Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Humble Life of an LDS Missionary

Elder Guthrie had just enough time to say hello, send us some pictures, write his mission president, and that's about it. His Zone leader called and told him their meeting was to be at 5 o'clock. Since he had to go home and change before the meeting, that left us with about 5 minutes to "chat". As usual he wanted to know the news from home. As usual, there wasn't much to tell him. Deena, Katie, and Mama help by thinking up things to tell him. I asked him 3 times if he'd gotten his absentee ballot and, as usual, he hasn't answered me yet.
He reports that his companion has been out 4 months (nearly equivalent to the time he has LEFT in his mission!!!!!) and that he is a tiny thing. Aunt Deena, stereotyping a whole race, reminded him that ALL Mexicans are little. To which Elder Guthrie responded, "Not this little. He is tiny. I could break him like a twig." I included the picture Jordy sent of him. I think he looks really sweet. I wonder if he knows what a special companion he has? Hopefully his mama can say the same thing.
Also included in the pics are a look at their new home. Missionaries live very simply. I've seen quite a few of his homes now and I am always reminded just how humble a missionary lives. Looking at today's pictures reminded me of the similarities of all his living arrangements. There are several constants: That big, white fan goes where he goes (I don't imagine that is easy to lug around Mexico, but I know Jordy is enough like his mama and would give up many, many things before his fan), there's always an ironing board set up and wrinkled white shirts hanging in a closet, and there's always a desk full of church study materials with pictures of home taped to the wall above it. I imagine Jordy sitting at that desk during early morning study time, glancing occasionally at those pictures of the lighthouse and the people he loves most in the world.
Looking at these pictures reminds me once more what special children my Heavenly Father entrusted me with, and the responsibility we all have as parents to raise them so He won't be disappointed with us. Elder Guthrie has made that so easy for his parents.
Like I said before, he didn't get to stay online for long, so not much new news to report. It does sound like he has much work to do in this new area. In his letter to the Mission President he reported that there were only 25 people in church on Sunday (including him and his companion). Elder Guthrie spoke in sacrament meeting. He told his MP that they were concentrating on getting to know the members and helping in the community wherever they saw a need. I think Jordy is a bit frustrated with the lack of baptisms the past few weeks, but I reminded him that he cannot measure the success of his mission merely on the number of baptisms. I told him that the work he is doing may not yield results while he is there amongst them. It may take months, years, or even decades, but the seeds he is planting will grow one day. I imagine Mexican families decades from now telling of a blond headed American missionary who's influence changed their family forever. I know he changed my life for eternity....a very good thing indeed.


  1. That was such a nice commentary Lisa. I too imagine Jordan lugging his fan around Mexico with his well worn shoes and slightly wrinkled shirts to wherever his new place will be. It brings to mind the Primary song tha says, "I will go, I will do, the things the Lord commands." So proud of Jordan for setting such a good example for us all - and perhaps it is a selfish thought of mine to think that it is so much easier to tell Tanner and Ethan what I expect of them by simply saying to do as Jordan did. Love him!!!!

  2. What a strong young man Elder Guthrie is! I can see by his desk how hard he is working- can you imagine the flow of knowledge that he has acquired for these past (almost) two years.

    Deena- you too have much to look forward to with your wonderful sons. It is hard to let them go for the two years, but mercy me, so worth it all.

  3. Deena and Susan,
    Thanks so much for your comments. Jordy does check his blog and I know he loves to see the people who love him sharing here. I just wish I knew why some people can't seem to get their comments to post! I love you both!