Dear Family and Friends,
Another week, and like I imagined it would, it flew by. The mission is implementing a new sort of training that includes divisions for 3 days. What this means is that missionaries in positions of leadership go and exchange companions with those that they lead for a number of days. Since my companion is the district leader (a district consists of 2-4 companionships) the zone leaders (a zone consists of 3-4 districts) came and we did divisions with them. So Tuesday through Thursday I was out of my normal area working with another missionary. I learned a lot and really enjoyed seeing how other Elders work and teach. Then when I returned, Elder Sosa, my companion, went on divisions with a companionship in our district. So I was then back in my area, but with another companion. Once again, I enjoyed the time and learned a lot Friday through Sunday. Starting tomorrow Elder Sosa will leave once more and another missionary will becoming with me again. Certainly makes the time pass by rapidly.
I would like to make a list of things that I feel that I have really learned on my mission.
Ironing- despite my mother´s best efforts and multiple intents, I never really ironed before. I may have known how, more or less, but now, each morning I iron my shirt and this last week received a compliment on how nicely my shirt was ironed. What progress!
Shopping- We can get in and out of the store in less than 15 minutes, and that is shopping for the entire week.
Patience- more than just waiting. Being happy while I am waiting for things to happen. Realizing the things I can control and the things I cannot. Focusing on those things that matter most and letting go feelings of anxiety or inadequacy when things that I cannot control go poorly.
Peace through prayer- Out here sometimes there is not someone to talk to. I guess I always have my companion, but there are some feelings that you just cannot express. I have learned and felt what it is like to go to God in weakness, expressing my imperfect emotions, and knowing that He loves me enough to accept me as I am so that He can help me change and grow. I recognize that I have often had fear to express weakness or doubt or concerns in prayer. I tried to always keep them ideal and say and ask for only those things that I knew that I should. But as I pray openly and express the sentiments of my heart, I have found that the Lord helps me to recognize His will, and I can then work out in myself how to put my will in line with His.
I do not think that I can express how important prayer has become to me; to know that God listens, and to receive his guidance through the Holy Ghost. That is, to have thoughts and feelings that I know do not come from myself. This is the way that I know God communicates through us. Feelings of peace, encouragement, love, acceptance, patience, and thoughts that come suddenly and about things I had long forgotten. This is the power of the Holy Ghost.
Were I to exhaust the list of things I have learned in these few short months I would not have time to do the other things necessary on this brief day of preparation. So I will leave it at that and happily await your letters so as to have meaningful and personal communication with you my good family and friends. I wish you all the best and ask once more for your prayers of support.