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Letter 61: Do Something

November 25, 2014

“I frequently say to missionaries in the field, you make or break your mission every morning of your life. You tell me how those morning hours go from 6:30 AM until you are on the street in your mission, whatever time it is; you tell me how those hours go, and I will tell you how your day will go, I will tell you how your month will go, I will tell you how your year will go and how your mission and your life will go.”

– Translation of a Portuguese-translated Jeffrey R. Holland quote

Elder Holland Quote

Elder Holland Quote

This quote hit me this last week. It’s a quote about how doing your studies in the morning as a missionary affects your whole day, affects your receptiveness to the Spirit, affects your investigators’ receptiveness to your message, all of those things. President Van Cott calls the studies in the morning the “corner of your day”. He says it’s the only thing you can really control in the work. Once you’re out the door, it’s all in the hands of the Lord.

But, for those of you playing at home, studies in the morning affecting the receptiveness of your investigators doesn’t really strike a chord with you. Because you don’t have investigators to worry about. Of course, there’s the obvious tie between this quote and daily scripture study, which really does help the Spirit speak to us, and helps God bless us, but that’s not the line I want to draw either. What I want to focus on is the whole month, year, life, scenario.

It’s amazing to me that he can base a whole assumption of a missionary’s life based on one morning of studies. The point here being that we, as humans, are creatures of habit. Before the mission, I had a habit of opening up my laptop, typing “f – enter”, check facebook, “t – enter” check twitter, “g – enter”, check gmail, rinse, repeat, reduce, reuse, recycle.  And, as it’s a habit, I followed it. Even if nothing was happening on these social network sites, this was my habit. So, by watching me on the computer for 5 minutes, you could tell what I was going to be doing on the computer for the rest of the day.

And so, humans like habits. One of the habits on the mission is to get into an area, and if there’s nothing going on, say, “Dead area, hopefully my next one’s better”. Well, I know that there’s no such thing as a dead area. I saw the other set of missionaries in this ward go from finding 2 investigators in an entire transfer, to finding more than 11 in a week. All that changed were the missionaries. So how in the world can a change like this happen in our missionary work, but more importantly, in our lives in general?

“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Mahatma Ghandi

Nothing changes in our lives until we do something about it. You don’t like the situation you’re in? You have two choices, sit down and complain, or do something about it. My entire mission so far has been me sitting around and feeling down for myself. Complaining, no, but feeling sorry for the situation I’m in, yes. This truth wasn’t clear to me until this week. Because when you only find 1 new investigator and teach 4 lessons to investigators, whose fault is it? It’s only mine. Well, now, I’m going to take life by the horns, and do something. I’ve set up an exchange with the miraculous missionaries that came into our ward, and I hope to learn something from them. From here on out, my only regret will be that I didn’t learn this lesson 14 months ago, if not earlier.

Thanks for the support, thanks for listening/reading through my crazy self-reflection. I appreciate each and every one of you.

Brazil Fun Fact (didn’t forget!): Here they have 1L, 1.5L, 2L, 2.5L and 3.3L bottles of soda. This is a 3.3L of Guaraná Antartica. Guaraná is a fruit that we don’t have in America. Actually, we don’t even have it in this part of Brazil either, that I’ve seen, but it’s the best soda down here. No, I didn’t buy the 3.3L. But I won’t say I didn’t think about it!

Guaraná Antartica

Guaraná Antartica


Elder Connor Weeks

Gecko in our house!

Gecko in our house!

Selfie with Ke$ha the guard cat!

Selfie with Ke$ha the guard cat!


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