Serendipity

Serendipity: The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. God enjoys serendipitous events; in fact, He makes them happen! I traveled home a few weeks ago for shoulder surgery and therapy. I did not want to leave the mission and make the long journey home, but it was necessary and needful. While many things occurred that could be defined as serendipitous, one of those sweet moments was being able to attend the homecoming report of one of our missionaries!

Elder Wengert is from Gilbert, Arizona, a neighboring city to our home town. He returned home about the same time as I returned to Arizona. I loved hearing him speak about his experiences in Samoa. What was most impressive to me was when he talked about his struggles. He shared that there was a time on his mission when he wondered what he was doing and why he was serving. He wondered why he was wasting his time and his family's time. He struggled with this burden for quite some time, and when he finally decided to completely and totally turn his will over to God's, his entire perspective and mission changed. As he allowed God to lead him, he found ways to serve and bless that were previously not available to him. In this process, he changed; he became who God wanted him to be. He became a fully converted disciple of the Savior; he learned how to represent Jesus Christ and offer His sweet Atonement to those he taught.

As I listened to him talk, I reflected back on what I had observed as we served together. I saw a good young man become a powerful, respected missionary and advocate of Jesus Christ. Elder Wenger left a legacy of growth and dedication in the mission field. It was an "event by chance in a happy way" that I was able to attend his home ward and celebrate his growth among those who know him and love him.

Elder Wengert and his parents

Listening to Elder Wenger and being home gave me a lot of time to think about what God expects of us and how He crafts experiences, which allow us to benefit if we choose to fully and completely embrace His will. I thought of the song "I Will Go Where You Want Me to Go."
"It may not be on the mountain height
Or over the stormy sea,
It may not be at the battle's front
My Lord will have need of me.
But if, by a still, small voice He calls
To paths that I do not know,
I'll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:
I'll go where you want me to go."

The interesting thing is He may need us at the "mountain height, over the stormy sea, or the battle's front." It will always be to paths we do not know because it is only through these kinds of experiences that we come to know God and understand His love and His desire for us to return to His rest. The places we are needed can be scary and hard; they can be lonely and overwhelming; they can be places where we struggle to thrive.

Sometimes, we believe when we are serving in the mission field that the Lord will take care of our problems, things will go smoothly at home because we are serving, or we will be protected from difficulty because we are missionaries. While our service always brings blessings, they usually are not the ones we think we deserve or want. This trip home taught me, once again, God knows exactly what is most important for us to learn and do, and if we will go with our hand in His, He will always lead us to places of growth and greater light. Going where He wants us to go takes courage and faith, but it mostly takes giving our entire will to Him. When we finally surrender is when we find Him, and in finding Him we discover that turning our will over wasn't hard after all.







2 comments:

  1. Good morning, how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because through them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately, it is impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are very small countries with very few population, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this, I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Samoa? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Samoa in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
    28902 Getafe (Madrid)
    Spain

    If you wish, you can visit my blog www.cartasenmibuzon.blogspot.com where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally, I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez

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