Thursday, August 3, 2017

Week 50 - Perfectionism, Pokemon and Priesthood

  Elder Schaff seems tired and a bit dissatisfied this week, which is unfortunate, because he and Elder D are working hard and placed 35 Book of Mormons last week!! Wow. They are doing great, but Hayden expects a lot of himself and as he puts it, "my perfectionism has been showing."

  "This was a very spiritual week. It has been a lot of bike riding and opening our mouths in efforts to find people. We had the exchange with the assistants as well as with Selma Spanish. I learned a lot from those exchanges. Something happened Monday night where I found myself unsatisfied with my personal efforts. It might have taken a serious (and unnecessary) toll on my hope!

  Fortunately, in the exchange with the assistants, Elder Q advised me to be more positive in my speech, promising that I could have more optimism, more joy, and less doubt. I felt the Spirit when he gave me that counsel. I knew it was true.

  With that I was uplifted and later had an exchange with our district leader. (Selma Spanish) Elder N talked to me about not letting perfectionism overcome me. He invited me to focus on the Atonement and explained that Christ makes us perfect as we look to him. Little did he know, I had already got the answer I needed, but the focusing on the Atonement comment was nice. I guess my perfectionism has been showing recently!
  We are helping "S and K" progress, they are new investigators from last week. "K" is doing really well and came to church. He got to see the Priesthood in action.

  Sunday was a big day for the Selma 2nd Branch. "L" received the Holy Ghost and was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Two others were baptized (investigators of Selma Spanish), and "M" and "R" received the Aaronic Priesthood. Additionally, all 4 of us Elders spoke in sacrament meeting, as it was the 5th Sunday. I spoke on why God has given us the scriptures and how we can become converted by using them. I was well pleased with how it went.

  "K" saw all of that happen. Quite the week for the first time at church. He was desirous to receive the Aaronic Priesthood as well, but it was explained to him he needs to be baptized first. He seemed pretty motivated after that, so we'll see what happens. 

  We gave people 35 Book of Mormons this week in our contacting. It was an uplifting experience to do so. Many people were quite excited to receive a copy and have this opportunity to learn about the truths of God and see what we believe. We have appointments set up for this coming week, so we'll see who did their reading and felt the Holy Ghost and who didn't!

  I learned several personal lessons and worked out improving in Christ-like attributes. Elder D and I have been getting closer and more unified. We have high hopes and great faith for our area! We've been discussing more how we can improve, and in the evenings spend time together watching "The District," listening to powerful talks from various church leaders, or just talking. One talk taught us about why the Atonement was necessary in the nature of what Jesus Christ suffered. (Essentially, why did He have to suffer so much.) It was a talk by someone surnamed Skousen I believe. It may not be a beginner-level learning experience, but it's worth checking out. I felt like I learned a lot. One night somehow Elder D started talking about Pokémon while we wrote in our journals and I just went with it. We finished writing and we'd been at it for 30 minutes. We laughed because we were nerds, but also felt a bit of remorse because that was not perhaps the most ideal missionary conversation. So needless to say, we'll stick with talking about the work.

  On Sunday we attempted to visit Kingsburg, but got rejected by almost everybody.  It was bad. We had multiple people tell us to stop talking to them and they refused to take a picture of Jesus Christ. One guy just said no to everything we said and wasn't really listening and then after 20 seconds just went blank and said "get off the driveway!"**  

  The Selma Spanish missionaries are having more success there, so we may leave them to Kingsburg and try to tackle one of the other cities nearby us, like Fowler. We'll see what we accomplish! (Sorry mom! I saw the Tea-pot water tower but I didn't have my camera!)

**How do I put this? I honestly haven't talked with very many white, English speaking people recently. In Kingsburg we ran into a lot of them again. It was rather disappointing to see how bitter our American culture is. We really seek to have minimal contact with strangers and feel very inconvenienced when someone wishes to talk with us. The people we talked with were rather rude, and it was a sad sight to see. "Wo unto the proud for they shall be humbled." Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I was an English-speaking missionary, and I feel like it would be difficult! I'm grateful for the Spanish culture and the patience they have with us as missionaries. Sure, not everybody agrees with, nor wants to hear what we have to say, but English-speakers, do you have to be so sharp, brash, and rude? I guess that's just modern society for you. So make the world a bit brighter and greet a stranger sometime, just for fun. See what happens!

  Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable week and I've had a smile on my face for the most of it. The Spirit was present in our work and lifted us up. I am feeling more tired than ever before, so hopefully I can resolve that because I disdain feeling tired! It's hard to want to ride a bike and talk to people if you feel like you could take a nap in the moment, trust me.

  As I was studying the scriptures, I was reading through 2 Nephi 31. Nephi elaborates greatly on how baptism is necessary to our salvation, and he proceeds to explain the doctrine of Christ, or in other words, what Christ would have us do to use His Atoning sacrifice. I was rather touched by an insignificant part of a verse. (Maybe 16 or 17?) Which said that: (paraphrasing:) these things were written that ye may know the way by which ye should enter. Nephi was shown many visions and revelations of what would come. After all, this was a man who lived before Christ's time. And Nephi saw what Christ would do and what His role would be on the Earth. Additionally, he saw these last-days and many other great things. But this was not shown to him only to teach him, Nephi. Those things were revealed so that his people, the Nephites, and eventually us, could receive this knowledge of the way! ----The scriptures were written for us!

As always, it feels like these are great days to be a missionary!

My love to those that care for it,

-Elder Schaff

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