And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
- D&C 18:15
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Monday, May 8, 2017
You know that it is a good week when you go on exchanges with your MTC
companion. For the first time since July 6th, 2015, I was companions
with Elder Bl. WOW. 22 months can do things to you. For one
thing, in the MTC he was 10 pounds heavier than I was. Now I am 25
pounds heavier. Did he lose weight or did I gain weight? The answer is
Reuniting with Elder Bl was interesting. You wouldn't expect
the similarities we have. He is the only missionary I know other than
myself who still ponderizes, who memorized his call letter, and still
knows the track list to Vampire Weekend's first album. What can I say,
we were meant for each other.
Some things have changed. For one, we are much better missionaries
than we used to be. We're more obedient. We're smarter. We're more
experienced. We're happier. We're more focused. We follow the
unwritten order. We are better people. That's what the mission does to
I could write about Elder Blackhurst and I's reunion for a while, but
there's other things I will mention. For one, there is an investigator
we have that was going to be baptized on this Saturday, but is
starting to face some serious opposition from his family. The whole
week the situation has been up in the air. It's hard to see someone so
close to the truth and what he wants to happen be facing adversity.
But as missionaries, we only see part of the puzzle. It is when we
fail to see the big picture that we begin to make mistakes. We must be
patient, but persistent.
Patience has changed me. I am a much different missionary than I used
to be. I used to think that patient meant you were slow to react, or
indecisive, or time-inefficient. But patience isn't about the timing,
it's about the faith in the action. It is all about a decision we made
long before, and having the faith for it to come to pass. It is highly
time effective, and quick to react. Patience is more about the mind
than it is about the matter.
Last week two of my investigators from paste areas were baptized. One
of them I worked with week in and week out for the first 5 or so
months of her investigation. She could just never find her answer. It
took 10 months from start tot finish for her to be baptized. The other
one was set with a baptismal date the day we first met her, and was
baptized not far from that date. Was the truth different for either
individual? No. time does not determine whether or not the truth is
truth. The same way that love is not determined by time, or how much
you know about someone. Love starts when you begin to see the same way
Heavenly Father sees us.
Elder Christensen of the seventy says that your missionary life is a
microcosm of actual life. You start out fresh and willing to do
anything and not knowing what's going on, and then you go into
adolescence, where you think you know everything. After that you slip
into adulthood, and all of its stages, including mid-life crises.
Then, towards the end of your mission, you become wise and a little
slower, watching the whipper-snappers cut across your lawn. For a long
time I thought I was in adulthood of missionary work, but I see now
that my stride is getting shorter, and it's hard to teach this old dog
some of the newer tricks of the mission. I am getting old, but I don't
want to believe it.
- Elder Richard Hall
1. Elder Bl and I looking like punks at the temple- July 5th,2015
2. Elder Bl and I looking less like punks at Buc-ee's May 3. 2017