I read this article by President Uchtdorf the other day, "Always in the middle", and it really helped me recognize that whether I am at the beginning or end of my mission, I am still in the middle, and this emboldens and energizes me as well as my will and desire to serve. He wrote:
"There is a sublime truth behind the idea that we are always in the middle. If we look at our location on a map, we are tempted to say we are at a beginning. But if we look more closely, wherever we are is simply in the middle of a larger place.
"As it is with space, so it is with time. We may feel we are the beginning or end of our lives, but when we look at where we are against the backdrop of eternity - when we realize that our spirit has existed for time beyond our capacity to measure and, because of the perfect sacrifice and Atonement of Jesus Christ, that our soul will exist for an eternity to come - we can recognize that we are truly in the middle.
"Yes, there will be moments of beginnings and moments of endings throughout our lives, but these are only markers along the way of the great middle of our eternal lives. Whether we are at the beginning or the end, whether we are young or old, the Lord can use us for His purposes if we simply set aside whatever thoughts limit our ability to serve and allow His will to shape our lives." ("ALWAYS IN THE MIDDLE" - President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (Liahona July 2012)
From his article and my experiences on my mission I realize that whether we are old or young, experienced or inexperienced, starting or finishing, we are "always in the middle" of time and all eternity, and we should use every second, minute, and hour of everyday we are given to its fullest. This life is but a short period of preparation for something greater, better, and more magnificent. Let us not waste the time we are allotted for things that are not meaningful and of little worth. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:19-21, 3 Nephi 13:19-21)
One amazing, simple, and easy way to lay up for yourselves "treasures in heaven" is missionary work. President Monson clearly states that "now is the time for members and missionaries to work together". Wherever you are in the world, you are "in the middle" of the Lord's work. As the scriptures say:
“Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men. Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day. Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work; For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul; And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work. Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence. Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.” (D&C 4: 1-7)
Chique Brazilian Lasagna
Sister Dyer, Sister Pereira, Sister Arzani, Sister Lawrence at the bus station
Our investigator has an "arvore da romã" - pomegranate tree (our bedroom in the background)