Monday, December 28, 2015

Don't sacrifice happiness for pride

Hello Everyone!

Jacqueline Anderson sent me a list of Jedi/missionary comparisons, and I just want you to know that I am inestimably happy over that list. I do believe that my life has been made. For some reason my love for Star Wars is amplified here, but don´t worry, the Gospel is ever my focus.

Can I start out this week with a shout out to all the people who are supporting me? Do every single person that has sent me a package, or letter, or email, or love, or nice thoughts, or who has been my friend, I want you to know that you are making a difference in my life, and through me, the lives of many people here in Costa Rica. Although I am not perfect in my giving of thanks, let it be known that from the depths of my heart I am deeply grateful. An I ain´t sayin that lightly! The love that has been shown to me is changing me. I am a better person, and therefore a better missionary, because of all of you. I worry that you don´t know. But I know. This week has been hard, mostly because my trainer and I are struggling. Holy cats Batman the struggle is real. Two people with diverse faults are put together and fireworks result. Between my (at times) intimidating desire to communicate, and his desire to not have conflict, problems have ensued. But I can say with honesty that I love him, and that slowly things are improving. And in this process I am becoming a much better person. All the pride got stripped away and I realized that I am willing to do whatever necessary to be a good missionary, a good person, and someday a good husband and father. That being said, I am one stubborn son of a gun. So here´s the lesson I learned this week: Don´t sacrifice happiness for pride. It sucks.

The mission conference was pretty cool, we spent the night before in the house of the APs with other missionaries. So naturally I initiated a bunch of strength contests. The thing about central Americans is that by nature they are a tad bit small. So I ruled the coop until an older, biggerThr (he weighed like 220 fetchin pounds) white guy came in. Although I lost, respect was founded, and friendships were made. Never-mind the fact that the next couple of days I couldn't move my right shoulder. I´m a manly man. we don´t feel pain (that is for my brothers and Uncle Matthew).

My mission president is pretty darn cool, even though he doesn't speak much English. He´s also very strict. But out here in Santa Cruz, we rarely feel the effect of that. No I have yet to see any missionaries from the east mission. I believe there are about 60 pairs of missionaries, so 120 in all. It´s a five hour trip there and back, which I love. I´m a fan of buses in general, I get to think, and look at the country side. Seats are assigned so there aren´t many proselytizing opportunities. Wanna hear something crazy? Here in Costa Rica, there are certain places where they make you pay to use the bathroom! So you´re paying to eat the food, an payin to eliminate it. The nerve!

Mashing potatoes the ghetto way. I am using plastic bottles!
My APs are pretty chill, I really don´t have much contact with them as a greenie. Christmas day was literally just a regular day, it was strange because it really felt nothing like Christmas, which saddened me, but then I tthought, "What better way to the celebrate the birth of a man who spent His entire life in service, than through service?"

I must sign off for today.

With love,

Elder Toney

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