July 16, 2014
We got an early start this morning so that I could get to the temple at 10:00. My crew is going with all of the missionaries that are returning in a week so this will be interesting. I am told that President gets up and tells us that we are done pretty much after the temple, so I don't know how that will work with me having three more weeks left. Haha guess I will find out shortly.
This past week was good! One of the highlights was that Denis, an investigator of the sisters got baptized and confirmed. She was a media referral from our area, so we handed her off to the sisters immediately, and they worked with her and got her baptized ASAP! She is awesome- she has a great testimony and is committed to fellowship others already. We went over Sunday and had a feast- it was a great dinner and she knows how to cook.
Last Friday I went on a exchange with Elder Garibay, district leader of the Kingsbridge 1st Spanish district. He is Mexican but was originally called to be in the Portuguese program. He also wants to learn Italian so we spent the split bouncing English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian off of each other- I love that! He is a great missionary, always very well composed, never noticeably frustrated or uptight. I asked him how he does that and he explained that an eternal perspective helps him. Whenever he would be tempted to be mad or anything, he simply asks himself "what would Jesus do?" (His name is Jesus so that makes it funny). Anyways, it was a good reminder and is a simple practice that will help me in the future. It was a good exchange- I enjoy exchanges.
Yesterday it rained a ton- you probably saw my facebook post. If we would have been in pros, I would have been ticked, but luckily we were just coming from service, so we had a great time splashing in the gutters, bouncing around all over and so on. It was a really bad downpour. We enjoyed ourselves, though, and then were able to clean up well. It made for a fun day, but then we found that our phone disappeared. We went looking for it, and we found it, but it was damaged and still won't start up. We will have to get a new one, but we still had a good time.
Yesterday we went and visited a relatively new investigator. He was a media referral and his name is Kevin. He lives in a nursing home because he was shot in the head a few years back. He survived, but wasn't left in the best of shape. He can still think and talk and do all those things well, he just has a messed up skull and can't move one side of his body as well. He likes to talk so we haven't been able to get a solid lesson in yet, usually just a brief scripture before we have to run, but we are looking forward to working with him and helping him however we can.
One of the things that happened about two weeks ago now was mission leadership conference- I didn't really say anything about it because I was a little shot after the play. Anyways, it was great! We had a lot of changes presented to us- our definitions for key indicators changed to be that which it says in Preach My Gospel, we are now allowed to and encouraged to use different applications that the iPad has like calendar, reminders, etc instead of having to use the area book/planner app (which is awesome because the area book/planner app is super slow and glitchy). We also are now teaching lesson five to investigators before baptism and we will handle recent converts a little differently after baptism- we will still remain in good contact with them and be in charge of getting the post baptism lessons to them. With all those changes, a big theme of ours when we planned out zone meeting was to be willing. We are out here in the mission field at a time of great change. A few of those changes that have occurred while I have been out are change of age, change of wardrobe, change in email policy, iPads, Facebook, skype, other hastening efforts, and a lot of other things here and there. It is quite the transient time and it can be frustrating at times because of the learning curve- trying to get used to things and get an idea of just how things should be working out. So we talked about how we need to be willing to work with those changes as they come and make the most of it- we are the pioneers in the mission field setting things up for how they will be done until the second coming. These are exciting times!
One thing that President emphasized that I have been thinking about lately is being a representative of Jesus Christ. I realized that by being a representative of Jesus Christ, I have come to know Him better and I have come to understand the atonement better. Inevitably, as we as missionaries represent Him, we have to pass through things that He went through. We are rejected, we have to suffer through experiences with those people with whom we work, we have to be tempted and many other things. Doing so, has helped me to appreciate what He did. I don't understand the depth of what Christ did- I feel as though these experiences more so have brought me to the edge of an abyss and allowed me to look down and see just how deep His experiences are. That makes me want to be a better person. For example, as I am rejected by people on the streets, judged to be a thing of naught by those around me, I can look to Christ and get strength from His example. He out of anybody deserved the least to be judged as a thing of naught ( 1 Nephi 19:9) but He got hit the hardest and was still able to treat people with love. He is so awesome and I am grateful to wear his name on my chest. I look forward to more time representing him!
One more thing- I have drawn great power from memorizing scripture on pondering on that scripture throughout the day. I have found that doing so helps virtue to garnish my thoughts, and helps me to keep a good attitude when I am tempted to give in to negative thoughts.
Memorizing scripture helps me to hold on to that hope that I have through Christ. Plus I heard it will help me to memorize stuff for ochem, so there is an added bonus! So give it a shot, you won't regret it!
I just got out of the temple, and am picking up where I left off. The temple was great! It was weird because I still do have three weeks left, but going there just gave me all that much more of a determination to finish strong and make the most out of what time I still have. An RM there told me to take advantage of being a representative of Christ by talking and smiling at as many people as possible. They might not have the opportunity to see or talk to a representative of Christ like that, so we have to take advantage. I feel nothing but good about the next few weeks. It might fly, but I will make the most out of it as it does!
Thanks for the love and support! Have a great week!