But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. Mark 10:7-9; Matthew 19:4-6
It was a busy day yesterday as we went to zone training early with the other missionaries, sandwiched in attending a sealing at the temple, a shopping trip for Young Single Adults, and activity night until 11 p.m. As always, our mission president and his wife gave spiritually uplifting counsel and teaching. They are coming to the close of their three-year calling to head the England Manchester mission. They will be sorely missed, even though another wonderful couple will soon put on the missionary badges and be commissioned of God to lead the missionaries onward, ever onward in the work of the Lord.
Today, we were able to also sneak away from training and attend the sealing of our mission leaders in the ward. We were able to see more rooms in the beautiful Preston Temple that we hadn't been before, as well as sit in the sealing room and witness this beautiful event.
It is interesting (perfect timing to compliment the temple sealing) that the training was about unity within companionships. Missionaries always have a companion they must strive to get along with so the Holy Ghost can be the third companion in their teaching. If we contend with one another, the Spirit will leave and we will not accomplish what the Lord has asked us to do. We cannot teach others without the Spirit.
The mote (speck) we see in the other person's eye is nothing compared to the beam that is in our own. If we manage to remove the beam in our eye, it is still not our responsibility to remove our companion's mote (Matthew 7:3; Luke 6:41; 3 Nephi 14:3). We were reminded there are two sides to every complaint we might have about our companion.
Sister B. encouraged us to think about when she noticed her four-year-old son had extremely dirty glasses and she wondered how he could see through them. She realized he just looked beyond the smudges and saw what he wanted to see, suggesting that we look beyond small faults and imperfections and look at our companions through eyes that see as God sees. The barrier to us being able to do this is pride. It is only through humility will we be able to stop feeling like we have to be right about everything. When we are humble, fault finding can cease.
All I have experienced and struggled with in this missionary companionship and my marriage has been a result of pride, just as Sister B. mentioned in her training. Prayer, scripture study, unconditional love, forgiveness, perseverance, faith, humility, communication, and a little elbow room (like a walk or a quiet escape into another room) has helped us grow and learn how to be companions (along with many other things--like miracles and even ear plugs!).
|Flowers on Preston Temple grounds|
|Arriving at our meeting, we look from the parking lot at this beautiful sight. Can you believe we're blessed this abundantly to serve where we see the temple often?|
|It looks like the light is shining just for them today (it has been raining for two weeks)|
|These are our ward mission leaders. They want to go on a mission soon. Despite pain and serious disabilities they both experience, they still want to serve. Amazing couple!|
|Preston Temple grounds|
|Looking towards the temple spire in the distance--it looks like a speck from here.|
|Keep your eye on the prize|
|A rose among the thorns!! The first rose buds are beginning to come forth. Beauty and worth are there when we wait patiently and look for it.|