It has been a few weeks since I last wrote an organized group message. This was due to budget cuts and terrorism. Mostly the former. The lead creative writers were striking, demanding things like "lunch" and "minimum wage" and it was just a real mess getting the weekly email payroll sorted out. Rest assured though that now, all is well. We did unfortunately lose track of what number week this actually is. Again.
Speaking of terrorism! That actually did cause some problems in the mission. Four missionaries were burned and injured by suicide bombers in the Brussels airport. Back in good old sheltered Wyoming, terrorism was still tragic and unfortunate, though it has a different feel when people you know and consider friends are involved. Elder Norby who I just saw two weeks before, was just barely released from an artificial coma. It is also noticeably more terrifying. Which as the name implies, is really the goal. Though it is only effective as far one allows themselves to be terrorized. Fear has got to be a pretty useless thing. Fear of bears and a few other actually dangerous things like public speaking being the exception. It paralyzes and traps in hypothetical calculations of what could come to pass. Fear could very well be used as the indication that you are doing what you should be. As people we have the capacity to find peace in whatever circumstances we are placed. Thinking that things will get better after x thing happens, after something is finished, will never bring happiness in the long term or short term. Avoiding something because of fear does nothing good. It only kills opportunities before they arrive. In fearful circumstances, or in any difficult circumstances, each one of us has the capacity, need, and right to find that internal peace. I'll cite a scripture that often gets used discussing revelation but applies to much broader things. "Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened." 3 Nephi 14:7-8 I firmly believe that this is a promise from a loving Heavenly Father that all things which shall be for our good can be found. Will be given. Diligently asking and searching will bring results. We can always find peace and hope regardless the circumstances. If my charred missionary friends laying on their hospital beds alone can find what they seek, so can people in slightly less explosive circumstances. And some of us may be in emotional or spiritual bombings just as strong. And whether these bombs go off because of our own choices, or seemingly cruel twists, we are never alone. We can always find that comfort, that peace, that success. Not always by ourselves though. We aren't made to battle this world all alone. We have friends, we have family, we have our brother Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly Father.
I have a new companion now! Elder Jackson is off drowning in the Belgian seas of waffles and chocolate. Not in Brussels—they closed the missionary team there, but in Liège. I'm still in Normandy living it up with a certain Elder Sherren. He is nearly finished with his mission and will likely finish it here in Caen. It's a radical departure living with someone new, someone who speaks French very well, someone with their own ideas and experiences. He is not difficult to love and the next 6 weeks or perhaps more are off to a good start.
So to recompense for the last few missed weeks I write a single haiku:
Everyone is cool.
Elder Hacker is okay.
I love you all, dawgs.
Make yourself at home.