Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 12 "Absolutely crazy"

   How has the mission been so far, Jamison? Well, honestly, it's been absolutely crazy, because I have never had an experience in my life where I've felt so joyful, depressed, motivated, lazy, purposefull, and totally out of it all at the same time.  

Elder Kasteler and Me in Paris!
   I love the story of the Other Prodigal Son, the story that Jeffery R. Holland told in a conference talk.  In the story he focused not on the son who wasted his substance in riotous living, but the son who had worked in the field his whole life, and never left his father.  When the prodigal son returns and recieves a robe and a party from his father the other son leaves and throws a pity party for himself, basically is mad that the son who had wasted his life and had now returned is being so celebrated.  In the back of my mind, I always had a thought that a mission would be easier for me than for everyone else, I don't know why but maybe I thought I lived some higher law, and because I tried hard to follow the rules all the time, it seemed like once I got out here I would able to climb to the top of my imaginary ladder, and look down at everyone else who was struggling up, and think to myself, "It's a good thing I obeyed when everyone else didn't because now I'm here at the top and it's not so hard for me."

Elder Christensen gave me a haircut!
   This is not my everyday train of thought, don't worry I'm not that egoistic, sometimes I have a hard time remembering that God, no matter where we are in our eternal progression, loves each one of us and wants us to keep improving always.  So I have felt a little bit surprised on my mission as one, it's not at all like I expected it to be, and two, we are always working to improve. 

  What I need to also work on out here is not comparing myself to other people.  It's sometimes hard to hear about other missionaries' experiences and feel like we aren't as good of a missionary as they are.  Honestly if I read everyone's mission emails I might get down on myself because honestly everyone usually shares the higlights on their emails, and not the underlying struggle.  One of the hardest times for me this week was on the Paris Metro.  All the new missionaries came to Paris last week to finish legality, and we were together in a large group. As I sat there on the metro I overheard a sister missionary start up a conversation with a lady about the gospel on the metro.  Her french was mediocre, and the lady wasn't interested but she was bold enough to start a conversation anyway.  Sometimes I make the mistake of seeing others' experiences and instead of being happy for them, I get jealous and feel like, why can't I do that? I need to work on being happy for others out here, and counting my blessings instead of comparing what I have done to what others have done. 

Elder Johnson and Me on the TGV
   In terms of happenings this week, we have been so busy with investigators that we haven't even gone out contacting.  Our investigator M.. is so close to baptism.  Today should be her seventh day without smoking!  Another experience, after teaching D.. for over six weeks, he came to church AND his friend came too!  We helped a family move from one house to another, and I love doing service every week, it's so much fun. Let's see what else...we went to Paris to confirm our legality, and after we finished we got to walk around for a bit.  Paris was so beautiful!

   Food update of the week: Pain Perdue: the REAL version of French Bread.  Basically if you leave bread out for over a day and it starts to go stale, you put egg and cinnamon and the normal stuff all over the bread, then stick it in the oven, and voila! You have legitimate French bread.  Our only mistake when making it was we left the bread for a week, and it was as stale as rocks, and it didn't soften up much in the oven which it's supposed to do normally.  Nevertheless, it was fun to make a random creation in the kitchen.  One of my favorite experiences of the week was at night, I was doing dishes, feeling once again like no one else in this apartment does dishes but oh well, and Elder Christensen came up and said, "You know I just wanted to thank you for doing dishes because for my entire mission, I've always been the one doing all the dishes, and It's nice to have someone else who will help, additionally I want to apologize for not doing as many dishes and I will try better to help more with that." I was so happy to hear that because although I was doing something so small I felt like I was doing something good.  And I'm going to continue to look for the small everyday victories like that each day.  
Love you all, and continue to look for the small, everyday victories you have!
Elder Jamison Jones

No comments:

Post a Comment