Do not take offense!

Hello everybody!

We had an awesome week here in Alabama. It was filled with a lot of great experiences and, once again, crazy weather. So first up – the weather report: on Tuesday we went outside with coats on and realized that it was 70 degrees outside and humid. So for the first time in a long time, we walked around the streets of Decatur in our white shirts and ties (like the good ‘ole days in the summer). I almost felt naked because it has been so long since it was anywhere warm enough to just wear a white shirt. I also remembered why I like white shirts so much, and that is because we stick out a lot more – a lot more people were honking horns as they passed and screaming at us!

So my companion and I thought to ourselves, this is a sign of spring coming! No more cold weather, yaaayyyy!! Uh, wrong! We went inside to teach a lesson that evening, which took about 40 minutes and by the time we got outside to enjoy the warm weather again, the sun was setting and the temperature had dropped nearly 30 degrees!! Since our apartment is on the other side of town, freezing our tails off, we hurriedly walked back to put warmer clothes on. Once again I was caught in less than satisfactory weather with less than satisfactory clothing to keep me warm. But besides turning a steely eye to “Mother Nature” what can one do in such circumstances? Well actually, I’ll tell you what, be careful about turning a steely eye towards Mother Nature because the very next morning when we woke up, we found that “She” had dropped a winter ice storm on us. All the streets and sidewalks were coated over with a thin layer of ice and hail. These storms are common in this area of the country, but I had never seen anything like this before. We could have and maybe should have skated to all of our appointments that day. But then we joked thinking, that’s a bad idea! That might inspire someone to produce a new play: “The Book of Mormon on Ice!” And we don’t want that – ha! Anyway, I think you get the picture – Alabama weather is crazy!

In other news, I came across a really awesome quote a little while back by a former President of the Church, Brigham Young. He said, “‘He who takes offense when offense was not intended is a fool, yet he who takes offense when offense is intended is an even greater fool.” This applies so much to missionary work and life in general! A lot of times in life, we get bothered by things that other people say or do when really no harm was intended at all and we get all worked up over nothing rather than just moving on. Also, people often intentionally make remarks and comments purposely designed to offend us and tear us down. Missionaries here is the “south” often run into this as I am sure you can imagine. As Mormon missionaries, you can’t walk around the “Bible Belt” or rather the “Buckle of the Bible Belt” (Alabama) and not run into people who want to argue with you and try to prove you wrong. The first thing to remember is to avoid argument and secondly, to not take offense with what they may say. If you allow yourself to get angry, it gives them what they want and makes you feel worse about yourself. I have learned on my mission thus far that this is a very important lesson to learn and it has kept me extremely happy! As they say, “the haters gonna hate”, and we can’t let it affect us! I love and miss everybody back home and hope you are having a wonderful week!

Love,

Elder Neser

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