Our bishop in the Écully Ward really integrates his missionaries in all the ward activities. We are included as members of the ward council that meets two evenings per month. Last Thursday, Bishop Pommier gave us the assignment to do the Saturday cleaning of the chapel. It was actually really fun to meet and clean the church with six great young missionaries, one from Italy, one from Germany and the rest from the U.S. And it's kind of comforting when you finally get an assignment that you actually feel qualified to do!
This week we got a letter from some dear friends back home who have recently received the call to serve as the president of a mission. As they anticipate their assignment, they are feeling a bit overwhelmed and under-qualified by the magnitude of the responsibility. We can empathize. We experienced the same feelings of inadequacy when we received our relatively easy call. But the letter they sent also said that they know that they "can love" and that is "the key". Anyone who has figured that out is qualified to be a mission president or about anything else in the church.
Recently we were just down the street from our apartment in the mission office where two other senior missionary couples serve. One of the senior office missionaries, Elder Mahaffey, had a shoe shine box by his desk. Every time a young elder walked into the office, Elder Mahaffey would have him sit down and put a foot up on the box. Elder Mahaffey would bend down and polish the young elder's shoes in exchange for a spiritual missionary experience.
We shared this shoe shine story with our newly called mission president friends who aren't yet feeling quite up to the call. We assured them that Heavenly Father isn't looking for someone with CEO expertise to be a mission president. He just wants someone who can shine shoes, especially when someone else's feet are in them. That's the kind of "mission president" the Savior was.
Cleaning the church with the young missionaries.
A local poster that reads "Be Yourself. Unless you can be Batman."
(Seemed somehow appropriate with the first photo posted above!)