Well, this week was pretty much the same as last week. I don't feel any progress is being made in our area. At least, our numbers don't show any progress, and nothing spectacular has happened, but I do feel a little closer to one or two people I have met here than I was last week. I hope that is worthwhile progress. I know it's not all about the numbers, but our goals this week have hit an all-time low, (only one field shows something other than a zero) and it reflects quite accurately what has been going on in our missionary work lately.
A couple of high points of my week: I played the trumpet at our branch dumpling night activity. Sister Beus accompanied me on the piano as I played what was a solo voice arrangement of "Be Still, My Soul," which I transposed by hand into the right key for trumpet. It was a lot of fun, and a great relief to some building stress. All the branch members were made to sit through it, as well as my "Called to Serve" and another member playing a beautiful piano piece. I say "made to sit through it," because they all came, watched a few people play a game, then were told to stay in their seats and not eat until the music was finished. It was a little odd, kind of like a recital nobody knew they were going to hear, but I think the activity was still a success.
One more highlight: I had an interview with President Mains, who gave me some good advice, like extending only commitments that I'm already living, and some direction in doing so: read deeply from the Book of Mormon every day for personal study. It was a good reminder to me that the scriptures have real power, and that even when we can't see the effect they have on us immediately, we can't afford to go without the direction and comfort the Lord can give us through the words of the prophets. I'd been reading the words of the modern prophets as I browsed conference talks, lately, but I'd been a little lethargic about getting into the Book of Mormon as deeply as I should. While the words of Elder Nelson, Elder Perry, President Monson, and others who spoke at this last general conference are a bit easier for me to understand, I know that answers to my questions have come in a subtle and powerful way which I cannot describe, from reading the Book of Mormon with real intent.
President also gave me encouragement that was very welcome in a time of personal confusion and discouragement.
It's strange that I can honestly say that I'm still loving the mission, despite current disappointing circumstances I cannot control. I'm so grateful for your prayers, thoughts, and the love you send through your letters! Know that I love all of you, too, very much!