I spent a lot of this week being angry. I was angry at the elders, angry at my companion, angry at people at home, angry at people in the branch, basically just angry at everything. I'm in charge of a lot of the planning for this weeks Christmas open house and there is a lot that needs to be done with not a lot of time and not many resources. Plus, the zone leader and district leader were over in Cambodia the past week, so all of our planning and organization was thrown out the window.
The stress has been hitting me full force and I've been exhausted. One thing that I've realized about myself while I've been serving is that I think about quitting all of the time. There have been numerous times that I've wanted to just walk out of lessons with frustrating investigators, or just get in a taxi and leave when my companion does something that annoys me. Yes, these are real things that go though my head. I always want to quit and it's a huge problem of mine! But since the time I had to go home to go to the doctor until now, each day I understand more and more just how precious this time to serve is!
We have been teaching a lot of members an older talk from Elder Nelson entitled 'Ask the Missionaries! They Can Help You!'. In the talk Elder Nelson says, "Missionaries in their late teens or early 20's are young in ways of the world. But they are blessed with gifts—such as the power of the Holy Spirit, the love of God, and testimonies of the truth—that make them powerful ambassadors of the Lord. They share the good news of the gospel that will bring true joy and everlasting happiness to all who heed their message. And in many instances they do so in a country and a language foreign to them." He then goes on to say only a few of the numerous ways that missionaries can help non-members and those that are already members of the church; including, family history work, conquering an addiction, being healthier, finding direction or purpose in life, how to strengthen a marriage and family, understanding of the Book of Mormon and The Bible, providing relief to victims of disaster, or "about life after death, about heaven, [and] about God's plan for you."
"Ask the missionaries! They can help you!"
I along with the other 88,000 missionaries want to help you with anything you need! We are all ready! So please, give us the opportunity to serve you!
I remember my friend Aisha telling me a story of when she was living in Provo and the elders would always come to her apartment and ask if she needed help with anything. What would be the response these elders would receive from you? "No, it's okay, I'm good." I know that's what I probably would have said. Well, that's not what my best friend Aisha did! She let the elders take the garbage from her kitchen out to the dumpster!
The first time I heard this story I thought it was hilarious! Thinking about it again, I though that it was a little mean to make the missionaries to such a stupid job. Thinking about it now, Aisha was right, She gave the missionaries a chance to serve!
Was Aisha capable of taking out the garbage herself? I bet she was! But whether it was intentional or not, she followed the counsel of Elder Nelson to "ask the missionaries!"
I often hear members of the church say, "Oh I don't need any help, and you're already busy teaching investigators. People! us missionaries, believe it or not, we're not celebrities! We don't have a crowd of people waiting outside our home waiting to be taught. We have time to serve you! I didn't read anywhere in my call letter something that says "you are hereby called to serve only non-members and inactives." I alone with all the other missionaries are here to serve everyone, and that includes you!
Elder Nelson also says, ". . . young missionaries set aside their education, occupation, dating, and whatever else young adults would typically be doing at this stage of life. For 18 to 24 months they put it all on hold because of their deep desire to serve the Lord. . . . The decision to serve a mission will shape the spiritual destiny of the missionary, his or her spouse, and their posterity for generations to come. A desire to serve is a natural outcome of one’s conversion, worthiness, and preparation."
I didn't leave my home and my family to go one a mission because it sounded like a fun little sabbatical. I came to serve! That's why all of us go - to serve. So now I have a commitment for all of you: find one thing for the missionaries to do to help you before January 1, 2o15. No matter how small, smaller, large or huge the service you need is, we're here to help you!
I want to end by quoting a talk by Elder S. Gifford Nielsen in general conference October 2014. Elder Nielsen said, "pray for the missionaries serving in your area and their investigators by name every day. The only way to do this is to greet them, look at their badge, call them by name, and ask them who they are teaching. Elder Russell M. Nelson wisely contributed, 'Until you know a person’s name and face, the Lord cannot help you know his or her heart.'
This missionary work thing, it's a team effort. You help me, I help you, we're a great big family, with a great big hug and yada yada yada... The point is, you can help me by letting me help you! Really, this is a win win situation for both parties involved.
Stay righteous. Do the Lord's work. Remember the commitment that I just gave you (I will be following up and ya'll better do it!). Keep it real!
No emailing next week because we're skyping home! #TTYL
I didn't take any pictures this week, so here's an old one of me getting fat.