Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Week 48: In which I say good-bye to Elder Tapia, help Jorge start taking 15 steps, and learn patience

Here I am again...

Earday Amilyfay anday eindsfray,

Aqui estoy otra vez, hablendoles de mi semana. Que aburrido para ustedes. Pues, todavia parece que quieran que les escriba.
Here I am again, talking about my week. How boring for you. Well, they still seem to want me to write to them.

I am still here in The Dalles, and I'm super happy to be staying. We're about to have a cool week. I don't have a lot of time to write, unfortunately, because I planned my time badly. However, I am very excited to use the 15-step program with Jorge. The 15-step program is a program developed by a companionship of missionaries in 1983 to help people stop smoking. It's proven very effective if people who want to quit follow it. It's kind of hard, but we are excited to teach Jorge how to quit smoking if he really has the desire to (as opposed to "kind of" and not really wanting it).

Quitting smoking will not solve everything for him, but we hope and pray that by successfully completing the program he will not only eliminate something holding him back, but will also give the Spirit more room to testify to him of the truth of what we share.

Sadly, Elder Tapia is leaving The Dalles and going to Sunnyside in the Yakima Valley Zone. My new companion will be Elder West.

I love you all!

Elder Adams
I wanted to send you my letter to President Lewis. I thought you might appreciate it.

Dear President Lewis,

Wow. It has indeed been a transfer to be remembered. I have learned a lot about patient endurance with faith, and about living the Doctrine of Christ in every moment for the rest of our lives, not just once. I have noticed something interesting, actually, which you may or may not have noticed with each interview we have. Over the course of my mission so far, as I have striven to live the Doctrine of Christ more fully, I have learned something about each of the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel.

In Wenatchee, I was a new missionary. I was confident that I could adjust quickly, but learned that it's not always easy. I learned to put my head down and work, even when things don't seem to be happening as a result of said work. I learned to trust in the Lord, and that miracles happen. I had my hope severely tested, and I came out fine. I learned about how to be better obedient to the things asked of me. I learned a lot about faith and obedience.

In Othello, I tried to apply what I had learned in Wenatchee. I learned that sometimes, in different situations, it's not as easy to do that as we might think. I learned that there were things that I thought had been a part of me and not that bad that needed to change if I wanted to be better. I had the privilege of watching as Brenda and Crystal went through the often arduous process of repentance for themselves, and I learned much from their examples. In my first few transfers in Othello, I learned about repentance and sacrifice.
Later, I was very touched as I had the opportunity to watch Brenda and Crystal make the covenant of baptism and receive the Holy Ghost. I was amazed to see the huge difference it made in their lives! It completely changed them and their family. They were not the same people. I had been teaching about the power of baptism and confirmation for months, but for the first time   on my mission, and even in my life, I truly was a witness to the power in those priesthood ordinances. My testimony was strengthened immensely, and I learned a great deal about baptism and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Now we come to today. I had vaguely noticed the pattern before, but only now did all the pieces fit into place. I realized that here in The Dalles, one of my first goals for the transfer was to develop more patience. It's something I knew I needed to change, and I tried to apply what I had learned previously in Othello and Wenatchee about the Doctrine of Christ to help me with my goal. For several weeks, I prayed every day for more patience, especially with myself. Oh, man. Do prayers ever get answered. I have found that in my time here, my patience with myself and with our investigators has been sorely tried. It has been a real trial of my faith to keep pressing forward and enduring, regardless of how much or little people seem to want to progress. I have had to learn to be more patient with myself, which is something I am naturally very, very, bad at.

After a particularly difficult day, as I was losing patience with myself in my weaknesses and with the situation in which we found ourselves, the Spirit whispered something very interesting to me. As I prayed for help, support, faith, and patience, I had brought to my mind all those things I had learned in the past. I realized that in The Dalles, I had to learn something very special during this transfer about Enduring to the End.

I don't profess to know everything about the Doctrine of Christ. Only He whose Doctrine it is can truly do that. However, I can state clearly and confidently that I understand His Doctrine far, far, more clearly thanks to the time I have had so far on my mission. I have learned, in successive order, a great deal about Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End.

It is still a process. It will still continue, whether it does so as it has in the past or in different ways. What I do know, though, is that there is a purpose in everything. This transfer has been a challenge, albeit a sweet one. I know better how to teach the Doctrine of Christ thanks to this trial of faith through which I am passing! It's not quite over, but I feel that it is very close. I will keep the faith that I have, and seek for more. Meanwhile, Elder West and I will begin afresh the harvest here. There is a lot to do! I guess that means we ought to just do it.

I am inexpressibly grateful for your support and council, and that of my leaders. I have learned a lot from Elder Tapia, and will be very sad to see him go. However, I also feel a new hope budding up; it is the hope that comes with any kind of change. For that, I am very excited.

With much love,

Elder Adams
Questions from Editor Mom
How are you? I'm sure you will be telling us about transfers this week, so I won't ask, but please remember to share your address when YOU get transferred, so I don't have to mail things through the mission office--it just takes slightly longer. - Yep. Will do.

How's life? Anything funny or exciting going on? - No, nothing funny. Just some excitement with starting a cool thing with Jorge y Andrea...

What is your favorite food these days? - Mac & Cheese and Spam. Also grilled cheese sandwiches with a little Miracle Whip to make them taste even cooler. Also Jorge's Alpastor Quesadillas.

Do you still get exercise, now that you are driving? - Yes. Not as much, but we exercise every morning.

Are you feeling confident behind the wheel? - Yeah, pretty much.

Are the members there helping you? - Yes, they are.

What sorts of work do most people there have? - Depends. Mexican-American or English-speaking? Spanish, it's pretty varied, but there are a lot of people who work in the fields picking fruit. It gets suuuuper busy right about now. It's going to be a little harder to find people at home as a result.

Are there any single adults in the ward or active, enthusiastic teenagers? - Yeah, a couple. In our area (both wards) there is a young man preparing for a mission, and a couple other active youth as well. Our most active singe adult just moved away. He spoke Spanish and was super helpful. :'-(

Love you. We'll be thinking of you [at Disney World]. Thinking of Grandma Linda on The Tower of Terror should put a grin on your face... :-) - Heh. It already did. Love you too!

Elder Adams

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