Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Training - Aug 8, 2016

Yes, I have a son. (When you train the missionaries like to talk about it in terms of a family... hence the new companion that he is training is his son.) His name is Elder R*****. He is from Austin, TX. He wants to be a neurosurgeon. He's pretty cool. We found out that we were at BYU summer term together; we were just in different wards. Summer term is small enough, however, that we had both seen each other (we lived in the same building, just on different floors). He stayed through winter semester, spent the summer at home, and then came out here, while I went out when he started fall. Fun fact: the only American sister from his group, Sister A*****, was in fact in my ward over the summer.

This week has been really cool, but stressful. We don't have any baptismal dates for the month, and few people with enough attendances to make it. We are striving to keep our goals high like last month--at least 3 people or a family--and we have the faith that the Lord can give it to us if we work hard enough. The mission is NOT about numbers, mind you. Numbers are just how we get ourselves to work harder. We have only completed a mission-wide numbers goal once in my time as a missionary here, but that doesn't mean that individuals haven't done so. Since April we've really been pushing for more exact obedience and more faith, and every month since then I am happy to report that through our valiant efforts and obedience the Lord has been able to bless my companions and I with the opportunity to reach our goals every month since then. It is difficult, though, to see others pushing so hard and being so obedient but not getting anything in return. With how hard everyone worked in April, we kind of ran out of steam in May when things started to fall through and opposition showed up. 

Anyhow, we have faith that the Lord will help those people who we are visiting to be able to be baptized as soon as possible (and be converted beforehand, of course). For example, we reestablished contact with B**** this week, a haitian who actually speaks really good Spanish too, and with his 8-year-old daughter Y****. They are beyond prepared for baptism. They went to church for the first time this Sunday, and B**** got up in fast and testimony meeting and BORE HIS TESTIMONY OF THE BOOK OF MORMON AND THE RESTORATION. Whaaat?!? It was completely of his own volition, too. The only thing is that he and his wife are not married and are having serious relationship problems (to the point of separation, nearly) and thus don't want to hear a word about getting married. They still live together, so...yeah. They need to keep the law of chastity before anyone there can be baptized. GRR.

Being a trainer really gives you a great opportunity to reinvent yourself as far as obedience and hard work goes. What your companion sees is the first thing they see, and you can't rely on them for counsel about certain situations--you've got to take the initiative. If they see you working hard, they will think the whole mission works hard. If they see you being disobedient, they will think that the whole mission does likewise. I am nowhere near the best missionary, but I can only hope to be putting forth a good example of work and desires to serve. And improvement. One thing I didn't really learn until further along in my mission is the constant need for improvement. If you're not actively striving to fix problems and meet personal and companionship goals which are meaningful, you will only regress into bad habits. Satan makes sure that the river we're swimming in has a current. We can overcome the current with the strength the Lord gives us, but if we're not actively swimming we are headed backwards towards the waterfall. That point of no return is of course after we leave this life, but if we don't keep ourselves far from that point we will fall over in the end. 

Also, as a trainer you really put this into practice: the best way to learn is to teach. I have been learning so much about the teaching style I have and why I say what I do. I have been learning about how I can better extend commitments and help people to pray effectively. I am learning about how to be more fearless. Most of all, I am strengthening my testimony upon teaching the doctrine to others, just as much my companion in practices as investigators and less actives in actual situations.

I've been thinking about D&C 10:4 a bit recently. I know I can be running faster, so I will still strive to do so, but I feel like perhaps we haven't been fulfilling our goals mission wide because perhaps we have different levels of strength. That is not to say that we can't all develop it nor that we can't be equals eventually, but every individual has different gifts and abilities. Everyone has different opportunities to be tested and to grow, but not everyone grows at the same rate. The Lord, by our faith, can give us more strength, so really the scripture reads in my mind that we should not run faster that we have faith that we can run, because although our strength runs out the Lord can always cover for us.

That's all from me for right now. Sorry for the rambling...I've gotten really bad with that with Elder Robertson, since I just want to brain-dump everything. I talk way too much. XD

Love you guys! Hope you have a great week.
√Člder Rowe

ps  I don't think I've told you guys yet, but my house is da BOMB. Like, according to every missionary who's seen it and been though it, it is one of the best houses in the mission as far as size, comfort, working things, and cleanliness. I feel blessed ...

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