Monday, March 23, 2015

When We Don't Fit In

Dear Family & Friends,

Who's ready for Spring?! Oh wait...that's all you guys have had! Well we had another snow storm, presumably the last of the season. Fingers crossed. I'm going to have to start making my emails my journal entries or vice versa...cause boy am I behind! Sometimes I get overwhelmed thinking that I will be responsible for remembering every experience I have had on my mission, but then I realize that I don't think God would expect that of me, so I'm content with doing my best at recording as I go. 

Because it would be my last, Elder Bergman and I decided to go to transfers, even though neither of us were getting transferred. We did have a few things to pick up and definitely people to see, but I found out that ours is the only mission in the region that does transfers like we do where we all gather together at the mission office then meet our new comps and go to our new areas. It's kind of fun, but I was grateful not to have to be doubled over in anxiety about where I'd be my last transfer. 

I've thought a considerable amount about how we are all at different stages in this race we call life. For the Yi's they are at the beginning of an eternal covenant path back to our Heavenly Father, while others are still finding their way TO that path. We had a really hard time contacting or meeting with many of our investigators or new investigators this past week, it was frustrating. And I've been trying to get out of the habit of blaming myself for things not working out as we had hoped or planned. I understand the principle, it's really just a bout with my own mind. 

We did however, meet with Steve Donahue, less active man. He's a funny guy, the one that said, "repent now, beat the rush" [at judgement day]. He has gotten on that path but has strayed and we are doing our best to help him decide to get back on the path. We shared scriptures and just listened and I think sometimes that is the best thing to do. We had an incredible stake conference this past weekend and president Duckworth of the Stake Presidency talked about how we all have time where we feel like we don't fit in, even in the church. We don't have the right words to say, we don't have the same interests, for me it's church basketball. You could pay me $1000 and I still wouldn't enjoy it, but that doesn't make me less of a man or a person or a disciple of Christ. He counseled that perhaps what we need to do when others feel like they don't fit in is to just listen, try to understand, then empathize with them. As opposed to giving them a piece of our minds or putting them in their place or "losing our cool" as the Grinch would say. 

Our investigator Kevin has expressed to us that one reason he hasn't been coming to church is that he sincerely feels he just wouldn't fit in. So we listened and tried to put ourselves in his shoes, then testified of God's love which helped him see the bigger picture. We showed up to the Yi's and quickly learned that Sheila had had a terrible morning and the kids were not helping the situation, they had been fighting and causing her more stress. We just listened for like half an hour, tears were flowing from her eyes and I just felt compassion. We offered a priesthood blessing and laid our hands on her head. I've scarcely felt so much of God's love for one of His children. She needs help now to make it to the gate of the path toward eternal life. Perhaps sometimes she feels like she doesn't fit in because she's not yet a member. We all have different reasons. I find peace in the words of the Apostle Paul,

"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;" Ephesians 2:19 Paul is talking about the organization of the church and how it's purpose is to bring all of our differences and unique abilities together to make one great whole. That's the beauty of the kingdom of God. I know we are all part of something so much more than the eye can see. Help someone else feel that this week ;)

Love always,

Elder Jake Robins

Decorations put up for Easter by our investigator Kevin on his front window. He was very excited to show it to us. Made us smile.

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