20 June 2016
First off forgive me for not sending anything in .. well, I’m not sure how long, but a while … I will try to be better. This week was a good one as usual. We had a chance to do some more service, and we were able to help a man move some furniture that is probably four times as old as me – literally. It was good until the old frail wood unexpectedly snapped and president Merchan almost died. Just kidding, he didn’t actually almost die, but it got sketchy on his side.
We ate our normal lunch at President’s, but it wasn’t normal at all. We ate jamon and melon, and we set the table as always and I put one plate at my normal spot and President said “no Elder that’s mine because I eat less.” And I had no idea what to do, because I didn’t want more jamon, so I switched plates and then regave myself one of the smaller stacks (had 5 pieces of jamon instead of 7) so I ended up with 13 instead of 15 cuz I knew there would be no way to finish all of President’s food. He always has two or more plates for us. So long story short, after I ate all my jamon, half of a long melon, half a plate piled of rice, with the other half being a half of a chicken, a few pieces of tortilla de patata, and some bread President asked me if I wanted more and I said I couldn’t. We then began to talk about how I used to be able to eat more than I can now, and they said that I had eaten a lot and after President listed all I ate, his wife, Teresa piped in with “yeah and he stole some of your jamon.” Everyone was red in the face laughing – President, Teresa, and Abel because President told me I need to repent for taking his jamon, and elder Cook and I because we both knew I was just trying to get less jamon. Guess you had to be there, but it was definitely one of the top 10 funniest moments of my mission. We did a noche de hogar with a Nigerian family in the branch, and his son Osawie came out with these rad slippers. He is six and his brother is eight.
We had zone conference which was incredible as usual. Got to see Elder Sedgwick again and catch up on what’s gone on since the last time we were together. Always grand. Learned a ton, was super inspired by President Dayton and his teachings as well as a Sister Dayton’s.
The branch just decided to feed us a bunch this week. Saturday came around and I think it was our 4th eating appointment not including all the pizza we ate at zone conference, and we ate at Otto’s. He served us a huge plate of rice with a stew. In Ghana and Nigeria, they make these “stews” that are really just a sludge of meat, bones, and whatever else they want to put in – and they are generally very spicy. Otto decided to put in spinach and some raw egg thing. It was good, but let’s just say it was a rough dinner.
It was an action packed week which we ended with a good three hours of church, and the classic game night at Francis’ home. In the beginning of my mission I remember I said to feed the missionaries and feed them a lot … as I have gone on I have realized it’s great to sit down and eat with a family, but my new advice is to open your homes to them to have family nights with games and a message, that they can bring whatever type of investigator, less active or recent convert. Even better you can (and should) invite your friends and neighbors over. I promise you that any missionary that’s focused on the reason they are serving, would prefer that than just coming to eat.
Something I learned this week is that the 90-10 rule is real – that 90% of the people do 10% of the work. Let me just start out by saying if you’re the 90% try to become part of the 10% so that wherever you are can reach an equilibrium of everyone doing the same work. But I want to address more to the 10%. First off if you are a part of the 10% you’re lucky. You’re blessed. So don’t complain about it. We read in Doctrine and Covenants 84:106, “And if any man among you be strong in the Spirit, let him take with him him that is weak, that he may be edified in all meekness, that he may become strong also.” The 10% has the responsibility and privilege to help the 90% become self-sufficient and join the ranks of the 10%. In the mission I’ve very realistically applied “am I a blessing or a burden.” We can all do this in whatever we are doing whether it be church related, or with anything else. We need to strive to be a driving power instead of an anchor. That being said if you are one of the only people who comes to set up some activity every week and you complain about it every week, are you a blessing or a burden? A burden. That slapped me in the face pretty hard since my time here in the Rama. We missionaries and about seven other branch members are the only ones who do anything here, and I was getting super selfish and kind of angry and complaining as usual, and then the scripture that, “God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7) came into my mind. I was not being a cheerful giver – I was being a selfish giver. If you’re a part of the 10% you are part of it for a reason, someone needs you to go tell them that they’re worth it, or a leader is waiting for someone to remove some of his burden, there are a million reasons why we should be grateful to be a part of the 10%, but the greatest might just be that we know God loves us and trusts us with the soul of one of his special spirit children.
Have a great week everyone. Regardless of where you are at in your life, realize you’re not the only person to go through it – Christ went through it so you wouldn’t have to. Use that and put your sins, afflictions, infirmities, addictions, and whatever else is weighing you down on His cross, because you are the reason why He carried it.
Shoutsouts: the human body for being able to fix itself, my family for going to Europe without me, bounce houses for the hours of fun they brought me as a boy, and ice cream for being there on the hot days.