Elder Skinner and another missionary gave talks on Sunday and both did a great job. The other elder, Elder Wilson (a great missionary) shared a poem that his trainer gave him, and where his trainer got it, I don't know, but it’s by Elder Lanny D. Owens, whoever that is. Thanks Elder Owens, whoever and wherever you are, for this poem.
The alarm rings at 6:30; I stumble to my feet
I grab my companion's bedding and pull off his sheet.
A groan fills the room; is it already time to rise?
It seems like just a second ago I was able to shut my eyes.
The morning activities follow...study, prayer, and such.
When it's time to leave the apartment, you feel you haven't accomplished much.
"We have a super day planned," my comp. says with a grin.
I lowly utter a faithless breath, "Yea, if anyone lets us in."
With the word of God and my faithful Schwinn, we ride off in the street
Prepared to face another day of humidity and heat.
It's 9:30 in the evening, the day almost through;
My companion and I are riding home, not accomplishing what we thought to do.
We ride up to the mailbox, hoping to receive a lot.
Only to look inside and hear my echo reverberate, "air box"..
We go up into our apartment, the day is now complete,
The only thing to show for our work is a case of blistered feet.
It's past 10:30pm, my companion's fast asleep
Silence engulfs me all about and I begin to weep.
In the midst of all the sadness I kneel down to pray;
I need to talk to Father, but I'm not sure what to say.
"Oh Father," I begin, "What happened to us today?
I thought we'd teach somebody, but everyone was away.
My hands, my aching hands--worn, hurt and beat;
If only our area was any smaller, we'd knock down every street."
"Why on missions are the days so much alike?
The only difference about today was the flat tire on my bike.
Will you send me some cooler weather? The heat is killing me.
I sweat so bad, it gets in my eyes, it's very hard to see."
"Why do I have to wear a helmet, isn't your protection enough?
People always laugh at me and call me stupid stuff.
Please send us investigators so I may give them what they lack;
I want to give them Books of Mormon, the weight of them hurts my back."
"And what about my family? They don't have much to say,
I'm sick of not hearing from home, day after day after day.
Oh Father, why am I here, am I just wasting time?
Sometimes I just want to go home, I'm sorry but that's on my mind."
"My companion, Heavenly Father, what are you giving me?
The way he rides his bike, I don't think he can see
Now you have it, I can't go on, I don't know what to do;
That, my Father in Heaven, is the prayer I have for you."
My prayer now finished I stand up, then jump into bed.
I need my rest for tomorrow; we have another long day ahead.
Sleep starts to overtake me, I seem to drift away,
Then it seems a vision takes me to another time and another day.
I'm standing alone on the hill, the view is very nice;
A man walks toward me and says, "My name is Jesus Christ."
Tears of joy well up inside, I fall down to his feet,
"Arise," he states, "Follow me to the shade--you and I need to speak."
My attention's toward the Savior, total and complete. He says,
"Your mission is similar of what happened to me
I understand how you feel, I know what you're going through;
In fact, it would be fair to say I've felt the same as you."
"I even know how you felt when no one listened to you.
At times I felt not quite sure what else I could do.
I know you don't like to ride a bicycle, for you a car would be sweet;
"I understand you don't like sweating, in fact it's something you hate;
I remember when I sweat blood from every pore, oh the agony was great!
I see you don't like your companion--you'd rather have someone else--
I once had a companion named Judas who sold my life for wealth."
"It's hard to wear a helmet and have people make fun of you.
I remember when they put thorns on my head and called me King of the Jews.
So you feel burdened down by the weight of your pack.
I recall how heavy the cross was when they slammed it on my back."
"Your hands hurt from tracting and knocking on doors all day.
I guess when they pounded nails in mine, they ached in a similar way.
It's hard not to hear from home when your family's not there to see;
I lost communication on the cross and cried, "Father, why hast thou forsaken me?"
We have a lot in common, but there's a difference between us you see,
I endured to the end and finished my mission, so follow and do like me."
He embraced me with his arms, His light filled me with His love,
With tears in my eyes, I watched as He went back to the Father above.
I stood in awe and wonder when a beep rang in my head,
I listened and heard the alarm, then realized I was in my bed.
My companion let out a groan, "6:30 already, no way!"
I sat up and said, "Come on, I'll even carry your scriptures today!"
No matter what we go through, when we feel we can't take more,
Just stop to think about Jesus Christ, He's been there before.
Elder Lanny D. Owens
There are days that are difficult whether on a mission or not. Either way, Christ is there to help us. He has suffered all and know how to succor us in any time of need (Alma 7). I hope you feel the Spirit here. I love you all, you can put this on the blog, I just wanted to send it separately because of its sheer length.