The best way to get the kitchen clean is to keep it clean as you go. At least that is what i have found on my mission. If you wait for a long time for a big pile, the bigger the pile gets the less of a desire you have to clean it and the longer it will take. I just tell my companions to clean their dishes right after they eat and I do the same and we really don't have a problem with it. Everyone has to do their part though for it to work... Something I have seen and felt is the impact that a clean flat does for the spirit. I hate walking into my flat at night all tired and ready to go to bed and the flat is an absolute mess. The home is supposed to be a place of refuge and safety and comfort but that is not fully possible in a mess. So Children, do your part and keep the house clean!! It is small enough that it should be really easy!! I love small flats. :) There is my sanitary tip for the year...
Last night I was on an exchange with Elder Merl and Elder Holman and we had an amazing experience of teaching 8 men who were University Students. I love teaching the younger generation when they are willing to listen and are actually interested. Sometimes you get people who just want to argue and be antagonistic, and this especially happens in large groups. But all of them were very interested in what we were saying and had a million questions. After the lesson I marveled at how blessed we were to teach them, here were 8 University students who were completely caught up in the world and doing worldly things, but they all took an hour and were truly listening to us. What a wonderful feeling it was! Unfortunately I can't really express it in words let alone in an email. It was just amazing!! I appreciated the time I got to spend with Elder Merl and Elder Holman, two outstanding missionaries who are now great friends of mine.
Something that I have begun to notice recently is that I am constantly tired. Whether it is from these past 3 weeks specifically or from the whole mission as a whole or from both put together I don't know. Every night I am dead and so ready for bed. Usually that means I fall asleep fast and sleep through the whole night until the alarm, but sometimes I just can't stop thinking about certain situations. I was told that the tiredness would start to come in as the mission went along, and now I understand a bit. :) I think I am going bald as well.... :) It is a good thing I love being a missionary so much!
This past week has been yet another different and interesting week for me and I am sure for Elder Esposito as well. Honestly it has been really hard to keep doing the same thing day in and day out, talking about the same subject to see if he is ok because it makes me think a lot of what may happen. I know that it is necessary though to help him keep expressing his feelings and sharing with someone in the best way he can what he is thinking and feeling. I feel that the YSA activities have really been helping him to open up a little bit but more importantly to just be able to listen to many other people speak about anything and everything. He is still needing me to coerce him to speak to people though, to kind of give him a gentle pull to speak to people. Overall I feel that we are doing everything we can to make sure he stays where he needs to be and he is having the best experience he can get right now. I just hope that it is enough....
We had a Zone Conference with President Kopischke from the Europe Area Seventy. I absolutely enjoyed the time to learn from him. He taught us so simply and so completely to help us understand what we can do as missionaries to become better servants of the Lord. The greatest thing was that he took so much time to simply answer our questions and center all of his teaching to us and our needs and concerns. Just like what we should be doing with our investigators. Even better was that when he answered our questions he expounded more fully to cover larger ranges of problems or concerns that may come with the same question. He did so using scripture and helping us know that the Gospel is the complete answer to figuring out questions. One of the biggest principles that stuck out to me was that there is no such thing as a disobedient missionary, just a missionary that lacks Faith.
President Kopischke also centered much of his teachings on helping those that were really struggling at the time, particularly Elder Esposito. It showed me the love and concern he felt for him. While he was speaking specifically about languages and how hard it is to learn sometimes, I looked back at my personal experiences with learning languages and realized to a greater extent what he was talking about. He knew that he needed to learn English on a mission in Germany because it helped him to be qualified to be in the position where he is now. At the time it was super hard and something that he thought he could not do or did not want to do, but now it is the center of his life and role as a servant of the Lord.
I had very strong impressions that I was learning Chinese for a very specific reason, what it is I do not know, but I need to put more effort into mastering the language in all ways. I felt very strongly that Elder Esposito needed to hear and more importantly understand this principle. Elder Esposito NEEDS to learn English. Once again, why? I don't know, but he is being prepared for something. We just need to help him hold out a little bit longer. I love him so much and want the best for him, he has taught me a lot already and I look forward to the continued time with him. Hard work, but worth it!!