St. Lucia’s day. We could not see an actually performance on Sunday because we were too busy but we went to our friend Julian’s school to see the school performance. It really is a beautiful holiday that puts American Christmas to shame.
First off, odd news, it was decided that we should have a little mini transfer in the first week of this new transfer, moving around zone leaders and assistants and stuff like that, plus a missionary that was waiting to serve his mission in Taiwan got his visa granted so his place had to filled in, and in the end of all of this craziness I ended up as a district leader again just when I was really loving being a normal missionary. When you don’t have to worry about anyone but your investigators and ward members…. Ahhh….. It is the greatest feeling in the world. The best form of missionary work in my opinion is simplified missionary work, when it is just you and the people.
This year, I have really come to just fall in love with the people. This last week it became sort of an addiction to just talk to everyone because I have really come to love it. There are just so many different people with so many different stories and thoughts out there in the world that we can potentially discover every single day of our lives and so often we just put our headphones in and ignore them all because it is so easy live in your own bubble…. But so so very boring. Everyday that you talk to a new stranger, learn a little fraction of their soul, is a day well spent.
My new companion, Elder Mecham shares the same love of meeting new people, which makes us work very well together, so we can happily talk to everyone as often as we can, which makes missionary work very energising. It is a good companionship. In our mission, we keep track of unplanned contacts, meaning people we talk to on the way to somewhere when we haven’t planned talking to people. Very often, because some think glory is to be found in high numbers at the end of the week, missionaries get so caught up in obtaining the number of contacts they get weekly that they lose the whole purpose of contacting in the first place and are just contacting to get a number. When I have gone about contacting with that attitude, my contacting is always hollow and I hardly ever find success that way. I’m ashamed of all of the times that my thought process was “well I’m quite low on contacting numbers this week” to inspire me to talk to people. I pull so much more out of it, have a far greater impact, and have far more fun, when I contact to meet new people, to hopefully make someone’s day better, and to find people prepared to hear the gospel. We had so much fun talking to strangers this week.
A blog that I really loved back home before my mission was “humans of New York.” The author of the blog was formally a stockbroker who felt no meaning or substance in his job and so quit and just decided to meet a new person every day in New York, take a picture of them and catch a quote from them. It really is one of the most lovely blogs. It is just people. Real people. Real stories. I get to do that in a sense everyday. I have found as you show interest in others, in their life, they are far more likely to be interested in my message. It is the philosophy that Dale Carnegie taught. People generally will be interested in you if you are genuinely interested in them. The mission is just such a gift for me to see this to be true every day out here.
In other news, Michael is doing fantastic. He keeps bringing friends to YSA activities and is even trying to reactivate a less active member. On Sunday, he went to Utby, the ward before ours, as well as our ward service after just because he liked church and wanted as much of it as he could get…hahaha.
Also, with talking to everyone on the street this week we have found some new investigators. I found a man named Cuong from Vietnam when I was with a YSA return missionary in our ward, Jesper, on Monday night. He came to church on Sunday and loved it. He is incredibly busy with work and school and raising a young family, and he still finds time for us. We also have found the loveliest Perisna couple. I’ve rather depressed with no Persians in my life last transfer so I was so happy to find them, because Persians are just the greatest people. They have already converted to Christianity and were just talking about the Atonement together when we contacted them. They are just a young couple with most brilliantly bright light of Christ in their eyes. I’m excited to see what comes of this and the other people we found this week.
Hope all is well at home for all! A very very special happy birthday to the coolest and cutest Niece in the whole world, Elanor, who turned FIVE YEARS OLD on the 10th. Next time I see you you will almost be six! and probably taller than me.