Mission Scripture

Mission Scripture

Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 30

Hey everyone! 
I hope you've all had a great week! I definitely have. Elder Raine is a great missionary, and we've been working super hard. I'm grateful to have him as a companion. I'm super tired all the time. My new responsibilities as a District Leader and a trainer are keeping me plenty busy. I would be lying if I said that it didn't stress me out a little bit. There is just so much to think about. So many people to remember and assignments to fulfill. Stress can be good though. It motivates you to do the things and accomplish more. I think that's one of the biggest things that the mission has taught me. How to manage stress and use it as a positive thing instead of a negative thing. I'm still working on it, but I'm a lot better than I used to be. Here's an update on how the work in Harlem is going. We've been working with this couple, Rafael and Kristina, for the entire seven weeks that I've been here. Since the first day that I met them, I could tell that they were special and that they had so much faith. I've seen both of them progress so much in the past month and a half and it's been incredible to watch. This last Sunday Rafael came to church with us for the second time! That was really exciting. He wasn't feeling super well but knew that he needed to come, so he fought through it and came! He's a trooper. Kristina hasn't been able to come because she always has to work, but this coming Sunday she will finally get a day off and be able to come! I'm so excited for them. They had a baptismal date set when I got here, but about a month ago they dropped it and haven't wanted to set another one since. I think they will be ready soon though. They just keep making the right steps and progressing. They're awesome! The other big one that we're working with is the Strungys family. They're a less active family that we're trying to reactivate. It's super difficult to teach them, because they have seven kids, and it's always just incredibly loud and chaotic when we go there. They've made some progress though and have now come to church twice since I've been here. The oldest two boys went to a young men's activity and really want to go to an upcoming scout camp. That family needs the gospel! They would be so much happier if they would all jump in together. Other than that, we just have a whole bunch of other investigators and less actives that we try to work with regularly. Nobody else looking close to baptism  yet, but that's okay. I personally measure success based on two things. Neither one of them is the amount of lessons that I teach or the amount of people I baptize. The first thing is whether or not I feel like I'm trying to help others and if I have love for them. The other thing is whether or not I feel like I'm changing and becoming a better person. All I can say is that I definitely feel like my mission has been a success thus far. I think I've made a positive difference in the lives of a few people, and I am most definitely a much better person than I was 11 months ago. I'm excited to see how I will be able to progress even more in the next twelve months. This experience has already changed my life for the better, and I know that I will be eternally grateful that I chose to come out here and to stay even when it would be easier to raise the white flag and come home. One more thing about this week is that I had to say goodbye to someone that has had a huge impact on my mission and on my life. Elder Taylor finished his mission and returned home to Salt Lake last week. It was really hard for me to say goodbye to him. He probably doesn't realize just how much his example has meant to me. Since I first came into the mission I looked up to him, because he was my trainer's trainer. A few months later he was my Zone Leader in the Bronx, and for the past few months he has served as an Assistant to President Morgan. His leadership and example have helped me with so much on my mission. I'll always be grateful that I had him to look up to.  Anyway, that's about it for this week. Life is good! I'm happy and healthy and loving the mission. I couldn't ask for anything better. I still miss you all so much and wish I could be home with you. But, the good news is that the next time you hear from me, we will be a day away from my one year mark! (As if  you didn't already know that. haha). Have a wonderful week! And please let me know if there is ever anything I can do to help any of you. You do so much for me, and I feel like I am never able to give you anything in return. Thanks for everything. I love you all!!!

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