February 6, 2015
“On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%, and that’s pretty good.”
My daughter Liz had this saying put on a plaque for me. For some reason, it brings me great comfort!
We took Elder S. to the bus station today. He had entered the mission field 17 days ago, had spent 12 days at the mission training center, and arrived in this mission last Monday. It was obvious from the beginning that Elder S. was struggling with homesickness. His tear filled eyes were a sign that could not be ignored. Monday evening he decided he did not want to be here, but was encouraged when he called received an email from home. He made it till Wednesday morning when he came in the office and called home because of his despair. On Thursday he requested he be released from his call and his Stake President called him to see if he could cast any influence. On Friday with all the arrangements made, we bid him farewell at the bus station.
I have wondered if Elder S. had more homesickness than others. As I talked about it with Elder Jones, he said something quite profound even though I’m sure he would not think so. Elder Jones said that when he came, he was overcome with homesickness. He struggled for several days and then gave himself a challenge. He would stick it out for three months, and then he would go home if he was still in despair. His words: “After three months I had learned how to survive, so I knew I could stay.”
Maybe that’s why I love Liz’s plaque to me. It reminds me of how many days I have learned to survive. In that survival I have often found peace and happiness waiting at the other end.