Hello, my dearest correspondents,
The weather here has been a little obnoxious. This week it got really cold. Not below freezing yet, but it was pushing it. And then it was really nice for a couple days, and today it's raining cats and dogs. It's been a bit ridiculous. But fun too. But the members are saying that it could snow any day now, so I'm a bit anxious for that. I'm not quite sure how it will be, trying to work in the snow. It will definitely be an adventure.
This week, I have been surprised at how bountifully the Lord gives me help even when things are difficult to understand. My companion, Elder W, though he said he had changed dramatically in the course of a week, still seems to be upset by the same things that he was before. And I try my best to support him and to help him and devote a significant portion of my day praying and pondering about what he needs and what I should do.
In the midst of this, I am working to overcome my own problems. Specifically, my lingering discomfort about talking to strangers. This makes it really hard to do streeting or housing. But more than I ever have before on my mission, I've been able to do these things. All of my own volition. It's just that having the companion that I have, it is extremely difficult for me to be able to stay calm and in control of finding situations. Perhaps because he has such a hard time staying calm and in control. And then he tears himself apart in his mind after he does things. But we don't have a lot of investigators right now. And so we have a lot of free time and a neccesity to find. But we haven't been able to find an investigator all transfer. And that makes it hard to not get discouraged.
It's difficult to communicate just what is going on, but this transfer more than any other, I have tried to admit my weaknesses to the Lord and to do what I can, despite of my circumstances. And the Lord has helped me. I know he has because I went on an exchange last week with a different Junior Companion and it was great. I was fine. And I worked hard. And I felt good, because I knew that I was doing what I was supposed to.
So, what I guess I'm trying to communicate is that I have been trying so hard to just keep going and to do what the Lord would have me do. Even though things aren't going as well as maybe they could have. This mission has been the hardest thing I have ever done, and I have had more extreme emotionally straining experiences than I thought would ever be possible before being set apart. But I'm still standing. I'm still doing what I can. I know the Lord is proud of me because I have not given up. And I won't ever give up. That is the only way to fail in this situation. I know there are unimaginably fun and good and happy times waiting for me ahead here in Japan. Right now is not very fun overall. But there are fun things. And more importantly, I have learned in the dross-consuming forge of the Master Refiner's fire, that Christ lives. That he knows me. That he loves me. That he has redeemed me from sin, and has provided a way for me to rise above my infirmities. And that through my experiences He is preparing me for life above.
There is still much I do not know. There is still much about me that is far from perfect. But I know that in Him, I can be made perfect.
I send these things with love.