I'm doing sort of well, health wise. Some days are worse than others in regards to pain, but I'm taking my medicines and trying to follow the instructions of not pushing myself too hard. That's the hardest bit right there. I have to be working or else I feel like I'm wasting the Lord's time. So "taking it slow" is incredibly annoying for me sometimes. We have work to do and I want to go do it! Cut my kidneys out already! But alas, my dear Sister Sanchez is making me rest when I feel sick. Bless her heart.
This week was stressful to say the least. We had a lot of meetings and a lot of trip to Tabaco that put us in time crunches. We had some major disappointments with investigators, like a woman named Josefine who we were so excited about telling us not to come back out of the blue. We got made fun of a lot this week by people who though what we were teaching was stupid. Baptismal dates are being pushed back because commitments aren't kept, appointments falling through, members supposedly working with us and then cancelling. Thirteen and fourteen year old investigators addicted to cigarettes and alcohol. Enough to make the heart feel heavy, right?
But anyway, in his speech, Holland points out that "it isn't over until it's over" and that "opposition so often comes after moments of revelation and an assurance we thought we would never lose". Now in that jeepney, I felt particularly enlightened by this thought. I'm sick, yet last week I made the decision to continually trust God, no matter my circumstance. Did I expect the adversary to just accept that and leave me alone? Of course not. Holland says, "we cannot sign on for a moment of eternal significance and everlasting consequence without knowing it will be a fight - a good fight and a winning fight, but a fight nevertheless." So I came to the conclusion in that bouncing jeep that everything seemed to be getting harder, and significantly more dreary because the adversary, that miserable being whose power cannot compare to the real think, wants us to believe that things are hard. I believe things seem tough now because we're on the right track and stupid face Satan doesn't want us to see it. Like, we had a good week too, when I really think about it, past the dreary fails. We tracted a woman named Evelyn and on her second lesson she committed to be baptized. We tracted a great family who we met by complete chance that is so willing to learn and listen. Little miracle happen that could be pushed aside if all we focus on is the bleak. Holland says it gorgeously, "How soon we forget". He then admonishes, "After you have gotten the message, after you have paid the price to feel his love and hear the word of the Lord, 'go forward'. Don't fear, don't vacillate, don't quibble, don't whine."
Yesterday, I was depressed, blaming myself and saying, "Because I'm sick we only got 33 lessons, two less than the Standard of Excellence, two less than the missionary I want to be," but now I'm looking at my week and saying, "Despite me being sick, despite the hardships, we persevered and got 33 lessons, which is beyond average and very commendable."
In Hebrews 10:35-36, and then 38-39 it says the focus of Elder Holland's speech and my musings this week:
"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
...If any man draw back, my soul shall have no please in him...
...We are not of them who draw back unto perdition."
No matter if you're a missionary, the message is the same. Don't give up! Remember the good, don't falter. "Face your doubts. Master your fears...Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you." Of course it's going to get hard, but remember, you and I signed up for this with happy hearts. We are not those who give up. Sister Sanchez and I aren't giving up! We keep going. We keep fighting.
We are all enlisted till the conflict is o'er;
Happy are we! Happy are we!
Soldiers in the army, there's a bright crown in store;
We shall win and wear it by and by.
Haste to the battle, quick to the field;
Truth is our helmet, buckler, and shield.
Stand by our colors; proudly they wave!
We're joyfully, joyfully marching to our home.
(We are All Enlisted, hymn 250)
Have a marvelous week everyone! I love you all very much. Email me, huh? I miss you!
Love love love,
"Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!" (D&C128:22)