Well, I guess we should always start with something funny, for I have discovered the reality of a mystery that I found... stupid. The Mystery of losing ONE shoe and not both of them. How can you lose one shoe, shouldn't you keep them both on or both off? Haven't you all seen that, one shoe in the park, on the bus or in the street? Well I became one of those the other day. I went on an interchange with another Elder and I have little elastic straps outside of my bag. I put my flip flops there on the outside of my bag. I got to the interchange alright, with two flip flops. The next day was a different story and I'll forever wonder just where did that other one end up? We got on bus to meet up somewhere and finish the interchange, got home, worked the next day, but the next morning to get in the shower I only have one flip flop! I was bewildered, still am actually... but I now know that it is possible to lose one shoe and not the other. Today I've got to buy flip flops, let’s hope they have my size.
This week was a good week! We passed through transfers and I am still with Elder González. Three months have passed here on this mountain, and looks like many more, cause Elder Gonzalez goes home this transfer. That'll be the 3rd elder I've sent home! The week was full of interchanges and finishing up the last touches to move into our new house, but we did have a bit of success. It's been tough with my companion and with the Zone, yet my testimony was strengthened that there is a God above who knows me and loves me perfectly and does what He does for a reason. I decided to take my notebook and write down what came to mind in Fast and Testimony Meeting and it was one of the best meetings in the world, filled with revelation, filled with comfort, filled with repentance. God is a loving Father in Heaven who knows us, trusts in us and expects us to work. Yet from time to time also gives us comfort and encouragement.
I have learned really well in this past change and this past week that there is no time to think of or worry about ME. There is no ME time and as we worry to find that ME time we simply make life worse and more stressful, yet as we seek to forget ourselves and uplift others, we find ourselves more happy, more secure, and more satisfied with our own lives. An example... on an interchange with one of our District Leaders we had to contact, they don't have many investigators. I let him run the first one and we showed up, said hello and tried to share a message... what happened? The Lady listened patiently and then said 'thanks, but no thanks.' Our next contact I wanted my companion to see what I have learned in my time and my difficulties in the mission. We knocked on the door, another lady came out and we asked her how she was, asked what she was doing, asked her how she felt about life AND WE LISTENED. She opened completely and talked for a good 20 minutes. She then asked us a question about what we do, we answered her question promising her that this message blesses families and she asked us if we could come back tomorrow to share it with her. I know it is a small story, I know it may be dumb and I know I may talk about this subject a lot in my letters to you all, but a huge point was reinforced in those contacts... there is a difference when you forget about YOU and what YOU have to say and trade it for THEM and how THEY FEEL and what THEY have to say. We rarely talked about God or Christ, of course at the end we did, but MUCH of the Gospel of Christ and His teachings is simply living it and showing it towards others. It has been tough, but I have tried lately to apply that principle in my teaching, in my companionship and in my relation with God. We need to be humble, we need to be ourselves, we need to recognize that WE, ALONE, are nothing and not important, yet in a Group, as a Whole, as a Married Couple, Best Friends, a Companionship, whatever the relation may be, we are the world.
I don't know if any of that made sense haha, I hope it did, this Internet Cafe is a bit crazy this morning, but I have learned to love, I have learned to forget me and remember them, I have learned to ask and to listen not just to pass time, but to find how to help those around me better, I have learned that God trusts me, that He wants me to work in His glory... bringing to pass salvation in the lives of others (Alma 13:3, 6) and I am trying so hard to do it. I will finish with something I got out of President Uchtdorf last night... God doesn't ask perfection, He simply requires a perfect effort... that we give our best. (Mosiah 4:6)
I love this Gospel, I love this Christmas Season, I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I love you all! I will also love to have a full pair of flip flops by the end of the day...
I must explain the pictures I sent, one is the baptism of Kayla Gomez a few weeks ago with her family. Another is a pretty view I have every day up on Mapasingue. Another is when I walked by a tree and we got in a fight and it ripped my shirt sleeve almost completely off. Thanks to an investigator that gave me three paper clips, she gave me just what I needed to hold my shirt together till the day finished. (Paper clips to fix a shirt... I am SO in ecuador! haha, but it worked) and the last is of Rat Poo! We had a rat in our previous house and one night we discovered it's home and tried to kill it, I have many great pictures and we about got it with my leatherman.