True Happiness

Dave and I have been lucky enough to have been called as ward missionaries. Since I never served a "real" mission I am so grateful for the opportunity to be working along side the full time missionaries, helping do what I can to help bring more people to the wonderful thing that is this Gospel.

Honestly, so far the work has been pretty dismal. I am starting to think I might be bad luck as the past number of times I have tried tagging along for appointments, the appointment gets canceled or the person just won't answer the door! But we have done some tracting - or just talking to people we come across - and it's been really interesting, eye opening, and testimony building.

For people who have served missions, or who are active and open about having religious discussions with people, this may not be new or surprising, but I've found it very interesting hearing people's thoughts on religion. 

A young man we came across was friendly and open to talk with us as he smoked on his front porch. He talked about how he had a hard time believing in "man-made" religions, and considered himself a spiritual person, but not a religious person. He asked about if we do drugs or drink alcohol and the Sisters explained that we do not. He was surprised and said that it was fun to experiment with. One of the Sisters asked what was was good about drugs. There was a young girl with him who was six years old, who I assumed was his daughter, and she chimed in saying, "Nothing. Nothing is good about drugs." You could tell he was a little surprised by her piping up, as she has been pretty quiet throughout the whole discussion. He then said to her, "Well it's because you have never tried it." To which she responded, "And I never will." One of the Sisters asked him if he would want her to do drugs, which he said no, but didn't have an explanation for why not.

The Sisters asked him what brought him happiness and he didn't have an answer. The Sisters bore their testimony on knowing that families can be together forever, and that we can find joy, peace and direction in this life. He seemed doubtful of what they said, saying no one knows for sure. But it was just interesting talking to him because it was clear he was interested in some of the things we had to say. And maybe this is not the case, but I imagined him pondering on it more later that night.

Dave has also had missionary opportunities at work. He's come home many times telling me of gospel discussions and sometimes just discussions about life with co-workers that have been eye opening.

In Utah most people in their early twenties are already married and planning on starting a family if they haven't already. People in Utah are so much more hard working, responsible and mature at such a young age because they have to be. Here, people really only think about themselves, even if they have kids. People our age who have kids here generally have those kids only by mistake, so they aren't thrilled about having to be a responsible parent. Or they have seen so many failed marriages they would rather avoid it all entirely. 

I think that's the best question to ask people; what brings you happiness? True, lasting happiness? 

I think that most people almost don't believe it's something that can be obtained, that it's just some nice fairy tale of a dream. Even if they believe true happiness is something obtainable, they don't want to put in the effort to achieve it. Settling for less because they don't want to put in the work to become something better. They try to fill their lives with things that only bring temporary happiness. They just convince themselves drugs, alcohol, money or video games gives them the closest thing to true happiness. Neglecting their spouses and children, but then wondering why their family life is so dismal. 

I am just ranting and this post is getting awfully long. But I guess my point is that despite currently feeling like I don't know exactly what I should be doing with myself right now, I am still happy and I know exactly what I want in the end and I know in time I will get there. I know without a doubt what brings true and lasting happiness. And I am grateful for the opportunity to live in an area where so many people are lacking that. I pray that I can do what I can to make sure I can help bring as many as I can to that joy and peace that I am blessed enough to know and feel.

Thanks for reading and Happy Sunday!

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