This week has been one of self-reflection. But, before I go into the details of that, I guess I'll recap the week. We went on splits Thursday night and taught two different appointments. Along with a few members, I taught a member's friend from Chine who was here for auditions for the music conservatory at the National University of Singapore. For the most part, we had to teach the lesson on Mandarin, and it was then that I realized just how inadequate my Mandarin is. I don't have to study a language, and so I've never really focused on one during language study time. I can contact and teach short lessons in Mandarin, but nothing more than that. So, that was an embarrassing lesson, and frankly, something good because it humbled me. We had quite a few appointments cancel, and we only ended up having one more sit-down lesson the rest of the week. We were able to meet up with Angelina last Friday, and also yesterday. She has been progressing very well, and has been asking many excellent questions, along with great insights, and sometimes answering her own question! We are so excited to see how that continues on, and we are pretty confident that she will be baptized on her targeted date of March 15th.
On Saturday, we had just finished up with an evening of finding/contacting, with some success, but nothing too great. But, just as we were walking to the bus stop, I decided to say hello to a man who was walking beside me with his daughter. Raja was meeting up with his wife, and we started talking about the Church just as his wife walked up. Elder Palfreyman started talking to his wife, and we both shared what our beliefs are. To my utter amazement, he said that he wanted to go to Church the next day! So we called a member, and they arranged to go to Church together the next day, and they did! It was a wonderful blessing, because we only were going to have one investigator at Church, and we weren't really sure what we were going to do to get more. The Lord really gives us these little miracles as we do our best. Raja's family returned home to India on Tuesday, but we're meeting with him on Saturday, so that is going to be a wonderful appointment for us.
We spent Sunday night visiting with a member and some less-actives, and just some finding and an appointment with Angelina last night.
Back to the self-reflection that I mentioned earlier in the week... Well, it's just been comments that people have made, and things that I have observed about myself that I frankly find pretty distasteful. It's nothing horrible. It's just that I'm developing into a person that I don't really want to be, and I'm glad that I'm on my mission because it has helped me to see that, and has also given me the desire and courage to change myself so that I can be the very best person that I want to be. I suppose that I won't go into the details of all my shortcomings, that would be awkward. But, what I have learned, what attributes I have found to be the most effective in molding me are humility and patience.
By far, humility is that that I have to work on the most. It's not just the whole bratty, single child attitude that I might have, but it is the pride inside that gets me in trouble sometimes. It's not so much trouble that might harm me, but rather pride that harms the person whom I'm trying to become, and it does hurt those around me sometimes. Decisions that I would have made in the past easily are now affected by other people too. Crazy. I suppose that humility works hand in hand with patience too. Being impatient can be related to so many things, with not getting what you want, with people around you, with people's reactions to you. It saddens me when I have a conversation with a not-so-polite-person, and I respond in kind. I'm learning how not to be bothered by others comments, and let them think what they want, though sometimes, I just want to give them a not so friendly hit to some part of their being. I am just trying to see how I can change my attitude, my perspective.
Elder Palfreyman has helped me see another side of pride too, of being too judgemental, and not trusting. We met a pastor from Pakistan who wanted to meet with us, so that he could learn more, and receive some help because he is a religious refugee. Elder Palfreyman was doing his best to help him because he had been calling a number of times, and said that he had a daughter and wife that he was trying to get out of Singapore. I was rather cynecal about it, and mentioned that I thought that he might just be wanting to scam money out of us, which triggered a reaction of disappointment in Elder Palfreyman. At first, I was very defensive about it, and frankly, very insulted. But, as I reflected on it, I realised that as a missionary, I'm putting all my trust in the betterment of the human race, that there is something within them that is always seeking for better. It was then that I realized that I need to look for the good in all, instead of being so judgemental and critical.
Well, I guess I'll just be looking out for more of the positives in life, to be more carefree, but more responsible too. It's that need to blend maturity and refinement together, to cleanse our inner selves, and build up the character that we must have to be truly happy.
with four of my favorite Elders: Elder Mattox, me, Elder Merrill, Elder Palfreyman