Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Lord will make changes in our lives if we'll only let Him

 Howdy Howdy Everyone!

Sorry I wasn't able to write on Monday, our usual pday.  Instead I went to San José for a checkup with the mission president (all the newbies do it).  And can I say that San José is downright FREAKY. I was walking down the street and this man said (rather loudly) ¨"Witches and Warlocks, there you are" A tad strange.  There are also statues of colorful cows and fat bronze women. Will I ever understand art?  Anyway that´s why I didn´t email.  We had to get up at one in the morning to get there, cause it´s a five hour trip (yikes) However I love long bus trips because you get to see the beautiful landscape.

There are about 30 people in our teaching pool, but there are many we don´t see often. People never answer their phones here so a lot is just touch and go, hoping that they´re at home, hoping they´ll let us in. That´s tough for me at times because we know that some of these people would progress if they'd only make time for us. I am adapting to the heat fairly well.  My skin is again getting brownish after the total whiteness that was me in the MTC.

So something funny--there was this man we were talking to outside of his house, and this man spoke FAST. I mean seriously rapido, so much so that even my companion had trouble understanding him. All that I got was that he didn´t believe in the conventional God. Amidst this flow of sound, I decided to extend the baptismal covenant. That sure stopped the uninterrupted, unintelligible, mind numbing cascade of some language that sounded only vaguely like Spanish. I took advantage of lull in the storm and explained that as he prayed, he could come to an understanding of these things. He said he would, the conversation didn´t last much longer. Hopefully he´ll pray.

Something else funny. We were having a lesson with a married women in her mid thirties or forties. And the lesson was going really well--we were connecting well and the Spirit was strong. After we closed the lesson, I went to shake her hand and she came in for a kiss on the cheek! Now I realize it´s a cultural thing here, and if I wasn´t a missionary it wouldn´t be a big deal. But I am a missionary, so it was mighty awkward. I just kinda pulled back and said "Sorry!" My companion of course just laughed. -______-

So about Thanksgiving.  I actually didn´t even realize it was Thanksgiving until the very end of the day. Here in Santa Cruz, we apparently do nothing different for turkey day.  I wasn´t really bothered except for the fact that I look forward to the day when I can again spend it with my family.  Apparently it´s the same for Christmas, we just work. Which is okay :)

The lesson I learned this week is about loving my companion/pride. In fact I´m still learning it. I´m grateful for the advice given to me early on by Lans Jameson, because it´s helped me realize that I need to do better. Often times we let pride get in the way of reconciliation and amity.  But the question I ask myself is this, "Is it worth it to preserve your pride and lose unity in the work?"  Obviously no, but still I struggle. Things are improving however, and that brings me to my miracle.

The miracle is a Heavenly Father that is willing to work with me, and indeed, all of us. Heavens above, some days it just seems too hard, but each time that I kneel in sincere prayer, I am helped.  Honestly, sometimes I don´t want to be here doing this.  But those moments are far overshadowed by the realization that what I´m doing is that which my Father in Heaven wants me to do.  I am growing so much.  I am a better person for having made this choice and I would never take it back. I remember looking in the mirror when I was younger and hating what I saw. Now I´m hopeful. The Lord will make changes in our lives if we'll only let Him. If you don´t know what that means or how to do it, ask someone smart, like a bishop, or trusted friend, or me, and you´ll find help and love. It´s worth being happy in life.

 I love you all.  I hope and pray for you all. You are my strength. Go do what will make your life great.


Elder Noah M. Toney

No comments:

Post a Comment