Time is just flying by so fast now and can't even believe how fast P day comes. I don't even think about P day during the week and all of a sudden it is just here! Maybe that is why it goes by so fast.
So this week has been interesting... The work has all been the same but, I have been really thinking how I can improve the work that I am doing here. What can I do to help everyone around me have a better experience? How can I help those who are in need? How can I help Investigators and less actives feel the spirit? Every single night this past week I think about these questions and many more and I am thinking and how I can just improve everything and become a better missionary. One thing that I have realized is that I have been having a hard time feeling the spirit and recognizing promptings of the Holy Ghost. These last couple days I have noticed that during lessons and while we are out in the street and I seek to have to spirit with me and I listen for those promptings but Im just quite not there yet. I know the the Holy Ghost and feeling the spirit is key when teaching lessons and being in tune with the Holy Ghost is key to how we can prepare ourselves to receive those promptings. I just haven't been able to do that. So that's kind of been frustrating and I have been thinking why this is, and how I can feel the Holy Ghost every single day and every single second while I am out on my mission. I pray day and night to have the Holy Ghost with me and to prepare myself to receive promptings for guidance in the this holy work. So that is one thing that has been a struggle this last week for me.
I have been doing a lot of evaluating of myself on how I can improve and become a better missionary. What I need to work on. What I need to do different. I noticed something that I haven't been doing which is probably why things have been so tough for me lately. I was reading a talk called " The Fourth Missionary" I don't know if anyone has read it but it's a mission President speaking to the missionaries in his mission about the difference between missionaries. It talks about 4 different types of missionaries and how they put forth there efforts and how they do things in their missions. While reading it, and while it talks about the attributes of the Fourth Missionary it talks about how the Fourth Missionary gives up himself fully unto the lord. He gives his Heart, Might, Mind, and Strength. So far I have only been giving my Might, and Strength. Since I have been on my mission, I guess you could say that I have been homesick. I would constantly think about things at home. My car, xbox, movies, games, tv shows, things that I like to do, my friends, my family. Things that I want to do when I get home. The kind of Truck I want to buy when I get home. What school I want to go to when I get home. My companion and I just talk for hours about video games and stuff we want to do when we get home, and it just made me so homesick!! I just wanted to do all these things so bad! and It was all I could think about. I would constantly think about who e-mailed me and wishing that when I get on my E-mail account hoping that certain people e-mailed me. Just all these things, and my mind not being in the right place. If my mind is not in the right place then my heart is not also.
I have now given myself FULLY to this work. I do not think about home anymore. I do not think about what I want to do when I get home, and I don't think about who I am going to be able to hear from when I get on my e-mail. I just think about my purpose hear as a missionary, and how I can help everyone around me have a spiritual experience. Since I have done that I have realized a big difference in my attitude and efforts. I now realize that the Philippines is my home now. Missionary work is my profession. I have nothing at home for me right now. I am here to work, and work is what I am going to do. I hope and pray that with this new insight that I have been given that I might be able to feel the spirit more strongly everyday and that I might be able to bring more sheep unto the Lord's fold. Missionary work is my profession, so now its my job to become the best and also help others rise to their potential as I do so. There is no excuse to slack in this work. If you are going to be on a mission. Do it right.
So this is my advice to all those who are preparing for missions:
If you are attending school, go to seminary/institute, sit down, take notes, and pay attention. Read, Ponder, and Pray when you ready your scriptures. Read your scriptures every single day. Learn how to effectively study the scriptures and how to effectively and constructively mark your scriptures. Read and study the Preach My Gospel. Learn how to teach Lessons 1-4, do practice teaching with friends and family. Practice sharing a gospel message to someone on the street. Pray day and night every single day. Learn how to take notes that will actually benefit you. These are the things that immediately come mind because this is what probably would of helped me the most before coming on my mission. Honestly guys... the MTC helps you just a little bit. They just spoil you there. When you get in the mission field its a whole different story. but, enjoy your MTC experience, if you go in with the right attitude it can be a great and spiritually uplifting experience for you, I know mine was. I promise to you that if you will do these things honestly and earnestly before you mission and really prepare yourself to give yourself fully unto the Lord when you go on your mission. You will be an insane missionary and you will end up training your trainer. I wish I would have been smarter and would have done these things. but, that was in the past so now I have to work harder to make up for it. Don't just take my words for granted either, Do it! If you don't you will be sending the same e-mail home to your parents a couple weeks in your mission. haha!
Okay well... the deep feeling are out... now what do I say?
Hmmmm... Well. The work in my Area is the same just struggling to find new Investigators and get members to work with us. I guess I could say things have been improving since last week but it doesn't feel like its good enough for me. I am finally sleeping so well every single night! Thank goodness! It is so nice to be able to sleep through the night. I have finally been able to have regular bowel movements. (I thought you guys would want to know that) so that's also very nice. I eat like the same thing every single day, which is fine with me cause its so dang delicious! Today we had a Zone P day where our zone got together and played games and stuff. That was really fun I was able to more express myself and be myself since we weren't in our churchy clothes and just having fun. I can all ready tell the some of the Sisters think I am so weird and goofy. Oh well, I'm a mission! Who cares! I played a little basketball! That is one thing about the Philippines. Even though it is raining outside it is still so freaking hot! I was sweating in the rain! This place is just crazy I love it. There is so many things you guys would see and just be like " What the heck!?" and its awesome! I am learning all the little tips and tricks to things and how to really live like a Filipino. So I think I am adjusting well now. I can Honestly say after all the hard things that I am going through. (Which isn't even that bad) I am really enjoying my mission. I mean come on! I am in the Philippines! for two years! That's awesome! and It's going by way to fast. I love it here. No need to worry about me. Next time I'll make sure to write down ideas and stories that I want to tell so that I can actually have something fun to say instead of sounding like a teacher haha!
OH! one thing that is kind of funny is that it is all ready Christmas down here! They call it the "Ber" months. So, September, October, November, and December. So four months of Christmas, yay! I get to work on christmas! Best thing ever! It's going to be weird to skype home and see everyone's faces.
Well I went over my time again, and I need to get going so I will see you all next week!
Then this is me and Elder Mack doing the Filipino squat just for fun.
So these are pictures of me eating Balut(google it) for the first time, and what it looks like!
Surprisingly it was not that bad, just looks terrible. I have a video of it. It is pretty funny cause I am just freaking out and I don't want to do it! but, my Filipino housemate forces me to do it!