I am leaving my first area, what a sad day. Tomorrow, I will be packing up and going down to Port Isabel, apparently the most beautiful part in the mission right on the water. I will be Senior Companion and will finish training a new missionary. I am not sure if I am ready for this or if I even have the skills necessary to do this but when we receive a call from our Mission President, we just go.
I remember driving into this town (of Laredo) almost 5 months ago. My companion and I were new to the area. I was brand new to the mission field, a bundle of nerves and excitement. I am not sure I really ate for the first three weeks of my mission. We had no investigators, none of the members knew the missionaries, especially not the less actives in our area. It was hard to find people to teach, hard to gain the trust of the members. Virtually, no members wanted to go out with us or even meet with us. No one was feeding us so we just girded up our loins and got to work.
First, we got to know all the members, asking, “what they were doing to support missionary work in their area?” Then asking, "what had been done with missionary work in the past?" As we began to get to know the members we had more and more members not hanging up the phone when we called them. The members actually began to come out and see how making sacrifices of their time actually helped and gave them more energy.
We now have more than enough meal appointments, and people asking us to take them out to appointments. We are receiving referrals for family and friends of the members in our area. Members are begging for us to call them when we need rides. As the members take more of a role in missionary work they feel the fire and importance of bringing more souls unto Jesus Christ.
With the help of members we now have a family that is going to be baptized in this month and the niece of one of our members will be baptized in March. I have really seen this branch grow in their effort to assist in missionary effort. It has been slow as they and I as a new missionary have made tons of mistakes and more to learn about missionary work, but everyday my heart is changing.
I am learning to love more, have less pride, have more charity, be more fun, and stress less. These things are hard but as my heart begins to grow closer to that of the Lord's my desires change. The mission is hard, stressful and at times you want to quit but that is when the miracles happen. That is when the blessings occur if we can just hold on a little longer. A mission is one of endurance, a year and half of loving people, even your companion, and fully focusing on the Lord.
As in life there will be ups and downs but if we can learn from them we might yet be perfect "even as Christ was perfect." I invite you all to endure the race of life with patience seeing the good that comes from every trial that is placed before us.