Sunday, June 16, 2013

[6/10/2013] Week 13: Trials! Oh boy!

My new greenie, Elder Benedict
This week has been without doubt the most challenging of my mission so far. Coming from being a trainee to flipping around and training a new missionary is an immense challenge, but I have already grown so much because of it.

I mentioned last week that we had contacted a woman named Carol shortly before entering the library and that she was what many would call a "golden contact". She readily agreed to come to church! Well, on Thursday of this past week, we biked up to her home, dismounted, and approached her doorstep. Not even halfway up her lawn, we saw her emerge from the front door and walk out on the porch. She told us she was no longer interested; that her "parents had changed her mind". She then asked us to leave. All week, I was elated about this miracle contact and prepared heavily to teach her. But at this m
oment, I was crushed. Several other disappointments followed throughout the day, and I began to wonder what I was even doing.

I have felt more down in the dumps this week than I have felt in a long time, and while I know it was the work of Satan, I still could not help but feel lost and very discouraged. I was warned before I departed from home that my mission experience would entail lots of ups and downs - that it would contain the experiences of a mini-lifetime compressed into two short years. This is the first real demonstration of that admonition in the negative respect.

I know it is imperative that I remain positive and confident in my attitude for the benefit of Elder Benedict. I admire his fire, his absolute willingness to work hard - even if it means riding 20+ miles in the hot sun -, and his profound humility, always asking for feedback, always looking to improve.

I feel I am now mostly past the trough of emotions that I described. After all, Elder Benedict and I taught a former investigator a powerful lesson on Wednesday, miraculously found a father who is long inactive and wants terribly to return to church, and are growing closer every hour. I have a lot to be grateful for. I don't remember exactly what you said, but I am reminded of your words during new missionary training, which seemed directed precisely at me. The iron rod was surrounded by dark mists of despair. It wasn't a clear and sunny day in Lehi's dream. This mission is hard work and it's going to be a constant test of my faith until the end. As I continue to exercise that faith in the Lord, I know he will bless our area with miracles. I know he will give us 10 progressing investigators.

Me on a bike!
As I move forward, trusting the Lord to guide us in our work, I know I will learn and grow immensely. Elder Benedict has already taught me so much about how I can improve. I feel this next 12 weeks will continue to be tough, but I know I am not asked to do it alone.

I love you all dearly! It sounds like it has been a tough week all around. I will send out other emails separately.


Elder Martin

Whidbey Island Ferry

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