|Elder Warren Provo MTC December 5, 2012|
It is pretty crazy to think about the fact that I have now been a missionary for over a year. Like... I think back to one year ago and I was still a missionary. That is a really weird feeling. It is also weird to think that in less than a year from now I will be at home. It blows my mind how fast things have passed. I was going to send you a picture of what I looked like this year on December 5th, but this cyber isn´t a very good one... and I don´t want to get my new camera infected. Yep, that is right. I got the package with the camera and stuff! Thank you so much. This camera takes FAR better pictures than the last one. All of the pictures look really good.
Hey, guess what? Elder Borup made me a cake for my one year anniversary. He is a stud. We used the Twizzlers to write "1 Año" on the cake. We went over to an investigators house and ate cake with her and her dad. It was a pretty good day.
Thinking back on the last year is weird. Like...half of my mission is gone. But the weirdest thing is that... the mission has been absolutely nothing like I expected. Not at all. I think before the mission I had this unrealistic, idealized thought about what missionaries are and what they do. I thought it would be this great spiritual high all the time. Like...constantly having one of those awesome spiritual moments. I thought that it would just... become natural. And maybe it has a little, but it isn´t easy. I sometimes say to people that it isn´t all sunshine and rainbows, mostly because the sun doesn´t shine and it doesn’t stop raining long enough to see rainbows. Haha. But really, it has been a hard year of my life. It is hard being away from home. It is hard learning another language. It is hard living in another country where the traditions and customs are different. It is hard to have wet feet all of the time. It is hard to get up each day and get excited to knock doors for 8 hours in the pouring rain. It is hard to live with companions who come from different backgrounds and have a different way of logic and reasoning. It is hard. It is hard to not see the results of our labors. It is hard to get rejected thousands of times. It is more disappointment than triumph. But it is important. It is worth it. I have come so far. I have learned a lot of things. I am learning to face adversity. I am learning to work with other people. I am learning to have charity and serve and love the people here. I am trying to improve and get better each day. Trust me, I have a long ways to go before I will reach my goals and become the person that I want to be... but I am on the right track. And I am doing the Lords work. That fact alone keeps me going. This isn´t my time, this is the Lords time. I am expected to keep moving forward and to bring the world His truth.
I have a year left. One half. Everyone says that I am on the descent now. That now the time will go by twice as fast. We will see. But all I know is that I am going to do all that I can to fulfill my purpose here. I was called here for a reason. I am going to give it all I have. I feel like I spent the first year learning the ropes and really getting comfortable. The first year gaining the experience I need to really be an effective instrument in the hands of God. Now, I have some knowledge and some experience. I am going to apply what I have learned and really go for it here. Obviously there is a lot left to learn, so I will keep trying to improve. But now is the time to shine. I have nothing to lose here.
In other news... We will be talking on Skype here pretty quickly. I want you to pick. I can call the 23, 24 or 25th. Pick a day. We need to start coordinating it as soon as we can. I want you to respond to this part of the email immediately because I will actually be logged on to my email account on Monday morning. So let me know and tell me a time. And… try and figure out the time difference. I think it is like 4 hours or something like that.
Hey... could you send me the recipe for you chocolate chip cookies! I have been going Betty Crocker style recently, but that gets really expensive.
Also... be looking for a package in the mail. Haha. There is a surprise coming and I think you will enjoy it, actually. We have been.... very festive this year.
The work is going really well here, actually. We are trying to get the investigators to church. We have 8 investigators committed to the church activity tonight, so hopefully they come. Yesterday was easily one of the greatest days ever. We taught 7 lessons in one day... which is awesome for us. We went from lesson to lesson and we were teaching all day. It was cool.
Today we went and played American football with all of the missionaries in the zone. It has been so long since I have played football. It was a ton of fun. After that we went to some restaurant to do an ice cream challenge. It was way easier than the ColdStone challenge. But it was still a ton of ice cream.
Well... I think that is it for me. Keep the faith. Keep busy. Keep happy.
p.s. I sent that letter so long ago that I don´t even remember what it said. Haha. No, don´t send me pens. I have a million. I am in a big enough city that I can buy anything here that they sell up there... almost. They even have an Apple store here.