Welcome, welcome p-day morning... I’ve been in Idaho, heading to Brigham tonight, then Cache Valley again by the end of the week...and still sick. Turns out traveling and sickness don't get along too well.
Well this week has been very long. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; that's just the way that it felt. I got sick the first day of my exchange number one last week after p-day. It's pretty rough to get sick while traveling, because we have to kind of always be at the top of our game and setting an example. So I have been sick this past little while, but everyone to ever serve as traveling trainer has been sick for a couple weeks of it, so I guess it's tradition.
My first exchange I was in Smithfield with Elder Smith and Elder Dale. It went pretty well; we had a couple solid lessons. I was fighting a fever and sneezing the whole time but managed to contribute. The second night they decided to play basketball, which this time I was ok with, because it meant I could sit on the couch in the foyer and fall asleep. Elder Dale had one encounter with a bishop telling him some of the mission goals, and the work he is doing and built a lot of trust. I learned a lot from him on how to work with leaders. He is a young missionary, and it was good to see how well he is doing early on.
I went with some Spanish missionaries the next couple days; it was good to be able to speak Spanish again. I went with them to a finance class with their ward and had to translate. It was kind of interesting. Some of the words I didn't know and had to describe were like: a checking spreadsheet. It made me want to take college classes in Spanish even more. When I went out with the Spanish missionaries, I liked it, because their couch is SO comfy. The air mattress is awful; I don't even take it with me anymore. I just sleep on couches.
Sunday was pretty nice. I went to the Spanish branch in Preston and got to see some familiar faces there. It was kind of anti-climactic. I just saw like ten people, and then go shook their hand, then that was it. I went to just Sacrament then Elder Kipp and I headed down to Ogden and had dinner with President and Sister Hiers. We reported back on our week, everything that we did, and how it went, then emailed out feedback to the missionaries we had been with. Then as fast as Sunday came, it was gone.
Yesterday I got to go out with Elder Martinez and his son. He is doing very well in his last transfer of the mission. I think he is going to have like five or six baptism this transfer, which is a good way to wrap up his mission. Actually, now that I think about it, he may have one more after this one. Elder Salazar and his son are doing well from what I have heard. They should have two baptisms next week, both of them people that I taught with them. The Villalobos's mom could use some prayers. She wants to get baptized so much but her x-husband won't divorce her, and she needs to get that done, and then marry the guy she is with (Brother Villalobos). She is pretty sad about it and has been trying to get baptized for like a year but hasn't been able to.
Last night, I spent the night at Elder Salazar’s house; it was good to see him again.
There’s really not much else to talk about. It look like my emails this transfer will be pretty weak since I have no investigators to report on, and if I report on the missionaries it will just come off as complaining. Elder Kipp is good too; he is still sick and has been for a couple weeks; keep him in your prayers. He is the best looking elder in the mission, so it is great to serve with him.
Answering Mom’s questions. The visits with the Hiers are good. So we get there, and they have dinner about ready. It is us, the assistants, and the assistants' buddies that go. The assistants' buddies are usually just normal missionaries that cover the whole assistant's area when they are busy with assistant’s stuff. But right now, the assistant’s buddies are media specialist because of all the changes. One of them is Elder Sherman; he is from Rocklin and will come to my homecoming. I get home a transfer after him. He is really funny; I like him. He is a fantastic missionary. I don't talk to president or sister Hiers much during the weeks just because we are gone the entire time, and they are plenty busy. The assistants: we just see them when we spend the night at their house on Sunday nights. They just got a new apartment and will move in next week. It is really nice, so that is cool. That's the closest thing we have to having an apartment.
There are a lot of senior couples. Right now, Utah is in the process of putting one senior couple into each stake, which will be a TON of senior couples. I have no idea what they do at all. The only ones that I know about are the ones that serve in the office like our office couples did in Mesa. No young missionaries serve in the office besides the assistants. The mission this transfer is working on working with members, the ‘five essentials’ lesson, and ‘create success’ (mission morale). Elder Kipp and I gave a zone study to Idaho yesterday about ‘create success and your attitude’ and how that affects everything and how your mission really goes rather than blaming things on your area and making excuses. The main idea behind it was learning to humble yourself and work with others/working with people rather than working through them. The creature of circumstance is alone and doesn’t let the Lord help him or the members; he blames them for the problems. The other side, the creator of success, lets Jesus Christ help, works with members and his companions, and is "clutch”. Which just means you can put them anywhere, and they will tear it up (in a good way). It went pretty well. We had a funtivity where we had Elder Ward (the zone leader up there) play basketball against everyone in the zone, and he obviously lost really badly; it was like 15 on 1. Then he picks some of the best players, and it was more fair. The idea is, it is easier to work with people rather than just blaming circumstances and trying to do it all on your own. That's a lot of what we are helping people with is creating success. The idea behind it comes from a talk called "create success”. You can Google it, one of my favorites. My second transfer with Elder Salazar, I read it every day and made him do the same along with page ten of preach my gospel. It changed my mission (and life). Read it!
Elder Kipp and I just set goals mainly to leave our comfort zones to show love for people and to be patient. We set some others, I can't remember, which shows how committed I am, too much to think about I guess. There are just under 280 missionaries in our mission and probably one fourth of that is Spanish missionaries. I would guess that just under 1/3 missionaries are sisters. The assistants do belong to a zone, but they basically don't. They are in Ogden East Zone, where I used to be a zone leader. They don't do anything with the zone; though, it's just so they have a spot on the transfer board. There are 14 zones, I think. I could be wrong. The weather is cold enough for a sweater, but not cold enough for a winter jacket. I mainly wear the sweater, because I am sick. Otherwise, I might just tough it out since I am always in a car.
We should be playing soccer today with Elder Salazar. The Cache Central Zone got really good at soccer this transfer. They have seven of the best soccer players in the mission, and they set up a game to play the USE soccer team. It's pretty cool and will be even more cool if they can actually win. We will see what happens, they are all pretty good, but it's a college team that practices regularly.
On p-day during this transfer? We clean our car, email, eat unhealthy amounts of food, and probably take a nap. We don't belong anywhere so we just go wherever. We are in Cache Valley today. We stay with people for two days. Enough to give feedback the first night, practice it in comp. study the next morning, and apply it that day, then give more feedback, and leave. And yeah, Mom, I take a multi, calcium, a biotin (Elder Ward convinced me it would make me not go bald), and fish oil. We can go anywhere we want on p-day, but we don't just drive around, because that would waste the mission's miles.
Our time in the mission field is short but eternally important. As we examine the mission field, we see that some missionaries succeed to a great degree and others seem to stumble along, trying to stay enthusiastic, but somehow not obtaining the results, which they desire. What makes the difference between a highly successful missionary that baptizes regularly and a missionary that seldom baptizes? Through examining the trends in the missions, we find that it is not the area, it is not the people, and it is not the time of year. Instead it is the attitude of the missionaries and their ability to utilize and apply the talents that they possess. We know that a missionary with a good attitude produces good results; fair attitude, fair results; poor attitude, poor results. The missionary with a good attitude works with the people and not through them.
Ability means nothing to a missionary if it is not used. The greatest men came to the top because the strength that grew out of meeting resistance. Self-deceptions are responsible for more then three-fourths of all the so-called “unexplained failures” in the mission field. Many missionaries in the race for success explain their shortcomings as they do in the game of bowling. If they fail to win, something was wrong with the ally, the pins, their arms, their members, their companions, their areas, etc. etc. The trouble is never themselves. Of all the distinguished failures, those who deserve the least sympathy are the ones who gather in foolish little cliques, praise each other, deceive each other, criticize others, and fool themselves. They say, “I am not appreciated.” “I have had bad luck all my mission. Others have had a better chance.” “I wish I could have the fortune of Elder ‘success.’” A fireball missionary starts when an investigator says “no!” This is a plain and simple concept but very true.
Do not be a missionary who complains about his companion, his leaders, and his burdens. Instead be a missionary who can be placed in any area and in any set of circumstances and be relied on to set things right. Become a creator of circumstances instead of a creature of circumstances.
Success does not depend on the message, but on the messenger. We each learn that failure and excuses go together, so we must learn to get away from excuses. Dull or slow months are for dull missionaries, so remember that sharp missionaries don’t have any.
This is why success is not luck. It can be predicted and followed each day into a successful week, year, and mission. Live one day at a time as though it where a building block. Do each day what should be done that day, and do not under-work, because that brings on the “bad luck” and slumps.
By being able to control what we put in this mind of ours, we determine our own lives. “As we sow, so shall we reap.” We can see how important it is to sow the right beginning thoughts. Another interesting fact about our minds is that we can only entertain one thought at a time. Therefore, your destiny may be determined by one single thought, and it is up to you whether you make it positive or negative. Think baptism and you will baptize. Your actions, attitude, mission, and life will be directed by your thoughts.
Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. If you can’t see yourself baptizing, then you probably never will. A desire does not come from practical knowledge, but it comes from compulsions and obsessions. Desire leads to a goal, and it is the starting point of all achievement. The power of definite desire is beyond all practical goals that use no emotion. We need to get involved emotionally in our goal to baptize. Who will baptize next? The mission field is successful only to successful missionaries.
That's the whole article. I kind of wonder if it is real since no one really knows the source and the spelling of baptizing changes throughout it which makes me think it wasn't edited by the church, either way it's still inspiring. You saw it in Arizona right?
Love you all!