Here we are again at our local emergency room. One of our duties is the care and feeding of the young missionaries. Sometimes this has us taking them to be seen at urgent care or the ER. We don’t mind being surrogate parents for these young people. It is one of the privileges of senior missionary service. And while at the ER we get to meet a variety of interesting characters. In any metropolitan area the ER can resemble a microcosm of society. There is an older woman moaning in pain. A young feverish toddler being comforted by his mother. Another mother comforts her crying infant. A man storms out of the ER cursing at the staff for denying him painkillers. The staff take it all in stride competently plying their healer’s art.
As I thought about this I couldn’t help but think of how this life is like an ER waiting room and we are all waiting to be called into the examining room to see the Master Physician. Some are patient and some are angry and others demand that their pain be taken away by any means possible. And yet though we may demand our cure, our pain numbing narcotic to take away life’s pains, only the touch of the Master can heal our hearts and souls from mortalities vexing infirmities. He heals and only He can heal. In the picture above of Christ at the Pool of Bethsaida he heals the man who cannot get himself to the water. As has been said, "Christ does not make up the difference in our lives, He is the difference." I wrote a poem recently about how Christ heals us. You might be tired of my attempts at poetry, but I include it here in hopes it can help someone.
Broken Bits of Me
by Michael S Zollinger
I see life’s cruelty in the mirror of time
How do I change this life of mine?
You healed the sick; the blind to see
Please take this pain away from me!
Savior can’t you help me please
with all the broken bits of me?
Heal my heart and soul and mind;
a cleansing breeze through life’s wind chime
And in the stillness of the night
blackness fades replaced by light.
In my heart at last I see
how the Master mends broken men like me.
Morning breaks; my heart feels peace
With thankfulness I’m on my knees
I am reborn; Christ sets me free!
No more broken bits of me!
We continue assisting in the English classes that are held each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings at the Lowell chapel. The attendance has increased in recent weeks and there is an average of 15 to 17 Spanish and Portuguese native speakers there at any given class. The young missionaries do an excellent job facilitating this class. The students are dedicated learners. In one class I helped them learn phrases that would help in the job interviews and searches. One young man approached me a couple of classes and excitedly told me that he successfully gotten a job as a mechanic! We had practiced how to say "I have five years of experience as a mechanic," in English. It is rewarding to be able to help people. Here is a picture of a recent class.
Our winter has been fairly mild but we have had some snow in the past few weeks. A family who had responsibility for snow removal made some entertaining snowmen for everyone's enjoyment.
We had a recent zone conference for the Nashua, Worchester, and Exeter Zones. Our inspired mission president, Stephen Hayden, gave a day long workshop to the missionaries on how to give and receive feedback. You can tell he was corporate trainer for Apple computer in his previous life. He did a masterful job that will help these young people on their mission, but also for the rest of their working and married lives.
Lastly, it has been almost one year since we entered the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah on February 14, 2022. And yet that amount of time has passed. Here is a picture of us with our district in the MTC. It does not seem possible that amount of time as passed, and yet it has.