Everything I Need to Know… (part 2 of many)

“When you wash one dish, wash them all.”

I’m sure my companions and former roommates and future spouse all thank you for the cleaning things you’ve taught me. But I was thinking about it as I did the dishes the other day. It’s just nice and common sense, if you think about it. If you’re going to wash one dish, you might as well get the rest of them as well. Otherwise it’s just plain rude to everyone else in the house/apartment, don’t you think?

I think so.

In other words… Don’t leave anyone out.

I wish I had been better at this one when I was younger. Growing up is impossibly hard sometimes and it’s easy to get lost out there in all the confusion, trying to find yourself and fit in (though eventually you find out “fitting in” isn’t all it’s made out to be)… But I recently learned just how important it is to remember how each and everyone one of us is a child of God and to treat everyone as such.

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The other day, a sister missionary pulled me aside for a moment to tell me that the sister she had recently finished training admired me. I was pretty surprised by that because I’d had limited interactions with her. We were in the same zone (large group of missionaries), but not the same district (small group of missionaries – several make up a zone). I’m a Spanish-speaking sister and she isn’t. I’m fairly certain that the unit she was serving in was in the other stake in our zone. (A stake is like a zone, but for congregations instead of missionaries.) And yet she admired me? I was surprised by that until the other sister explained a little bit more. While she was training in that zone I was in, I was the only person (outside of her companion, I imagine) who had made her feel important and made her feel welcome in the mission field. I had no idea. All I had done was give her a hug and talk to her whenever I had the chance to see her. I remembered how strange and scary it was for me to be a new missionary and I know how nice it is to be greeted by a familiar face in mission meetings so I just naturally did it. I had no idea that it was making a difference to this new missionary. I’ve had companions tell me that I made a difference in the unit I was serving in after I left. I could never see it, exactly, but others have told me that I have made a difference. Just by loving the people I’m serving and the missionaries I’m serving with.

What sort of a difference can we make in the world, just by doing our best to love everyone around us? It’s ridiculous to leave anyone out just because they might be different than you. Besides, you never know when you’re going to meet your very best friend. (:

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