Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Garfield has Mondays, I have Sundays - Sept 26, 2016

Two things in particular that have become strengths in the mission are my patience and my prayers. Patience, because things don't stress me out as much as they used to. I get worried and I work hard, but I don't snap. Also, as a missionary you really learn how to pray sincerely. I have realized out here that my prayers before the mission were not sincere at all. I have discovered how much peace and energy you can get out of praying, and how much of a renewing experience it can be.
So, I have a new personal goal as of last Friday. Sundays, where they should be renewing and edifying experiences, have become somewhat deanimating. While I do feel good personally, my attitude about missionary work tends to drop on Sundays. Why? SO MANY PEOPLE DON'T GO TO CHURCH. They literally live 10 or 15 minutes away, walking, and they give excuses like "I didn't get up on time" or "I managed to get some time off of work to go but I had to do laundry instead." If they are actual excuses, I understand, but also I feel bad because tons of people have actual excuses--stuff Satan puts in the way--every week. We have on Saturday 10 or 13 people committed to come to church and only 4 show up, and all late at that. Every week. I feel super sad because I know what these people are missing out on, and I know that they can never progress if they don't come to church, and I know that if it happens too often when they've committed to go we may have to drop them. I just want them to see how they can be blessed for keeping the Sabbath. I just want them to feel the Spirit. I do everything I can to explain and to have the Spirit there when I do. Nothing works. Well, the Spirit works, but people let it blow over them, even when I stop to help them recognize it. Anyhow, rant through, my goal is to never let Sunday be a sad day again. Instead of lamenting over all the people who didn't show, I will rejoice more over all the people who did. Any helps there, or suggestions?
I was sick this week, so Yay! Life was good, though. We had a bomb lesson with a less active in the ward, and the Spirit actually managed to pull tears out of me. W*****, the less active, talked about the hole he feels in his life (he's been through the temple, sealed and everything--he isn't living with his wife anymore, but they haven't been divorced), and how the Spirit in that moment was filling it. Then what? Saturday night we practically ran home because an appointment of ours ran late (old ladies telling irrelevant stories are patience-trying) and so we missed our appointment with him. We had seen him during the day, however. Anyhow, he proceeded to NOT SHOW UP SUNDAY. This is 4 weeks in a row that the one or two lessons we have in a week are super spiritual and he just doesn't go because he says he "loses the desire to go" when he gets up in the morning, and then goes back to bed and doesn't hear us when we pass by. He knows he is condemning himself, and I can't stand it. I am actually crying right now thinking about it. He has such a sincere and beautiful soul, and all his family problems would be erased if he would just come back to church--that is the only thing he is missing--but he doesn't do it. I am so sick of excuses, but not in the impatient way. It just makes me sad how people lose God as a priority in their lives, although they'll tell you otherwise.
Sorry this email is kind of sad. I am fairly happy right now (still shaking off the cold) and I have a good feeling about this week. I just...I don't know. It's like you said, Dad--the emotion swings are really a thing.
I love and miss you guys. I thought I would be able to not miss you still, but the homesickness (although miniscule) is hitting late. Be faithful to your covenants--it makes life so much better.
√Člder Rowe

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