Missionaries are weird.

18 Nov

It’s Thursday night. I know what that means. Tonight is the NBC comedy line-up: The Office, Community, 30 Rock. Those were my faves. Will I be watching them tonight? Of course not.

I was trying to explain to someone last night that missionaries are kind of weird. Sometimes I worry that we’re the first face of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that many people see. We follow so many rules that most members aren’t required to follow and we have our own strange little culture where we make watchbands out of neckties (I can’t even explain that one). One rule we follow that a lot of people are surprised by is that we don’t watch T.V.

It’s weird. Before coming out here I was a total T.V. junkie. But the girl to whom I was explaining all this to last night commented that she thought it was wonderful, that we get to focus so much on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And, of course, she’s right. Not watching television isn’t the trial I thought it would be. And I have been abundantly blessed for making this small sacrifice.

Because we don’t watch television, we get to enjoy silence. This world is so full of noise! In 1 Kings, Elijah the prophet discovered that the voice of the Lord was not the wind or the earthquake, but a still small voice (1 Kings 19: 11-12). Because we are here to make our own choices, the Lord doesn’t shout at us, He waits for us to listen. How can we listen when we are surrounded by so much noise? Taking a few moments and listening–removing myself from worldly distractions for a while–is the best thing I’ve ever done. Even if I do miss my shows.

That’s not to say I’ll never go back. You’d better believe I’ll be catching up on some shows when I finish my mission. But I plan to be much more selective about the entertainment I choose. I know so much better now how important it is to make sure that the show I’m watching doesn’t offend the Spirit of God. I know that I need to make my home a place of uplifting media, where I can still hear the voice of the Lord, and follow its guidance.

Television is great, nobody knows that better than me. But I’m telling you all, it’s not everything. Not even close.

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One Response to “Missionaries are weird.”

  1. Stephanie Smoot November 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    I like this post, it’s true we are weird! But honestly we aren’t losing much by living with a little more silence!

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