Opening My Mission Call

Opening My Mission Call
August 16, 2010

Monday, November 14, 2011

Good Things to Come...

I think this week I have learned a valuable lesson, well both Elder Hall and I both have. We have learned that in times when things look down and the whole world is crashing in upon you, you have to keep your head up and keep pushing. This week was so hard at the start, a lot of bad things happened, a lot of unlucky and bad things, but by the end of the week we both had a smile on our face and were both so extremely happy and proud of the things that we did earlier in the week. 

It all starts with the little things.... last P-Day we had to take the car in to go and get the oil changed. Well, the appointment was at 930 so, after 930 we would need to catch the bus to do all of our things since we didn't have a car. Well, we leave early and get there at 9am, but the service was slow and the line was out the door so we didn't get out of there til 10am. By then, our bus that we were planning to catch had already passed by. Discouraged, we realized that that bus was the last to pass for a long time so it was time to start the long back to another bus stop. It took us over 30 minutes walking to even find the closest bus, and even then we had to wait for awhile for the bus to even get there. After it was all said and done, we picked up our cars HOURS later (just for the oil mind you) and the cost? €178..... It was quite a.... shock to us, to say the least. By the time we got back we realized we couldn't even do library at our normal spot, the library; why? The library apparently closes for Halloween, and takes the whole week off..... Monday was far from relaxing to say the least..

Tuesday, was a fairly normal day, a lot of walking around since most of our citas failed us, and what do we see when we get back home at night? Our neighbor..... soaking wet. Apparently, since our plumbing is connected we had problems.... Our toilet wouldn't stop running and that caused hers to overflow. She was soaking wet in her PJs, and not too happy.... Por eso.... our landlords came the next day!! Fun... They inspected everything, and luckily we do do a good job with the upkeep. Well, it was really awkward to have studies and a nap while they were hovering over us the whole time. It was hard to pretend they weren't there.

Well, we decided to go visit a really old investigator since we were desperate. By this time it is Thursday and we have only taught 5 lessons. Things are rough. This man's name is Pascual. Well, he is the owner of a cyber cafe and he just wanted nothing to do with us. He said he wanted to listen but he just had no time whatsoever. So we gave him a Book of Mormon, and there goes another lead. Dead end. Well, I thought to myself, at least I'll buy myself a nice bag of chips to make me feel better. What's the worse thing that could possibly happen in regards to a vending machine? Well, first off, let me just say why do they even bother to put in the coin release button if it never works?!?! Yeah, it ate my money.... a little thing, but it was just enough to put you over the top on a week like this. To make it all worse I got lost driving home, and me and Elder Hall didn't get home until almost 2230. So.... with all that said, I will say that we were laughing and had a great time anyways, because like I have said before it's never your situation that determines your attitude, it's you that determines your attitude. So Elder Hall and I said to ourselves, these things just happen, beyond our control and we didn't let it get to us.

That's when the miracles started to happen. Starting on Friday things started to turn around for the better. I don't even know how to explain them all, and to others they might not seem like miracles at all, but to Elder Hall and I, we know that they were miracles. We were walking randomly down the street when an old investigator called us and told us he wanted to start listening to us again. Later that night, we were able to meet with another old investigator for the first time in months, and she said she wanted to take the discussions again. Then at church on Sunday one of the members who, from our perspective, always seemed as if he hated us, invited us over for dinner and it turns out it's quite the opposite. We have also seen old investigators while shopping at our grocery store. The rest of the week has just been filled with miracles. Throughout it all, I couldn't help but think of the words from Jeffrey R. Holland, who said,

"Every one of us has times when we need to know things will get better. Moroni spoke of it in the Book of Mormon as “hope for a better world.” For emotional health and spiritual stamina, everyone needs to be able to look forward to some respite, to something pleasant and renewing and hopeful, whether that blessing be near at hand or still some distance ahead. It is enough just to know we can get there, that however measured or far away, there is the promise of “good things to come.”

My declaration is that this is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need. There is help. There is happiness. There really is light at the end of the tunnel. To any who may be struggling to see that light and find that hope, I say: Hold on. Keep trying. God loves you. Things will improve.

I think of newly called missionaries leaving family and friends to face, on occasion, some rejection and some discouragement and, at least in the beginning, a moment or two of homesickness and perhaps a little fear. I say: Cling to your faith. Hold on to your hope. “Pray always, and be believing.”

You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. You keep your chin up. Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come."

--Jeffrey R. Holland

Anyways, I know that that is true, because I have lived it. Although it was just in the span of one week, and not one lifetime, I know that looking forward to the future with a smile and optimism will bring those good things to come. Elder Hall and I repeated that phrase many times throughout the week, and in the end I am proud to say that we made it. It was a rough week, but we survived, we did well, we are serving the Lord and throughout it all we looked forward to good things to come.

Thanks too all who send their support and I hope that this has brought some positive attitude into your lives this week! Until next Monday!! 

Elder Card

Monday, November 7, 2011

It Starts In Fifteen!

What a crazy weekend. Yesterday was the confirmation of Unai, our recent convert from last week. All day he was sweatin bullets because he didn't know what to say for his testimony. He was freaking out the whole time. Normally, he attends church with his grandma because his mom got offended by someone at church and for that she doesn't come. Well, right before the meeting started we get a call from her cell phone saying that she wanted to come to church to see her son Unai's confirmation! She never comes to church! We have tried for months now. Well, we look at our watches and we see that the meeting starts in fifteen minutes and Unai's mom has no idea how to get to the chapel! We rush out the chapel doors get in our car and head straight out the parking lot... I wasn't paying attention and BAM reversed the car right into a car parked behind me! 

Okay, so that part is a joke. But, moving on... we drive all the way out to the closest Burger King (the only monument everyone knows) and direct her to the church. As we park the car I felt like running into the meeting like I am about to stop a wedding! STOPPPPPP! Well, I didn't yell.... I actually didn't say anything. I walked reverently into the chapel, and it was right after the Sacrament so perfect timing. Well, Unai's grandfather confirmed him and all is said and done. He is officially a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints now. It was a great day. 

I wish I could say the same for the rest of the week.... It actually was really productive but I got sick! The first time in my whole mission that I was sick! I caught the flu, and I was bed ridden for a day or two. But, I was back on my feet in no time. It was a rough week when you are bed ridden and you can't just watch TV or eat Saltines and sip on 7-Up. We did manage to teach a new guy named Carlos. A 30 something Spaniard who is actually one of the most sincere guys I have met on my mission. His wife is a member and the missionaries have taught him in the past. He knows exactly what he has to do to get an answer, and the missionaries have been trying to show him that he is most likely received an answer. 

He came to church this last Sunday though, and even though he isn't a member he participates even more than the other members do. He is an awesome guy, but he wants to be positive before being baptized, so we are trying to show him that he already knows this church is true. He even came up to us at the end of the meeting and said, "You know, if it wasn't for you guys not one of these people would be here right now. Don't you feel a little prideful about that? You have effected each one of their lives." Almost everyone in our ward of about 70 is a first or second generation convert. Carlos is a great guy, and will hopefully be a member soon.

Well... anyways.... I love the support that you all have given me. If there are any questions that anyone has for me, let me know!! 

Thanks all! Love ya all

Elder Steven Card