First of all, thank you very much for the long and intricate answers to the question I had for you as a family. I am as well happy to hear that it gave you something to discuss and learn about as a family. As I read the comments and advice that you wrote down two things came to my mind. The first was how blessed I am to have such a supportive and spiritual family. Very rarely do your letters make me think of anything besides the work and they always uplift me. I am extremely grateful for the action that has been taken in living the gospel in our family. Mostly coming from the teaching or our parents.
The second thought I had was that of course you are right. I sent a similar question to President Preston last Monday and for two or three days I had done what I shouldn't have been doing. Questioning the verdict I had made. On Thursday President Preston gave me a ring and we talked about the situation for 10 or so minutes. I was grateful for the time he took to personally talk to me about that specific question and as well the words that he said to me. That were of course pretty much exactly what you have just shared with me, because obviously you are both right! He said something very similar to the quote, "If you ever make any mistake in Judgement, make it on the side of mercy." Oh how blessed we are to have such great leaders in our lives and running the church under the hand of God.
The commitment I made to the Zone Leaders was given not half-heartedly, but with the same thoughts of, I can't necessarily control all situations and events. Looking at it now and the way I felt at the time, IF I was in the same situation again I would make the same choice. The important thing is like you said, to make sure I do all I can never to be in that situation again. I will be doing my best to communicate better with the members and as well the investigator to let them know what the rules are and how they can help me live by them. By the way Kjanela, I do know that murder is illegal. :) Thank you for your comments!
This week has been a great character building week for us here on the Isle of Man. We were able to go out and hunt for new people to teach since our teaching pool has dropped dramatically now. Fortunately the weather was good and we were running in the sun getting a nice tan, or at least for myself a nice burn. This week I have been noticing the specific differences in talking with people and how they react, especially here on the Isle of Man. Because most everyone knows who we are we have to be more careful with what we say and do when we are finding because it is easier to get on peoples nerves here. Something this has helped me learn is to sit their and listen to people even more and find out more about their lives. The wrote QGC does not usually cut it when speaking to them. From these experiences I have come to have a greater love for the people we speak to because I know them much better and have a greater connection with them, with this comes the increased desire to share the message we have.
On Saturday we had the opportunity to visit a family in the ward and follow up with them on the Family Mission Plan that they had been taught a few months previous. In doing so both Elder Tellem and I were fortunate to learn of many different experiences the Father of the home had on his mission. It was splendid to sit there and hear about the different challenges and trials that he had on his mission and also the many blessings. He went on to explain to us that although he had not been the most perfect missionary, his mission had completely changed him and his life and he was who he was because of it.
He then went on to advise us to make the most of our time here and as well to understand the importance of our calling as the lords servants. He also said something interesting to us about members not always understanding missionaries and vice verse. He said that both parties needed to more fully recognize the difficulties in both aspects of the work, as missionaries and as members. He explained that when that is done, the love and understanding between members and missionaries will grow and the increase of sons and daughters into the kingdom will as well grow. It is a lot of fun to go over to different members houses and learn more about them and gain new friendships.
Something that I feel is a great strength in our missionary work here is our relationship with the Youth of the ward. I remember the way I thought and felt about missionaries and the awe and respect I felt towards them for who they were and what they were doing. Seeing that and realizing that the youth here probably feel the same we have decided to make a proactive effort in not only knowing who the youth are, but getting to know them. It has been really easy and as well fun to interact with not only the adults but the youth and primary. Yesterday we were asked to teach the primary about preparing for the temple. It was a blast and I think the children had fun as well. They all committed to doing their best to prepare for the temple! It is great to know that the members trust us with the work, as well as their children. Too much fun!!!
Elder Tellem is doing great and we are having fun serving together here in paradise. One of the greatest challenges we have as a companionship (Elder Tellem and I) is communication in all of its forms. This has been a blessing for us to work more fully on our communication skills and has as well aided us in strengthening our relationship. We are both fairly quiet people with calm personalities so we often find ourselves not speaking to each other as we drive somewhere or are out on the street finding, or even when we are eating Lunch or Tea. This in turn led to us not knowing exactly what the other was thinking in regards to plans, speaking with members and investigators, or anything else for that matter.
We came to realize that we really didn't know each other very well because we had not bothered to ask. As well we were often frustrated or concerned because we didn't know what we were doing because the other had not said anything. Like I said though, we have been able to work on our communication skills with each other, which has led us to know each other much better and care more about what the other is thinking. I am very appreciative of the opportunities we have as missionaries to serve with a plethora of other missionaries who often times are quite different and sometimes even hard for our personalities to get along with because of the chance it gives us to broaden our skills and learn from others.
On Tuesday it was my birthday, but it felt nothing like my birthday to tell you the truth. Multiple times I completely forgot it was my birthday and that I was now 20. :) I am glad that you had a lot of fun together celebrating it though. haha It feels great to be able to say I am 20 now though. On the street when people ask how old you are and hear you are only 19 they get turned off and say, hah, only a teenager, what do they know. 20 sounds so much better. Now I will be taken more seriously right? haha, I hope.
Well this next week it will be really busy. We leave the Island later today, sleep in Liverpool for the night, then travel by train to Chorley for Interviews and trainings tomorrow. After that we will travel to Stoke-on-Trent and stay their for a week because they have a progressing Chinese Investigator dated for baptism and they requested a Chinese speaker to come down to help teach. Then we will go to Manchester next Tuesday for Zone Conference and back to the Isle of Man next Wednesday. It certainly is a long time to be away from your area and it will feel really strange to be gone once again. All the members continue to tease us saying we are going on vacation again. Saying, "when I was a missionary, they never let us go on a day vacation let alone 10." I love our ward here in Douglas.
Remember I love you and am very grateful for the love and support you are to me. keep up the good work.
Onward & Upward,