Sometime last year Nolan was able to send us a disk of pictures of his mission (through a missionary returning to the States).
I love looking at them! I also wish I had more. :)
Nolan amazes me. Each week as I receive his letters I see his growth. I have learned so much from him these last few weeks. He has taught me about some important principles.
". . . It seems to me that Virtue isn't just something pretty, as it appears in the scriptures. It's something hard and durable. It is self-discipline to the point that we control our thoughts and keep them where they are supposed to be. It is complete self control in our thoughts and our actions. It keeps us from acting rashly, it makes our knowledge valuable, and gives our patience a purpose. While it is to garnish our thoughts unceasingly, it is to garnish our charity that our charity may have more strength, for how are we to love with a pure love without sacrifice?"
I had never looked at virtue from that perspective before!
". . . I've learned a lot about patience. When I first started studying patience, I thought that patience was really slow and inefficient. But then I realized it is actually the most efficient thing that we can do. . . . Patience is not simply waiting, it is changing what is in your power to change, and not becoming frustrated when obstacles come your way."
"You may not be able to change the people around yourself. While you may be able to influence them to improve, you can have no real say in their actions. But you can change yourself and that requires patience and humility. So really, patience is our disposition to adapt to any obstacle or situation that we may affront without adverse reactions."
"It is doing the best we can in all that we do but not becoming upset when it takes more time or effort than we may have first anticipated. I have learned that patience is very efficient while being humble and meek. If it takes as much faith to accept that the Lord's answer is 'No' as it does to take a miracle, then it takes more than just faith, it takes patience."
He has taught me so much!
My heart continues to go out to the Japanese people and the incredible challenges they are facing. They appear to have learned these great principles as an entire nation. To me, as a whole, they are virtue and patience on display.
Public virtue means to voluntarily sacrifice personal benefit for the good of society.
The Japanese people possess public virtue. I treasure their example.
After personally being affected by two hurricanes in recent years, I am better able to empathize with them. Our challenge was so minor compared to their reality . . . it looks like a nightmare.
(This woman is so beautiful! She is so composed and regal regardless of her surroundings.)
We were not sent to earth to be mediocre. The strength of the human spirit inspires me.
How I wish I could be there to help. I'm thankful for the privilege to pray and knowledge that a loving Father in Heaven hears those prayers. Still, I wish I could hug them, comfort them, and help them rebuild.
My sweet missionary has learned these lessons through the Spirit and diligent study. I wonder how the Japanese people developed them so well.
For now, Nolan is serving in Fiorito where he is being given many opportunities to learn a lot about virtue and patience. Yes, he is tired of getting robbed and / or threatened twice a week but I know the blessings that will come as he learns these lessons.
Now, I have to figure out how to learn them myself!