Iokwe!Big change: I have been in Oklahoma for about a year and a half now, which is the amount of time it took for me to not want to lie down and die as soon as it reached 90 degrees outside. Thank goodness. I hardly notice the heat anymore, which is good because it has broken 100 degrees several times the past couple weeks.
|Elder Kilmer at Leadership Conference. I'm pretty sure he's not asleep.|
Over time, I've made a lot of changes while serving here in Oklahoma. Recently, I have been doing a topical study of Jesus Christ. It's actually the same study that President Nelson did and suggested to us, for those of you who heard that. The change I have seen most recently has come from an increased testimony of the Savior. As I read about Him and His teachings, my perspective on life changes. I have enjoyed an increasingly greater understanding and feeling of Heavenly Father's love for us. I have recently come to realize that the things we do in life are purposeless if we are not focused on helping His children.The idea that we are family is not integral to only those who are religious. The entire world recognizes that we are united as a species. Our family will either increase in love, strength, unity, and joy or it will atrophy and find envy, grief, hate, and misery. I have found the greatest joy in my life as I have spent less time on those things that serve myself and increasingly look outward towards those I can lift and strengthen. A major goal of mine recently has been to remove from my conversations and actions those things that would lift myself by cutting another down. I've recognized that so many of my jokes accidentally leave more of a sour taste than mirth.I'm not sure if others have noticed a difference as I have tried to be more of a blessing than a curse to others of God's children, but I have. I am more at peace and more happy as I have changed to be a part of this family that lifts others. I have felt more of Heavenly Father's love as I have done so: for myself and for others. I love these Marshallese people that I am serving. I love the missionaries that I am serving with. I am anxious to return and create more of the same at home.Extending a challenge no longer really seems right to me. I'm not really in a position above anyone else to do that. However, I do know that the same peace and love that I have felt is the natural consequence of creating a happy human family and would love to hear about your experiences in striving to find it.Love you all!