Sunday, September 8, 2013

Things Happen for a Reason

Family and Friends,

Thank you everyone for the feedback and suggestions on the 8 Attributes :) I really appreciated it and learned from you all :) This week was an awesome week for Elder Magill and I here in Ecuador Guayaquil North Mission. Due to lots of new missionaries coming soon for many weeks we had been busy with office work; finding houses, renting houses, filling out paperwork, helping sick missionaries, and making graphs and charts analyzing data for President, etc.etc. By no means will I say that I don't enjoy doing those things, and I for sure understand how important it is that we do those things so the the Kingdom of God continues to be established.... however I will say that there is nothing like working hard and sweating out in  the mission field teaching and serving with other missionaries. You just can't replace that! This week we got to do 4 companionship exchanges from Tuesday to Friday in all sorts of different parts of the mission and it was AWESOME :) I learned a ton and I just love being out there serving side by side with these wonderful Elders :) It really is a blessing to have this assignment and be able to love and know and learn from so many different missionaries :) 

Last week two very interesting events happened that helped me remember and learn an important lesson. First, President Amaya told me very directly that I need to stop mumbling, that he can't understand me at all on the phone, and that I need to speak more clearly. He said that if I keep talking that way that I'll put people to sleep when I give talks or teach. Second, my companion and I carelessly left our cell phone at a store and it got stolen. Ok. Two events that at first glance without taking an eternal perspective of things appear to be very bad. However, when taken with humility, prayer, self-inspection, trusting in the Lord, a desire to always learn and improve, and an eternal perspective then these two events are seen for what they really are.... blessings and opportunities. 

The honest feedback and sound advice that President Amaya gave me was spot on. Ask my parents and they will testify to this that my entire life I have had a problem with mumbling on the phone. I don't fully know why I do it but I know its a problem and I recognize that I need to fix it and now thanks to President for telling me last week I have been really working on getting better at pronouncing clearly and speaking loudly on the phone :) and its worked. Many people would defend themselves and get offended or hurt that President said that but that would just be stunting their growth and missing a great opportunity to improve :) I simply smiled and eagerly said, ¨You're right President, I need to improve. Thanks for telling me and I'm going to do better.¨ Its hard to do many times and the natural man will want to fly out and start to explain how great of a public speaker you are and defend yourself stubbornly.... but we have to learn to submit to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost and be meek and humble and patient (Mosiah 3:19) that is a key to happiness and success. The sweet thing was that a few days later Elder Magill and I gave a presentation together at a leadership conference and President was super impressed and he congratulated us on how good of a job we did in public speaking and training the Elders :) and now I don't mumble on the phone (most the time) haha still got work to do sometimes haha. 

The second event of losing the cell phone was a wake up call to my companion and I. It was a consequence for us of being less focused and not obeying with Exactness. Now by no means am I saying that we were being way crazy and disobedient no, no, no of course not. Just that due to being in the office so much and having to stay up late some nights stressing over houses, sick missionaries, and tons of other urgent things... the two of us had forgotten a little bit of the reason we are here- to bring souls to Christ. Also we sometimes didn't follow the missionary schedule with exactness and were late at times. That's why we lost the phone. President Amaya wisely taught us once that if we are focused 100% on the work and obeying with EXACTNESS, then we will always have the Spirit strongly with us to warn us of any little thing like losing a cell phone. If we had been 100% focused and obedient we would've felt a prompting of the Spirit and gone back right away for the phone and wouldn't have lost it. Simple and true that being 100% obedient is easier than being 99% obedient :) and the painful and humiliating experience of losing our cell phone reminded us of that lesson very strongly! I'm not saying that we should run around losing cell phones to learn lessons but I do know that the price of a cell phone doesn't compare with the worth of being able to obey exactness and always count with the guidance of the Holy Ghost. Therefore I see that experience as a blessing :) I am thankful for the opportunity to once again obey with exactness! D&C 90:24 Learn from every experience!

Love,

Elder Remington