I know exactly what you mean by our plans going awry, unfortunately it happens to us almost every day!! Then you can learn from it and go on. In other words, we get over it. You are right, sometimes it is hard to get to the temple or even make time to make plans to go to the temple, but it is more of a blessing when we sacrifice more for it. I wish we could go to the temple more as missionaries. I love the spirit there and what you can learn while on the temple grounds. I am lucky to be so close to a temple though on my mission, many missions don't even have one anywhere close by.
Yes patience is something I always was working on at home with my siblings. Now I am even more of an organized neat freak so hopefully they have learned something about being clean and organized. It really does help to be organized in life, it just makes things so much easier. Every time I go to another missionaries flat and it is not clean, I give them a commitment to do so and explain to them the blessings that come from it. :) It is very true. Well it sounds like the family is doing well despite any cancellations. Nothing too crazy is happening with me here in Manchester. We are really trying to work on getting our many investigators progressing. We have a lot of potential and many people to work with, but they are not meeting with us often or progressing. We need to be more creative and personal with them to help them grow....
This week I have learned more about the importance of understanding, but more on the side of communication from both parties. I realize that unless we communicate to peoples understanding or in the right way then it is hard for you and that other person to get along fully. Fortunately on my mission I have had a plethora of opportunities to work on communication because I am often speaking to people we speak another language which requires me to be more precise and patient in my communication. As well I have appreciated the ability to sit down and speak openly and clearly to my companion on any problems we may be having and how we can improve those problems or overcome any obstacles.
One of the investigators that we have been teaching recently is Evangeline. She has been taught for a long time and continues to struggle with finding her own personal relationship with God and therefore receive a testimony of the truthfulness of the church. Yesterday we were excited to see her interacting more with the members of the ward and trying to put herself out there. We feel that she is holding herself back from both making friends in the church as well as finding out for herself if what we share is true. We are hoping to get down to the root of her concern this upcoming week. It is amazing how badly you sometimes want people to accept and receive the blessings from the Gospel.
Over the past week or so we as a companionship have been trying to figure out what we can do more or differently with the ward in order to strengthen our relationship and trust with the members so as to help the missionary work move along more swiftly, effectively, and smoothly. We have found it a lot harder than we thought it would be because of the situation and circumstances of our ward. As you know we are in the YSA ward which has about 30-40 members a week and we have 3 sets of missionaries in the ward. Trying to work out fellowshippers with 6 missionaries talking to everyone, asking for referrals, and everything is quite a challenge we have run into. We just have to realize that the ward we are in is different and we need to adjust accordingly. Serving in a YSA ward sure is an interesting experience.
I thought that before my mission I would not come home and be awkward around girls. I was completely wrong. One of the challenges of being in a YSA ward is that I don't know how to talk to any of the Sisters in the Church. Honestly, they are my age or maybe a bit older, and doing the same thing I was doing before I left. Another Elder and I were talking about the difficulty in speaking with and getting to know the members of the ward because 3/4s of them are women!!! All we have to do is break the ice and find the right point and line and we will be fine. But the Ice is extremely thick and I don't know where the line and points are!! I feel bad talking to a sister in the ward for long periods of time or about anything that could make you laugh because then you think, "am I flirting?" Of course not!!!! But what does everyone else see? Haha, what a dilemma we are facing here. What strange new obstacles we face now that I never thought I would face on my mission. :) Oh well, we will learn.
Life is good because the Gospel is true right? Definitely Is. What great things we are able to learn in this battle of life. I love it despite the adversity, or maybe I love it because of the adversity. I am still trying to figure that out. :)
Have a great week and know that I love you!