Tuesday, August 23, 2016

10 months!! Training a New Companion, Spiritual Growth and Self Discovery

Hola Familia,

Thinking about how I was before the mission mentally and thinking about how much I have grown is something I have seen as a miracle. I am a lot more patient now. Little things don’t bother me as much (when they don’t matter). I am more diligent with my work, and I seek further for solutions to problems. I have been reading Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage. I started it a little earlier in the mission but then stopped. This past week I got into reading it more and I LOVE IT. I´m on Chapter 11 and it gets into good detail about some questions I have had about the Savior. I feel like I am getting closer to know Him more and it’s an amazing feeling. My Patriarchal Blessing specifically tells me to study the scriptures and learn about the Savior. So I´m applying it more to me right now. 

Something I´ve really been struggling with is loving people. People have mentioned to me that I am an example to them for the love that I have for people. But in the truth, it’s just how I was raised. I respect people and give them more respect than what I deserve. I serve them without expecting anything. Yet, to develop a love for someone is something that is just hard for me. I love the people that I have taught and helped to convert through the Spirit, but to develop that same love for everyone I teach is difficult, and the Savior did that. He loved everyone uniquely. It’s one of my newest adventures I´m trying to apply. Because before, the people that I taught and progressed have that genuine love for me. I´ve heard some different ways that other missionaries have tried to apply it to them, but I think this is more of a personal discovery.

I frequently am reminded of what I still have to wait for, for the (at least) next 14 months.. Eternal Marriage. Ughhhh man!!!! Our last Priesthood class in the Elder´s quorum was about being part of an eternal partnership. Jeez, talk about rip your heart out. I have the firm goal that I am going to marry a returned missionary. She will (I hope) have the same goals as I in the return to the presence of God. I was studying a little bit of the life of Gordon B. Hinkley recently and there was a quote that I loved from his wife which states, "I love my husband and I know he loves me, yet I know I will always be second to him in his priorities following the Lord... But, I´m ok with that". I hope that my future wife will accept this truth about me as well. I have dreams about going to the temple, and sometimes there is someone with me. I miss the temple. I love to rethink about my feelings of being in the temple. It is such a blessing to sit in that Celestial Room and relish the Spirit that resides there. Then when I think about those same feelings, but with someone sitting next to me, linked arm to arm with me and holding my hand. It’s a feeling I can´t describe. The joy, peace, and tranquility I feel is unfathomable. It is for this particular reason that the first place that I will be going upon my return will be the temple. 

I feel myself growing spiritually. Maturing myself to be a man at the same time. Priorities are changing and I am realizing the more important things in my life. Responsibility is becoming more of a goal. When I say that, I mean I look for opportunities where I will need to be responsible for things so that I can prepare for larger tasks when they come. I recognize that being a trainer right now is the Lord helping me out with this journey and preparation. Always being an example in everything I do, not just an example, but a good one. 

I love the words of the prophets, both ancient and modern day. The words of Alma in chapter 5 of Alma, how in versus 45 and 46 he testifies of how he is sure and certain of the truth of all the things he knows. Also the most recent words of our Living Prophet Thomas S. Monson, and how we must always make the harder right choice, instead of the easier wrong choice. We can live blessed and rich lives if we follow the teachings of the prophets. It is my testimony and my knowledge of these things. Y como suponéis que yo sé de su certeza?

I love you all. Be examples, and stay firm in your foundations.
Elder Koontz

Elder Koontz and his new trainee Elder Carrillo
Elder Carrillo and I with Ana and Rebeca and the sister Missionaries.  We were celebrating Rebeca's 45th birthday.
Chatting with some new missionaries
New Missionaries and their trainers

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