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To Be Honest, I’m Not Gonna Lie

Elder Rushton and Elder Cambpell

Elder Rushton and Elder Campbell at Medford, Oregon Temple

I had a companion once who used to really dislike preface phrases like, “To be honest,” “I’m not gonna lie,” and “The fact is.” His reasoning was, “Why do you need to say that? Do you normally lie to me? Do you normally not give facts?” I didn’t really understand why he would bring this up over and over and get so worked up about it, but I did think it was a little funny for a missionary to become so defensive and critical about such a small thing, especially when I was the object of criticism.

I was taught a valuable lesson this week in interviews with my mission president. He told me that some people have very different ways of expressing themselves than we’re used to, especially when it comes to love. He used the example of when a little boy likes a little girl, he throws rocks at her. Personally, I more often than not find myself in the shoes of the boy in that example—expressing myself, and not really thinking that others may not react the way I want them to. But how does a boy expect a girl to react when he throws rocks at her? Does he think she’ll laugh and say she thinks he’s funny? Does he think about her feelings at all?

Far more likely than a positive reaction on the girl’s part is a negative one. She may run away crying. She may get her older brother to come beat the living tar out of the little boy. Regardless, the lesson the little boy must learn is one of compassion, and is generally obvious. He should think about the girl’s potential feelings before acting.

The lesson I learned this week, though, is that there is a lesson the little girl must learn, too. No, it isn’t that she should retaliate against little boys with their rocks and it isn’t that she should run and hide for the rest of her life. It is essentially the same one the little boy must learn: to consider the other person’s feelings before reacting. How would the boy feel if she ran away or retaliated? He would likely feel bad. He may even begin hating the girl for making him feel that way. So what should SHE do to avoid that? What CAN she do?

The answer I found is that determining the proper course of action begins with understanding that message my mission president gave me: that some people express love in very different ways than we expect. Some people express love by giving harsh criticisms or compelling others to do what they themselves are afraid to do. Parents sometimes express love for their children by constantly pressuring them to go to college, get good grades, or otherwise be successful. God tells us, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” (See Rev.3:19) It may not make sense to us in the moment why they do what they do—why a little boy throws rocks at a little girl—but I promise that it is an expression of love.

So how do we react when we have metaphorical rocks slung at us? Remember the Savior, and what He did. It takes sacrifice, courage, and faith, but we simply accept those who pain us anyways. “Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain” (Matthew5:41). We understand that they love us, and look for how their actions are an expression of love. This is not to say that we immediately allow that little boy to keep throwing rocks at us—that would only cause both parties more trouble—but perhaps we could talk to him about it. Perhaps we could reason with him, and show him the consequences of his actions before he hits us. Though it may seem impossible, perhaps there is a justifiable, loving reason he is throwing those rocks. Maybe we could spend a little more time with him, and use the mediums of love we have found so rewarding. We might ask a trusted adult what to do, and perhaps they could tell us what to do, or even talk to the boy for us. Regardless, there is a way for both parties to be satisfied. Granted it takes a little more courage and faith and work to take the time to talk, but it is infinitely more rewarding than running away or fighting.

So there is my sermon! And my lesson I learned this week!

Besides that, a couple significant events:

-My dad is one of the top 5% of field technicians in the nation for customer service! This was cool news!

-We had two investigators who bombarded themselves with anti-mormon literature a couple weeks back participate in a Relief Society appreciation dinner. They experienced a complete change of heart, and are talking about getting baptized. They didn’t even bring up the anti-stuff again.

-We are speaking in sacrament meeting in Cedarville this coming Sunday!

-We helped an investigator in Cedarville organize her thrift shop, and it took hours. We still aren’t finished, but at least we got most of the clothes into one place!

Okay, so there’s a basic little outline of my week. I hope it was enough! The main thing for me really was learning that lesson, though, so I really wanted to share that and I hope someone benefits from it.

Love you all, thanks for all the birthday wishes, and I’ll talk to you all soon!
Elder Rushton—Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

1 comment to To Be Honest, I’m Not Gonna Lie

  • LeAnn Rushton

    You write such good letters! I love the service experiences that you have along with the things that you learn. I would like you to know that I think that your Dad is such a great person! I have watched him grow up and become the wonderful person that he is. He is such a neat dad and husband! I think that his marrying your mom is the smartest and best thing that he has ever done! What a great couple they are and how proud your Grandpa Allen and Grandma Jane (and Grandma Barbara) must be of him! We love you lots and keep you in our prayers.
    Uncle Darrel and Aunt LeAnn

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