Hey everybody, this is Elder Williams commandeering the keyboard from Elder Manciati's capable hands. Just for a day. I guess what I wanted to talk about for a couple sentences here was the principle of change. First, I will have to share a story.
When I made the decision to serve a mission, two things had to happen: I had to tell my dad, and then I had to tell my mom. My dad was easy, I remember his face when I told him alone in his room my decision to serve. The prospect of telling my mother was a bit more than formidable. As long as I can remember, my mom has been pretty adamantly opposed to the church. I feared for what this decision would do to my relationship with her, and her family, all of whom I love dearly.
It was a long "discussion", involving a lot of arguing and tears, but my mom finally said, "Honey, I just want you to be happy. If this is really the choice you want to make, then I will support you." She also asked me to make her a promise. This promise was that, no matter what, I would still come back to her as her son. I wouldn't change, I wouldn't become just another "mindless, robotic missionary". Well, I did what any son who dearly and endlessly love his mother would probably do, and I made her that promise.
As I have served on my mission, I have learned a lot, but I was always mindful of that promise. I was, and still am, probably, bound and determined to do this work in my own way. But what I've learned about myself and the gospel over the course of my 14 months thus far is simply this: I made a ridiculous promise. What is more, I made an impossible promise.
Change is not voluntary. Whether it is conscious or not, every choice we makes shapes us. The very foundation of Christ's gospel is the principle of change. We can either change for the better, or for the worse. But we will change, that is as certain as the sun rising tomorrow in the east, or the release of yet another insufferable "Twilight" sequel.
I've realized over the past couple months that I have been holding myself back. My fear of changing has limited my growth, stunted my potential, and may well have hindered the Lord's work. Change isn't bad. Obedience is not a swear word. If anything, obedience and changing through repentance takes Far more willpower and courage than being blown about by the winds of the world. I've had a change of heart, and a change in attitude. I know I have a long way to go before I will become what the Lord sees in me, and I know I've come a long way from that day I made a sincere promise to my mom.
I'm still my mother's son. I know that will never change. I won't deny I'm different than I was, but that doesn't mean I'm still not Trey Williams. I think most people that know me will agree. ;P I guess to summarize this long perambulation through the mind of Elder Williams would be to simply share this:
We are all asked to become perfect through Christ, but that road to perfection is different for everyone. Perfection does not mean sacrificing your identity to fit a cookie-cutter mold of what we picture "perfection" to be. Becoming perfect through Christ is constantly and consistantly changing to become the very best Us that the Lord knows we can be. Each of us is a masterpiece in the making, each choice we make is another brushstroke on the canvas. For now, all we might see is a mish mash of colors and shades, of dark times and of light, thrown haplessly together. The Lord is the Master, and He alone can see the potential that lies in the rough sketches.
Thanks for reading, I love you all!
Elder Trey Williams