Letter from Kelson #8 - "Whatever Week you want..."
Good Morning Sunny California!!!!! What a week I have had! It was crazy, stop and go, off the wall and any other words that describe what it could have been like. From the very first day, things were in my face, disappointing and stressful. We had quite a few cancelled appointments, from the same people as in past weeks, and we were just struggling to have times to teach and fulfill our purpose as missionaries. Everyday was left up to chance. We would plan the evening before but then we would have to rearrange those plans because of cancellations, people forgetting that we are coming over, or people just not being home. I guess it really makes me appreciate the weeks that I have had in the past when success was booming. Along with the disappointment of these canceling appointments, I was not on my game at all this week. I am once again trying to overtake my trainer and I need to stop. I have a personality where I just want to get things done in my way, I want to lead the discussions, I want to be in charge of the schedule...this drives my trainer insane. He wanted me to be homesick, and more timid about preaching the gospel, but that is just not who I am. Because of those differences, I have been struggling to keep myself in the junior/greenie companion seat. I have slowly been getting better but it is so hard to sit back and let someone else teach someone that I feel I could teach better...GOSH DANG IT PRIDE!!! I am working on my humility and need to realize that I am new and he is seasoned. He can read people, teach people, and I can confuse people. The last one was apparent in our last lesson yesterday as we were teaching this 9 year old boy named Jaiden, and he just wasn't understanding anything I had to say and I took over the lesson...I suck at this. However if I was a perfect missionary and perfect teacher and perfect person why would I be out here on this excursion of discipleship. All in all, this week has just been kind of a downer...but we ended with a bang that picked it back up and made all the difference. Leon was baptized at 3 pm on Saturday and he was so excited and nervous, but he was super happy. When he was baptized he came up straightway out of the water and this was his reaction... "WOW!!!!" He just made my mission even better because he was just so overwhelmed with joy he couldn't contain his emotions. Then afterward he bore his Testimony which was so strong and defined I felt like he had been a member his whole life. The next day at church when he was confirmed he said that he wanted to go up to the pulpit and preach to the whole congregation; a week earlier he was terrified of public speaking. He is truly converted to the gospel and I know that he will be an active, upright member who just loves everyone. For those who are wondering about how Elder Outlaw and I are coping with each other, and working together; we are doing GREAT. It was hard at first but we are loving the work, finding it hard to love the people because everyone we talk to has so much GHETTO DRAMA that it makes us sick to our stomach. It surprises me how much people tell us because we are missionaries/disciples of Jesus Christ. We show up and people tell us their whole life story; how we can help them, and whether or not they are actually interested in what we have to say. I must say though, I have seen some very strange people, gangsters, to veterans, to young girl poachers (guys who are too old going after jail bait), to people that when we stand next to them I pray that I don't pass out because they smell so bad. These are the people who are home during the day and who are "humbled" for us to teach but it would be much easier if we had member referrals and lessons with those members. My advice to all those who are reading and feel inspired: please refer your friends, family, and work colleagues to the missionaries, because the more people they don't have to go out and find, the less drama and weird people they come across. Oh yeah!!! Feed the missionaries!!! Try to make it somewhat healthy so that they don 't feel like they are so fat that they will squish their bike when they ride away. Make sure they are fed each night, and help them if they are having problems with focus, member lessons, and anything else they may require. As a missionary we don't ask a lot, but what we do ask is critical. (I have been fed very well out here...I need to go on a diet...too much dessert...UGH) I would like to wish all the people who are starting something new, hard and over the best of luck. When in doubt stop, step back, pray, re-attack and succeed...and if that doesn't work find something else to do. Just Kidding, stick with it and never give up!!! I can't give up because I have peoples' eternal salvation on my hands... "there ain't no rest for the wicked" (meaning me...hehe) In the service of our GOD, Elder Kelson Wheeler