It's been another crazy week. Sorry it's taken me so long to email. These last two weeks have been our specialized trainings for each zone so we've been all over the mission. Elder Cox and I have given the same training 6 times now and we'll be going for a 7th . We think we're starting to understand the subject a bit. haha.
I got to go back to Liverpool for a few days on exchange to work with Elder Duran. It felt like I'd never even left! I love going on exchange with former companions and going back to former areas. We were able to teach a lot of the people we were working with and visit some of my favorite people. We got some KFC as well :). It's ridiculously overpriced here...
We had our Manchester Stake conference this week as well. For the first time in my mission all the missionaries were asked to attend the evening session. Both and were completely dedicated to missionary work. It was amazing. Afterwards we had members coming up to us and telling us they had people they wanted us to work with and that they wanted to come out teaching with us. The work is hastening. Now we just need to create some time to spend in our area so we can take advantage of all this help we're being offered.
I'm really enjoying the work right now, even though it's a bit different than I'm used to. Elder Cox and I are getting along great! Since I don't want to bore everyone with the same things I do everyday I'll share some things I've learned recently.
I read this the other day in a talk. It's a poem called "The Man in the Glass"
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what "the man" has to say.
For it isn't your father or mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass.
The fellow whose verdict counts in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.
You may be like Jack Horner and chisel a plum
And think you're a wonderful guy.
But the "man in the glass" says you're only a bum
And you can't look him straight in the eye.
He's the fellow to please, never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear to the end.
And you've passed your most dangerous,
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass.
But your only reward will be heartaches and tears
If you've cheated "the man in the glass."
["The Man in the Glass"]
I've learned a lot about the importance of self image and self respect and the kind of power it can have. You should respect yourself enough to be a self you respect. When you look around the world you see the people who have self confidence and self worth and they are magnets for success. We can choose that. Our lives are sacredly ours. No ones has lived it before. No one will ever live it again. In the talk he says this: "No habit chips away at our self-confidence quite so effectively as that of comparing ourselves with the people around us. When we find somebody who is indeed smarter, better looking, or funnier, it diminishes our sense of self-worth. A rabbi was asked on his deathbed what he thought the kingdom of God would be like. "I don't know," he replied. "But one thing I do know. When I get there I'm not going to be asked, 'Why weren't you like Moses? Why weren't you like David?' I'm only going to be asked one question: 'Why weren't you you?'"
This is a topic many people in the world struggle with and there are many missionaries that struggle with it as well. Everyone wants to find who they are and where they fit into gods plan. I discovered this week Patriarchal blessings are key to discovering that. It outlines everything, spiritual strengths and even your weaknesses. Each of us is on a journey to come to know ourselves. There are no born losers to God. We fail only when we make choices that lead to failure. Be true to who you are!
I love you all so much. Thank you for all the love and support that you give me. It means the world. By the way, Happy Halloween! Talk to you next week. Love you!
P.S here is the bit I put into the mission newsletter this week.
A missionary’s Gethsemane
You’re on a mission and things seem tough, doors are slammed with voices gruff. Your companion refuses to do his share; you feel discouraged and even despair. You question your testimony and belief in God, you wonder about the path you’ve trod. Memories of pleasure dance in your brain, a siren’s song an old refrain. The work is hard, and with a taunt, whispers not as He wills, but as you want. You tire of rules, feet worn to the bone, and suddenly you decide you want to go home. You’ll never know if you say goodbye, what might happen if you stay and try. To follow the rules and do your best, to serve the Lord and pass your test. Where do you think you would be if Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, His soul in torment, a trial of fire had selected not duty before desire? He set the pattern for you and me, to meet our own Gethsemane. From boy to man to Elder with fire, comes only when duty can master desire.
To come to know the Saviour each of us will have to go through our own personal Gethsemane but how grateful we should be for a Saviour who knows exactly how we feel. “He will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to his people according to their infirmities” (Alma ).
Through Faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement we can overcome anything; President Uchtdorf said “there will be times when you you cannot continue on. Trust the Savior and His love. With faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the power and hope of the restored gospel, you be able to walk tall and continue on.” Elders and Sisters, You can do it! The enabling power of the Atonement is available to all who seek it. We can say each day “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians ). We Love you.
“Be ye therefore perfect”
Elders Cox & Ford