Friday, October 4, 2013

Heaven and Hell

September 30, 2013

Dear Family,
To tell you all the truth this new area has been tough for me. 

There has been a few days where I even said that I hated it. 

It's just so different than the last nine months were in Koforidua. 

I honestly have almost the exact same feelings and emotions running through me as when I left Utah over a year ago.  It's almost like I started all over again but with a whole lot more experience and knowledge.  It has been very weird but also a good experience and a really good change. 

Elder Benans and I were discussing the area last night and we decided that the best reference to this area would be that of General Yamamoto in his remarks after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Tema is a sleeping giant and we just need to find a way to wake it up.  We constantly talk about how much potential this area has if we can just figure out how to access it.  This week after a few very long days of knocking gates with no success, we decided that we needed to sit down and discuss how we wanted to go about the next day and how we could improve our finding effort.  As we did, I had a very clear impression to begin contacting shops.  At first I brushed it off because that was something we avoided so much in the past but the thought persisted, I presented the idea to Elder Benans and we agreed to give it a try.  We spent a few hours this week contacting shops and even though it wasnt the ideal place to teach a lesson we were very pleased with the amount of people that we willing to sit down and talk with us compared to house contacting.

This week was a hard one for me, I kind of explained it but earlier but along with leaving my home again I just didn't feel that same peace and certainty that I had been feeling in my final weeks with Elder McDonald.  I began thinking about what I could have done to loose those feelings and that 'Rest of the Lord' that we discussed. I thought about my life now, my life past, and I began to worry.  I thought about past mistakes and if I had repented sufficiently but that didn't feel right.  I had been feeling the Spirit and the blessings of the atonement...and then the other night it hit me.  We were having a really tough day, we had come in for lunch and I was so tempted to just take the rest of the day off.  I knew it wasnt right but was not in the mood to be out in the hot sun knocking on doors.  I said a prayer, asked help, and opened my Book of Mormon. 

I'm not sure where I opened to but there was a note that I had written some months had stars aroud it and everything.  It read, "Taylor even though it's hard right now and you are struggling, don't be prideful and selfish and forget your duty."  After I read that, I had a response to an email that President had sent me, that said something along the lines of, "you will find the peace and rest you are looking for when you consecrate yourself and work as hard as you know how."  I had an instant realization that I had not been working as hard as I was with Elder McDonald, I wasn't as consecrated and focused and I wasnt satisfied with the work that I was doing and that is why I wasnt feeling the peace that I craved.  I'm emotional right now thinking about it.  I miss that rest, I miss that peace and I am so excited to get it back.  Change and lack of succes are hard, but they are not an excuse for slacking!  Now, don't worry...I wasn't slacking all that much, but just with the small things, the exact obedience wasn't completely exact and it was showing in how I felt.  It was such a big change and it really didn't seem like we were doing much.  For instance, I was tired and it got easy to tack on a 30 minute nap to lunch or to come in a few minutes early at night instead of pushing in one more lesson.  Things are good now though, and I am so excited to try and turn this area into something awesome as well.  As it stands now...we have two investigators... we have done nothing but contacting since I have been here and the number has stayed the exact same,  It's going to take some time to get it figured out but we will get there:).

Okay I'll do some question answering now,

-Do you not have investigators because there just aren't many interested in that area...or is it a new area?  Have there been missionaries there before?
I followed a missionary into the area that went home and he didnt really think much past his flight so this place is just in a slump I think.  It's known throughout the mission though to be a really tough area, so hopefully we can get it going.

-Is there a branch there?
It's actaully a ward, talk about a weird switch going back to a ward...I keep calling the Bishop 'President' ha ha.

-How are the house-mates going?

-both great and horrible, Elder B and Elder H are awesome, but Elder I is pretty tough to get along with.  I think things will get better though.

-Are you able to enjoy some benefits from being closer to the mission office like going to the temple or listening to Conference?

-nope ha ha, I think we may get mail a bit more often?  By the way I got a package from you guys at transfers, it was the one with the shoe polish things, sweedish fish and that stuff. 

-How far are you from the mission office?

-about an hour or an hour and a half

-Anything interesting for pday?
-nope :)

-Any investigators yet?  Do they not answer because more of them are working, or because they aren't as interested?
-No one!  It's so hard!  I'm gettting a taste of the normal missionary lifestyle I guess

-Best part of the week?
-We had a baptism for Emmanuel, and Sarah (husband and wife), and Kwabena on Saturday which was awesome!

-Funniest part of the week?
-I shouldn't laugh but Elder Benans dropped one of the people he was baptizing....twice.  Oh and we had a guy we were having a lesson with pray that "God will stop all of Stan's bull sh**", ha ha I about lost it with him!  It was hillarious.

-Thing you like best about your companion?
-very relaxed,  and down to work

-Activities with district or zone coming up?
-not that I know about, I think the stake has a cultural activity coming up soon, hopefully we can go.

-photos of the old area or the area this week?
-got them on drop box, the one where I am in the picture or the baptism is Daniel and the one with just Elder McDonald is the Ansah boys.

Taylor and Elder McDonald with Daniel

Elder McDonald and the Ansah boys...Blessed Jr.(17),  Adjuet (17), and Clinton (12)

I think I am too late but I thought I would share a quck note about my memory of great-grandpa.  The first one was when I first entered scouts Grandpa made me a terquoise and silver bolo tie thing, I was so proud of it and I absolutely loved it.  I was proud of that thing and wore it each week at scouts, one week we went to a fishing pond where, me being the patient fisherman that I am ran from shore to shore where someone had caught a fish.  At some point during the day I realized that my bolo tie was was just about the end of the world...  I remember running quicker and quicker with each pass over the beaches with no luck, I remember the notts in my stomach with how sad I was that I had lost it and then I remember the small voice that prompted me to pray, I remember just about giving up but offering a simple prayer that I would find my bolo tie from my Grandpa, I took maybe two steps and stepped right on it.  I HAD FOUND IT!!!  I had bent the crap out of it from stepping on it but I had found it!  I thought about bending it back but decided to leave it as a reminder of the first time I relied on the Lord through prayer.  I was young but it was stuck out as the first time I really can remember praying so earestly for something and then recieving an answer.  Come to learn later that faith in prayer would save my life in the mountains of Utah, and prayer would carry through my time in Africa.  I will always be grateful for Grandpa and that lesson he inadvertantly taught me.  Thanks Grandpa, I love you.

Well I have another one   But I'm about out of time so I'll save it.  Anyway have a great week, be safe, have fun, eat something awesome for me:)

Love you all,

No comments:

Post a Comment