I am going to have to say that that is what this past week has taught me. To give satan NO Satisfaction. This week was a very challenging one as well as very depressing and draining. It's amazing that one experience can change everything. I'll get to that experience in a minute.
As many of you know I am a very outspoken person. I speak my mind and I voice my opinions. That is exactly what I did in my leadership meeting I had this past week. I pointed out the things that aren't going right in this mission. Like, there are so many missionaries that have so much more to offer, but won't, because they are scared. The trainings that were presented this past week focused on how we shouldn't be ourselves. About how we need to transform into something different and we can't be original or normal. And I didn't agree with that. So in our meeting I said that. I said not enough people are smiling, not enough people are being themselves, they are losing what makes them them. I also said we have focused so much on the damnation part of not being obedient and not enough on the atonement. And I probably made....ha, like 20 minutes worth of comments. And after the meeting Sister Kunz came up to me and asked if she could speak to me for a few minutes. And I said sure. So she pulled me aside and began telling me that everything I said is what has been on her mind. It's what she has been talking to her husband about, but he hasn't done anything about it. She talked to me for about 5 minutes and pretty much said, thank you so much for your comments. You do have the ability to change this mission and influence a lot of missionaries. She is a sweet woman.
So, I've been pretty sick this past week. I've had a really bad cough, a sore throat, and I lost my voice for a few days. So me and Elder Stephenson weren't able to go out for a day. And that day I was able to do a lot of thinking. I mostly thought about the people that have changed my life, and have had an amazing influence on the person I am becoming. I think the sickness really helped me in a way. I decided that day, that I want to be like the people that have helped to change me. I have been so fortunate to have so many great influences in my life. But the three I came up with were:
1. Tyler Sohm
2. Brad Pilling
3. Amber Lynn
As I thought more and more about it I just don't know where I would be without these three people. So that night I prayed and I asked God to at least give me my voice back, that had now been gone 3 days, so that I could go out and try and influence someone the way that they have influenced me. And sure enough, the next day.... my throat was SO sore, and my cough was even worse. But I had my voice back. So we were able to go out and teach.
So we were supposed to have a baptismal interview for Fidel on Sunday night and he was going to be baptized this week. We had seen him everyday and he was doing so well! Not smoking, not drinking. He was ready. But then Satan, hit him hard. He took a really cheap shot on him. Sunday night we went to his house and he was drunk. I handed the phone to Steve and told him to call President Kearl and cancel the interview. We spent the next 2 hours there talking with him. He was drunk, crying, depressed, and suicidal. They don't teach you how to deal with that. It was so hard. And poor ol' Elder Stephenson didn't have a clue what was going on. So we talked with Fidel for a long time. Trying to get him to see that he is worth something. That suicide isn't the answer. And neither is drinking. He went to the kitchen and brought me out his 72 oz bottle of beer and gave it to me. And I said it down next to me and just kept talking to him. And he just started begging me for a drink. And I said, do you really want that? That is the reason you are getting kicked out of your house now. That is the reason you aren't getting baptized. That is the reason your roommate did the things he did to you last night. Do you really want that? And he said, no. But he eventually drunk some more and then handed it back to me. So I went outside and dumped it all out. And came back and just kept talking with him about what we could do. Those 2 hours were just so draining. I was so depressed and upset. It was really rough. Really, I have never had an experience take that much out of me before. So it was a very long conversation as he cried the whole way through it. He was just so upset and depressed. I can't even really describe it. But I will say that the spirit was very strong in telling me what to say to him. Because without it there is no way I would have known what to do in that situation. So he told us he was going to go stay at the shelter which was about 30 blocks away. He is drunk, can't drive. So we put him in our car. We swung by our place and I made him some sandwiches because he hadn't eaten all day and was in a lot of pain from all the alcohol he had drinken without eating. Then we took him to the shelter. Yeah it was very exhausting. That ranked up there as one of the worst days of my life. It was so rough. I can't even explain it. But you are right. Love is what it is all about. And as disappointed and upset and frustrated as I was, I couldn't help but just love him. And feel a little bit of his pain. It was a very hard day.
So what I learned from this experience is to give satan no satisfaction. He is so happy when he sees us suffering, or sinning. We can't let him have that satifaction. Just be strong! Stay close to God and let him protect us.
Afterwards we went to eat at a member's house. She just looked at me half way through dinner and just asked if I was ok, because she said I looked terrible. I was trying so hard to make jokes and keep the conversation light. But, wow, it was rough. And then I got to listen to her complain for the next 45 minutes. Sunday was just a terrible day.
Yesterday a lot changed. We went out to Crete which is about an hour and a half round trip, and saw some really cool people. We are really excited about them. Annel, 20, and Edgar, 17. They have so many questions and are so open to learning. Last night we spent probably 2 hours there answering questions, and teaching them about the gospel. It was so much fun. It's like they are my best friends now. We were able to teach them a lot but also crack jokes and get to know more about eachother. So yesterday was a much needed expereince. Please pray for them though. We had taught Annel earlier and asked her to read a chapter we left her in the Book of Mormon and to pray about what we had taught. She said she didn't receive an answer. So yesterday, I promised her and her brother that if they read the chapter after we left, and prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true, that they would receive an answer. So please pray for them, that they will receive an answer. Thank you.
Haha, also, one other guy we are working with. His name is Jose. Oh my gosh. Everytime we go over there it's like a battle. He is very humble and wants to know, and wow, does he know the bible. He is very smart. So pretty much him and I just talk about the bible, prophets, God's plan. Haha, I love teaching him. I finally got out of him what I needed though. After so much talking, and AH so much everything! He finally said that he does believe the true church is on the earth. He just doesn't know which one it is. So tomorrow we have a appointment with him and we'll see how it goes.
Well I am sad to hear that that happened to Brooklyn. She is such a sweetheart. I love that girl. She does have a good life and I hope things start looking a little better for her. She is so strong. I've never heard of anyone that prays and asks for problems. I love that girl.
Well I love you! Sorry this email was a bit of a downer. It was a downer week. But hey, things can only get better right. We can hope so. Be good, take care. Say hi to everyone for me!