Everyone has known a person who just makes life difficult. Maybe it’s a coworker, a sibling, an in-law, or a classmate who criticizes everything you do, won’t listen to your ideas, or is just plain hard to get along with. These people are challenging to love. However, that doesn’t mean they’re exempt from the Savior’s commandment for us to love them as He loves us (see John 13:34-35). After all, Jesus said, it’s easy to love our friends, but what sets us apart as true Christians is how we show love to people we really work hard at loving (Matthew 5:43-46). I learned how to love people who are hard to love as a sister missionary in Tokyo, Japan.
My second to last transfer, I was assigned to train a brand-new missionary. She was Japanese, about seven years older than I was, and she did not like Americans. From day one, everything we did was a struggle. As a seasoned missionary, I wanted to show her how missionary work was done, and she wanted to go about things her own way, preferably with as little input from me as possible. I prayed for strength to get through the transfer, and we did make some progress near the end, but it was a relief when the mission president assigned me a new companion.
I decided that if things were going to be different during the last six weeks of my mission, the change had to come from my actions. My new companion was also a brand-new missionary who needed guidance, and she was always very nervous when doing missionary work. Apart from encouraging her while we were out proselyting, I decided to show my approval and love in our prayers.
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