Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A big turning point in my life

Hello everyone!


I had an extremely interesting experience on Monday, one that changed my mission:
For a long time, my comp. and I had been having a little nagging, childish thing going on. There weren´t even reasons for it, looking back - just differences of opinion, perfectionism and pride. It got to a point where I was stuck in between two things: trying to be a good example and love my companion, and second, for whatever reason, try to just grin and bear it until the transfer while "humbly" letting the things that my comp. didn´t like that I was doing just roll over my shoulder. I´m not sure if this is understandable but I´m just going to keep going. Anyway, we´re baptizing a LOT (which has been surprising to me, and I want to get used to this feeling) and that´s been amazing and the ward´s excited, we´re teaching a lot, and yet still I wasn´t really happy. This is so ironic because a while ago I read a talk called "The Fourth Missionary" that was another turning point in my mission. It says that if we give EVERYTHING to the Lord, without our own desires or intentions, then we will be happy. I started to wonder: "why am I not happy? Am I not doing everything? We´re teaching a lot, even doing all our contacts, trying to be good examples, and why do I feel this way", etc. I believe it basically boils down to, yet again, selfishness and pride. The old favorites. So on Monday we were walking down the street and for whatever reason I thought my comp. was mad at me, and I asked him in an irritated tone what I had done wrong. We didn´t argue, but it was a tense conversation and he showed significant feelings of "oh, not this again. Make it stop." Again, I played the "try to be humble and take his comments" card, thinking that this might help. We started planning and I wasn´t able to follow the SPirit. We finally were able to plan and I took a shower, did the Area Book, etc. I started to think, am I really the source of the problem?  I discovered that, well, yes, I was helping a lot. I read 2 Nephi 4 in english and felt the Spirit punch me in the face as I read "Awake, my soul! No longer stoop in sin!" and "wilt thou make me shake at the appearance of sin?". I was able to sleep, then I read a little from notes and journal entries from the CTM. I resolved that I was trying so hard to be a "good missionary" that I was becoming a robot and starting to lose focus as to who I really was, am and will be. I discovered that I used to be funny, a good speaker, etc. Where did this all go?
To make one more long story from a missionary short, I´m all right now. I´ve understood the problems that were causing me to stop, smile and smell the flowers every now and again, and I feel better with my companion, with the area, with myself, etc. I think it was another turning point for me.


We baptized two men on Sunday! Lourenço and Otacílio! Otacílio smoked homemade cigarretes since he was 7 years old (he´s 67) and he threw them in my bag and stopped. It was awesome.


We´re short on time, but sufficeth me to say that we´re going to baptize not this week (probably) but next week - Carol!


Love you all. I know the Church is true. I love the Savior and I know He understands me. I´m sick of feeling bad about myself, and I know I don´t have to. Let´s confidently and humbly bear our solemn testimony to ALL that will listen, and help them be happy with our Father after this life! Woo!


Elder Brown

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