Monday, February 16, 2015

Letter #82 - "Will you be my Valentine?" says the TRUFF

This week, was just the typical missionary "Humble Week." We felt like we had a lot planned and it was going to be great. Then, one after another, almost everything fell through. It's times like these where you start to wonder "What am I doing wrong? What is it that I have to improve?" The funny thing is, you can find some of the most touching spiritual moments, in these so called, "Hard times."

I'll give you a little blip of why it was hard. We had District meeting on Thursday, and President came to do interviews. It was great to see him. Just as Elder Brown was going into his interview, he says to me that our investigator, Hamed, just canceled on us and "Tschüss-ed" us. Which is like, he said he doesn't want to meet with us again. Hamed was an investigator for 2 weeks. We met with him 4 times, and had the most amazing spiritual lessons. He was planning on just learning English with us, but instead, learned about Heavenly Father's plan for himself on this earth. He knew what we were saying was true. He told us. If you were put right into these lessons, you could feel and see that thing that we call "real intent." But there was a problem because of his religion. If he were to change and then go back into his country, he would be killed and is wife would leave him. So, he made his choice, he chose the safe one. But he knew, that he had found the right way, and all we can do now is pray that he finds a different way to get to the path that God has for him.

That's the biggest heart wrencher, I believe, of a mission. It's when you have been teaching someone for a while, and gotten close to them. You have grown to love them.  Then, you offer them this piece of the puzzle that they have been missing their entire life, and they reach out and grab it. Then the next day they say, never mind. :) Rough eh? But on the other side of the spectrum....

We have a good friend in the ward, Emmanuel, who is from France. He texts us on Saturday night, and says that he is bringing a friend to church and to the appointment we were having after church in his dorm at the Uni. As we met with her and talked, she had a lot of questions. She had been raised in the Catholic church her entire life. In the past, when she had questions, people would chastise her or tell her that she should just do it and not question it. She really didn't like that, and so has just been going about life, living really a religion that she didn't really believe in. As we talked about the doctrines of the church and how anything we have questions with, we can ask God, and study, and He will give us the answers. We talked about the Plan of Salvation, and our personal stories of what made us realize that Christ was really there. It was amazing. You could just see it in her face. When we would tell her something and it's like a light bulb that hadn't been turned on, but was there, was suddenly turned on - and she loved it. She said out loud when we were closing: "Why couldn't someone explain these things to me earlier?" :) It was such a humbling experience, and great to see someone finally reaching what they've always wanted.

The lesson that I learned this week, was from the Book of Mormon. There are SO many examples of where the people are distraught, have times of trial and sickness, and the list goes on and on. But what is important, is they call upon God, ask for HIS strength, and HIS power. I've realized that I'm nothing without that. I realized, that the great stumbling block of men, is Pride. Pride is absolutely the foundation for all evil. I hate it. Ha ha. So, as I read the Book of Mormon, it's amazing how the process follows: pride, fall away from God, realizing the pit they created for themselves, struggle, the repentance process, and then the climb back up. I love the scriptures.

One more thought, with that in my mind, was really an experience I hold so closely to my heart. It meant so much to me at the very moment it happened, and was exactly what I needed. We were coming into the chapel for sacrament, and everyone was busily running around, finding places to sit and chatting it up. As we found a seat and were about to sit down, I notice a man, sitting in the back row, all by himself. You could tell that he was absolutely drunk. He had the strong stench of alcohol and cigarette smoke. I looked at him in worry and thought to myself, "Should I go sit by him? Why isn't anyone else sitting by him?" At that moment, a member, I don't even know his name, went and sat right next to him and smiled. The drunk man proceeded to rock back and forth and do his own thing. But that member, the look in his eye, you could see his intention. He just wanted to give this man some company. He stayed with him the whole sacrament meeting until he left right before the closing song. It touched me so much, and made me really feel that pure love of Christ. That love that He has, for everyone of His children.

I love the gospel, and I love teaching about it. This week, was a big stepping stone for me. I'm so eternally grateful, for the chance to be out here. :) Life is at it's best when you're having fun!

Mucho Lovo

Elder Mayne

 Me and my homie Elder von Wallwitz on V-Day eating our choco. :)

I was so tempted (still am) to buy these shoes.

 When you're on splits and only have one set of keys, kinda sucks. :)

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