Today we woke up to blue skies and sunshine. It was in my face for my morning run. The gentle wind pushed us along on our way to the chapel. All the while I'm thinking, "Is this real?"
You tend to forget that the sun and skies exist when you don't see them for nearly a month. It's sort of surreal in a sense.
The last night of rain before the sun came, it was freezing cold. The wind was blowing hard. I was on exchanges with Elder Xiao from southern Taiwan. We were walking this long narrow street looking for an address. There for a split moment I thought, "Here I am. Freezing cold to the marrow of my bones. Walking in the swamp of my shoes. A mixture of loud traffic and wild wind blowing blaring in my ear drums. Surrounded by an impossible language. In a strange land far from home......"
The next thought was, "This rocks."
Missions are an inexpressibly beautiful thing. My prayer of gratitude was sent out in that moment for the grace of God that allowed me to have such an opportunity. Truly everything we experience in life is by the grace of God, even though we may only recognize that when we feel good or when things are going well for us.
We talked with a mother of one of our LA's this week who brought some of these thoughts into my head. She is definitely fully Christian, but in the most possible Buddhist sense. Her talking to us about existence in general was very thought provoking. She told us that the hand of God is in everything about us, and we all abound continuously in His grace.
It is by His grace that I could have this experience. It is by His grace that I could learn all that I have learned. It is by His grace that I could associate with whom I have. It is by His grace that I can share this beautiful message of love. It is by His grace that we make the world a better place. It is by His grace that mine and others' lives can be changed. It is by His grace that we can make our trials sweet. It is by His grace that we are healed. It is by His grace that we are saved.
I'm especially grateful for the His abundant grace in watching out for my friend in Brussels. And grateful that Elder Empey's voice of hope and love can now be carried to people across the world. Sometimes while in our darkest hours, by His grace, our power of influence is made it's greatest. Joseph (unintended pun) of Egypt proved that long ago. There is still so much love in the world, and surely by His grace it will always win.
Have a great week! Love you all!