Well... mmm, thanks for all the input! I enjoyed reading all of your stories! And yes... i really do need to start some new goals...
in terms of Check-List things and whatnot...I can't tell you how much I've come to enjoy Studying.
Scriptures, Investigators, Lessons in my Head... just spending time thinking. I really do believe it is quite possible, and quite necessary, opening up that full joy that can only be experience by the "humble seekers of happiness"...to live "all heart, might, mind, and strength"... focused on His Purposes.
Not to claim in the least that I have come anywhere close to this...
but even for me, I see the challenges set forth to us as missionaries.
Just by being missionaries, much time is set aside as "consecrated & devoted" (in essence, it should all be, but much is somewhat of a 'given', if one is even only somewhat obedient) but that challenge... to consecrate all of it... to give up a little more... and there always is a lil more
that can be changed.... lets just say I see it as an interesting & exciting challenge...which I am honored to have signed my name
saying I would so strive.
A friend of mine, Elder Theolbald, once remarked to me (we often have many discussions, drawing us both nearer to our God)concerning the use of our time. Concerning the Spirit. Concerning the rules. Concerning how we adapt according to needs o investigators. I have always been intrigued by that "grey area" in between what is inherently right and obedient, and what is inherently wrong. Between what is good. What is better. and what is best. This is more than being obedient to divinely inspired commissions. It is rather, ourselves, becoming divinely inspired. For should thus the Lord speak to us, then there can be no question as to what must needs be done, or what is truly best. And no one else can say otherwise, no matter what, for if ye spoke with God concerning the matter, ye know of a surety. And he will consecrate you. Thus Elder Theobald invited me to embark on one of His own journeys, with the declaration: Define Success for You. What is 'Success'? For if ye can ponder, and define this... ye will never have to wonder concerning any such thing ye so do... if that True Success is what you believe, all your actions will follow.
So for me... again, I have not answered that question yet, and have not given it enough pondering, to my discredit... however I do hope to do so. Yet for me... I have come closer. Praying. Studying. Pondering and Role playing and teaching in my mind. Coming closer with my companion. Devoting more of my heart and my thoughts to Him and His people. It brings such great joy.
No... I may not always take that hour for lunch... perhaps 10 minutes only. Or laugh as hard at certain things. Or spend the time comfortably chit-chatting where ere the wind may take us. Nor sing or revel in songs which are good... but not quite hymns of praise. Grouping together with other large assemblies of missionaries... finding american elders to chat with. Spending more than 300 pesos on food a week (we're allotted 700-900), for i truly would have no need of it. Sleeping more so (unless it is felt necessary); certain practices in teachings; if needed, changing the lessons. Straying from the plan. Using things not typically used. Re-evaluating How we plan. How we do anything. Changing the seemingly "common" practices... that I feel, never were the visions of them who did give unto us our Guide; who did extend unto us with Great Power, our Call. For what we do, as missionaries sometimes, is not always as we speak when bearing fervent testimony of those same principles. We can be a better Man. We can be a Better Missionary. The Lord be our Guide.
So much more. So many little things. So many... I marvel at the moments when that phrase comes to mind.. "what is better? what is best?"
Not to say I am any more than another, but just to say
I may not do quite as other missionaries do... But I do know when I am with my Father. And there is the place, in which I pray I may never leave. For I am so Happy. And I let that be my guide. He will speak to me. And thus, I doubt not what I do.
Ay gali! I've strayed! sorry...
all I actually wanted to say...
as far as all that goes in Being a Missionary, I feel, at least for myself, the time is well spent.
I do, however, believe I will make some goals for some other items, however. Such as exercise in the morning, namely push-ups... and stretching! (soccer in a year and a half...wouldnt it be awesome to FINALLY be flexible??); writing in my journal (its been about 5 months...); writing letters, sending letters, and improving my language. I believe I can do these things. And my happiness shall increase xD!
I will write LALA!!
Thanks Amanda, Mom, Dad!!
--Elder Christopher A. Lewis