I don’t know how many of you received my first email with this title, but if you didn’t here’s the reason. (For those who get the reference you can skip this next part)
” Today after doing initiatory at the temple, as we’re walking home, this aged man comes up to us and is like, “Where you going,(we answer), okay let me tell you something” . He was talking super soft and then practically yell-sings “I’m Standin’ Up And Lookin’ Good”! He then goes on to tell us that he’s a strength coach for state championship athletes, he tells us that in missionary work and athletics that, posture is power, breath is life, and movement is energy. Then, literally out of nowhere, he’s like “Do you know why today is a good day? Because I’m not sitting in a rice patty in Vietnam with an AK-47. The sun comes up and I know the church is true!” He went on for like twenty minutes longer, then just before we left he sang “Are there any Questions?” and then he shoos us away. It was sooo weird and funny and totally made my day. (On the temple grounds)”
—>Week 4-week 5
Now to answer any questions about why I would bring this up again, during this week I was thinking about the MTC during one of those long rough rides on a trike to an appointment. I was very tired that morning and had just started to feel better when I realized something (why I just so happened to be feeling better then).
I realized that, contrary to my earlier opinion, that “crazy” old man from the temple grounds, was in fact making a whole lot of sense. When he yelled “Standin’ up and Lookin’ good” he was referencing us being a light to the world. Every day I get up and walk around in missionary attire and “Oym” (Open Your Mouth) many people. I, being 6’4″ stand up really tall to some Filipinos, and the way I act and dress are an example to them.
“Strive to represent the Lord according to the highest standards of obedience and conduct. Keep your words, thoughts, and actions in harmony with the message of His gospel. Righteous conduct will influence your effectiveness as a missionary and your personal salvation. Your conduct also affects the trust and confidence nonmembers, members, and other missionaries have in you. Conduct yourself at all times in such a way that everyone who sees you will recognize you as a representative of Jesus Christ.–Missionary Handbook pg.8
He also said that “Posture is power, breath is life and movement is energy”, this is why I felt better this morning, because movement gives you energy(sounds a little backward but it works), when teaching if you sit in a “confident position you feel more confident. For example, in any painting or picture of the savior sitting teaching is he slouched over? Or is he looking directly into the eyes of those he teaches, sitting straight up and seems as though he radiates energy? By, again, following the savior in example, we can become better teachers. Breath is life…When life is hard, stop. Take a moment, and assess your surroundings, BREATH, and tell yourself that this hardship will be repaid to you in joy tenfold in blessings if you are obedient, then go back to work. This principle gives light to the teachings of King Benjamin in Mosiah 4:27”
“And seeing that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.” Don’t work yourself to death.
So I can see now that “Standin’ up and Lookin’ good” is a missionary guideline and the way to further enhance my ability as a missionary. Now you might be saying “but in that quote up there you heard him say” …that in missionary work and athletics… ”He told you that these are important to missionary work!” True, he did tell us, but to us, super new missionaries, it was like Isaiah preaching. We could only understand if we took him seriously and thought about what he meant, other than the fact that he had a funny way of speaking. (His singing didn’t really help either) In conclusion I can only assume that this is what he wanted us to understand, and that he was so happy about sharing this message with us that he sang for joy.
-I love all of you guys and Hope that you have the chance to spend time with loved ones this Christmas! Make sure you unplug and find time to make sure your loved ones know that you love them!
-Love, Elder Ethan Bell