8 March 2010
Ok, so I finally wrote/finished my "parable of the soy milk":
I've never been a huge milk drinker. I'd have it with cereal now and then, and definitely need milk with cookies, but to just drink a glass of milk generally just isn't my thing. However, I've discovered that I really like soy milk. I'm not into it because of any health reasons or anything, I just like the taste better. So since making that discovery, breakfast is much faster because I usually eat cereal (with soy milk), AND I tend to enjoy it more. Most of my companions on the mission are more into regular cow's milk -- which is totally fine! -- but a couple have wanted to just try the soy milk to see what it's like. I always tell them first though, "Just don't expect it to taste like regular milk!" because that, inevitably, is what they expect, and that is NOT what you get! Despite the fact that soy milk looks similar, and even has almost the same name, it is not cow's milk! I would probably never drink a glass of soy milk with a warm chocolate cookie, because that's not the flavor or texture that I want with my cookie; however, I love it with cereal or just otherwise. So as long as you're not going into your first taste of soy milk expecting it to taste like regular milk, chances are, you may like it; however, if you go into it expecting a similarly-tasting replacement, you'll probably be really disappointed, and may think that soy milk is totally gross.
Now, for the parallel/metaphor/parable:
In life, we often go into new environments, situations, experiences, change, etc, and find ourselves really disappointed because things aren't quite the way they used to be, or they aren't exactly what we were expecting, which can leave sort of a "bad taste" in our mouths. Well of course things aren't going to be the same!! This is something different! Now of course this is a totally natural and understandable response, because we tend to compare things to what we already know, but we have to realize that change is just that -- it's not the same!
Real Life Application:
On the first day of this transfer, we were helping several of the new sister missionaries get moved into the temple apartments. One of them was coming from South Lynwood (Compton), and had now been assigned to Beverly Hills. Based on all the stereotypes and "mission-chisme (gossip)", she was understandably a bit aprehensive about what lie ahead; she was coming from one of the poorer, mostly-spanish areas of the mission to, well, the rich and famous. As I talked to her though, I tried to help her be excited and pumped-up about her new area, telling her all about how "it is what you make it," and "It'll be great! The Lord has elect people there too -- otherwise there wouldn't be any missionaries!" I even shared with her my little parable, basically saying, "Just don't expect it to be like South Lynwood, and you'll be fine; realize that this will be completely different, but it's still good, and you'll have great experiences here too!"
Now fast forward about 2 weeks: My new companion and I are still adjusting to each other, and I'm struggling just a little bit to find the balance in training and yet working as hard as we can, but working a lot on the smaller details of missionary work that I've kind of forgotten about because after a while things become habit and are just natural. Now, as this is happening, I often find myself comparing things to how it was last transfer, with my last companion, and my last experience training, etc...which was kind of a downer! But then I found myelf being reminded of the very words I spoke to the sister who was going to Beverly Hills: "You can't expect things to be exactly the way they were; just expect this experience to be different, but expect it to be great and it will be great!"
...I realized that I was drinking soy milk, and expecting/wanting it to taste like regular cow's milk.
That changed my outlook and helped IMMENSELY!
So, as changes happen in life, take them as they come, pray for strength and an open mind and heart to have the experience that the Lord wants you to have, no matter how different it may be from what you may have experienced in the past, and don't drink soy milk expecting it to taste like cow's milk -- because it doesn't!!!
...so take from that what you will. Hopefully you enjoyed it and even learned a little something from it!
Now, on more of a newsie front, life here in Marina del Rey is great! There's been lots of talk about Chile and everything lately; I still feel super out of the loop, but I'm really ok with that. I feel like I know as much as I need to know, and that's just fine for me!
The work here keeps moving along. It's sort of slowed down some, which can be a little frustrating at times, but as I've taken to saying (especially when we're rejected at a door or something), "Press Forward Saints!" We've just got to keep going, keep trying and doing our best -- our very best -- and let the Lord work as we're constantly seeking to grow and improve! Keep praying for me -- those prayers mean more than you know!
I Love you all more than I could ever possibly say!!!
I love being a missionary!
HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!