Hola! Como estas?
I was contemplating on what to put into my weekly update today. As I was typing, I realized that the email was getting long so I had to give a summary of the events that transpired this week. I am not perfect but I will do the best that I can to give you an idea.
This week, we have been struggling with people to teach. Those that we have put as new investigators haven't been answering the phone. Lately, we've found that they have been meeting with the local missionaries. We were happy about that but sometimes, it is quite frustrating because you want to know how their progress is. And I thought I had learned my lesson from past experiences that are exactly like that. Believe it or not, it is one of the lessons that I have come to fully understand these past few weeks. So as to summarize my email, I will break them down into what are those lessons that I have learned.
1. To completely rely on the Savior in EVERYTHING!
This week has been a week of much prayer, evaluation, pondering and reflecting on self and what I need to improve on. My companion has definitely helped me out on that a lot and even if I don't necessarily agree with how she goes about it, but I love her for that. It helps me change for the better. And knowing that I also needed the aid of the Atonement to do so, the burden was also made light. What's amazing about the Atonement is it does not only heal the sick and the afflicted, it does bear up our burdens with ease, just like what Elder Bednar said.
2. If we fall short, "The Savior is not disappointed as long as we earnestly seek to repent".
This is one of the things that I've learned during the training that we had last Wednesday about missionary work and the digital age. I failed to mention in the previous emails is that we will soon be having iPads as a mission. But that does not make us an "iPad mission" nor a "facebook mission". We are still a Preach My Gospel mission using iPads as tools to hasten the work of Salvation. But we do have weaknesses. As younger generation, we tend to be so caught up with our digital devices. Knowing how I was before my mission with technology and facebook, felt uncomfortable about having facebook in the mission at first but Elder Clarke reassured us that it is just a tool. And if we feel vulnerable, we need to acknowledge and be aware, choose to act, and learn and improve from our experiences and evaluate if we are using time wisely as a missionary.
3. We, and others around us, have the ability to choose for ourselves. And let go of things we cannot control.
We are agents - to act and not to be acted upon. We have the ability to choose how we can respond to the stressors that we have everyday. But we also must remember that there are things that we can control and there are things that we cannot control. That I guess is the very highlight of what I have learned with us struggling with missionary work. As missionaries, we are to invite others to come unto Christ by HELPING them receive the restored Gospel. We have that choice to internalize our purpose and do all that we can to help them. People also have the choice to accept that help or that invitation. What we choose is ours to control. What others choose is beyond our ability to control or manage. We can choose to let go of the things we could not handle or we can choose to dwell on what we feel as our failures resulting from unrealistic expectations. Having these thoughts, I have come to be more positive about the work. I was mentioning to my companion yesterday, "I feel sad because we didn't have anyone we taught that can support our numbers. But it doesn't matter because we called everyone that we can, talked to everyone that we could and it was their choice not to answer or accept the invitation. That was beyond our control."
Those I guess were the top three things that I have learned this week and probably from my mission. I am just amazed of how the gospel and the mission truly changes us because of the experiences that we have.
Well, this is it. Next email that I will be sending is the first of the few last emails I will be sending home. But I look forward to good things this next 6-7 weeks.
On the side note, I met Elder Edvalson who just got home from the Philippines Cebu Mission last Wednesday. I just wanted to let my family know that I have received your regards. It was just funny because I was in a middle of the a when he called out and I had no idea who he is. XD and can anyone search for me the alternatives for increasing HDL levels in the body? I got a chat today about drinking red wine and saying that it's the best option to raise HDL (High-density lipoprotein). Sorry... this is just the nurse in me. :P