Sunday, May 26, 2013

[5/6/2013] Week 8: Challenge vs Chill

It has been an uplifting and edifying week for me. I had the opportunity to hear from
Elder Aidukaitis in the MTC, and he was just as captivating and didactic this week at our
mission conference as he was a few months ago. I am grateful to have someone as fired up
and brilliant as him to help direct the work. One of the most profound things he said to
us was simply: "Do not be a tourist in the mission." I have expressed to y'all before that
I do not want to go home having felt like I could have done more, and Elder Aidukaitis'
words reinforced that feeling. I know that I can definitely do better about literally
filling my planner every day. It will be difficult to do, I think, with Elder Deakin, but
if I tell Elder Deakin exactly how I feel, I think he will understand my desire to really
give it my all. I have slowly been doing better about being courageous enough to make
suggestions as far as going out and doing more during our days, persuading him to keep
working hard in the fourthwatch of his mission.

Last night, we had a spectacular experience. We attended what is called a "cottage
meeting" at the mission home, where missionaries bring investigators and/or recent
converts (we brought Jordan, and would have brought Ellen, but she hasn't been attending
church! ): ) to listen to other recent converts tell their stories and bear their
testimonies. There was a politician from the Congo who only spoke French (we heard his
whole story through an interpreter) and had to flee to the US as his life was in danger.
He was touched by the effort members of the Church made to communicate with him. He could
not get people to listen to him for longer than two or three minutes at a nearby Baptist
church. But a French-speaking RM was found and he was taught the Gospel through him. He
recounted coming across Amos 3:7 in Africa and feeling determined to find a church with
living prophet.

I must admit I feel a little selfish in that surely the event was more for me than anyone
else present! It was so inspiring to meet those people and hear their incredible stories
and feel the Spirit testify of the truthfulness and validity of this great work. I walked
out of the mission home feeling so fired up and ready to go out and find people just like
the ones we met last night, with their own unique stories, concerns, and challenges and
help them experience the joy of coming unto Christ.

On Saturday, after the long, draining mission conference, we arrived home at about 6:45pm
and ate dinner. Afterwards, I could tell Elder Deakin was tempted to stay home and take it
easy - and I was too - , but I didn't feel right about doing nothing for almost two hours.
I suggested we go out and visit a few potential investigators and a less-active family,
and he agreed. One of the potentials was a missionary contact that we hadn't yet been able
to get a hold of, but she ended up being home when we went by! The other was a similar
case, and we were able to set up a lesson for Tuesday. Had we taken the easy route, we
would not have made that progress.

I know that at this point, the work in the Shoultes Ward seems to be going at the rate of "onesies or twosies" (a quote from Elder Aidukaitis), and other missionaries have heretofore convinced me that this is normal, acceptable, or ordinary. But after listening to Elder Aidukaitis and attending the cottage meeting, I am inspired to be an extraordinary tool in the Lord's hand, because He has extraordinary work to do. It will not be easy, and I will have to strive to rely wholly on the Lord, but I know it can be done.

I love you all! As Jordan would say, "Hold on to the Word. Just keep it with you and let
it be inside you." Ahh, I love that guy. He's so chill.


Elder Martin

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