Wednesday, October 30, 2013
The Little White Book
Somewhere between the pot roast and the salad, the subject of the rules the missionaries must abide by came up in the conversation. It started with the music they are allowed to listen to on their missions and led to the little white book of rules that missionaries carry around in their shirt pockets, usually accompanied by a day-timer where they write down their appointments.
We have an elder who is from the Dominican Republic, still learning the language, who the ward has grown to really love. In his broken English he said how glad he is for the rule book because, if he ever has a question about what he should or shouldn't be doing, all he has to do is take it out and find the answer. He proceeded to say how much he loves being on his mission and how the rules keep him focused on the work he is supposed to be doing.
There is no doubt that missionary work is hard and comes with a lot of rejection. But I was so touched at this elder's attitude and lack of discouragement. He didn't see his rule book as a bunch of restrictions, but helpful guidelines to help him stay on the straight and narrow path while serving the Lord.
Being something of a "rule" person myself, both when I was a teacher and with Life, in general, I think there is a lot to be said for the code of goodness, morality, and compassion we should all live by. I am far from a perfect person...FAR...but I have set certain standards for myself over the years, most of which have served me well. Do I slip? Absolutely? Not on the big stuff, but plenty of times on the little things. The things that are supposed to be easy, like not judging others and always being kind aren't as simple as they should be, are they?
It's a shame we can't all have a little white rule book to carry around to help us know what to do in certain situations, isn't it? I think if I were write my own I would examine my flaws and work from there. What would be in yours?