Hello family and friends!
I have had a wonderful week, and I feel the Lord blessing us for our work and obedience. This last change President Caffaro instituted a lot of new rules, one of them being that we cannot listen to any music that is not a hymn, or is not sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Not even Come thou Fount of Ev'ry Blessing, unless it's sung by Motab. Many missionaries have been very loud about their dislike for this new rule, but Elder Bankhead and I decided not to do that. President has all the keys pertaining to revelation for his missionaries, and there isn't anything that he says that isn't for our benefit. We have decided not to complain, but to accept the revelation and greater understanding of President Caffaro and follow the new rules. I have felt the blessings of that this week.
It started out rather slow, but over the past few days we have had much more success than in past weeks. We seem to be blessed/cursed with always entering into the first house we contact. Blessed because we get new investigators, cursed because we never have very many contacts at the end of the day. We're going to work on making shorter more powerful lessons so we can still enter and teach lessons, but also have more time to contact.
So since I got out here I have been increasingly thinking on my Three P's. Patience, Perseverance, and Perspective. All three of these words appear in one paragraph of my patriarchal blessing, the topic of which happens to be trials. In order to successfully overcome the trials we have, we must first develop these three attributes. For example, learning Spanish. At first I would get frustrated that I couldn't understand or speak with hardly anyone. I wanted to learn it all right then and there so I could do the work the Lord sent me here to do. At times I wished I was in an English speaking mission. But then I looked at the big picture. Most missionaries take 6 months to learn the language and discussions, English missionaries only have 3 weeks. Perspective. Then I realized that all learning takes time. Everything of great worth takes time. If I want to be the best missionary and man that I can be, I need to take time. Patience. And finally, I realized that this is where I need to be. I can learn Spanish. Thousands of other missionaries have learned it before me. All I have to do is work. Perseverance.
I gave a talk in church yesterday. The sister missionaries were supposed to talk, but they both got really sick so we spoke for them. We were told this Saturday night. So we wrote our talks as quickly as we could and got to bed as close to 10:30pm as we could. It wasn't very close. Everyone said I did well, so I guess they were right. I've really been feeling the blessings of the Lord this week. It's not easy, but with patience, perseverance, and perspective, it's very possible. I'm trying to always "eat" the scriptures (Jeremiah 15:16); sometimes we miss studies, but we're making an effort to have them at some point during the day. I love you guys so much!
I know the Lord has a purpose for every trial. We are on the earth to learn. If we didn't have trials, we wouldn't learn anything new. If we don't learn anything new, what is the point of being here? Trials are blessings in disguise. We just have to go at them head on and tear away the mask. When we do, we receive the reward. A greater knowledge, a greater strength, a greater peace. Jesus Christ is my Savior. He loves me and He loves you. He's seen it all. He's suffered all. He's learned all. Trust in His judgement. Be humble, be faithful, be prayerful, and He will give you the victory (D&C 104: 79, 82).
Elder Benjamin Jackson