You can't ever learn to be brave if only wonderful things happen to you.
It's been 3 weeks since I've sent out an email. I would ask for your forgiveness, but that implies that I've repented, which implies that I have forsaken this sin and will commit it no more, which is probably a lie because it's sort of inevitable that this will happen again, so everyone will have to deal with a simple, "I'm sorry".
These last few weeks in Guaymas have been, well, interesting. We had transfers, and lost all the awesome Elders in our zone and recieved a bunch of mediocre ones. That was pretty sad. We haven't been having the success I had hoped for when I came here, and that's been a bit hard as well. However, we were in a giant earthquake yesterday, and that was terrifyingly fun. The people reckon it was around a 5.0 or 6.0 earthquake. Yeesh. We were in the church in the morning, and suddenly the whole church was moving up and down and around for about 10 seconds. It was absolutely terrifying, and took awhile for everyone to calm down, but luckily the church is built very strongly, and we're all good and safe.
Lately, I've been focusing on what it means to be a missionary, and how I can be a better one. Heaven knows that I'm nowhere near completing with the potential I have, and aside from being extremely frustrating, it's made me comtemplate a lot of things, and work hard to be better. Here are the thoughts that have been running through my head, that will hopefully be useful to some somewhere, and if not, at least they can provide some small entertainment for someone happening across my blog.
Many times we make the mistake of thinking that we can become something simply be being in a situation or environment that we believe cultivates this thing we want to integrate into our being. What we don't seem to realize is that being is not a stale, dormate state of existance. It requires action and decisions; diligence, consistency, and desire. We can never become something if we don't first make the decision to work hard towards becoming.
A mission call, or even a setting apart, does not a missionary make. We can spend our entire missions hoping to become the missionary we always envisioned and never make it. The problem originates when missionaries make the mistake of assuming that time and experience will cultivate a good missionary. This is not true. Time and experience can create a person that appears, act, and maybe talks like a missionary, but this person is not a missionary.
Missionaries are created with careful study and application of doctrine, advice, and all types of teaching and instruction that one can recieve. When a missionary actively integrates all of these things into their being, more and more he comes to one great conclusion, one eternal truth: only God can shape and mold us into the people we have the potential to become, but He can only do this through our agency, as we allow Him to do it. Humility and consecration are two of the most important attributes a person, and especially a missionary, can develop. To be a missionary, we have to learn to do everything in the manner that God wants us to. We have to concecrate ourselves to Him. If we don't, we cannot ever truly become His missionaries.
A concecrated missionary is the missionary that almost everyone invisions, but never becomes. We expect to just arrive at being in this state as a missionary, but it is not so. We have to study, understand, and apply these things, and then work and work and work to actively sacrifice our will and desires to the great will and desire of God.