Remember how last week I told you I was going to take a step back to assess and get a feel for how I wanted to work the rest of my mission? Well, Tuesday I fasted and prayed that I'd be able to figure it out--what do I need to do to have success and feel happy again. As you know, I broke a few weeks ago. Everything piled on top of me and I couldn't handle it. I fell and felt that I couldn't get up. That was a sad email.. BUT Heavenly Father gave me just enough strength to get up and keep walking, although with a limp. Well, family, I'm running again. (this is metaphorical of course). Wednesday morning I read Moroni 8 (I finished the BOM in spanish this week for the second time) which talks about why babies do not need to be baptized. I thought, "Well, I don't know how this chapter will really help me, but.." and decided to read it. Let me tell you, WOW. I was blown away. Read it. But I didn't pay attention to what was being said about babies being baptized. I read it as if it were a letter from mom and dad to me here in the mission. Verses 2 and 3 tell me that you're proud of me for being here in the mission and that you pray for me. Verse 4 tells me that it makes you sad when I have companionship issues (and therefore cannot let that happen). Verse 6 tells me that you both want me to work diligently. President says that we've got to complete the standard of excellence, so to really be diligent, I've got to do it. Verse 10 says that I've got to teach repentance and baptism. Repentance is how people change their lives to be in harmony with Christ's will. Baptism is how they promise that they want to keep living how he wants. Verse 14 basically tells me that if I'm not having success it is because I don't have faith, nor hope, nor charity. Verse 16 tells me to speak with courage because I have authority from God. Verse 17 is what you want me to be able to say. That I love everyone equally. That I want them all to live with God again. Verse 26 tells me that you want me to learn that if I have meekness and humility, I'll have the Holy Ghost as my guide. THAT will give me hope and charity. Verse 28 tells me to pray for my investigators. Verse 27 and 30 tell me that you'll write me again!! SO overall I felt really grateful for the lesson I learned from that chapter. It renewed my faith and my desire in this great work. Read it, I hope you'll see how it applies to me. Starting Wednesday, the week took a different turn. We started to see miracles. A member called us to come over and meet her neighbors who are all interested in hearing our message. We had 14 people come to church!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's INCREDIBLE! And we completed the Standard of Excellence. This coming Saturday we are baptizing two boys that I really love. Their parents have to work out other issues that will take a LONG time, but the children are ready to get baptized. They're 8 and 10 years old. Basically, I feel good. I feel really happy. I only have the fear that I'll fall again. That I'll get stressed or lose faith and hope. But I plan to study often Moroni 8 and especially the Christ-like attributes. I want to be a person that I'd love. This week I hugged myself in the mirror. A member had told us that we as humans should do it every day to make sure that we love ourselves. As I closed my eyes, I really tried to imagine that there were two of me and that I was hugging the other me. It felt real. Maybe that all sounds stupid, but it actually comforted me. Even better than when I would talk to you all in the stars. So try it! Max especially.
Now, it's almost my birthday. I love that I'm 21. For the first time (unless I said it last time) in my life, I actually feel that I'm 21. I definitely don't feel like a teenager. I feel way more experienced and mature. I hope that I really am. I feel like I'm really beginning to love myself. Maybe that sounds stupid too, but I really do like who I am. And I want to be even better. I love you family. Thank you for the first 19 years of my life that I spent with you all. These are only two years. Three away from Max :( but I feel that this mission is WAY necessary for my progress and happiness in the rest of my life and even after. May the Lord bless you all this week.
Guess what, today I asked a new elder if they still make new episodes of "Hannah Manzana"... really?! I said it like "Mon" in english and "zana" in spanish (not pronounced like "nana"). You get it? Aye.
Elder Mitch Poirier