I have reached my one year mark with only six months left. I compiled a list of lessons learned as I reviewed my mission journey so far.
1. Put your own needs on the back-burner.
2. Wear the name of the Lord on your tag and on your heart.
3. It may be your call, but it is His mission.
4. The Lord needs us to be master teachers. Salvation is a stake.
5. Love the rain. Love the heat.
6. No one needs perfection. They just need our best.
7. Love your companion. Someday you will have one for time and all eternity.
8. You need to know what your weaknesses are before you can grow.
9. The bigger the sacrifice, the better the blessing.
10. Missions make you grow fast.
11. Change yourself; don't wait for your circumstances to change you.
12. Whatever you do, don't give up and don't go home.
13. Fair does not exist.
15. Just because you have a nametag it does not mean you know very much.
16. Always know your purpose. If you don’t know it, find it.
17. Filipinos will die without rice.
18. Don’t worry about your looks.
19. Offended people are much nicer when drunk. The wives of mission presidents love to talk about crushes.
20. Don’t let anything stop you, not even a flood.
21. Repentance works if we are willing to work to change ourselves.
22. You cannot deny a testimony.
23. Be bold.
24. Brown babies are afraid of white missionaries.
25. Thinking fast and finding the best solution under pressure are arts worth mastering.
26. We have a choice to make our mistakes into growing opportunities.
27. The Spirit is the real teacher.
28. Make plans and then execute them.
29. Valentine’s Day is no fun as a missionary.
30. Do not get disappointed or distracted.
31. Good examples are priceless.
33. All the jungle people know each other. Also, they all have the same face.
34. The cup song makes missionary work way more fun.
35. Filipinos exaggerate everything, like I am eligible for Biggest Loser.36. It is hard to be rebuffed, but when a Filipino tells you in English that they do not want to listen to you, it hurts a thousand times more.
37. Some people will decide to not endure through trials and hardships.
38. Just love the people you serve.
39. Serve so that you love the people.
40. Be worthy.
41. A mission is not a box to check or something to just put on a resume.
42. Take time to truly convert the children of God.
43. Be the best…everyday.
45. Love everyone, even if they eat dog.
46. Make more sacrifices.
47. When you think you are making sacrifices, make more.
48. Love what you do.
49. Sometimes you need to cry it out.
50. People make many promises; too many people break their promises.
51. Stay away from large Australian men; they like to hug and kiss innocent missionaries.
52. Time flies if and only if you are serving the Lord.
I am not done yet and I have a lot of growth ahead of me. It is amazing to think how far I have already come.