Elysha's World

Elysha's World

Thursday, January 26, 2017

I Believe In a Thing Called Love!

I’m very blessed. I spend every day marveling at the strength of the people around me. Compared to them, all of my struggles seem so small. I’m glad that they surround me because they help me put things into perspective. Today was one of those days. 

I’ve felt like over the past year I’ve become very critical of others and very much a naysayer. That’s not who I am, and that’s not who I want to be, so with the start of a new year I decided to change that. Changing is hard work, however I felt like this was worth the effort. I’d been trying to change for a long time, but I could never do it. I’d find myself with a group of friends and the gossiping would commence. I felt like I was always seeing the bad instead of the good.

I realized I couldn’t make this change on my own. I was tired of being stuck in this rut that would leave me unhappy over and over again. I was tired of blaming others for my personal problems. I know people who leave light and happiness everywhere they go. I felt like maybe I used to be one of those people, but I didn’t know where that person went. 

I started playing The Glad Game more often. I’d make myself point out the good in others if I had a negative thought. I started giving complements more freely. For Christmas I picked a handful of friends and I put together a 9-12 page document for each of them. I cut out all of the happy memories of us from my journal and I sent them a little note about what our friendship meant to me. I started reading the Book of Mormon as if I’d never read it before. I looked for every reference to Jesus Christ, and it’s almost in every verse. It’s constantly reminding us to turn to our Heavenly Father. I also started looking for the hand of God in my life more often. I really enjoy this talk by Elder Eyring. In it he explains how he tried to look for the Lord in his life every day. O Remember, Remember.

Today was one of those days that helped me remember that He is in the details. Last week I’d been trying to think of ways to give service. I wanted to do something new, but also something that worked with my schedule, and that I felt confident in doing. While at work my friend texted me and asked me if I could help him with his English for a class. 

I came home from work and had about an hour to eat dinner before I was going to hear Stephanie Neilson at an event. She was in a plane accident about 10 years ago, and is truly an inspiration. She’s written a book, writes a blog, and is full of so much hope for the future. If you’ve never heard her story here is a little clip about her.

As I was eating dinner my roommate was making curry. It smelled really good! It took me back to Taiwan, and all I wanted was Taiwanese food! That’s hard to come by when I now only had 30 minutes to eat dinner. I went and picked up my friend and we went to the event. It was so good! It definitely gave me some perspective on life. While there I ran into a friend that I hadn’t seen in 5 years. It was a packed house and she wasn’t from the area, so it was a miracle that we ran into each other! 

I drove my friend home and went to my other friend’s house to help him with his English. We ended up working on his resume which is something that I really enjoy doing.  We worked on his English a little as well. I realized what a huge blessing learning Chinese was for me, because I realize how hard it is to learn a new language. I can totally empathize with ESL students. I feel their pain and their victories! As I got up to leave he walked into the kitchen and came back with a Tupperware full of warm newly cooked Taiwanese food in it! If that is not God’s hand in my life listening to my little thoughts and wants in my life, I don’t know what is! It was delicious!

I came home and couldn’t stop smiling. God is so good! God is Love! I believe in Love.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my mission lately. I’ve been thinking about my experience but especially the people. I feel more comfortable walking up to a complete stranger and sharing the gospel than to those around me. What is the gospel? It’s the knowledge that God is real! It’s that families can be together even after this life. It’s knowing that even if I make a mistake I can be forgiven and have a peaceful feeling in my life again! 

I met a lot of amazing people in Taiwan. One man in particular changed my life and I’ve never been the same. The last time I met with him he gave me a picture of himself from a few years previous. He said he wanted me to keep it so I could see the difference in his countenance and always remember how the gospel brought a light into him and his life. His name is Guo Fu Cheng. He passed away almost 3 years ago from cancer, but I often think of his story and I think of the scripture that talks about bringing one soul unto Christ. If I flew halfway around the world to only find him, then he was worth it and I’d do it again in a heartbeat! Here is a link to a blog I wrote the day I found out that he passed away. I promise it's worth your time!  郭弟兄 - Guo DiXiong - Brother Guo
Life is truly beautiful. I used to live a life controlled by fear. I was afraid of getting into a car accident if I got into my car. I was afraid of being blown up if I went to any sort of event in a large crowd. I was afraid of being shot if I went to a movie theater. These things do happen, but we can’t live by fear. We have to live by faith. We have to believe in humanity. We have to love. 

Choose to live. Choose to be happy. Choose to look beyond yourself to the people around you. They have some incredible experiences, and they are some incredible people. Choose to see the good in the world. 

I believe in a thing called Love!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Are You Here Because You Are My Friend?

Yesterday was a great day! It was the first day of the New Year and we had a stake wide combined sacrament meeting. A bishop stood up and talked about how we are all in the body of Christ. He is a doctor and talked about how we are all uniquely different and have different responsibilities. He talked about how if you pull a muscle in your back, then you are out of commission for a while and in a lot of pain. If one person is hurting in the congregation, then we are all hurting. 

I’d never thought of church and the people in my ward like that before, however I could relate to what he was talking about. It’s amazing how one small paper-cut can ruin your entire day. It hurts and it throbs and it takes some time to heal. You try to forget about it, but every time you wash your hand, or it breaks open and starts to bleed again, you have to care for it. It isn’t until that wound is healed that you can get back to full health, and you forget that it even happened.

I have a confession: Sometimes I’m not always the most Christ like person. However this Christmas season and New Year is about changing and becoming more like the person we want to become. Isn’t that what life is about? To become the best we can be? 

I thought a lot yesterday about all of the small promptings I’ve had. A lot of them had to do with writing someone a letter or note, or dropping off something to someone in my ward. Most of the small things we do for people, we never know the outcome. I think a lot of times, we feel like there is no reason to listen to those small promptings or positive thoughts towards another person. I like this quote by Sister Camilla Kimball, “Never suppress a generous thought.” 

A few years ago I was asked to go visit someone who wasn’t doing very well. I knew he wasn’t doing very well, but we hadn’t talked in a while, and I didn’t know if he’d talk to me. I went to his door and he let me in. I told him that I was there to talk to him and see how he was doing. Then he asked me a life changing question. He said, “Are you here because of your calling, or are you here because you are my friend?”

That was a really great question. I was there for both reasons. I was there because I was worried about him and so were other people, but first and foremost I was there because I was his friend. Luckily we’d been friends for a few years, so really my visit wasn’t out of the ordinary, but I was glad that I’d taken the time to get to know the people that surrounded me. The only difference between a stranger and a friend is a conversation that starts like this, “Hello! What’s your name?”  

It’s a new year! Let’s start it out right by turning the strangers around us into friends!