Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"The Office Elder"

As of the 29th of December 2009, I have been an Office Elder for a year! I started my office duties in 2008, and now it’s 2010. Crazy huh? It has been a great experience working with two Mission Presidents, and helping to keep the mission running on its administrative side, while covering three different areas at the same time. When I first got into the field, the office was such a foreign place that we only went into occasionally. But, I’ve been here for more than half my mission now! It's crazy being The Office Elder.

Our four Bengali men were baptized on Saturday! It was a wonderful service! We had members of the ward participate in their baptisms and confirmations, which was a great thing because everyone seems to be really excited about missionary work now!

This past week has been rewarding but also extremely exhausting. We’ve had so much to do in the office and in the field. Things are starting to move again, but it is getting pretty rushed, and I’m learning to mange my time and stress level. I never imagined what a challenge leadership could be, but I guess it is helping me to grow and be better, to make decisions and guide my district where it should. In addition, my organizational skills have somewhat improved with the office. It doesn’t seem to me that I’ve really improved at all, but President Clark and I talked a little about how we can’t see the changes in ourselves sometimes. But others can see them in us. The more I learn in the gospel, the more I seem to see my weaknesses. But, it’s something to just keep focusing on and trying to change, so that I can become strong unto the Lord.

I’ve been having some challenges with certain people and situations. In regards to that, I have been trying my best to overcome those challenges. Over the past few months, I have been and am slowly coming to understand what it means to rely on the Lord. Over the past few months, I have too often tried to rely on my own ability and strengths to do what I am supposed to do, which has not been the smartest thing, because the only way that I can do Heavenly Father’s work is to have His Spirit to guide me in all that I do.

In sacrament meeting on Sunday, we were singing In Humility, Our Savior in sacrament meeting. As I sang it and reflected on the words, it gave me a clearer understanding of what it takes to be able to be with Heavenly Father. We need to be able to develop that kind of charity.

The second verse of the hymn goes:

Fill our hearts with sweet forgiving;
Teach us tolerance and love.
Let our prayers find access to thee
In thy holy courts above.
Then, when we have proven worthy
Of thy sacrifice divine,
Lord, let us regain they presence;
Let thy glory round us shine.

As I was looking up quotes for a training that I’ll be giving on charity, I came across a wonderful quote that I am trying to apply in my own life now. C.S. Lewis said:

To excuse, what can really produce good excuses is not Christian charity; it is only fairness. To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. This is hard. It is perhaps not so hard to forgive a single great injury. But to forgive the incessant provocations of daily life - to keep on forgiving the bossy mother-in-law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son - How can we do it? Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning our words when we say in our prayers each night "Forgive our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us." We are offered forgiveness on no other terms. To refuse it is to refuse God's mercy for ourselves. There is no hint of exceptions and God means what He says.

Sister Clark was talking to me about working with people. As an only child, it might be hard, she said. But, it’s a great time to learn. A mission teaches you what you need to learn to grow and develop attributes to draw you closer to the Savior.

Talked to a man yesterday who had learned from the missionaries, who disagreed with a judging God, so I explained to him that it wasn’t so much judgment as they were consequences and reactions to certain actions. It was a good lesson to remind and teach myself too.

Funny how that happens sometimes.

Well, have a great week! Thank you for your love and support!

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