Monday, 4 April 2016
This week's been crazy. I feel like Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend summed up how I feel when he sang, 'our days were long, our nights no longer; count the seconds, watching hours'. It seemed to us that everything going on was flying past faster than we could handle, and we had a few days where we were pretty darn stressed. There were more than a few times where the 6:30am alarm hurt because of how tired we were. However, this week also stood to me as a testimony that Heavenly Father actually does really understand us and our individual circumstances.
The beginning of the week had us exhausted and stressed out. Tuesday was easily the biggest struggle, since we were up from 5:00am and didn't get back home til 11:15pm (we were allowed though, it's okay :P). Between running zone leaders around, going to the airport, buying boat tickets, doling out waiting elders to other areas for the day, we were on a constant run. We pretty well fell into our beds that night, and Elder Penner and I both felt that it had been one of the longest days on our missions. I won't use this as an opportunity to complain, but I will say, it really makes a secretary's job easier when missionaries comply to the plans they are given; when they don't comply, it's only us that can solve it, and that leaves for a rather stressed out Elder Massey :P
By the time Wednesday rolled around, we had a total of about 4 hours working in our area the whole week, so when Thursday came around, we made a firm resolve to get OUT of the office by 5pm, seeing as how we didn't have anything else that would keep us inside. As we were getting caught up with work, we decided to call one of our investigators, Marlene, the mom of one of our members and who can only talk on Thursdays. Right as we went to call, her son called us, and said, 'hey, Elders, my mom said you guys are gunna have to come right now, or it won't work for today, she's gotta leave at 6'. While we both had stuff to do, Elder Penner and I ditched what we had so we could go out and teach. We saw just how much the Lord blessed us, when we got there, for being willing to leave. The missionaries have been teaching Marlene for a while, and has rejected many baptismal dates, despite going to church nearly every week, and having a son as a member for more than 5 years. We had given her a challenge to give us the day on which she would be baptized, giving her dates in May to select from. Walking in, I had thought she would just give us the most far ahead date possible, but when we asked her, she nodded and said she had thought about it, and gave us the date of May 7th as her baptismal date. I was shocked and knew in that moment Heavenly Father was helping us out so much there, because he had given her that date to set as a goal.
Later than night, as we went out to teach, we managed to teach another 4 lessons, for 5 in total, between the hours of 5pm and 9pm. We've never been able to teach more than 3 in that time period, so the Lord was most definitely with us. It's kinda like Ezra says later on in the chorus, 'though we live on the US dollar, you and me, we got our own sense of time'. Heavenly Father gets how busy we are, but he gave us the time that we needed this week to be the missionaries he called us to be, and it was so cool for me to see that. It doesn't matter really about how much time we get, but what we can do with what we got. Heavenly Father's got his own sense of time, and he's basically a boss.
As for the rest of the week, it pretty well was dedicated all to General Conference, which wasn't a problem for me. We were able to watch all 5 sessions, and while I usually like to put on the English subtitles to watch cuz the translation is so hard to understand, this time I had to stick with just Portuguese for 4 of them, cuz I guess the members weren't very happy when I put on the subtitles for the Saturday afternoon (well, night for us :P) session. I also learned that D. Todd Christofferson dictates his own translation for conference sessions. While we were listening to his talk, I was sitting there thinking, 'man, this sounds a heck a lot like my boy D. Todd'. Turns out it was.
(Editor's note: Sean had the opportunity to meet Elder Christofferson personally one summer a few years ago. It was a memorable and cherished experience to be able to pass him the sacrament as a young deacon. He's held a special place in his heart ever since)
We had 5 different investigators come which was sweet, one of them being a guy we're working super hard with named Belarmino. He's a super nice guy and loves coming to church. I would have to say the highlight at conference was when President Uchtdorf fired shots at all young single adult men when he said, 'even if there were a perfect girl out there, why do you think she would go for you?'. The stake center burst out laughing pretty good at that one.
It's been a long one, but a good one. I'm tired.
I asked last week if he could send a few pictures from the mission office so we could see where all the magic happens....this is what he sent. Enjoy!