Monday, February 2, 2015

The Beauty of You -- February 2, 2015

Saludos, amigos!

With new transfers come new companions and new experiences. The faces change but the work moves onward. I am tired of word of wisdom violaters, but hey. Charity and all that. Oh. And guise. Hey guise. I speak Spanish.

Happy Groundhog Day! I don't know whether the groundhog saw his shadow or not back in the States, but as it happens, the Dominican groundhog is either too lazy to look for his shadow or too smashed to see it. It's always summer here.

I received my new companion. His name is Elder Lora. He's Dominican. I like him and he likes me.

We had a Carribean-wide stake conference. We all gathered in the church and streamed the hour and a half long meeting. It was. A bit laggy. I'm not saying our internet connection was slow. I'm just saying. Longest. Four. Hours. Of. My. Life.

So as many missionaries do, I have a journal for old companions and housemates and such to write in. Miller actually wrote a whole pageful. There were many good phrases there, but there was one in particular that stuck out to me. It made me think. I'm gonna share it with you. As a matter of fact, I'm going to give it its own paragraph.

"Always remember to just be yourself. God created you to be you."

Well. We hear that phrase all the time. "Be yourself." That phrase never really made sense to me. I get what people are trying to say when they say that, but we don't really have a choice in the matter. I'm Dallin Johnson, and whether I'm putting myself out there or not, who else exactly can I otherwise be? Well.

We can try to be someone else. Someone better-looking. Someone smarter. Someone funnier. Someone more socially gifted or athletically talented. Maybe we want to have a musical talent that makes peoples' jaws drop. We want everyone to like us. We want to be America's Idol. We want to win the Super Bowl. We want to be smarter than a fifth grader.

We can work at it. We can develop talents. There is definitely effort to be put forth, and we should always try to improve. But there are always going to be some things that are out of our reach. And there it is right there. You can dream and dream and dream, but you CAN'T be anyone other than who you are.

So what now? Well, I can't speak for anyone else's faults. But for me? I am one heckuvan imperfect person. I'm at a loss for words all the time. I live with my foot in my mouth. I do and say things without thinking and find myself surrounded with embarrassing and socially awkward moments. I'm not particularly overburdened with the gift of physical coordination. When I dance, double amputees slap their foreheads. When I play basketball on a nine foot hoop, I think I should try to dunk it and then that little voice in my head reminds me, "Hold up, Johnson, you have a three-inch vertical." There are times when I feel so inept I want to go headdesk until either my skull or the desk breaks. But I don't, because it's bad for the desk and my threshold of pain is not that high.

I'm not perfect. But you best believe I have me a DANG fun time at being imperfect. And I strongly suspect that God doesn't particularly care whether or not people approve of the way I go about living life, so neither do I.

So quit worrying about it. Some people will like you, some people won't, but when it all comes down to it, it doesn't matter. There are only two opinions of you that matter- your own and God's, and not necessarily in that order. So stop dreaming of being other people. If God needed another Tom Brady or Andrew Lloyd Webber or Stephen Hawking or Tom Hanks, he would've created another. God created you because he needed a YOU.

So be you. And don't be ashamed of you.

Still keeping the hope,

P.S. Yes, yes, I'm acutely aware of my countless and incomparable other good qualities, such as staple-removing, balloonshopdancing, pea-cracking, and being an all-around handsome beast. I was trying to make a point, dang it.

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