Hope of Italy
The word hope is sometime misunderstood. In our everyday language, the word often has a hint of uncertainty. For example, we may say that we hope for a change in the weather or for a visit from a friend. I’ve noticed that “hope” often has a weak and wavering connotation. We hope for good things to happen to us, but we rarely are ready or willing to put in the work to see the success that we “hope” for. We hope that things will be handed to us on a silver platter, that we will “win the lottery” so to speak and then things will be all right. I am guilty of this myself. In Italy most of our time was spent trying to find people who would listen to our message. We generally tried to find people by talking with whoever we could find on buses, streets, and knocking doors. I “hoped” that someone would take pity on us and listen to our message. However, experience taught me that this was rarely the case. It was hard to be hopeful and positive in these circumstances.
In the language of the gospel, however, the word hose is sure, unwavering, and active. Prophets speak of having a “firm hope” (Alma 34:41) and a “lively hope” (1 Peter 1:3). The prophet Moroni taught, “Whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God” (Ether 12:4).
I can honestly say that I have experienced this kind of hope. I felt it most often while teaching people about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and of the love our Father in Heaven has for us. As I testified to the Italian people who sat down with us and read the scriptures with them, I did feel hopeful. I was hopeful (in this more traditional sense that is often associated with “wishfulness”) that they would listen to my testimony and recognize it as truth. But I also had hope that was more like a sure knowledge that if they would listen with an open heart and pray sincerely about the things that I was teaching them that they would receive an answer that confirmed that what I was saying was truth.
I pray that we can be more hopeful in our everyday lives. That we can set attainable goals that push us and hopefully seek after these righteous desires that we have.
Hope of Swtizerland
Hope is such a key aspect in life that it’s hard to pick out just one story, especially from the mission, about hope. One can hope for many things and missionaries had some strange hopes. I hoped for mail and in said mail I hoped that I would find cookies or some other delectable surprise. I hoped for investigators to progress. I hoped to find families to teach. I hoped to be transferred to certain areas due to landscape, ward, amount of investigators, and companions. I remember many times hoping to catch the train or bus on time to avoid a few kilometer walk to our next appointment. Every day I would find myself hoping for something new.
What I learned about hope on the mission is that it is definitely a motivation to get out the door and to go to work. The book of Ether explains that hope is “an anchor to the soul.” It is an anchor because it keeps us in place. It keeps our eyes focused on the things that matter most. Hope truly is a motivation; not only in the gospel aspect of things, but in everyday life. You usually don’t do something without hoping for a certain outcome. One studies for hours on end in the hopes of doing well on a test or assignment. One applies for countless jobs in the hopes of gaining employment. One gets up and tries again after failing in the hopes of one day being able to succeed. One follows the commandments of God in hopes of pleasing our loving Heavenly Father.
I felt that Satan tried hard and many times to shatter my hopes during my mission. Even the devil realizes that if you take the hope away from an individual, that individual will more than likely not accomplish anything! No work will get done without hope. Sometimes, the only thing that kept me going out in the mission field was a hope that I was pleasing the Lord, and at times I could feel Satan try to take that hope away from me.
Always keep a hope for a brighter and better world. Always keep your hopes alive that your dreams will one day become a reality. Have a hope that the Lord does love you and wants the best for you in life. If you’re going through a trial, keep the hope that better times are just around the corner.