Friday, May 30, 2014

LAUGH! -- It's Good For Ya!

Hola Todos!

It's me! Sister Franklin... Just stoppin' in to say a quick hello and share a few thoughts. My comp and I had to make a quick visit to the library to take care of some computer business... so it looks like I have a minute to spend on the ol' blog. 

Random interlude: 

For those who don't know or haven't pieced it together... I'm currently serving way out on the eastern end of Long Island. I got blinded into a ward that hasn't had Sisters here in YEARS. It's been an ADVENTURE to say the least. It's as though I've been transfered to a different mission completely... The City is NOTHING like the Island. People (when found) are not in constant motion and people actually say hi back to me out here. Haha.
A few things I've rediscovered that I (quite literally) forgot existed: 
Lawns. Backyards. Houses. Space. Silence. Trees. Nice people. Parking lots. And.....
My Drivers License.
Haha... Driving around instead of walking around has been an interesting adjustment. None of my clothes fit anymore. It's great. Haha.

The ward I'm serving in is THE BOMB. I LOVE it. Everything about it. The people are so kind, loving and willing to help us with just about anything. AND they fit us REAL good food. (Hence the tight clothes...) I've been so lucky to serve in the best wards in the world during my time as a missionary. Truly, the best.


The other day my companion and I on the 495 were making the long drive home from a doctors visit in Manhattan. We ended up on the road just when rush-hour traffic was hitting its peak of slowness. The freeway was practically a parking lot. We waited and waited. I occasionally tapped the gas pedal only to put my foot right back on the brake. Though the situation was kind of crummy and rather inconvenient my comp and I were lost in a conversation about embarrassing moments we had as missionaries and otherwise. We passed the time by singing along to the ultra cheesy/corny 90's EFY music in our car and laughed till our stomachs hurt. I hardly noticed the bad traffic! When suddenly, I found myself staring at the drivers/passengers in the neighboring stationary cars...... And what I saw taught me a lesson.

No one else was laughing, no one was even smiling. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Everyone had looks of impatience, annoyance and even outright anger as they honked their horns and yelled at other drivers trying to merge onto the crowded freeway. 
"Are we the only one's out the millions of people here having fun? " I asked my companion. 
She looked around and saw what I was seeing, and answered, "Yeah, I guess we are."

How sad. Being angry, upset and depressed about the slow traffic was certainly NOT going to magically change the situation... And yes, I know... Smiling didn't change it either. 

We had to sit through the inconvenient traffic either way. 
So what's my point? The point is... which would you rather remember? That day where you spent 2 hours groaning and griping and moved only 4 miles? Or that day that you spent having memorable hilarious conversation with your best friend? 
We are all going to find ourselves in situations we have not anticipated and are not sure how to handle. If we laugh, we may find that at least some of the handling takes care of itself. We can’t always choose what we look at, but we can choose what we see. 
Life is WAAAAYYY too short to be spent being mad about it. You're spending 2 hours stuck in traffic either way, you're going to be late either way! SO... you might as well spend those 2 hours making a good memory. 

Good humor and the ability to laugh at myself has carried me through SO MUCH on my mission. Besides the love of the Savior, Laughter has been the single most important medicine and cure all for difficult times. I'll probably come home with a permanent smile on my face and laugh lines on my eyes because I've had to learn to laugh at my millions of mistakes in order to survive. And you know what, that's okay. Because laughing has helped me find joy in those refining moments that would otherwise be quite painful.

President Gordon B. Hinckley said it best when he said: “We’ve got to have a little humor in our lives. You had better take seriously that which should be taken seriously but, at the same time, we can bring in a touch of humor now and again. If the time ever comes when we can’t smile at ourselves, it will be a sad time.” 
Good clean humor improves our attitude, builds relationship with others, and helps us successfully cope with all our challenges. Whether we are experiencing an anxious moment in the office, having to go back and correct a mistake, or just trying to handle the trials of everyday living like traffic jams, humor can make nearly anything a happy, memorable part of our lives. If we can appropriately laugh at it, we can live with it. 
So, c'mon! Just LAUGH! —it’s good for ya!
And please, read/listen to this talk. I love Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin. This talk has always helped me keep the perspective I've needed to get through!

LOVE you all!

Sister Franklins

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