companion.” but that’s not how it works. happiness is a choice and if we’re not happy with one companion, we probably won’t be perfectly happy with any companion as the fault lies in our own stubbornness to work out the problem…and that doesn’t go away with transfers.
When there is a problem or we are not happy, instead of immediately blaming our companion, we need to self-evaluate as the disciples did when Christ told them that one of them would betray Him: “Is it I?” Most of the time, we are the ones hindering our own happiness.
2) What REALLY creates a divine companionship is Charity.
learning and gaining charity must be a lifelong pursuit.
one of the best verses on charity is well-known and found in Moroni 7:45:
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
If we’re not happy in our relationships or companionships of any sort, this should be our focus. am I willing to endure trials with this person? do I express and show kindness to them? (even when they don’t deserve it?) do I feel envy? (of them or others?) am I prideful? (do I think I’m doing more than them or am better than them?) am I focused on and seeking after my own happiness and benefit or theirs? do I take offense easily or lose my patience quickly? do I rejoice in their successes, or their failures? are we open and honest? beareth, believeth, hopeth all things–no scorekeeping, no giving up on them or yourself, seeing people as they can become rather than as they are,
and endure well together 🙂
pres rahlf said, “You cannot get into the highest degree of the celestial kingdom alone..you have to be a unified celestial couple.”
none of us are perfect, but we can do our best to improve each day. When we focus all our relationships on Christ, and becoming like Him, we can be assured that despite the difficulties, we will be happy–and happy together. and we as families can endure well together and that is the end goal of it all.
so maybe most of this stuff was just for me, but I hope you were able to learn as well. Heavenly Father loves us, and one of the best blessings we can have is a companion.
I have a great companion right now, and I am so grateful for her! and I am grateful to continue to learn about Heavenly Father’s plan for us so that we can experience joy now and hereafter.
I love you all! ay ayaten kayo 🙂