They always say that you shouldn’t look back but keep looking forward. Why can’t we do both? Why can’t we look back while we keep walking forward? 

This past week as I hit a year of serving a Mission I began to look back. Looking at the memories that have been created in those 365 days. It seems like a lot but when you really look at it it’s a short time. When I first started my mission I didn’t want to be like everyone else I wanted to be me. I knew why I was serving a Mission but there was one thing that I decided to do. I wanted these 18 months to be filled with one thing, love. 

All my life I’ve always believed that love is the most powerful thing. Love gives us hope, comfort, purpose and even joy in this world. If there is one thing that my mission could be filled with it was going to be love. Liebe in German means Love. When I look back at this past year since I’ve started my mission I began to see love in every small moment. 

Small Moments 

During the winter we would always light the world by dropping off goodies to members in our ward. As it got closer to Christmas my mom has sent me a box with a Christmas hat and candy canes. Sister Wright and I decided that to make it fun we would go around to members homes and sing some Christmas songs and hand out the candy canes.

Well let’s just say that I am definitely not a singer but there was this one lady that was living a memory home that we wanted to stop by. When we got there we weren’t sure what would happen but we spent some time talking to her. She ended up leaving the room but there was this lady that just seemed to be full of light. As she began to talk to us she was sharing things from her life. She ended up taking us to her room to show us her drawings but then she expressed her love for dancing, before I even knew what was happening she grabbed my hand and started to dance. 

Even though I had no idea what was going on I started to laugh along with my companion. The ladies’ faces just light up. It was worth it! A few minutes later we went back out to where everyone else was and asked us if we would sing her a song. We sang silent night, but the thing that struck me was what happened while we were singing.  

It was completely silent as we began to sing. She was listening with such love to each word that was spoken. There was a feeling that filled the room. Peace came into her heart, you could see it as her eyes just lit up. Her smile began to grow as her whole body filled with light. As I was watching her while we sang my heart began to be filled with love for this lady, but the love that was felt wasn’t from any words that were expressed. It was from the small moment that we got to share with this lady. 

In every small moment there you’ll always find love. It may not be spoken but it speaks to your heart through the eyes of those around you. It wasn’t what I did that made me feel this love but it was seeing her eyes light up. Seeing how that small thing had meant the world to her. 

Friendship 

Moving from place to place I’ve found that there is something special with each person that I’ve been able to meet. As I’ve spent time with members, other missionaries and even those I don’t know I began to notice something. 

In one of my areas that I was serving in I met this lady who had joined the church a few years before I got there. Each time that we would come to her home we would do a dance party. With all the laughter and jokes that went on between all of us there was joy! 

One day as we were talking we got talking about what I wanted to do after the mission. She just looked at me and said “one second I have something for you”. I was kinda confused and unsure of what was going on. She went and grabbed this beautiful journal and handed it to me as she said ” This is for you to write down all your memories that you make on your mission. Share your stories, thoughts and things that you learn”. My heart was touched.

The power of friendship is something that we shouldn’t ever take for granted. There is love that comes from caring for those who mean the world to you. 

Laughter 

 There are a lot of stories that include laughter. Memories that are filled with crazy ideas, failed attempts and even jokes. 

Each time that we meet with members there is always something that gets us laughing. It seems that no matter how much food we eat we always end up laughing off the calories… if only that could happen! Hearing their stories and sharing stories from our lives seems to be a way that can get everyone laughing. 

There are always moments that don’t go as planned. Like when there is a dog that is just scary so you make your companion go first because they are taller than you and all you have to do is run faster than the other person! When you try to make cookies but they end up looking like a sponge, these moments just create laughter.

Laughter may not seem like there would be love there right? Love is what makes laughter better. You laugh with those you love, creating memories that will always bring that feeling of love. 

With all these memories that I have created this year there has been love within each one. My mission has truly been filled with love. It may not be the way that I thought it would be but there are so many ways that we give and feel love. Love is in everything we just have to look at! 

As I looked back I was able to see how my year was filled with love but it gave me courage to make the future filled with more love. It’s never bad to look back if we look at the light of things and look towards the future with hope, courage and love to make the time we have more than what we could imagine! 

I’m excited to fill these next six months of my mission with love! Looking forward with love in my heart while letting the love of the past fill my heart! 

“Love cannot be forced, love cannot be coaxed and teased. It comes out of heaven, unasked and unsought” (The Treasure Chest, p. 165).

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