It has been quite a wonderful week here in Alabama. Remember a couple of weeks back when I sent the email about it being really hot in Huntsville? That was nothing!! It is unbelievably hotter now. I didn’t think it was possible to get any hotter, but it is. The adversary is very good about making the apartment swimming pools where we work seem very attractive. But I have and will resist it!
We had a lot of awesome lessons this week with people we contacted for the first time. Our zone has been recently pushing for each companionship to hand out eight copies of the Book of Mormon a week. So we are working very hard to accomplish this! Also, the missionaries in the Huntsville Branch recently have been working very hard on making the Branch activities much better. This past week we created and printed out lots of flyers for an English class that we hold as well as for soccer nights that we organized for every Friday. It has been really fun flooding Huntsville with all of these wonderful flyers. If you are ever in Huntsville, Alabama and you just so happen to find yourself in a Hispanic “tienda” (store), look in the window and you will probably see one of our flyers! Then tell everyone you know to attend!
This week, I would like to share an experience I had one night. It was a super hot day all day. It just so happened that we didn’t have any appointments scheduled during the early part of the day, so the daily planning had the word “finding” written all over it. So we went out and worked hard “finding” new contacts all day, knocking on door after door. We had a lot of people listen to us that day, but it was still rather physically and emotional draining (the weather didn’t help). Anyways, we got to the end of the afternoon and it was about 5 o’clock. From that time on, we had a series of people that we had planned to meet with so we were really excited and relieved that we could get away from “finding” for a little while. This is where the sad part of the story begins. We knocked on door after door of people we had scheduled appointments with and they all fell through. What was looking like a perfect evening, suddenly all fell apart in the space of a half hour. It was heart breaking! Now this isn’t the first time that this has happened to me on my mission, by any stretch, and it probably won’t be the last time, but this was just a great reminder of how things aren’t always going to work out the way that I or you hoped they would. Appointments are going to fall through and obstacles are going to be placed in front of you. I am so grateful that I am able to be on a mission and learn this lesson. Life is hard. That night, after we had every one of our appointments fall through, we could have gone inside super early and said that we had worked hard that day. That is, we could have done that if we didn’t want to give our best and be our best.
“Preach My Gospel”, the missionary handbook, is riddled time and time again with the call to work hard. It is a simple truth that if you want to be the best and achieve the most success in life, you have to work hard. And a great addendum to that could be “and it will be the most rewarding when you work the hardest.” I can testify of that! The most rewarding and happy times on my mission have been those times that I have worked my hardest, worked my socks off and left it all on the field. I know that learning this is going to help me the rest of my life. I am so grateful for all of these great lessons that I am learning and for all the wonderful people that I get to meet! I hope everyone has a wonderful week! I love and miss everyone back home!