Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 79 - Happy Haunting

This week was an exciting one! Well, let's be honest, in the mission field, EVERY week is an exciting week!

One awesome thing I neglected to mention was last week, one of my exchanges was to Manassas!!! haha it was way fun visiting the old area, teaching some of those wonderful people again, seeing the old roommates, etc. It really is amazing how attached you become to the people you serve. It's almost not fair, because you only get a couple months. I truly love the people here in Virginia.

This week, I went on another SWEET exchange! I was with Elder Riggs!!! I don't know how many of you remember that name, but we were companions in the missionary training center!!! It was amazing to work together again! Catching up, spending time together, it was just awesome.. Elder Riggs and I, ever since the MTC have just had a teaching style that meshes. Part of it was probably because we learned how to teach together. We went to teach a young man named T early on in the exchange. We had an amazing meeting and he has choosen a date for his baptisim.  It was so exciting to see the Spirit work through us so powerfully even after 18 months. The rest of the exchange was a blast, teaching together, tracting together (something you don't get to do in the MTC), and just seeing how much we've changed - and how little in some ways.

I also hit my 18 month mark this week! haha pretty crazy, eh?

Halloween was also this week. We watched Monsters University and Megamind with our zone. We had a total blast doing it!

Friday we had a really cool opportunity. We have an Elder who is a fantastic missionary who was home for a shoulder surgery. Well, he came back this week! On Friday! Friday is date night for the Riggs, so we avoid interrupting that unless it's an emergency. Last Friday, they had all the stake presidents over for dinner, so they really couldn't get out of that, so Elder Cluff and I got to go pick up this Elder! He and another missionary have been called to open a new area, so we got to do all the fun activities like providing them with apartment keys, a phone, a car, all that jazz, and we got them all set up and off on the road! It was really fun.

This week, we also started preparation for next transfer... Just a quick glance....
Next transfer is 5 weeks long, and in that time we have 9 zone conferences, a general authority touring the mission, Christmas conference, all the normal meetings that take place, and multiple holidays!! Long story short, we're getting started now... haha we began working on transfers this week, and prepping wards and calendars for the exciting next transfer!!! So, yeah, we only get two preparation days next transfer... haha I'll be finding other times to email home... :P  don’t worry mom, pretty sweet huh?

anyways, that's pretty much my week! i'm going to get working on the questions mom sent :

Something you wish you had known before you left on your mission?

I wish i'd known more about Preach My Gospel. I was familiar with it, and had read it, but I really didn't KNOW it, and I regret that. I also wish I'd understood change a little more. I used to dread change, but now I feel like it's one of the BEST things about life! I feel like that perspective would have helped a lot early on in my mission days.

a great lesson you have learned in the mission??

Charity is a big one that comes to mind. I've grown so much in love for the people here. Even when they're REALLY frustrating you, you just learn to love them through all of that. I feel a lot of it comes from taking a step back and looking not at who they are, but who they can become. If we compare others - or even ourselves for that matter - to us or to other people, all we're going to do is breed pride and ill-feeling. All we can do is compare ourselves to our potentials, and when we see the potential in others, you just can't help but love them! Sometimes it's frustrating but seeing them for who they really are and who they are in process of becoming just fills you with love for them.

what are you studying now ?

I'm studying and familiarizing with the scriptures in the lessons from preach my gospel. Right now, in the Book of Mormon, I'm studying Omni, and in the near future, I plan to contrast Omni and 4th Nephi. Those two books are both one chapter books that cover vast spans of time, one of which ends with the people in the state of righteousness the King Benjamin addresses, and the other ends with the people so wicked they are ripe for destruction. I'd like to pick those apart and notice the patterns of what one people did and another people didn't to maintain righteousness over a lifetime. Short-term is easy. Patterns for a lifetime are concerns I'd like to make habits now, rather than later. So far, in Omni, I've charted the writers and what they were like, what their surroundings were like, and what made them the men they were.

 Love you all!

-Elder Matt

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