Monday, June 19, 2017

Ode to Dads

Admission time: Fathers' Day is the worst as a missionary, at least on Mothers' Day you can talk to your mom! But Fathers' Day was just sad because all the talks were on fathers and the little kids sang about fathers, and all you are thinking about is your dad and how you don't get to see him! So naturally you decide to write your weekly email on fathers!
The little primary kids sang a song in Sacrament meeting yesterday that really touched my heart and made me think of my sweet daddy,

My father’s hands are steady and kind.  They hold me and show me the way.
And when they are gently placed on my head, the fear in my heart goes away.
My father’s eyes are tender and wise.  They twinkle with laughter and fun.
They scatter the sunshine, weep when I’m sad, and rest when the day is done.
Knees which are worn from the years of kneeling to pray fervently.
Feet which have walked many miles, making a path for me.
My father’s heart is turned towards God.  He serves doing all that he can.
Reflecting the love that comes from above, He follows a heavenly plan. (My Father)
A year ago I was asked to give a talk on Fathers, with the stipulation that I wasn't talking about my dad. Well, now it's a year later, and this is my blog post, so I can talk about my dad all I want! 
My dad is an incredible gospel scholar (he will probably deny this) and he taught me everything I know about the gospel. I remember watching a video about the Savior appearing to the people in the Americas, and my dad testifying of the reality of Christ. My testimony grew from an early age, because I knew my father had a testimony, and I wanted to have what he had.
My dad is an amazing example and I will follow in his footsteps for the rest of my life. Where would I be without a father who guides me?
Dad, you're incredible, you have truly taught me everything I know. Without you I would never know the difference between a Phillips and a Flathead, or a mallet or a hammer! But seriously, thank you!


On a side note,
Yesterday we were also asked to go to a missionary's homecoming, we were told to sit with all the people around our age, so we did and basically listened in to their conversation. All of them had served foreign missions and were very critical of missionaries who served in the states and were from Utah... so basically me. I left angry, why is it that there is such a stigma about both things? and why did I have to fit both descriptions?
This morning I studied a talk by Elder Bednar, "Called to the Work," and it struck a chord with me. Elder Bednar says:

"Every year tens of thousands of young men and young women, and many senior couples, eagerly anticipate receiving a special letter from Salt Lake City. The content of the letter affects forever the person to whom it is addressed, as well as family members and a great number of other people. Upon arrival, the envelope may be opened neatly and patiently or ripped apart excitedly and with great haste.Reading this special letter is an experience never to be forgotten.

The letter is signed by the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the first two sentences read as follows: “You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the ______ Mission.”

Please note that the first sentence is a call to serve as a full-time missionary in the Lord’s restored Church. The second sentence indicates an assignment to labor in a specific place and mission."
There is a stigma in the church and I think all should throw it out, missionaries who serve in foreign countries think that they are more worthy, better servants of the Lord. There is no difference. Missionaries who leave from places other than Utah think that they are more valiant in their faith. There is no difference. Members of the church everywhere, especially in the states, think that missionaries from Utah as somehow less competent than missionaries who grew up other places. There is no difference.
I beg all who have these notions to cast them out and to appreciate missionaries wherever they are from and wherever they serve. We are ALL trying to serve the Lord, and we are ALL trying to do what is right. It hurts when members scoff at where I am from, and it hurts when people ask "what did you think when you were called to WASHINGTON?" 
I know that I am exactly where I need to be, and I LOVE IT!
All my love,
Sister Megan Monson

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