Monday, November 5, 2012

September 30, 2012

Hello! This week has been pretty good. We got a lot done this week. We met the standard of excellence, finally. That means we taught 25 lessons in a week. That's not to shabby especially because I am still training Elder Madsen, and because we didn't work at all on Wednesday. We had a district meeting and interviews with President on that day. Once we got home from that (at 5ish), neither Elder and I were feeling so good. It had been a long couple of days before that and we just needed to lay down haha. I never do that! But it was needed for sure. My body seemed mad at me for going non stop forever, it needed rest haha. Anyways we had a lot of lessons, and came home super pooped at the end of each day. The only problem was we didn't have a good turn out on Sunday. It wasn't rainy or anything, just way hot. It has been way hotter here than usual these past couple of days, but we haven't dead yet. Our members and investigators complain about it more than us. Haha wieners. Anyways it was pretty depressing going to church and seeing none of our 9 progressing investigators there, and half of the less actives we are working with. I want to leave this area better than I found it, and I have a hard time thinking that not much will have changed because of what I have done. 2 weeks or so ago we just completely filled the place, and everyone came up to the missionaries and said "thanks" and "great job." I told them it obviously wasn't me doing that, it was the Lord, and them making the change for themselves. Then its almost like people look at me when church attendance is low, and wonder why I don't do my job right. It makes me laugh wondering if they knew how many hours, and everything we put into our work for them and then they still don't make a move or change. I want to be more like a Jeffrey R Holland or a Brigham Young. They are amazing speakers, and so sophisticated and loving but are bold. Like what Elder Holland talked about I think 2 conferences ago, "being bold enough to singe the eyebrows a little...because anything else doesn't seem to work." I just know if I do that I could offend a lot of people. I think I could do it perfectly well in English, but Tagalog to me seems to be different. I just don't know how people here will take it. I just want to call them all to repentance and let them all know they are on the fast track to hell. (That's pretty Brigham Youngish...haha). I obviously wouldn't say something like that to someone. But I just want people to care. Oh well, hopefully everything works out. 

We've had several really humbling experiences this week. One is our friend, and group leader, Brother Jeff. Brother Jeff is the man. He is the man who needs the blessings that everyone else takes for granted. He can't even comprehend the fact that some teenager would complain about not having his gas tank filled, or not getting a really cool cell phone or something. This guy wants nothing more than to just feed his family. We were talking about Mathew 6, and Jesus' words about seeking the kingdom of God first, overall. He said that used to be the hardest thing.He said that the only thing he really finished in his mission was the 2 year part. He said rules became nothing, studies nothing, etc. and he went inactive. He talked about he hates the fact that he's always been a started and not a finisher. He said these past couple years he has been doing all that he can to be a finisher. He said since then life has been harder than ever. He sees members not paying tithing, gambling, drinking, etc and they always have something to feed the kids. It gets him mad thinking about it. Then he paused for a several long seconds and said "you know what I did last night?... I sold the vegetables I grew here...You know how much I made...?...20 pesos..." Then he kind of laughed, choked with a tear, and rested his head on the back of his chair, and took a deep breath. Then I shared with him what I shared for my DL message, about how the mission and life itself is our refiners fire. How we are all pieces of coal right now, but with hard work, and endurance we will eventually be the diamonds that God wants us to be in his Celestial kingdom. I basically shared everything Dad taught me in that email he sent. (thanks dad). He liked that, and offered us some vegetables before we left. He said they were free, but there was no way in heck I was going to take his free vegetables. He wouldn't take my money(100p, way way more than what those veggies cost), but I persisted. I am close enough with him, for him to not to have gotten mad at that. He really appreciated it. 

Oh I forgot to say that he was telling us how we landed a job interview with Yakult, driving a truck and restocking Yakult at stores. He wasn't able to get the interview in Naga though because he had no fare. He has it now, because of the veggies. I hope he gets the job. He would make 150-175p a day from that.... This guy is the man. He is the man of all men. He is humble, and deserving of everything we take for granted. Slap me if I ever complain of being without or ungrateful.
Not sure what else to write. Work is good. 

Love you

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