I don't want to be prideful, but I have to acknowledge something I don't usually acknowledge.
I went to Argentina to return to my mission. It was a very short trip, in relation to the amount of time I originally spent there 7 years ago.
While I was travelling there, I reviewed some of the papers I had kept from my mission. A few of them were from my mission president, encouraging me to maintain good habits when I got back home. As I read through the lists, and even one that I had made of goals I wanted to accomplish when I got home to 'normal life,' I realized that I had maintained and kept almost all of those aspirations. Things like consistently studying my scriptures, talking with my Heavenly Father in prayer, and going to church faithfully, I was accomplishing.
Just recently my focus has started to shift from accomplishments to strengthening good habits. The later is more sustainable, and can be applied to all future environments, no matter the accomplishments or lack of them. While it seemed as I was visiting my mission again that I didn't have visible accomplishments of my years at home (a boyfriend, a husband, or children, for example), I had maintained my standards. Though members were quick to ask about those outward successes, I didn't receive hardly any questions about my fidelity in the Church or how I had grown and matured at home.
Now that I realize how successful I've been at maintaining my testimony, I feel grateful and blessed. A thought came into my head today: these little efforts are like rowing a boat. Though rowing might seem repetitive, at times boring, or at least not as interesting as doing something else, how would you expect to get somewhere if you stopped rowing?
It's the little actions that make the difference and compound to eventually make up a life of service and sacrifice, a life worthy of marvelous blessings.