Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 77 ~ Skipped 76 and Kevin is doing Great this Week!

Hi mom, I am super duper happy to be able to talk to you,its great to see those fotos from home, I cannot believe what it was like to be in the youth programs. Its funny because so much has changed in just two short years, its incredibly funny. They checked today for the package and no dice whatsoever, but they have the general conference talks in magazines, so that is super cool! The little things missionaries get excited about. I have unfortunately realized that two things now excite me, when things go well in the zone, and when I get good food. Good food has never been so valued! 

I went out today and ran another mile, and keep getting faster. As I was running, I really started pondering about how time passes with us. It can be such a frustrating thing to us, it feels so very long at times, and others it feels so frustratingly short. I think that the mission is really similar to running a marathon, much more so than to a mile or a 400. In the mission its just a game of constant endurance. No missionary has a herculean day that makes them a great missionary, just like no marathoners mile changes the whole marathon. Instead, we go day by day, week by week, month by month doing our best job. Some months are better than others. Some days are longer than others, but as we go accumulating our months the character of a missionary begins to shine through. I thought when I came out here that I would be the most obedient, the most diligent, but what I realized was that the attitude I had was always aimed towards a short sprint instead of a marathon. Its one thing to be obedient for a day, to shine your shoes when President or the assistants come. Its one thing to have a good day when you go on divisions. Its another thing entirely to do it everyday. I suppose last week that I really did have a tough week. I was sad. I was depressed, I suppose because I had reached the wall so to speak of my mission. That point where I was just tired of doing the same repeated motions over and over again. That being said I am feeling a lot more comfortable this week, a lot more relaxed and capable. The funny thing is that the numbers this week are a lot worse. I suppose that so often what counts in missionary service is the service part. Too often I think of this as a job, a job where my product is baptisms. They say the Sabbath should be a delight but all too often for me it is when the product is delivered and so can be incredibly stressful. I want it to be service. I want to focus more on helping others that on helping myself. I think that is part of why I was feeling so unsatisfied with myself is that I didn't see the point. It wasn't a lack of numerical success, in fact as far as numbers go they were fantastic (in my area alone we had 9 people with baptismal dates and have baptized basically every week for the past transfer). The problem was that we just were not giving service, my motivations were not pure, and the great lesson in this whole thing is that money cannot make us happy. We can have lots of money, lots of success, lots of a lot of things, but the world does not truly make us happy, god does, its funny.

So this week Elizabeth got baptized, and wow, just wow. I cannot tell you just how much time this took, and how happy I am. IT was honestly one of the best moments of my life. She is a single mother with a lot of guilt and who has had a really hard time, but she really finally took this step. Ill be honest she went to Edgars baptism last week, and I will be honest, I nearly dropped him, so she was scared, but her baptism went off without a hitch, it was honestly just one of the fastest ones I have ever done. down and up like it was just nothing. Anyways, we still have to work on her two daughters who are going to catacism, but one of them would so get baptized in a heart beat, I left her alma 12 and she told me that it talked about the importance of keeping the commandments to avoid spiritual death, oh and she is 9!!!!

In regards to how people have their agency to accept or not, that is so true, but that being said, a missionary has full capacity to achieve their goals. Wilford Woodrow in terms of historical facts, baptized over a thousand people. That's not just luck, he had the spirit with him. I am responsible to complete my goals, if someone doesn't accept, then I need to do everything in my power to touch their needs so that they understand. People don't accept only because they don't understand, if they understood everyone would keep the commandments. If after I have done everything in my power they still don't accept well then oh well I have to find someone else to replace them. I never thought the mission would teach me diligence to be honest, I thought I was going to learn love and humility, but never diligence, I  thought I had that one in the bag and I was wrong. I have really learned that with the right amount of effort planning and faith one can achieve just about anything.

I am absolutely amazed at the Christmas scene, it is beautiful, and tell dad just how impressed I am by it. I do remember Jason, and wow, I cannot believe how many years it has been since I have seen them mom. I last saw David and Kristy 5 years ago!!! I must admit that it absolutely terrifies me that dad is getting eye surgery, I feel like they go wrong often, but if the cataracts are dangerous its probably for the best.

I used to be jealous about seeing movies, but given that I didn't see part 1, my desire to see part 2 has greatly diminished, although all of the girls I knew from before hand seem a lot older, everyone seems to have grown up since I have been away. Don't worry, there are about 4 or 5 more weeks, and although i will receive no turkey, i will be fine and super happy here.

Love you

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 75~ 6 MONTHS LEFT!!! (but who is counting)

Hi mom, 
I am really quite happy to hear how much you are studying. I hope that you will really be able to use this time to study what you need to understand to be able to pass this bar. I know you are capable of doing this so keep it up. It makes me a little sad that I will not be there to see the Christmas scene, but that being said I am enjoying the cooler weather here, it has actually gotten into the 70´s. I think that the link that you sent me should be just fine, I have already picked out a house where I will be able to talk to you on a television! With any luck this should be the last time I talk to you, but I don't want to think about that, I enjoy my mission so much, and I am going to miss getting to have spiritual experiences daily. President Jordan told me that later in my mission I would realize that it was something normal to have spiritual experiences, to the fact that I didnt even notice it, and in truth I have come to realize that is so very true.

 What have you been doing in your calling right now, any cool activities. My companion and I came up with a pretty cool activity, we are doing a dessert contest. Every sister in the stake is invited to bring a dessert and investigators or members to try them. With any luck, everyone should be able to enjoy it. 

(Here, Kevin is talking about Anika Busby and her amazing times she did on her Marathon last week).  Mother you need to understand just how impressive that is. That is not just fast, that is exceptionally fast, especially for a girl, especially for her age. At no point in my fitness could I have done that!

Things keep on moving here mom, honestly its pretty cool because the investigators keep progressing, but I have been honestly more concerned with the missionaries in these days. The thing is, I am not just worried about how I progress, but I also want to help my missionaries to progress. They're like my kids, and I have to protect and help them as they keep moving. I really have learned to love each of them in their own way. Its funny really because they frustrate me when they do stupid things (believe you me all sunday, all i heard was one foolishness after another, but I care about them a lot so gaah!

I really enjoy working, but today I have 6 months left, I am pretty sure of how the changes will go from here on out, I have never trained so I think they are going to put me to do that here once I finish in Tierra Blanca, and I will finish training. Boy Time Flies when you are having fun! Love you lots, take care!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 74~~

Hi mother, what a wonderful week it has been. I am really truly enjoying my time here in Mexico. It is incredible to me just how fast this year has past. I have 6 months to go, and it feels like just yesterday. This week was really good. We were able to keep the assistance up. Its really truly difficult sometimes mom because I have this horrible expectation that everyone else is like me. The simple fact of the matter is that everyone else is not like me, and will never be like me. Its funny because I realized that the most important work that I am going to do here as a leader will be to help the other missionaries to grow into becoming who they are capable of being. 

Is it sad mother that i still totally remember those amendments, although I must admit I tend to think more of the 10 commandments these days instead of the 10 amendments. That being said, I love the freedom that I have had recently, its really been a blessing to be able to search for personal solutions to the different problems that present themselves. Do you remember that chapel that we saw there at stanford, well apparently elder cook went and spoke there, I wish we had gone inside, it honestly looks beautiful. In regards to news, I really dont have much, things keep going pretty much the usual, we didnt cook this week, I have been a little sick because I ate some chile ancho which I am allergic to. Just so you know, it honestly sucks, and made my blood pressure drop a ton, but I am all better now. Anyways, other than that nothing new.

Oh by the way, this week I got the chance to go talk to a less active whose son had been killed 2 years ago in a car accident. Today is the day of the dead, which means everyone is making bread, but this woman was obviously thinking a ton more in her son. It was odd to see, because this boy was the pride and joy of her life, I cannot believe how much it devastated her. I thought of you in this moment. The mission is so very much like being dead in so many ways. Of course one day we will be able to see the person again, but for these two years, we cannot. During the mission we live learn grow, and then gradually we come to realize that everyone else in the mission is younger and less experienced. Its funny because I looked around and noticed that everyone looks up to my companion and I to help them with their problems, I feel to a certain extent like a dad. Anyways, its funny because we learn so much, I just cannot imagine ever coming home, but I will get to see you soon. I love you, please take care and say safe.