So we had a couple of things happen this week, most of them were not important haha. Went on exchanges with Elder song this week and it was the first exchange that actually didnt end with someone being extremely rude and cursing or swearing or fighting or something like that. It was actually really good, we even had pizza to celebrate! I was extremely happy with how far elder song has come in missionary work and with working with others. Especially with americans. He loves america, but has a hard time with our culture, just like we do with his, but he has adjusted tremendously and it was wonderful to go on exchanges with him this week.
Then about wednesday, the tempter started knocking. It started early in the morning. I cried out to Heavenly Father to help me, and I felt as though he was slow to respond. The entire day I was struck by temptation, music movies, sports, women, everything. I felt that I was alone. By about 4~ I turned to my companion and said "We need to go home and talk" I then talked to him for the next 20 minutes about how I was feeling and what he could do to help, a small relief. We had a meal with a member that night so we went and my mind was taken from it for a time. But upon coming out of the house, I was again wrought upon. I felt like the devils biggest and baddest were surrounding me and that they were coming to get me. The weight was incredible. Finally, the night being done, everyone goes down for bed, and I cried to Heavenly Father asking where he was, why he wasnt there when I needed him. Immediately, I felt Heavenly Fathers Presence and He let me know that he was there. I needed to continually rely on him. It was a great blessing to have heavenly father try me like that, to see if I would rely on him all day. It was tough, but rewarding at the end of the day to have heavenly father confirm to me that He was there. I had a great conversation that day with Heavenly Father.
This week started out a little rough, but ended on a great note! On Friday we were blessed to have Elder Michael T Ringwood, President of the Asia North Area come and speak to us at a mission tour. And what a great experience it was. Definitely fun to see how they are different from what they look like on TV during General Conference. I wont bore you with all the details of what he said and stories he shared, but I will share one experience. These past couple of weeks I have been having a hard time dealing with the fact that I'm a different missionary. "Unorthodox" if you will. I dont do things the same way, but Heavenly Fathers work always gets done. I have different view points on things that I have come to after much prayer and study. Anyways, hard time dealing with this and how people look at me because of this. During his training, Elder Ringwood told a story about his time as mission president in Korea.
"I was invited by the Area President, President Evans, to go to the military district conference. I attended, under the pretence that I would just be relaying my testimony, helping them out, etc. As President Evans was talking, he started talking about knowing we are successful in Heavenly Fathers eyes. He then told everyone 'President Ringwood does things a little differently than the rest of the mission presidents in our area. But everytime I go to his house, or tour his mission, everything feels right. Nothing is out of place.'"
Hearing this story, I felt the Spirit strongly as I knew that God was telling me right there that I may be different, but he is ok with that and is happy with my work. I dont have to be the same as everyone else in order to be successful in God's eyes. As long as I get the work done it doesnt matter what anyone else thinks. I am obedient, I am hard working, and thats all that matters. Choices in music, thoughts about rules or commandments, feelings on different aspects of missionary work, none of that matters. It was a great confirmation to me that Heavenly Father is pleased with my work. And so I will continue to keep working hard, keep being obedient, and so on. No longer worried about what anyone else thinks of me. I'm grateful for Elder Ringwood coming and giving me the opportunity to receive that revelation from our Loving Heavenly Father.
Well that about sums up my week, some other stuff happens but its not terribly important. Just remember what is important is what God thinks about us, and where we are going. Nothing else matters!
Love all of you!