Merry Christmas Gentle Readers!
On Christmas day, as is tradition, missionaries are able to call home to speak with families. One of two days a year during their two years out that they get to talk to family.
So we gathered on a google hangout that Nick established from Sweden. We could all see each other via video chat. It was exciting and funny. As we were all conversing, you could hear the 5 year old just below the microphone playing with his new Christmas toys.
Me: So how is Sweden?
Nick: It's GREAT! It's...(insert little boy vroooooooooooming across the floor)
It took everything not to giggle.
I asked Nick what was the hardest part about his mission. He said that the people always just said no. He said that his most exciting moments were when the answer was "I don't know", rather than just "No."
I smiled because I so relate with what he is saying!
It was a lovely conversation, full of smiles, encouragement, and testimony. I always felt such a let down after the Christmas and Mother's Day conversations because it just reminds you as a missionary to feel what you're missing of family and home. Nick looked happy, healthy, and ambitious. He had a lot of plans and he is enjoying the time to study and meditate as well as the time to teach and serve. But it is hard getting a taste of home. I wish there was a way to make this week easier.
I was talking with a dear friend the other day about how two of us have a tendency to put off feeling things until they are better. Things have been difficult lately. I generally prefer happiness and optimism to the latter, but I have felt a bit ridiculous smiling in the face of one trial after another. But what choice do you have?
After a dear friend died, I was driving to my grandma's to take her to see the movie Lincoln. She's a history buff and I was excited to share the movie with her. On my way there, my radiator went out. I stopped at a local mechanic shop. At the end of the day, I used my rent money to pay to replace the radiator. I told the mechanic that I wished I had spent money earlier in the month to flush my radiator. He told me that if I had done that it would have cracked sooner. Essentially, the gunk was holding it together. He also explained that I had narrowly avoided having to get a whole new engine. So I sailed out of the shop with a smile, a fixed car, and no rent money, but I at least felt like the trial had come in the most positive way possible. The next day, I went to my friend Russ McBride's funeral and played the piano for Leah as she sang a beautiful song for our friend. I sat and made funny faces at his beautiful young son, trying to give him something familiar and hokey to latch onto at the funeral. I don't think I shed a tear.
Fast forward a week--I have a new job--I can finally relax and start budgeting again--
And the tears won't stop. I am irritable and passionate and angry and feeling every emotion I should have felt at the funeral, when the car broke down, before and after surgery, after getting fired, after difficulties in my love life...
I am this odd duck that puts off feelings until I'm in a safe place. So the feelings all come at these odd moments when things are finally looking up.
So if you see me surrounded by friends and blessings and weeping like a baby--it's because I'm this strange bird who can't feel things in their proper order.