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Letter 32: Retrospect

April 28, 2014

This week, my letter isn’t going to be about the work or about our investigators or anything like that. Just know that the work is going great, we’re working hard, staying obedient, and our investigators are slowly but surely progressing. I wanted this letter to be a little third person perspective on how I’ve changed on the mission. This is inspired by a discussion I had with another missionary last night.

Before I went on my mission, I had no confidence. I had almost no self esteem, and thought very little of myself. I had gotten myself stuck into a spiritual rut, it seemed, about 2 or 3 months before I left. It was so bad that back in Yucaipa, my first area, during one of the church meetings, the teacher handed out pieces of paper and pencils and told us to write down our talents, or things that we’re good at. I honestly couldn’t think of any. I would get down on myself for the littlest things, and dwell forever on dumb mistakes. I still remember being disappointed in myself for my voice cracking in English class while reading Romeo and Juliet in 9th grade.

I don’t know why I would cut myself down so much. Just recently, I realized just how negative I was being towards myself, but I didn’t realize how big an effect it had had on me. We met with an excommunicated member this week and he shared this talk with us, called The Tongue Can Be a Sharp Sword. It talks all about how bashing and saying negative things about people can really hurt and shows a big lack of charity. I didn’t realize that this applied to others, but it also heavily applied to yourself. I had been tearing myself down so far, and I thought I was just being humble, but I’ve learned there’s a difference between being humble and not liking yourself.

My companion and roommates have been incredible examples to me. They are always building each other up with kind, sincere compliments. These have made me think better about myself and gain some confidence. I know that I have talents now. I know that I am a cool guy. I know that I’m funny, and smart, maybe even cute, and all of these other things that I’ve denied forever before. It’s not pride, I don’t think. Just confidence. Something that’s very important when you are going out and talking to people about the gospel all day.

All of these problems all stem from a lack of perspective. I am a child of God. We all are children of God. We all have His eternal potential. Something that this Mormon Message by President Uchtdorf sums up very nicely. I can’t say it better than he says it. Especially with his accent.

I’m so glad to be on a mission to be finding myself while I find those prepared to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sorry this letter was so long, I just felt like this needed to be shared with you all. Of course, my vulnerability is showing, but that’s a part of life. I’ve found myself looking more positively at the future and at my potential both here on the mission, and even throughout my life. I am just so happy! That’s the only way to explain it. Happy and confident in myself, while trusting in God, ‘for in his strength I can do all things.’ –Alma 26:12

I love you all and thanks for your support,

Elder Connor Weeks
7000 Central Ave
Highland, CA 92346
 
About to chop a take and bake pizza we got from a place called 'We R Pizza'

About to chop a take and bake pizza we got from a place called ‘We R Pizza’

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