Good morning sweet family of mine! They kicked us out of the library today and so we're at the church and I don't have my journal or my camera. So please forgive the lack of pizzaz that will be this letter home, but I'm thrilled to be here with you all! Hopefully all is well wherever you are.
This week has been fall-like weather, which made for a little more time to break out the bikes without risk of dying. And we just worked our tail ends off. I wasn't quite sure what else to do. My companion still feels positive she is not supposed to be here. And being the kind of person who does not quite know how to succor those who are going through tumultuous times, I decided that the best cure for apathy is hard work. So I made sure we always had appointments, lessons, members to come with us, with very little down time. We had back up plans for our back up plans. And it felt so good. The joy in missionary work really does come from the amount of work we put in. We taught over twenty lessons this week, found a member who hadn't been to church in years, visited several members who were struggling, and found a bundle of new investigators. And my companion, as much as she's struggling, still has not let that effect her work ethic. She gives it her all. She's obedient to the rules, she teaches with her heart, and her spanish is progressing leaps and bounds. The Lord has definitely blessed me with the language so that our investigators can understand us collectively. It's such a special sight to see others in tears from the spirit they have felt by the words you have said, directed by the Lord, in their language. It's definitely something I thought I was incapable. But this is hard. It's not fun to see somebody that you work with so well, that you love so much, feel like she's in the wrong place at the wrong time. Especially because I know how much a mission changes you, prepares you, and I still feel pretty darn green myself. But I will let her make her decision. She has her agency as much as anyone else does.
Our investigator pool is still fluctuating a bit... But we're working on it. We had to drop a couple of investigators because of their romantic intentions... and one of our investigators is moving back to El Salvador, and our most progressing investigator is on probation... I guess you could say we spend a lot of time on our knees trying to figure out how we could help these men, how we can better prepare for them to meet their needs. It's tricky. But it's still so worth it just to see them get on their knees and say their first prayer out loud... ever. Or to see grown men cry because they have felt the Lord's love in their lives. I always thought the phrase "It's the hardest work you'll ever love" was pretty cheesy, but it is pretty darn accurate. It's emotionally draining. But you get to see how special each one of God's children is to him. That he knows them and knows how to use us to best help them, no matter what the age difference, no matter how inadequate we may feel.
Something I studied this morning had to do with Christlike Attributes, I study it a lot because I believe it is the key to missionary work, but it said that becoming like Christ is a lifelong process. And it all starts with the little steps and decisions that we take and make every day. It's so common for us as human beings to see how far we are from perfection and give up, or break down, or feel inadequate. But we're only as inadequate as we convince ourselves we are. Because when it comes down to it, we have the potential to be like Jesus Christ, and our imperfections are just little rocks to help us get even closer to him (and to help us avoid pride ;) ). Another point I studied said that "You have to become a Christlike missionary, not just to missionary things." I think that's an easy trap to get caught in, but it applies so much outside of missionary work. You have to be a Christlike disciple, not just go to church. You have to have Christlike charity, not just doing something charitable once and pride yourself for it. It's an ongoing process of falling and getting back up. Man oh man is it a struggle, but you become so blessed for that which you conquer.
I love you guys. This email is probably horrendously stoic, and I apologize for that. I guess it's just been kind of crazy this week trying to stay focused so that my companion doesn't get depressed. But you all have my heart!
Adios! Que Dios les bendiga!