This week was a tough one to be perfectly honest. Heartbreaking family tragedies happened in the lives of some of our dear investigators. Other investigators, after feeling the spirit strongly and having once had a desire, have decided to take another path, and Mohammed, who is supposed to be baptised in two weeks has fallen off the face of the earth. We are pretty certain his phone broke. It was a week of hard blows and little fruit but you need those weeks on the mission. It is these type of weeks that make the good ones extra sweet. We must have sorrow to know joy. The human soul is much like our muscles. It needs to experience pain and a little bit of tearing to be strengthened. But, anytime I compare my trials with the refiners fire of the early saints, the trials of Job, or the afflictions of countless others, I suppose my hardships are simply old granny shake weights that you take speed walking compared to the heavy weight bench presses those before me have lifted….. but regardless of how great or small your sorrows are, they build you and make you a better person.
I do not have a single answer to why certain trials are handed to certain people, and other seem to escape the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, but I do know we have a loving and just God and all is meted out with equal blessings in the vision of eternity. It is hard to come to terms with the unfairness of the world. In the month of January alone, an average of three Syrian refugee children washed up dead on the shores of Greece a week. That breaks my heart to bits and pieces. I know Syrian children. I’ve played with Syrian children; played barefoot soccer with them in the slowly setting Swedish sunlit summer with a doozen of them grabbing onto my legs. I’ve taught their parents. and yet we can apathetically stand by as their corpses line the coasts because we value a dozen other trivial things over human life. Why? How can we possibly sit by and let this happen? The worth of every soul is great in the sight of God. I’m not here on earth to be comfortable. I’m here to serve God and my fellow man.
Of course, the world does not see eye to eye with my view, and I do not expect them to, but I serve the burning feeling inside me that aches to see them suffer. I serve Christ and his teachings. Politics, economy and the frivolous greed of man stands of little importance for me beside the sufferings of our siblings. Our freedom and comfort comes at that price. Legions have fallen and refugees die at the foot of our iron curtains so we can continue on consuming our luxuries, so we can continue on living for ourselves. I’m thankful to my Heavenly Father for providing me with my mission to teach me what the gospel truly means, what love is and what really matters. I wish I could wash away all the world’s sorrow….but that would involve taking away another’s free agency. The same free agency to do evil, uncharitable, to take another’s life, or to let another’s life be taken, is the same free agency that allows us to do good, to be a selfless and charitable, and save another’s life. So, instead of dwelling on those who misuse their free agency, we must exercise our free agency to combat theirs with goodness.