It has been awhile since I have last written and, well, it has been crazy. I will try to explain a little bit today.
Ok, so first off, I am still training, although we only have three weeks left together probably, which is sad, cause I really do love Elder Lake. We get along amazingly and I believe we are both enjoying our time together. It´s strange, because although he is only a year younger than I, I feel like he looks at me as though I was waaaay older, which is interesting, because I most definitely did not feel that way about my trainer. Sadly we did not get along very well. It´s interesting how different my training was from his. I started out in a really hot, dusty, poor town where no one ever spoke English, EVER. My first three months were really solitary because no one really talked to me much. Where as Elder Lake is starting out in nice, developed, mild mannered weather village, where everyone seems to speak English. I, personally, think it is because I had a lot more to learn and had a lot more pride. He is a lot farther along in those terms. I continue as district leader, and it is something that I enjoy more and more. My district has been having success, but more importantly, I can see the personal progression of each missionary in my district, and how they are changing. The weather doesn't really change here, it just rains every day. I have lost so many umbrellas here it is ridiculous. Don´t worry the number is less than ten. I feel like where I am succeeding is in my personal relationship With the Lord, and where I am failing is with my discipline.
Lately I have been struggling with a lot of things, and in many ways this has been the hardest time I have passed in my mission. I think I wrote awhile back that I had asked the Lord for whatever trial He has in store for me to help me be who He wants me to be. And things have steadily gotten harder and harder. So hard that every single day was a challenge and that although no one else was privy to the fact (I hide fairly well what I don´t want others to know) I have been feeling like I have been steadily drowning. That I am a failure, that no matter what I do I can´t seem to be a good person. Although things have been rather tough, many a good lesson has been learned. I learned that I will never ever give up, no matter the cost or how hard I will keep pressing forward until I win the prize. I know there are better things so it doesn't matter how hard I'm hit or how often I am knocked down because I will get up, dust myself off, and push forward. I cannot and will not be moved in my testimony of what I know is right and when life gets downright nasty, I know that the dawn is always darkest before the night. A new day will shine forth so bright as to make me shield my eyes because of the glory of a future that I had not even imagined possible.
But of all of the wonderful and important things I learned, there is one which I treasure most. In all of the winds and buffetings, I have learned the source of my strength. I have developed a close and personal relationship with my older Brother and Redeemer. I know the voice of my Shepherd. I know that miracles have not ceased and that everyone has the possibility and responsibility of working miracles, the very first being ourselves in our lives. I know that prayers are answered and that when we reach the point in our lives when we want answers more than we want anything else, we will find success. I know that today in the world, miracles happen and that they have not ceased, We can receive answers like those of old. We can be the best of ourselves, regardless of who our neighbors are, or who our family is. Keep on, push through the dreary night, find the new morning. Do whatever it takes to win your freedom. I love you so much, thank you for the constant support of letters emails and prayers.
Elder Noah M. Toney
|Service project. I cut down a tree with a machete!|
|Boredom midst setting up chairs for Sunday morning|
|Hermano Adrian! He received the priesthood and is in his new white shirt and tie.|