Well, first off I really appreciate all the comments on working hard and the Lord being pleased with my service--it has been a slow week. We've been doing tons of contacting and looking for new people, but almost every return appointment has fallen through and so we have nothing to show for it. The whole zone is struggling, as a matter of fact. I am happy today, though. We had my first relaxing p-day for a long time, and President Corbitt emailed me some sheet music to see if I could play it for a choir when Elder Anderson comes to visit the mission March 14th. Guess what? It is the same I Stand All Amazed (Sally DeFord) arrangement that I've been practicing since before the mission. Just another testimony that the Lord knows what He's doing.
Yes, I did get another memory card, (His current one said it was corrupted when he tried to upload pictures) and I am already taking pics with it. Next week I will probably have some photos for you all. Adversity came this week from all sides. Elder R**** and I didn't get along too well, we both are sick today, our house has been without power for two months (and it won't be fixed any time soon) (I remember him saying they had an issue with the power but didn't realize it was an ongoing thing...), the gas for our stove ran out and we didn't have money to buy more (we don't cook anything but ramen anyway, because everything else spoils because we can't use the fridge), our investigators aren't progressing or are hiding from us, and even contacts are rejecting us. However, we are being blessed with a few flecks of gold here and there, we have resolved our differences, march is almost starting (with lots of potential investigators, a visit from Elder Anderson, and a temple trip), and the Lord is helping me to recognize where I'm failing. This week for 3 days in a row I studied in ch. 10 of Preach My Gospel (teaching abilities), each day I discovered something I was doing wrong or not right enough, and went out and applied that thing and had super spiritual, direct lessons with investigators. I was reminded of the perpetual necessity of improvement.
I love you guys so much! Thanks for the refocus. The prayers are always appreciated. The Lord is passing me through another refiner's fire it seems, (dealing with leadership AND a slow area) but I know He is doing it for a reason. I need to learn how to get a ward up and going without overstepping my authority apparently, because that has been the state of pretty much every ward/branch that I've been in. Or perhaps dealing with slow, loose members is preparing me for something or giving me paitence. I'm not sure. The Lord knows. I just can't wait for some more of the rays of hope He always shows.
Wow, I sound bipolar or something! I go from excellent to bad from one week to another. Honestly, though, that's how it is--each week is its own universe and lasts forever while you're in it. Each day is so full of little things that affect your attitude. If you have just one bad day in a week, it can ruin all the good feelings you've had. Not that the Spirit is finicky, but rather that we as human beings are finicky, especially when it comes to things we hold so close to our hearts. In a sense, that is all missionary work is--opening to the world a glimpse of the truths and things most sacred to you, leaving them to think what they will. That's why rejection hurts so much--they aren't rejecting us as people; they are rejecting what we know to be true, and often are not even willing to find out for themselves. They are content to walk in darkness or to stay blind because it's comfy.
Anyhow, talk to you next week!