We Want Women Wednesdays: Hermana Leyton "All You Need is Love"
Love. It's a word that is packed with different meanings and connotations. Love for friends. Love for a neighbor. Love for family. Love of a spouse. Love of self. I came out on a mission knowing that people have told me it would be the best time of my life. I found it really hard to believe because I was just coming home from a study abroad program in Spain where I met amazing friends and people, and loved every moment of it. I could not imagine how a mission could compete with that amazing experience.
I've been a missionary for almost 15 months. Everyday I've had on my mission is a new experience that has changed me, for the better. My priorities have changed. Everyday is an opportunity to think of others and how to help them. In Mathew 10:39 it says, "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." I have discovered what it's really all about. Love. Forgetting yourself and loving others. Christ has taught, in John 13:34 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." I've started to understand what that means, because when you love some one, you are going to do everything you can to help them. It means going to comfort a family who just found out that their grandmother has cancer; it means making calls all night and running errands to find clothes for someone to go to a church prom activity; it means spending many nights praying to our Heavenly Father on behalf of others. I've had opportunities "'to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places" (Mosiah 18:9). It means giving of yourself to the people you teach and meet so much, that you love them as family. As missionaries we meet many people, and I've loved all of them so much; I did not know I had that capacity to love someone you have known for such a short period, but they become a part of you. Every time I've taught some one about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it becomes a part of me. Everyone that I've met in my mission has helped change me for the better, God has placed them in my path for a reason; it makes me think of the song, "For Good" from Wicked which says:
I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you
I've learned so much from every one; I think of Proverbs 17:17, "A friend loveth at all times, and a brother [aka sister] is born for adversity." I've found my best friends on my mission in my companions. (As missionaries we are with someone 24/7 that we call a companion. You eat, work, cry, comfort, and love one another together.) I love my companions. I love the people I've taught on my mission. I love the people whom I've been a part of their conversion and baptism. I've felt Christ love for the people I've encountered on the streets. My understand of the doctrines of Christ have increased and so has my desire to follow Christ. He teaches "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). It's so simple...keep the commandments of God (http://mormon.org/commandments/). I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ (http://mormon.org/jesus-christ/). I love my mission and it's been the best 15 months of my life and has exceeded all expectations I've ever had. I've felt the love of my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ; I have felt the love of my God; I have felt of the truthfulness of the message I'm sharing, that the Church of Jesus Christ is on the earth again (http://mormon.org/restoration/). I know it; I know God knows it, and I cannot deny it.