Colorado Fort Collins Mission

Colorado Fort Collins Mission
Colorado Fort Collins Mission

Monday, May 23, 2016

Crests and Troughs

April 4, 2016

This week was a week of highlights. Last Monday, I got 2 boxes of Girl
Scout cookies, a bag of extra food, lemon drops paid for, and some
Mexican candies I have been looking for for 18 months all free from
members! It was a great day of generosity. Later in the week, I asked
a Hispanic man that ran a candy truck if he had ever heard of those
Mexican candles (Gudu Cubos, or the knock off version that I got
called Tuenis), he said no, but then threw me a huge bag of other
candy for free just to be nice. Walking back to our car with a big bag
of candy in my hand, I was able to give out some of 2 homeless people
and one drunk. Pay it forward. We tried to make service more fun this
week by making puns based on the food we were sorting. Some of them
were absolutely terrible, but it made it a lot more enjoyable. It was
also good to see a missionary that I know has been having a rough
transfer laughing harder than I've seen him laugh before. We also
handed out/posted a ton of English class flyers, which will be
starting this Tuesday.

As for lessons and investigators, we were able to have a few lessons
with a family, and we got them to watch a session of
conference in a member's home. It was really awkward at first since it
was the session with all of the sustainings and the statistical
report, but after that, there were so many good talks about families,
which is just what they needed. The lesson earlier in the week was
about faith, and the member we brought with us was really good in some
ways and not so good in others. On the bright side, she shared a lot
of good insights and stories, but on the downside, she shared A LOT of
insights and stories. It was mainly just them talking for like an hour
and a half. But, they connect well with her, so it wasn't a waste of
time. We also taught a lesson on Sunday to two Guatemalan women that
had a surprising number of beliefs similar to ours despite not being
part of any particular religion. It took awhile (like an hour and
fifteen minutes), but we finally got them to open up to the
possibility of one true church, a prophet on the earth again today,
and priesthood keys. They agreed to read the Book of Mormon and pray
about it. We'll follow up with them next week.

Now for the low points of the week. For dinner on April Fools' Day,
the members decided to try and trick us by switching the food, meaning
that the "meatloaf" was really a chocolate rice crispy with red
frosting on top, the drink was jello, and the cupcakes were mini meat
loafs with blue-dyed potatoes as frosting. That would have been
semi-funny, I guess, if they didn't give me a huge slice of chocolate
rice crispy that was far too cloying and left me not even wanting to
try the meatloaf. It was terrible. Probably the worst meal of my
mission. That was made up for by the dinner last night, which was some
food typical of that in Tanzania (where they are from), and it was so
good. Who would have guessed that mashed up banana in jasmine rice
tastes amazing?

For the past few weeks, well really all of this transfer, I have just
been having a hard time in general. This week, thoughts have been
bombarding me about how I'm not good enough, nor will I ever be. I'm
not celestial material, nor will I be. I'm not a good missionary, nor
will I be. I've wasted 19 months, and I'll waste 4 more. Not only do I
not keep all of the mission rules, but I don't even want to keep a lot
of them. It has been weighing me down, significantly. I've been
wondering if I'm doomed for similar failure the rest of my mission and
by extension, life. I was going to email my family and friends today
and tell them these thoughts and ask for advice, but I decided to pray
to receive an answer to these questions during conference first. My
question for general conference was this: I don't feel like I can live
the gospel in this life or maybe the next. I don't have the desire to
keep some of the commandments fully. Can I, regardless of where I'm
at, both get that desire and grow it until I do want to keep all of
the commandments and strive to do so?  That question was answered more
than once during general conference. I'm so grateful for inspired
apostles that know the messages we need to hear, and I'm so grateful
for our ever loving, ever patient Father in heaven and the atonement
of his Son that makes it all possible. I hope that you all received a
testimony of that during this general conference and you all felt a
desire to change and be better as I did.