Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanks

na Sziasztok,

So Thanksgiving has come and gone. It hit me as we all went around at our family gathering saying what we were grateful for, that I hadn't been apart of that for 2 years. One year of Thanksgiving in the MTC, one year in Hungary and then I was back having Thanksgiving with my extended family. I have so much to be grateful for I certainly can't list or express it.


Thanks-Giving

The Elders from my MTC days all returned home on Thanksgiving as well. That's when it really hits you that you've been home for a while and the work in Hungary will continue on without you.
It also was a good reminder that although I will continue to Skype my good friends in Hungary, and on occasion I'll get chances to practice Hungarian here (like when we sang Halld az angyolok kara't this past Sunday in Church), it's time to make sure I'm utilizing my experiences in Hungary to move forward in life and not dwell on what was. I slack sometimes still, but I'd like to think that my experiences in Hungary changed me in some ways for the better- hopefully in an eternal sense.

Now if and when I continue to write here, in-between the stresses of my last semester at BYU and "big-kid" job searching (as well of course, as family priorities), it'll hopefully be a little more forward-facing. I'm so grateful for the experiences I had prior to and leading up to my mission, I'm incredibly indebted for the amazing experiences on the mission and also very grateful for the transitory experiences upon returning. Now although I haven't experienced it yet, I'm grateful for whatever tomorrow brings.

Love Always,
Michelle

Friday, November 21, 2014

Prepare to Serve Interview: 99 Crazy Foods

Sziasztok,
With Thanksgiving coming up in all of it's mashed-potato grandeur I thought this last Prepare to Serve clip might be kind of fun. I'm mis-quoted in it because I wasn't actually talking about foods I ate in Hungary, but rather grocery shopping. But it works.

So please be grateful for your pumpkin pie and turkey.

Love Always,
Michelle

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

Probably my favorite picture from my entire mission.
Zoli was baptized a little over a year ago, his wife a few
months after him. They are still amazing members 
of the church and such great example to me.
Sziasztok everyone, 
Happy Halloween!
Exactly 2 years ago I had a very different costume to wear for Halloween: one that included a name-tag and skirts. It was potentially the scariest Halloween of my entire life. 2 years ago, I entered the MTC. Terrifying, but worth it. I cannot believe how much has changed since then. My life has forever been changed by Hungary. I am so blessed because of the people that came into my life during that process: my companions, my investigators, my converts, the church members, my zones and districts, and the thousands of people all around Hungary on the streets and in their homes. Halloween will never be quite the same for me. 
Szeretlek Mindig,
Michelle.
 





































Sunday, October 19, 2014

Prepare to Serve Interview: Gospel Message (Hungarian)

Sziasztok,
Alright. Here's the last video from the interview. Despite the gross amount of grammar mistakes and the botched word order, I really do mean all I say in it (well the meaning behind all I say). The message was meant for future missionaries serving in Hungary. The gist of what I say (for the few of you who don't speak Hungarian...) is that I'm grateful for the experiences I had there and that I'm grateful for all I learned about progression in this life and how these experiences are worth it. na tessek:

Szeretlek mindig,
Michelle

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Prepare to Serve Interview: Hungary Budapest Mission RM Message

Sziasztok,
This past week with conference, we were reminded once again how important missionary work is. I'm so grateful for the thousands and thousands of missionaries out there now. It's one of the hardest, yet most influential experiences any of us has probably every had.
Here's my little video of a message from an RM to you prospective missionaries.


Szeretlek Mindig,
Michelle

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Prepare To Serve Interview: Hungary Budapest Mission Stories


Sziasztok,
First off, a correction to this video: the missionary training is 12 weeks not 8. I think I said 8 since Zoli was finished with the lessons after week 8.


I don't know how to add to this video without writing an extra 100 pages. Each one of these people mean so much to me. I was completely amazed at God's ability to orchestrate all of their lives in such a personal way which is now so inter-twined. They are all such blessings to each other and certainly huge blessings in my life.

Love Always,
Michelle

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Prepare to Serve: How my premission blog helped in a conversion (LDS)

Sziasztok,
Well this is a little inception-like. This next video is a video about me telling a story on my blog about the effects of my blog. Yeah see if you can keep it straight...


(He gave me permission to tell this story/ post it here. He may write his own thoughts about it later, and I'll add them eventually).

I know some people are curious about "the game" we were playing- it's one we made up and it's called "Rejection". It's a great language learning game too :p
So basically, we made a list of all of the excuses people would give us about why they couldn't talk to us and then we matched those up with a direction.
We chose a starting point and started playing.
So for example, maybe we would start at the first building on a street at the first door.
"I'm Catholic" they'd say and slam the door. So we'd look at our game and follow the directions to the building at the next intersection.
We'd ring the next bell and hear "sorry, I'm in a hurry" and so we'd look at the game and follow the direction onto the bus and ride it for one stop.
The next bell would say "I'm not interested", so we'd look at the game and follow the directions to the next green door.
It literally took us all over the city to basically every corner or our tracting area in one day.

To be fair, we also said a sincere prayer before leaving the house that day. And the angels decided they wanted to play with us ;) The first time we played that game we got let in twice (we hadn't been let in at all that whole week) and it led us to Zsolt.

Me teaching Zsolt how to smile for a picture

I think I also learned from this experience that God, although he gives us trials and expected exact obedience, also wants us to enjoy the work.
We had fun because it turned all of that rejection into an adventure. And eventually a baptism.

Love Always,
Michelle

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Prepare to Serve Interview: Growing Pains Learning to Speak Hungarian

Sziasztok,
I know, I know... I've been behind in posting these. My excuse: It's almost as hard to re-learn college life as it is to learn Hungarian...almost...


Love Always,
Michelle 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Prepare to Serve Interview: Opera in Hungary

Sziasztok,

This next video is about some of my favorite "little details" from the mission- specifically those experiences with the Opera.
(If you can't tell, my voice was pretty shot by this point in the interview).

 
I have so many great memories about Hungarian culture, so it was really hard for me to answer this question in the interview. I really do love those memories connected with the Opera though.
I also had just one song from Bartók Béla on my ipod. Without telling my companion, I set that song loudly as that alarm one morning. I don't think we've ever woken up laughing so hard in our lives.
 

Two of my companions in front of the Opera house.
(For clarification: when I wasn't sure if it was in the "Kispest" area vs. "Pest" area,
 I am talking about missionary tracting areas)

Myself and one of my companions at the Opera house

The view from the apartment I talk about in the video
My companion and I on our roof-top balcony


And what would this post be without finding a video about the Opera house on youtube:




Love Always,
MIchelle  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Prepare to Serve Interview: How Safe Did You Feel In Hungary?

Sziasztok,
I'm not always the most rational person when it comes to safety. Standing with the puffins on the edge of a giant cliff in Iceland is one of my favorite memories. But even I know that it's dangerous for little girls to "talk to strangers". So this video explains a little about why I was never afraid-
To read more about the story of my companion getting bit by the dog- see the post entitled "Literally Dogged".
Head the signs and you'll always be safe.

Love Always,
Michelle


ouch

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Prepare to Serve Interview: Sister Missionary Clothing Tips (for going to Hungary)

Sziasztok,
Some tips about clothing for Hungary (specifically shoes...)


Here is some proof. This picture is from my SECOND pair of boots. Try walking home in a blizzard in those! On the other hand, the shoes I spent a little more on from a sporting goods store are still in great working order even after returning.


As for normal clothes, I'm no fashion guru but I certainly learned some functionality tips from experience. 

1. Layers are great. Sometimes it was hard to decide what to wear because you know you'll be freezing until you get walking all over and then suddenly the sun will come out and you'll be sweating. It wasn't uncommon for me to have a shirt, a cardigan and a coat all in one day so I was prepared for anything. 
2. Gloves that can hold a pen are super important for streeting in the winter. 
3. I'm also a fan of scarfs which can be really useful and versatile. 
4. Skirts that don't go crazy in the wind will save some potentially embarrassing moments. 
5. Clothing that doesn't show excessive sweat- summer will make you drip. 
6. Tights- thick tights (I even had wool ones). 
7. An umbrella is useful. I've always been an anti-umbrella person out of Washingtonian pride, but it's awfully hard to keep scriptures and a planner dry when you're trying to talk to people in the rain (plus you can serve a little by sharing with others caught in the flood). 
8. Versatile sizes and items such as belts. As embarrassing as it is, I lost a hefty amount of weight on my mission. If it wasn't for belts and nice materials, I would have had to buy a whole new wardrobe throughout the mission. 
9. Hair accessories for quick dos. Trust me, if you're going to keep to the white-handbook schedule, you're not going to have time to curl or perfect your hair. 
10. A really good side bag. Half way through my mission they stopped allowing us to use backpacks. I was so grateful I had also brought a reliable fossil side-bag which is still in great shape. 

Hope that saves a prospective missionary or two from some incredibly frustrating fashion malfunctions. 

Love Always,
Michelle 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Prepare to Serve Interview: The Influx of Sister Missionaries

Sziasztok,
Here's the next one:


As stressful as this transition was and as much as it probably impacted my ability to learn the language properly, I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity I had to go senior so quickly. Each one of my junior companions was incredible. It also made us depend a whole lot more on the Lord considering we had no idea what we were doing on our own. Looking back, it's so crazy to me that we were knocking on strangers' doors all day long and only understanding a portion of what they were saying back. But somehow despite the language barrier, we communicated a lot more. It was definitely an adventure of a lifetime.

Love Always,
Michelle

All of these beautiful sisters were my companions (not in order)
From left to right: My MTC companion, One of my sister-training-leader companions, my short time Hungarian companion, my trainee, another trainee (2nd half), me, another sister-training-leader companion, another trainee (2nd half) who was also my last companion. 4 are missing from this picture (3 junior companions and my trainer).

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Prepare to Serve Interview: Foods I ate in Hungary

Sziasztok,
This one is a not-so-helpful description of food in Hungary :)


Paprikas Csirke  and Rokott Krumpli are two of the dishes I think I had the most while I was there. I love both of them. I really do miss the fresh market food too. I kind of wish I could have grocery shopped like a Hungarian while we were there- going to the market several times a week just to pick up what would be for dinner. We always looked so crazy shopping for a full American week at a time and carrying HUGE bags or baskets of food onto trams to take home. Also, during the summer, the icecream shops start popping up everywhere. There's even a verb that means to go eat icecream (fagyizni). Most missionaries love going icecreaming during the summer.

Okay now I'm Hungary. I mean Hungry.

Love Always,
Michelle


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Prepare to Serve Interview: Favorite Things About Hungary

Sziasztok,
This next video is just a short one about my favorite things about Hungary.


 Here is a picture I took of Budapest to give you an idea of what I was talking about:



The list of things I love about Hungary could go on and on. I've been working on a scrapbook lately as well as a couple of paintings and it just reminds me how much I love Hungary's people and architecture. 
Love Always,
Michelle

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Prepare To Serve Interview: Overcoming Personal Challenges at the MTC

Sziasztok,

This one is about the MTC. Sometimes I still wonder how I got through the fire that they call the MTC. This is just one vaguely explained  experiences from my time there. 


Looking back on that personal, yet challenging experience in the MTC I can now see a couple possible reasons I needed to go through it. Like I said in my previous video, I didn't really ever plan on going on a mission. It wasn't "my" plan. I think one of the reasons why that experience was a blessing was to know that I really did choose and want to be there. They gave me the opt-out option. In fact, many even tried to encourage me to just go home. That would have been really nice and really easy. Missions are not easy and I had an easy way to go home without really needing to feel bad about it. But somehow through that process I was reminded again that I did need to go and I was choosing to go. It also gave me a little extra strength on those incredibly hard days to remember that yes, despite the trial, I wanted to stay.

Love Always,
Michelle

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Prepare To Serve Interview: Mission Call and Prep for the Mission

Sziasztok,
Here's the next clip from the interview. This one is about opening my mission call and how I prepared for my mission.


I really was surprised when I opened my call. I remember cheating and looking down to the line (even though I hadn't planned on it) and reading: Hungary Budapest. Which, of course I pronounced wrong like 90% of Americans. I really didn't know what to think.
Once I found out about the language, I got obsessed. I started listening to Hungarianpod101.com and music. That's a habit of mine, I tend to get really obsessed about one thing at a time (like a sport, painting, wolves... don't ask... I've gone through some phases...) and at that time my obsession was trying to learn the language. I remember I would listen to the podcast or some sort of Hungarian music on my ipod while weeding in the front yard. Did it help? In the end, not by much. I don't speak Hungarian better than other missionaries, but one thing it did help with was confidence. Even just being familiar with the sound of the language, helped it become more natural. And I still love Hungarian Disney music :)

Love Always,
Michelle

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Prepare To Serve Interview: How I Decided to Serve a Mission

Sziasztok,
A couple weeks ago I interviewed with a cute little family who has been working on an internet site that has resources from returned missionaries to help new missionaries prepare. They've chopped up my interview into different sections so I'll post one here every couple days with a little elaboration.

Video 1: How I Decided to Serve a Mission


I've written about several experiences on this blog that already elaborate on this part of the experience, such as this one. It was not an easy decision to go. I still sometimes wonder how I got there in the first place, but I did. I went, I served and I returned.

Love Always,
Michelle

p.s. for the record- my hair drives me crazy in these videos too :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Just a Blog Post

I promise all of my thoughts don't come from movies I watch, but I have to do two in a row. This one is from my very favorite- Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. I watched it again last night with my niece and was reminded again just how many amazing quotes it has.
One of my favorites is the following conversation between two characters in front of Mr. Magrium's Wonder Emporium (aka the magic toy store):

Molly Mahoney: I knew it. As soon as I saw that suit.
Henry Weston: Knew what?
Molly Mahoney: You're a 'just' guy.
Henry Weston: What's a 'just' guy?
Molly Mahoney: A guy just like you. Same hair, same suit, same shoes, walks around, no matter what, you think it's all just a store, it's just a bench, it's just a tree. It's just what it is, nothing more!
Henry Weston: Alright but, but this
[looks over his shoulder]
Henry Weston: is just a store.
Molly Mahoney: I'm sure to you... it is.

This isn't a novel idea however- a Prophet too, agrees with this theme. President Gordan B. Hinckley once said "when referring to an individual, including yourself- never use the word 'Just'". 

This isn't JUST life and we aren't JUST human. This is LIFE and we are HUMAN. 



I fall under this underwhelming category of perspective on a regular basis. "meh" and "eh" are typical sounds that occasionally escape my mouth. I'm such a huge planner that it's really hard for me to fully enjoy the moments I'm in. Not to say that I haven't sometimes been successful. 
I think of a moment standing on the cliffs of Iceland. That moment, although only lasting a few minutes long is an incredibly clear memory because I was THERE. It wasn't just a moment- it was life. But so was the owl city dance party in the messy kitchen with my niece before I left on my mission. It wasn't just a messy kitchen that day. 

Well that's my thought for the day- now I'm just going to go finish my homework and run a few errands. Oops.. or rather- I'm going to go learn and accomplish something today. ;) 

Well ya'll just have a great day.
Love Always,
Michelle 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Faults in our Stars



A few days ago I went with my mom and little brother to see a movie called "The Fault In Our Stars" about the perspective of 2 teenagers dying from cancer. I don't necessarily encourage anyone to see it, but the movie was full of great symbolism and real perspectives. Really though, the best part came from the conversation on the drive home.

I never read the book, nor had I ever heard anything about the movie. In hindsight, I still didn't know where the name of the movie came from. My brother explained one reason and added a little of his insight.

As humans, we tend to think we can connect the dots and we think our own perspective is flawless. As we look to the skys, we see beauty and mystery.  For years, people have looked up at that blanket of spotted darkness searching for explanation. We find patterns and put them together. We expect them to always work, and freak out when something breaks the known pattern of constellations and orbits. Some talk of these breaks in pattern as a sort of fault in the universe. But how on earth can we see faults in the stars when we can't even see a thousandth of the universe? The Universe as far as we know is infinite. We look up and perhaps it seems a star is missing from alignment, but it's all about perspective. If we could see the whole universe and how the stars align, perhaps things would be much more simple and perfect than we would otherwise expect.



I've seen many a starry nights around the world. Each is breathtaking. I always loved the American starry nights- especially in the mountains. I'd never seen so many stars. Until I went to Fiji.
I remember walking along the beach one night with my group and looking up at that sky. I didn't even know that many stars existed. I thought my mountain trips had allowed me to see an unpolluted sky, but when I saw the sky in Fiji, I realized how incomplete that mountain sky had actually been. And then I went to Iceland, where if I didn't already know better- I never would have know stars existed at all.
Similarly to what I wrote about a few weeks ago, perhaps what we see in our lives as "going wrong" or "out of place" is really just an incomplete picture. We expect our perfect constellations to align, when perhaps the light pollution around us is keeping us from seeing the other stars that might complete that design.

It's common in our human nature to complain and question. We ask a lot of why questions. Why would God allow so much bad and disorder in this world? Our ability to to judge His perspective is much like trying to judge the stars just based on those we see in our personal night sky- not even an 1000th of the infinite "real" sky. It is infinitely larger than we can comprehend. There's no fault in seeking out the universe. In fact, that's a perfectly positive thing to do. We should always continue to search that night sky for meaning and understanding. The fault comes as we refuse to acknowledge that there's something more and greater than our own perspective.

Friends and I the night we got together to remember a good friend
I remember several years ago when I returned back to Washington after a good friend passed away. A group of friends gathered in his backyard. His best friend slipped away for a few minutes and laid on the trampoline. He starred up at the sky for quite some time, certainly trying to make sense of the situation. It didn't make sense. Our friend was a fantastic person and a wonderful friend. It was the last day of school when a rainy road took him out of this world. But why? I thought God wanted us to be happy? I thought God wanted families to be together forever?
It doesn't make sense when all you can  onlycomprehend is what's in front of you. 
But God's perspective is greater than our own.

As a worthwhile quote from the movie says:

“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities..." (The Fault in Our Stars)


When things don't go the way we expect in our perfectly planned lives, do we blame it on a fault in the universe or do we seek to see farther into the skys? Like someone said in church today, God is not just concerned about our lives, he's concerned about the details in our lives. And sometimes only He can see the complete details.

So when you don't get that job you felt you deserved or you have to deal with a death in the family, seek out the answers, but ultimately remember that it's not the stars that are faulty, but rather us. Eventually we'll get to see that what we thought was a missing piece, was really the most beautifully aligned starry night we could ever comprehend.

Love Always,
Michelle 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Another Perspective

My trainer was interviewed by "Prepare To Serve" a while back. The following includes a description of one of our experiences together... (in the second half of her interview)

Love Always,
Michelle

Monday, July 7, 2014

Dead Ends




Sometimes God allows us to take the wrong path for a while, so that we can be 100% certain that we're on the right one when we get back.

When I was in High School, we moved across the country. It was a time for new beginnings. I loved (and still love) art and in the area we moved to was a charter art school. Normally the school was really hard to get into, but I thought I'd give it a try. I had to go to the school and sketch in person as I was watched and judged. It was really intimidating. Well... I got in! It was really exciting. Yet, I still wanted to pray about the decision to go to that school vs. the public school.

So I prayed. And I felt good about it. And I went.

The first day at that art school was fun, until the last class. The last class just felt so weird to me, and I couldn't figure out why. But, I had chosen to go there right? So I got up the next day and went to school again. Once again, I didn't feel good there. It was really frustrating.

So I prayed again.

This time I felt like I should go to the public school. But why??
Why would I have felt good about one decision only to have that not work out?

Well at the time I didn't understand. Now, I could give you a million reasons.
I chose to transfer to the public school and because of my time there, I gained important friends and experiences that I wouldn't change for anything. It also made it possible for me to graduate early, allowing me to start my studies at BYU when my family chose to move back to Utah after what would have been my Junior year.

Yet, because I know myself - I know that if I would have just started at the public school, foregoing the art school altogether, I would have forever wondered "what if". But because God allowed me to travel down the wrong path for 2 days, now I know that even though the public school was hard, it was the right choice.

Love Always,
Michelle

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Better Than a Hallelujah

Na Sziasztok, 
Yesterday I got to spend the evening with my Trainer. I invited her to come with me to the Utah Arts Festival which turned out to be a great girls-night-out. We walked around at the festival, then went shopping, then of course we got some Chocolate Mousse at an adorable little bakery. And, being a girls-night-out, we talked... a lot.  We joked about the mission, we chatted about good friends, and we reflected on life. 
Really, any of our conversation could be traced back to a simple truth: God's perspective is perfect, ours.. well..not so much. 
We often don't realize just how perfect of an Orchestrater God is. He fine-tunes our lives in such incomprehensible harmony, yet it's almost as if we plug our ears and miss out on the music because we don't trust the notes we see. 
Or, perhaps, to put it in different words: "Sometimes when it seems like everything is falling apart, it's actually falling into place". 
We are such finite beings that it's really hard to comprehend just how involved God is in our lives and just how perfect his plan is for us in the long run. 
And since I'm such a finite person myself, I'm really struggling trying to put into words just what exactly this all means in regards to the nature of our everyday lives.
Maybe, in a second- last ditch attempt, I'll share a song that might just explain what I'm trying to get across a little further... 
It's called "Better than a Hallelujah" by Amy Grant (for the record: I actually like the Mercy River version of this song better). 
When I first came across this song, I didn't really like it. God wants us to be happy- not sad. But in my last transfer of my mission, my companion absolutely adored this song. After listening to it a thousand times, I slowly came to realize what it actually meant to me. God rejoices over my broken moments because He knows just how that will compare to the Joy he has placed just around the corner. 

So when life seems like it's falling out of place- smile, because that probably just means that God is moving something great into place. 

Love Always,
Michelle 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Perfection


 "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect."- 2 Nephi 12:48


I reflected on that statement once in a personal study during my mission. Be ye perfect. My mind began to swirl with questions and thoughts- PERFECTION- what exactly does it mean?

We live in a world that appears to be racing to find perfection. We see magazines that are photoshopped to an eyelash curve, athletes that explode in the media for one dropped ball, elaborate plans to insure a student's 4.0  GPA, and movie heroes with unaffected emotions despite intensified affliction.
But is perfection really about an apparent flawlessness? 

We are told to look to the Savior in the quest for perfection, so I began to reflect upon His perfection. Two major aspects of his life stood out to me during this process: one in regards to his emotional perfection and another in regards to his physical perfection:

Emotional Perfection 
Christ's atonement was infinite and eternal and I think it's safe to assume- Perfect. It had to be. However, as I thought about this perfect moment in the Garden of Gethsemane when He suffered for all mankind, I remembered an angel.
Luke 22:
 41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.


Yes, Christ technically had to accomplish the atonement alone. Another could not do it. Yet, in this time of incomprehensible pain, in this perfect moment, He still accepted the comfort and strength of an angel.
Not only that, but he also asked for support from others. "Could ye not stay with me one hour?" he asks Peter.
I, myself, struggle with this. I often feel like in order to do things right, I have to do it alone. I sometimes feel that I'm lacking something if I have to accept or ask the help of another. 
Perfection has nothing to do with a rejection of help. In fact, it involves quite the opposite. The Savior, perfect as He was, was not just a perfect gift giver, but also a perfect gift receiver. To be perfect, does not mean we need to turn away assistance to face the world alone. Rather, to be perfect, we know perfectly when to accept the comfort and even at times to ask for the comfort of another.

Garden of Gethsemane
“An Angel Comforting Jesus 
Before his Arrest in 
the Garden of Gethsemane” 
by Carl Heinrich Bloch, circa 1870s
public domain

Physical Perfection

We are often taught that after the resurrection, our bodies will be perfect. Not even a hair on our heads will be lost. When thinking about this, people often imagine a magazine-worthy body. They imagine smooth skin, frizz-less hair and Vitruvian Man proportions. Sounds pretty great to me.
But then why, when Christ was resurrected, did the scars in his hands, feet and side, remain?
The more I thought about this, the more clear it seemed (at least to me) that Christ was perfect through those scars. Those scars were a result of the sacrifice He made for mankind. Through his life, including those final moments, He was perfect.

I thought about my far-from-perfect life. I have a v-shaped scar on my knee from when I went to Fiji to build septic tanks for a village. I have another scar on the top of my foot from the time I flew out to help my uncle with my cousin who struggles with Autism. In the right lighting, I can sometimes see the outline of a hoof on my arm from being stepped on by a cow in Iceland while milking in the early hours of the morning so that the dad of the family could sleep in. Unlike Christ, these scars are not representations of a perfected life, but I do appreciate the reminders of the amazing opportunities God has given me to serve His children.

One of my mission companions now has a scar on her thumb from when she was bit by a dog while preaching the gospel. She was told that this scar would forever remind her of the time she voluntarily sacrificed a year and a half of her life in the service of God.

I wonder if we too will keep these scars eternally.




The root of the word used for "perfect" in the scriptures is actually Telios.This could also be translated to mean "complete". Our lives are completed through the giving and receiving of comfort and service.

It is not in the glamour of magazines that we find perfection, nor is it found in intense emotional persistence. Rather, perfection is found in lives lived with love and in a humble realization that we need comfort and assistance in this life.
It is Christ-like charity and sweet submission that will scar our lives to perfection.
So be ye therefore perfect.
Love Always,
Michelle