Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Some Stress-Out and others Stress-In

Yet another bike crash left me with half a shirt, (Bummer because it was my new shirt. )
January 27, 2016
    Today was an okay day.  This morning we got to go to the temple as a district which was awesome.  I hadn’t been to the temple in a very long time, so it was badly needed.  The lame pat of the trip was that we were forced to go to the 10:00 am session instead off the 9:00 session and afterwards my companion decided to attend a sealing session without telling me.  So what should have been a hour delay, turned into a two hour delay and kinda put me in a bad mood.

Miracle #536: There were 2 huge miracles today.  First of all, the servers in our area were all closed so we were worried about being able to get online to write our letters.  We asked someone if they knew of another server in the area and he offered his home to us because he said that missionaries in the past helped him and he wanted to return the favor.  The other miracle was getting a last minute division where we started looking for a referral.  We entered into the wrong street where we saw a woman standing outside.  It was super awkward, but I felt prompted to talk to her and she was very open and receptive. 

    The funny part of the day happened in the temple when the sisters, who made us go to the late session so they could sleep in, actually fell asleep many times during the session.  This emphasizes the difference between all of my American companions and my Latino ones in their attitudes about sleep.  All of my gringo comps have had the mind set that sleep is something that we need but should be avoided during the day if at all possible.  My latino comps have considered sleep to be like a delicious food that you should eat as much as possible (without being directly disobedient.) Elder Leon was the exception to this generalization.

January 28, 2016

    Today was a fun day overall!  This morning we had a trainer meeting which turned out alright, but it made me feel super guilt for a few things that I am not doing very well.  After the training, we had lunch and returned to he office to do divisions with Elder Diaz (one of my true mission friends). While we were at the office, I got bored so I asked if there was anything that I could do to help them.  They asked me to start correcting the tests that we took on Tuesday in the zone conference.  We met with Elder Diaz and then we headed out to work for the day.  Even though we contacted for the last three consecutive hours, the day seemed to fly by and we had a blast.

Miracle #537: Elder Diaz’s sister, who was diagnosed with leukemia just 4 weeks ago, is now considered be in remission.

    The funny part of the day was just contacting with Elder Diaz.  it was a total blast because he is a goofball in the contacts and it made it a lot more fun.  During one of the contacts in particular we had a very good time.  We realized that the two of us have been together for the majority of of our missions.  In fact, we have been together for almost a full year in either the same house or the same district.

January 29, 2016
    Today was awful.  I had a good morning with Elder Diaz where I was able to help him with ideas for the district meeting and we had the best companion study that I have had for ages.  After that, we went to switch back and I got frustrated almost immediately.  It is just stupid that I get mad over this, but I can not stand how slowly my companion rides his bike.  Elder Diaz, who is in horrible shape, had no problem keeping up with me and even then we were able to talk as we rode.  Anyways, through my irritation we started talking about that issue and I quickly realized that the bike riding wasn’t the real problem.  As we talked, my companion finally opened up a little and admitted that he is feeling depressed and is wanting to go home.  He has no energy an is feeling back, stomach, and joint pain.  I realized that those are all symptoms of big time stress and that his reaction to stress is to simply shut down. 

Miracle #538: Not that I finally know my companions real struggle, I can start to help him.

    I called the DL and he recommended that for most of the day I should let him relax and try to alleviate some of the stress (watch an approved movie, chill, etc.) Ironically, those are the things that stress me out.  I have noticed that when I am not working, I start getting anxious and stressed.  It is the opposite with my companion. I remember feeling very stressed in the beginning of my mission and when I hit a certain level of stress, I would blow up.  But with my companion he sort of self implodes/shut down. For me, when I am feeling stressed for whatever reason there are things that I can do to help relieve the stress.  1. PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. 2.  Read the scriptures. 3. Fast for strength. 4. Just go to work and keep busy so the time passes. But these things are not working for my companion so I have got to learn to have more compassion so that I can help him.

January 30, 2016

    Today was a fairly normal work day, but for some reason I was exhausted.  This morning I decided to help out my companion with his exercises instead of doing my own thing.  That meant that I had a little extra time to sleep.  Anyways, I am not sure why, but I was so tired all day long!  There was about 3-4 hours in the middle of the day when I was almost passing out.  We had a good day of contacting, but we were in what must have been the geriatric section of our sector.  We contacted old person after old person.  The oldest man was 91 years old!

Miracle #539: My companion is feeling better today as far as stress goes.

    The funny part of the day was contacting this super grumpy old man who want of on a rant about how Americans (sometimes Chileans get offended when North Americans refer to themselves as if they were the only Americans, and then other times when they want to insult us, they refer to us as if we are the only Americans.)  Anyway, according to this guy us “Americans” are all rapist and murderers, and that we are just the scum of Europe that got kicked out.  I am surprised that I didn’t even get irritated.  He was equally argumentative and derogatory about religion so in the end I just testified to him with all of my conviction that I could summon and with authority that I don’t always feel as a missionary.  He turned us down, but I fell fine because I knew that I did my best. These kind of experiences have become common place to me, but I realized today that they are really hard on my companion who is not used to the rejection.  In talking to him today about how he is feeling, I realized that he has never really experienced any real stress before in his life.

January 31, 2016
    Well I hope that today was a good learning day for my companion.  According to our little deal/goal, it was his day to lead.  Meaning, he was responsible for things like deciding where to go, getting out of lunch on time, and I was in charge of leading the lessons and such.  In lunch, I just decided that no matter what happened, I was going to wait until he finished the lunch and got us on our way.  It took 2 hours, but he finally cut the lunch and we got out of there.  I think that the situations are the only way that he is going to learn how to do it.

Miracle #540: This week our bikes didn’t get a single flat tire.  I think it was the first week in 2 months without a flat. 

    The funny part of the day was going to an open house for the stake center and getting to see all of my office buddies.  Elder Furner’s companion wanted to go contacting with my companion, so I got to talk to my buddy Furner for a while. He was in charge of one of the presentations for the open house.  I was finally able to just talk to someone about this whole situation with my companion and it felt good.  It was also fun to talk to Hermana Clark (a senior missionary) who is kind like my mission aunt/grandma/mom.  We just talk like we have known each other for years.

February 1, 2016

    Today was a decent day.  We taught a decent number of lessons with a fair amount of new investigators.  In the geriatric win, we taught an awesome couple who are, in my opinion, super ready to receive our message.  I still cant find the balance between leaving my companion out to dry and doing things correctly.  I feel like it is more important that he learns than that everything gets done right.  Training is way stressful. 

Miracle #541: The wife of one of the old person contacts we did on Saturday is super interested in our message. 

    The funny part of the day was getting mad as my comp for laughing at me for calling sliced meat “carne.” Apparently in Chile, no matter what kind of meat it is, if it is sliced they call it “jamon” meaning ham.  I argued with him that actually the word “carne” is a more general word describing all kinds of cuts of meat, while “jamon” should be a more specific word used for a specific meat.  They have just reversed it in Chile. The Spanish language in Chile is very frustrating because it is so slang and sometimes over simplified.

February 2, 2016

    Today was decent overall.  This morning was a decent district and zone meeting after which Elder Diaz talked to my companion and we learned about a few new things that he didn’t share with me.  This afternoon he told me that it bothers him that I work with “too much force and strength and not enough heart.”  Hmm, I thought to myself, “I work hard because my heart is in the work.” We are finally coming to understand our differences in work ethic and relaxation techniques.

Miracle #542: We got special permission from President Cook and the Bishop to go out teaching with a super mature deacon in our ward.  Today was our first division with him. 

    The funny part of the day was when some difficult North American sister missionaries in our zone got after me for speaking English to my companion.  I literally said five words to him in English.  I reminded them that he is going to be serving his mission in the States so I am supposed to help him with his English.  These two particular sisters do not like me at all.  I try to interact with them as little as I possibly can to avoid conflict.  I usually do alright, but failed to keep my distance today.

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