Saturday, October 25, 2014

Spiritual Searching

Metropolitan Wilderness: Following the path and pace set by Elder Rodriguez, I found myself looking often to the right or the left, distracted by the sprawling downtown scenery of what would become by new life.  Still wide-eyed I redirected my focus ahead trying to focus my all on keeping up with my speedy companion who seemed to be in a perfect harmony with the hustle and bustle of the street cars and high speed shift and flow of people and vehicles alike intertwining with each other under the dimly lit avenues.  Just that morning I had been on a plane.  Already I was flying through the streets, my gears jamming and struggling to lift me over rolling hills, my companion far out of earshot to hear me if I were to suddenly tumble off my borrowed and battered bicycle.  My voice would never reach him I thought as the LA soundscape smothered even the gong-blast beating of my heart in its urban orchestra.  I prayed and I pedaled harder than I ever had in my life, as I breathed in the exhilarating, new air of my new home.  Somehow I felt someone with me, listening to my unheard pleadings.  I was happy. And so was He.

Scripture: As a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I drew as much spiritual strength personally from the gospel as I was required to help others to gain.  With a whole new world to confront and limited experience from my life before the mission, I set out to face opposition in all of its many forms, often without knowing what to expect or how to interpret my experience.  At times when I struggled with new and difficult experiences or couldn't understand what was happening in my life, it helped me to come back to verse 17 of 1 Nephi chapter eleven.  When asked about God and his interactions with mankind Nephi says, "I know that he liveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things."  Sometimes just remembering that God loves me helps me to feel more able to trust Him and His plan for my life.  In a human existence so full of trials and disappointments sometimes that's all there is to fall back on.  And I'm grateful for that.

Inner Struggle:  He said we'd been blessed with the medicine of this time.   His words had seemed so confident and unwavering, descriptions that didn’t apply to me at this moment. Didn’t ever apply.  I was never really sure how I felt or what it all meant for me.  All I really knew is that I was broken.   I had been broken.  Could doing this really be a blessing God intended for my life?  It all seemed so drastic. So suddenly I'd been faced with the harsh reality of a condition I'd never even dreamed myself to be a victim of.  Seven weeks of Red-level stress overload.  And the aftermath of it all.  Sudden change, phone calls home, and an overwhelming sense of failure.  I hadn't lived up to it.  Didn't have what it took. And now face the decision.  To take my president's advice, or just keep going forward.  Wherever that might be.


  1. The description of the metropolitan wilderness was the most concrete for me. I was drawn in by the image of constantly moving cars and people and the sounds of a bike's gears changing. The inner struggle was very appealing on an emotional level and the sense of failure is relatable to readers.

  2. I agree with Eliza on this one. The imagery behind a metropolitan wilderness is something that really drew me in. Despite it being the complete opposite of a traditional wilderness experience, it causes a similar spiritual and self reflecting experience.