Thursday, May 28, 2015

Week 12 Obedience Angst

Dear family,

Welp, another week has passed and I`m still alive, so that`s chill. This week was literally soooo long. Like practically first week of the MTC status long. I couldn`t even tell you why, but it was literally like a month. I had like three separate existential crises. Missions`ll do that to ya, though. It wasn`t even that bad, just really long and like a weird vortex of time and life lessons. Here`s the breakdown:

Beginning of the week: So the beginning of this week just started out on a bad foot. Hermana V is going through some weird stuff so she was kind of in a weird place (which obviously affects the companionship) and then I was still just feeling weird after Mother`s Day because I don`t really know what I`m working towards right now, etc. So it was just not the best and I was feeling off balance. 

Divisions: So on Tuesday night we get a call after planning letting us know that we are going to go on divisions (when you switch companions for a day) with the hermana training leaders. It was really short notice, but we sort of couldn`t say no, so that went down from Wednesday evening until Thursday evening. We all met up in a city about twenty minutes away from where we live and then I went with Hermana W (who is from St. George) to her area in AsunciĆ²n to work. It was an interesting experience, for sure. It was definitely cool to work with a different companion in a different area and get a better grasp on the mission in general, but it was also sort of overwhelming for those same reasons. I literally felt like I was leaving my mom to go to my first sleepover or something. So we get back to Asuncion way late because of how long it took to travel there, so we pretty much just contact the whole way home, which TBH is not my strength (obviously at this point on account of the language problemz), and it was just pretty intense right off the bat. They want us to go on divisions with the hermana training leaders so that we can see the picture of a "perfect" missionary, and that was pretty much what I came out of the division with. Hermana Welch is just extremely organized, contacts everyone she sees, schedules every minute, etc. And it was just really intense for me, especially coming from Hna. V who is just really chill. So I was just overwhelmed in general and it kind of made me super stressed about the future (of the mish), which I try to avoid thinking about too much. And she is really nice and such (and she went to BYU before, so we talked about that a lot) but it was just a really intense experience overall for reasons I can`t really even describe. It wasn`t even just how highly scheduled everything was, but also just the tone in which it was gone about. Hermana Welch literally said, and I quote "I get the most satisfaction from obedience." Not that I don`t get a certain kind of satisfaction from obedience myself, but it`s definitely not where my satisfaction derrives. So all in all that day took FOREVER long, and when I finally met up with Hermana V again I felt like I`d been gone for a week. Then the rest of the week just passed by slowly and I had more mini crises about the mission and it was just weird. 

Reflections on obedience: So the whole division experience really caused me to have some stressful moments in my life. Beforehand I had tried to be sooo chill about not stressing about "being good enough", doing "enough", working "enough," etc. BUT that all came crashing down after my experience with Hermana W because I just realized just what "exact obedience" looks like and realized that I`m not doing it and also I don`t know how to/don`t know that I have it in me. I feel like I`m going to get struck by lightning for even thinking that, but it`s true to an extent. For sure I`ve been obedient so far on the mission. Like, for sure. I do what I`m supposed to, I follow the rules, I haven`t broken any mandamientos, etc. BUT, I also don`t use all my time as wisely as I could, sometimes Hna. V is pretty chill, etc. And I just had this huge internal crisis because I was with the hermana training leaders, which was TOO intense for me, and then I immediately came back to my area and realized it was TOO chill for me, and the obedience contrast was just too great and I felt really bad about it and I just felt super super super unhappy. And it was so dumb because I know I need to not let it get me down like that (it`s obviously what satan attacks missionaries with ALL THE TIME), but I couldn`t help it. So I was just big time stressing and all of the "disobedient" shortcomings I have were just adding up all at once and I felt really unhappy. But then, something really great happened, which is that I remembered the Atonement. And it`s not like I ever forgot it, but I feel like I really realized it for like maybe the first time ever. Because as a normal person in my normal life I never really felt like I had a ton I needed to repent of. Not that I was perfect, but just that I never really had a problem choosing the right, ya know? And I know that the atonement isn`t just for grevious sins and such, but I always just felt like it was hard for me to learn to apply in my life. And on the mission I still feel like I`m choosing the right, obviously. BUT, even if on the mish you read the scriptures three hours a day, didn`t watch TV, listen to music, tried to tell people about the Gospel when you could, etc. (all stuff that would be super, super awesome in normal life), it`s NOT ENOUGH on the mission. Because it`s FULL TIME. Me just keeping the commandments isn`t enough anymore. I need to keep the RULES. And I am (I swear I`m not disobedient), but I just realized that there`s a whole other set of "commandments" that we`re given here that I`m just having to get used to. And so because I fall short of this ever ellusive picture of exact obedience, I feel like I`m not "as good of a person" as I was before. Which is obviously a huge lie, but it`s a thought that crosses every missionary`s mind, I`m sure. But anyway, as I was reflecting on all of this I realized that I could apply the atonement in my life! Like for reals for reals. Because everything I read in the scriptures all day is THE TRUTH, duh. And Jesus Christ took upon himself not just my sins (which would maybe be like going swimming/to the movies, etc. on the mish or something more outlandish like that, which I would never do), but also my WEAKNESSES (such as being tired, lazy, taking a little too long to get out of bed, taking too long at lunch, running late to an appointment. etc.) DUH DUH DUH. Anyway, this is all very obvious, but it was just great to finally internalize. So I felt better after that, but I still realized that there were some things I need to change, and I`m working on those (which is literally the definition of repentence). So mostly I`m trying not to stress too much about it still, which was my original goal, but it can get me down really easily if I focus too much on it. I literally have to live the mission day by day or I can`t hang emotionally. I`m just not used to not thinking about the future, because before that`s how I would set goals and work towards them and such. But if I do that too much here I start to get really overwhelmed, so I`ve had to learn how to rework how I process stuff. Which is no easy task.

E´s baptism: So in the midst of all my angst, E was baptized!! So clearly we aren`t doing nothing, because baptisms don`t come out of nowhere. Anyway, it was really great and she is really, really sweet. I hope L (her husband) gets baptized eventually too. We have been trying really hard to work with him, but he just literally, literally will not keep committments. Real bummer. But E is really sweet and a great example. And Hermana V made the goal for me (lolz) to have a baptism in every change, and hers was two days before the end of the first. So that`s exciting! Claps for goals! 

Anyway, sorry if all of this just sounds really angsty. I try hard to put my emotions into words, but it`s honestly really hard. I can`t describe most of what I`m feeling adequately, and honestly you pretty much have to have served a mission to understand/have learned a new language/have lived in a third-world country, etc. It depends on the problem. I`m sure this week will be better though, because it LITERALLY cannot go slower (knock on wood).

We got to go bowling today because we got speacial permission because it was one Hermana`s last p-day, so that was chill. It was defs not my best game though, so that was a low key bummer. I guess I`ll try again in 15 months *single tear*

I love you all so much! thx 4 the support #pray4Holly


Hermana Ross

E's baptism celebrated with her family

Preparation Day Bowling Fun

More Bowling
Where we often eat lunch outside with a generous family

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