Monday, January 25, 2010

The Hard Thing Is Usually The Right Thing....

Dear Young Women,
Happy New Year! I know I'm saying this a little later than I should be, but I hope that each of you is excited about this year and all that it has to offer. New and exciting things are happening in the Young Women program! If you haven't already, you'll be receiving a new Personal Progress booklet and journal - they are beautiful. We also have a new 2010 Mutual Theme which is found in Joshua 1:9: "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord Thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." I hope that as you read this, you feel the great hope and comfort that I do.
I have been thinking about the things that test our strength and courage; they come in many forms but one thing that I've learned is something that is hard and requires us to be strong and courageous is usually the right thing. There are so many things you do that test your strength and courage - you do them everyday and they are so much a part of your life that you probably don't even realize how strong and courageous you really are. It takes strength to get up for seminary, it takes courage to turn away when friends are telling an off-color joke, it takes strength to turn off the tv and read your scriptures before you get too tired, it takes courage to forgive a friend who has hurt your feelings and it takes strength and courage to ask for forgiveness....these are just a few examples but there are many, many others.
Last week there was one day that I had a difficult day - nothing really bad happened, but there were just a lot of things that tested my patience. I ran into the bank for what should have been an easy transaction, but the teller told me that she couldn't do what I asked her to do without some additional paper work. I wasn't exactly rude, but I certainly wasn't as kind as I should have been. After I left, I was haunted by my reaction - it bothered me for several days. Later in the week, I found myself back in the bank. The same teller was sitting behind the counter and I prayed to myself that she wouldn't help me - but that didn't happen. She called me forward and very politely assisted me. In my head, I heard the words of our theme about being "strong and courageous" and I knew I had to fix my mistake and apologize. I really didn't want to - in fact, several times during the short time she was helping me I almost talked myself out of it saying "I really wasn't that rude", but I knew I wouldn't feel good about it until I took care of it. Finally, just as I finished my business, I leaned over to her and said, "I was in here several days ago and you helped me." She nodded and smiled. I continued, "I'm afraid I wasn't very kind to you and I've felt terrible about it. I hope you'll forgive me." She looked stunned and shook her head saying, "Oh no, no - I don't even remember that." I think she was being kind; I think she did remember, but I appreciated her graciousness. As I was leaving the bank, I felt so much better. I knew that I had the strength and courage to do something hard. And you know what? You do too!! Whether it be big or small, you can find the courage and strength to do hard things.
The YW theme states, "We will stand as witnesses of God at all times, in all things, and in all places...." Most of the time, standing as a witness requires courage and strength; an important part of having courage and strength is found in the rest of the theme for this year - "...for the Lord Thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." I know each one of you will feel the strength of the Savior as you choose to be strong and of a good courage.
I hope you have a great week. I love you all.