Friday, January 20, 2012

Hello Sekajap, Visa Run, and Heartache

Hey, sorry this email is late and shorter.  This week I went to Singapore for 2 days to renew my visa, so I was really busy.  Singapore is such a cool city.  I would live there I think... except for how expensive it is.  I ate dragonfruit (beautiful and tastes like a giant mild kiwi! so good!!),
Dragon fruit grows on a cactus

bonded with some incredible/hilarious fellow missionaries there, talked to some memorable people, missed my original booked flight back but still made it back to KK after much worrying.

It got me thinking a lot about wealth and material things.  As a missionary I have thought about things in a different way, for some reason.  I guess I have seen some very poor people here in KK, and then some very rich people in other places.  Material things are so kosong, empty.  They appear so fulfilling and desirable, but do not satisfy.  It creates a false sense of security and leads us to neglect of our spiritual needs.  Maybe when we have an excess of material things, we are less aware of our need for God.  I wrote a longer "essay" on this in a notebook on the plane.  I need to think more about this.  But Singapore got me thinking, because it's such a "warehouse."  Lots of new buildings and high-quality things.  But at the end of the day there's no substance to it, and we must not let things like that distract us from our true purpose in life--which, in the end, has nothing to do with material things.

Also I've been thinking about how this work is so in God's hands.  He is the one who is working among people.  I will never teach someone who God has not been working on for years--I alone cannot change anyone, or bring someone to a point where they're ready to come closer to Christ.  Missionaries alone are powerless.  They're a tool, a small important link in a chain, a defining paragraph in a novel.  But God is doing a great work, and missionaries are important.  The Lord is working with His Spirit among His children 24/7, while missionaries only work during the day.  It's like in Jacob 5:72.  The Lord labors with us all.  It's His work.

Leaving KK for a day and a half was kind of a time also to reflect on my experiences the last 3 months.  It was an opportunity to appreciate all the miracles I've seen here, and forgive KK for all of the heartache (disappointment doesn't cut it) I've experienced here as well.  Just let it go and realize it's a process, and everything has happened the way it's supposed to.  Amazing things have happened, as well as awful things.  All of it is for my good.  I trust the Lord.  Missionary work really does break your heart, regularly, and I'm not exaggerating.  But I pray for patience and love and faith, and I'm always blessed with enough of it, and can make it.  The Lord is my light.

Hopefully this email made a little bit of sense, even though these are things just bouncing around in my head lately.  There's nowhere and no one I'd rather be right now.  Our purpose here on this earth is truly grand.  Everything choice we make matters so much.  Our families matter so much.  The Word of Wisdom was inspired of God.  The Book of Mormon is His word, and I know that directly from God.  Just the other day I prayed with a sincere heart to know again that the Book of Mormon is true, and I felt the light of Heaven illuminate and nourish my soul.  I know it is everything it claims to be, it is from God.  It nourishes me like nothing else as it teaches the teachings of Christ and testifies of Him.  I'm honored to have been sent into the world to testify of the same One.

Sister Gopinath

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