Monday, March 31, 2014

New Chapter

Hello everyone,

I have been having a bit of a hard time. This week has been a little psychologically tough on me.

Last week, I was finally transferred from Fuji. It was a great relief to leave Fuji and Elder T. However, Elder T dragged it out to the end. While we were on the train platform we were having a decent conversation, but he got impatient with me and threw one last insult at me. The rest of the way to Nagoya was kind of cold and silent, because I didn't want to give him any more opportunities to get angry at me.

      I met my new companion, Elder J, at Nagoya station. He is really great. He is Korean, but he has lived in Japan since he was 6, so his Japanese is perfect. However, his English is not as good. Communication is a little difficult at times, but we manage just fine.

      Coming back to Numazu was nice. To know where things were and be able to actually do some missionary work was refreshing at first. However, even on the train from Nagoya to Numazu, I still felt so sad and dark inside. And I began to doubt myself and to doubt the Lord. Even though it was extremely hard, when you actually can see what's dragging you down, it's much easier to fight against it. But when it's in your own head, bouncing around and interfering with your normal thoughts, it's much harder to fight back.

      I was very anxious. I had to carry the weight of being the Area Senpai after not having been in the area for a month and also after having only been in the field for 3 months. And I didn't know what to do. The task seemed overwhelming and I slowly began to lose control of my thoughts. I allowed myself to become discouraged. Japanese is still difficult. And even though I am improving, I still often have trouble understanding and speaking.

      Things all came to a head last Saturday. All the responsibilities and things I had to do seemed so overwhelming, that I just broke down and cried. I felt like I could do nothing. That I was destined for failure. That there was no way that I could become the kind of missionary who actually enjoyed missionary work. Teaching and planning and everything else just made me so tense and worried that I just couldn't do them.

     The next day I got to work, because I had so much to do. But I felt so broken. It was taking all my focus to do anything, and there wasn't much time, since we had church. But I talked to Elder G, who is now my Zone Leader, and I told him that I was depressed and that I was going to tell the Mission President. He said that was a good idea, but that I didn't need to worry, since it was just a Sunday, and P-day was the next day. And also that I should try to tell my companion, so I did that. Then we went to church. Using all my patience, I made it through, and even gave the talk I was asked to give in sacrament meeting (giving talks in Japanese is way weird). And after church, we talked to the members and I felt better. After church, we just stayed home all afternoon, since there was a little typhoon; the wind was crazy. And my companion shared some things with me that helped a lot. And he told me that I should rely on Christ and His Atonement.

     Now I'm okay. I'm recovering from the setbacks I've had. And everything is going to be alright. I need to strengthen my faith, and I need to rely on the Lord. He will help me. Especially when I am trying to do His work, even if it's not something that I really enjoy doing yet.

     Thank you for all your prayers,

     -Elder Alex Mueller 

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