Things that I wish I would have learned before my mission

Well, I was very grateful for the opportunity I had to Skype with my family on Mother’s Day. When I first saw them all on the screen, I had a ton of thoughts blow through my head and I didn’t know what to say. I was happy to see my family in real electronic life. Next time will be here in 8 months (Christmas)! I’m looking forward to it!

While I was talking to everyone, I was trying to talk to them about things that I wish that I would have learned before my mission.

Eesh, there is a lot.

I was trying to say one thing and was interrupted by our rain storm that we had here during the call.

When I was still living at home growing up as a teenager, I listened to my parents—but didn’t listen to them at the same time. I knew all their lectures, all the things I was supposed to do and why I needed to do them. But for some reason, it wasn’t apparent to me the importance of some of those things. For example, two very simple things: obedience and video games.

Obedience
It is obvious that our parents know more than we do, but growing up as a kid it is hard to believe that they too were once teenagers and had some of the same experiences. Sometimes we have fear to be open with them and share our thoughts or feelings or even some things that we have done because we don’t want them to be mad or sad because of us.

But it is the exact opposite. We have rules to be safe and to keep us from what we cannot see alone. Our parents have more experience than we do and therefore know better than we know alone what can hurt us or get to us in the end, even if we don’t see the bad consequences at the moment. 

This is why obedience is so important. When we are being disobedient, we are not hurting our parents, we are hurting ourselves—often times without knowing.

God is the same. Being our father, He will be sad when we are disobedient. He is sad to know that we are not doing what He asked, but He is also sad because He knows what will come to us afterwards. He will be sad for what may happen to us because of our own choices, and He cannot do anything about it unless we open up and let Him in.

This is why our families are so important—because we learn in a small way what is important eternally. Take for example our parents; we need to be open with them so they can help us and bless us, just like God. When we are doing so, we are all happy: God, our parents, and us. Being open and just doing what our parents ask because we love them will benefit everyone in ways unimaginable. Miracles can happen . . . like on my mission having the privilege of finding a family like Neide’s family.

IMG_1741

Here we are with a great family who fed us lunch one day. In families we learn in a small way what is important eternally.

Video games (or other fun stuff)
Awesome. That’s what I have to say about this. Video games are awesome—at the right time. Here in the mission we have a break: Monday 10:00 in the morning until 6:00 at night. This time is not only our break; we have to clean our house, we need to send all the reports about what we have been doing during the week, and we also write a letter to the mission president. Only after we have done those things can we take our break and do things that are wholesome activities that will not take the Spirit away from our work.

Yes, I love cleaning the house. It makes me feel fetter, and that is a break for me. I can scrub that darn place all I want and as hard as I want until I feel like stopping. Allelujah!

There is a time and a place for everything. When we haven’t done what we need to do, we can’t relax feeling relaxed. I cannot relax on Monday if I have not worked hard during the week. Things that we do on P-day include fun activities, barbecues, wasting time, emailing home, whatever, and these things are not appropriate during the rest of the week. 

And parents: I am not saying to drill your kids and give them an 8-hour break only once a week. It’s your job not to drive your kids nuts.

But when we are doing what we need to do and we are working hard, and then only when the work has been done well can we can take a break feeling relaxed.

Video games were not a big part of my life and I am glad. Because I wasn’t relaxing my whole life at home on the TV, I have a ton of memories that will be with me forever. 

My point
Use your time wisely and do things that are right for your time. Waste your time only after you have finished what you needed to do with that time. Makes sense doesn’t it?

I love all of you and I hope that your week was awesome!

Full of memories,
Elder Burt

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One thought on “Things that I wish I would have learned before my mission

  1. Pingback: It’s been a year. | elder david burt

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