by K Fletcher

Missionaries and the Fourth

Let me tell you a little something about the Fourth of July. No one wants to come out with you. No one wants to meet with you. And then when you are in Nag Head, North Carolina, you get a hurricane.
I'm just kidding about the hurricane. Kind of.
It was actually a great day. We had some crazy last minute plans that got approved by the mayor via our Assistant Ward Mission Leader to set up a family history booth at the downtown fair! It was a lot of fun to make and it was a fantastic idea, because even was free for the weekend to help people find out if they are descendants of the 13 original colonies! So here is our set up:
We had a map for people to stick where their family was from and signs in English and Spanish. We had pedigree charts and family history cards, and even candy! There were supposed to be around 1,000 people at the activity.
And then the hurricane came. I was only kind of kidding.
This is us trying to contain our tent:
We only talked to about a dozen people until it was raining so hard that everyone just packed up and went home. Goodness, was it an adventure! At the end of it we didn't have a square inch dry.
But that night we had the opportunity to go with a family or two in our ward and watch fireworks over the beach.
It was a rough day, a wet day, and (with permission from our Mission President) a late day. But do you want to know what I learned?
You just keep walking. That's the point of this time. It's a time to prove yourself to God, that no matter what happens, no matter what God puts in your path, no matter the closed doors, the broken shoes, the hurricanes, or just the fact that you are tired, you keep on walking. And with Pioneer day coming up, what a lovely message.

"When I think of pioneers, tragic scenes come to mind: handcarts in blizzards, sickness, frozen feet, empty stomachs, and shallow graves.
However, as I learn more about that monumental trek I am convinced that along with those very real and dramatic scenes, most of the journey for most of the people was pretty routine. Mostly they walked and walked and walked.

When the pioneers broke camp each morning, the cattle had to be fed and watered, fires built, breakfasts cooked, a cold meal for noon prepared and packed, repairs made, teams hitched, and wagons reloaded. Every single morning. Then they walked about six miles before halting to feed and water cattle, eat lunch, regroup, and walk again until about 6:00 P.M. Then the routine of unhitching and watering teams, making repairs, gathering tinder, building fires, cooking supper, a line or two in a journal before dark, sometimes a little music, prayers, and bed at 9:00 P.M.

This week-after-week walking forward is no small accomplishment. The pioneer steadiness, the plain, old, hard work of it all, their willingness to move inch by inch, step by step toward the promised land inspire me as much as their more obvious acts of courage. It is so difficult to keep believing that we are making progress when we are moving at such a pace—to keep believing in the future when the mileage of the day is so minuscule.

Do you see yourself as a heroic pioneer because you get out of bed every morning, comb your hair, and get to school on time? Do you see the significance of doing your homework every day and recognize the courage displayed in asking for help when you don’t understand an assignment? Do you see the heroism in going to church every single Sunday, participating in class, and being friendly to others? Do you see the greatness in doing the dishes over and over and over? Or practicing the piano? Or tending children? Do you recognize the fortitude and belief in the journey’s end that are required in order to keep saying your prayers every day and keep reading the scriptures? Do you see the magnificence in giving time a chance to whittle your problems down to a manageable size?
President Howard W. Hunter said, “True greatness … always requires regular, consistent, small, and sometimes ordinary and mundane steps over a long period of time.”

You are a pioneer. Just keep on walking.

Con Amor,
Hermana Fletcher

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