I didn’t know a whole lot about farming until I came to Rupert. Now that it’s planting season, I’ve been learning more about how much time, energy, and thought goes into a farmer’s job. It’s a lot of work! And that work requires a plethora of different people. You’ve got the farmers, their hired hands, the truckers who drive the harvested crop to the factories, the factory workers who inspect the product and ship is out to us, and all the maintenance workers who step in when the required equipment for each of these jobs breaks down. And if you don’t know a lot about farming, let me tell you something I’ve observed. Things break down A LOT. Like, every hour or so. And the various workers have to stop what they are doing to fix whatever is broken. But after they take the time to do that, everything goes right back into rhythm. The farmers put their heads back down and go right back to work, until something else breaks.
I didn’t understand how important fasting was until I came on my mission. On the 1st Sunday of every month, we have the opportunity to fast from food and drink for two meals. Fasting is meaningful when you have a purpose that you are praying for. Thus far on the mission, I’ve had 2 especially powerful experiences fasting. Both times I was fasting I was in a particularly low point. I was frustrated, confused, and at a spiritual plateau of sorts. Both of this times, I had spent the week before fast Sunday preparing for my fast. This was crucial! By the time Sunday rolled around, instead of remembering that it was fast Sunday as I poured milk onto my cereal, I woke up with a purpose knowing that I would be fasting and praying that day for something that had been on my mind all week. And by the end of the day, I felt so fulfilled. Each time I had received many answers to my prayers throughout the day. By fasting and praying all day, I was able to stop, and figure out how to fix the broken things in my life.
I didn’t fully understand why we as missionaries were given a hour of personal study time each day until I realized how important it is for each one of us to “take time to be holy.” Even as a missionary, when I literally spend all day serving other people and sharing messages about the Savior, I still need to take time for myself. Time to read, time to pray, time to strengthen my spirituality. When we take time to work on the spiritual aspect of our lives, whether that be by singing, listening to, or playing uplifting music, reading or listening to motivational talks, studying scriptures, or other religious books. It’s different for everyone. But by taking the time to do the things that will bring us closer to the spirit, we are taking time to fix of improve what may be broken in our lives, before moving on to our regular routines. Farmers know how crucial this is- it’s not effective to keep working if you don’t stop, and take some time to mend what is broken.
Anyway, that’s what I’ve been thinking about this past week.