Okay so a few years back whenever I thought about going on a mission, one upside that came into my mind was time. I would have time in between high school and being a real grown-up. Of course, I went to college first and saw a little bit of grown-up life and I didn't think I needed to change that much. Anyway, I went on a mission and realized this is a lot harder than college because well it actually requires you to change.
In college, like high school, (if I may speak frankly) I could bullcrap through my studies and waste my time with whoever doing whatever and it was pretty much okay as long as I had decent control of myself. That's how it worked. Honor roll student, I had friends, I was proud. Life was good.
Anyway, here I had to change some things. And in due time I want to change. I am changing and it's good and I love it but even if I read the scriptures every day. Even if I go to church every week. Even if I pray every day, there are always a few things that tempt me. A few things that scare me. a few things that I know will bring growth.
1.) Emotional control. I'm pretty sure I talked about this a week ago about having the right attitude and controlling, well... your face and how you present yourself. I mean y'all have seen me. I am makulit and annoying and weird. And a lot of times I am tempted to just goof off and be weird hugging a chicken. But there's a time and a place for that, and sometimes even when you want to break down and cry, you still gotta do what's right. It's part of enduring to the end.
2.) Laziness. Wake up. that's the first thing we do every day. We all (religious or not) have the choice of waking up every morning... or staying in bed. Of making your bed... making a mess. Of working out and taking care of your body with a good breakfast or letting yourself get fat. And it's hard but in the Philippines, there's a small salawikain (proverb) and it says, "kung gusto may paraan, kung ayaw may dahilan" And basically it means " if you want to there's a way if you don't want to there's an excuse." And even though I've been stuck in a routine for the last 18 months, I don't recall a day when I didn't struggle getting up in the morning. No matter how strong or how weak we are, Satan will NEVER stop tempting us with small AND big temptations. And I know if we can get up we can get out of his vices. However, in the same way, that Satan will never stop tempting us, Jesus Christ will never stop trying to help us. The greatest of all victories that happened in the earth did not happen in the battlefield or a war room, it happened when Jesus Christ overcame death and was resurrected in 3 days in the garden tomb. But before the greatest public victory happened, He first had to endure through the greatest private victory; the Atonement. Where even his best friends weren't able to stay awake. Where we struggle to wake up. I believe that if we are to amount to anything in our lives, we need to go through a private victory first. We need to first get up and go to work.
6.) I could list off a million more of my weaknesses but I feel like my greatest temptation/fear/point of growth is the next one
7.) Adaptability. Or willingness to change. Or willingness to apply the repentance and the Atonement in one's life. A few weeks ago my companion and another missionary (Elder Hafen) were talking about their greatest fears. And you know at first it was normal stuff until Elder Hafen said something that hit my soul.
"I'm scared of spiders"
"I'm scared of heights"
"I'm scared of being rejected"
"I'm scared of being who I was before... I'm scared of being less-active"
A lot of returned missionaries say that those 2 years or those 18 months were the best years of their lives! well, I believe that it became the best because they partook of the fruit that Lehi mentioned, "I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy" (1 Nephi 8:10). "It filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit" (1 Nephi 8:12). It became the best two years because we willingly chose to follow Him. So shouldn't it be obvious that we should do what makes us happy? I feel like a lot of times we forget that. We forget. We stop doing what we know is right for the convenience of the world. Of course, who am I to say this, I might be a hypocrite, I don't know what's gonna happen when I get home. I know a part of me will try to go back to who I was, and though I try to yearn for nobler things, I cannot see my future. But He does, and I know if I exercise discipline now, I wouldn't need to be afraid of a future that won't come.
Tayo Na Pilipinas! (Let's Go Philippines!)
Pictures of us proselyting at the 43rd floor of the grass residences (behind SM North)
This is our ward (at night)