Monday, March 10, 2014

Cheerfully Practicing Patience

Hi All,

Thanks for the emails last week, it was great to hear from you all again!  I always love getting your letters and pictures and little peeks into what life is like for all of you.  (Sorry I don't have any pictures today - I've been working too hard to stop and take pictures!) :)
Thanks for your prayers for me this week, and also for Stan.  He came to church in Johor again this week, and he seems to be feeling pretty well again.  I know it's still hard for him, but I'm so glad to see such a strong manifestation of his faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and in the plan of salvation, prepared for him, for his father, and for everyone.
This week, I have had many opportunities to practice Christlike attributes that Elder Fabiano and I have been studying.  I got to exercise my patience, especially.  Only one of our appointments for the whole week actually happened.  Everyone else cancelled, or was not willing to accompany us to visit less actives or investigators.  So, we spent almost all of our proselyting time contacting.  Because President Mains has raised the standard of excellence from 1 new investigator every week to 2 new investigators every week, we have been working extra hard.  I was a little surprised, because I count it a miracle week if we find a single new investigator. However, the missionaries in my district have counseled together, and we have adjusted our goals and plans to meet the new standards.  I sense a great excitement from all four of us about talking to everyone, working smart, using our time well, and prayerfully seeking those who are prepared to receive us.  I'm afraid I'm lacking in faith.  I have to constantly remind myself that although I don't know how it will happen, I know that the Lord can provide a way for us to do as he has commanded.  I met many, many people who are not prepared to receive the Gospel this week, but I have never felt a greater sense of purpose and determination. 
Although I could easily view last week as one of little success, I feel very happy that the Lord has helped me see a strength of mine.  As Elder Fabiano and I spent hours trying to find new investigators, I felt hot, sweaty, hungry and tired, but I never became irritated or angry that people were not accepting us, and I was not bothered by anything people said to me.  I feel very blessed with patience these last several days.  I don't know how to describe what I was thinking or what I felt except that I just didn't let anything weigh me down.  I felt perfectly happy all the day long, even when things weren't going my way.
This next week, my focus for Christlike attributes is Charity and Love.  As explained in Preach My Gospel, I want to strengthen my ability to demonstrate Charity by viewing others as they have the potential to become, not as they appear to me as they try to wave me away from their gates or avoid me in the malls.  I began yesterday night, and it really helped me and Elder Fabiano to be friendly to people even as they all rejected us.  One thing I noticed that Elder Fabiano did especially well as we both practiced Charity - he was able to turn someone's dismissing frown into a smile by the time we finished a short conversation with them.  I hope I can be inspired enough to do the same this week.
I know that as other people can feel Heavenly Father's love for them through us, they will naturally want to come closer to Him, and we will find a new friend.  I hope that this is something I will never forget, even after the mission, and something that we can all keep in mind as we meet other people each day.  After all, we're all children of God.


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