Monday, October 28, 2013

Of Surgical Instruments and Missionary Work

If you know me, you know that I am a serious over thinker. So it is only natural that over the last few months I have sifted through tons of different possible blog names.  I finally decided on 
"An Instrument in His Hands."  It's so perfect.  I feel like this title pretty much sums up my feelings on serving a mission.  

A few years ago I read a book called "LOVE IS A VERB" by Mary Ellen Edmunds.

Holy Crap friends.  If you haven't read this book. READ IT! It is just a short little thing and yet it has wiggled it's way to the top of my favorite book list. She is such a funny lady! It's entertaining and so powerful. And you can buy it for under 10 buckaroos! Buy it on Amazon here! :)

She has a chapter titled "Instruments." I love everything she says in it. She talks about one experience she had in a surgical room as a student nurse.  As surgery began she started getting a little queasy. 

[I can relate.] 

So she decided to focus on something besides the blood and guts.  She started thinking about all of the surgical instruments on the table. These were her thoughts..... 

"What if they had minds of their own? That scalpel he was using right then- what if it suddenly decided it didn't want to do what the surgeon was directing it to do, and it started just chopping around, exploring and slicing and ...well you get the idea"

She goes on to say......

"......"Scalpels don't do that.  They don't go off on their own.  They're instruments in the hand of the surgeon and he knows what he's doing.  they're part of the team, but they do what they're directed to do. I thought about the perspective the surgeon had that the scalpel didn't...."

Even though this example makes me heart whirl and my stomach feel all woosy, I love it because I think it relates perfectly to missionary work.  Just like all things medical, the realization that I am moving to a new country, speaking a new language, and serving the Lord as a full time LDS missionary in just 5 short weeks is a little overwhelming and makes me feel a bit dizzy.

That sounds so hard.

Can I do it? How in the world will I ever be ready? What if I mess up? How the heck am I going to learn a language that sounds like toddler gibberish? What if I'm an awful teacher? What if I'm shy?  How will I know what to say?..... who to teach? 

I'm not ready to perform surgery.  I'm just a little scalpel.   

But then I remember...... 

I'm not performing surgery by myself.  The Lord will not leave me to figure it out on my own.  I am an instrument in HIS hands.  He has a plan and he knows my strengths and my weaknesses.  My job is just to be as obedient and exact as I possibly can.  To be in tune with the spirit so my Heavenly Father can direct me. I like to think of the spirit as the invisible strings that attach the scalpel to the surgeon.  The direct line of inspiration connecting me to my Heavenly Father directing me in all that I do.  I believe that is the key to true success in the mission.  He wants to help me help his children.  If I will only turn everything over to him.

"Men and women who turn their lives [missions] over to God will find out that he can make a lot more out of their lives [missions] than they can.  He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities,comfort their souls, raise up friends and pour out peace.  Whoever will lose his life to God will find he has eternal life."

~ Ezra Taft Benson

Another reason I love this example is because there are SOOOO many different types of surgical instruments.  Can you imagine if the only tool surgeons had to use were one very specific type of scalpel?  Ridiculous.  They would get nothing done.  

Missionaries are the same way.  We are all different.  Different personalities, skills, strengths, weaknesses, and opinions.  And that's WONDERFUL! He needs all of us for different situations and different people.  I like to imagine my Heavenly Father in Heaven saying..... "I have a situation Aimee.  One of my sweet children in Fiji is struggling. I need someone with these specific characteristics to help bring them back to the fold.... and I think you are the perfect instrument! Will you go and do my work and let me guide you so together we can bring them to the truth?"

YES! I Will!

I love what Alma says in Alma 29:9 ......

"I know that which the Lord has commanded me,and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy."

This too is my joy.  And my greatest desire.  I want the Lord to be able to use me as an instrument.... To be able to count on me to do what I can to help. I know the secret to this is humility, obedience and hard work.  

I am so excited to be a missionary! Only 36 days....but who's counting? :)


  1. So excited for you!! Can't wait to hear about your adventures :)

  2. I love this Aimee... Your willingness to be an instrument in the Lord's hands is exactly why you are going to be a fabulous missionary! We are so excited for you :)

  3. thanx, this is very Informational Post to Read now I am Waiting for your next post
    Surgical Instruments

  4. nice aimee ,i found it a very interesting blog . aimee i m dealing for surgical instruments

  5. Hi! You don't know me, but I was prepping my Sunday School lesson and I had in my mind a quote I read once about scalpels and being an instrument in God's hands. So I Googled it and guess what? THAT WAS IT. Now I can remember that Love Is A Verb book and now I can use her quote in my lesson. Just wanted to thank you for posting this, years ago, so I could find it today! Hope your mission went well!