Another week in the books. It is really crazy how much goes on in one week out in the mission field. Everyday is jam packed from sun up to sun down of great things. I mean it does seem like we do the same types of things everyday but then again they are all so different. Different people, different lessons, and different experiences to write about. The good news is that I have so far been good about keeping up a daily journal and have already seen the benefits from it. I have found that there are things I am learning now that I would have taken way longer to learn in the "real" world of an 18 year old kid. There will always be good moments and bad moments our whole lives so seeing those on a mission is not out of the ordinary. But there is a problem when you stop working and stand still to dwell on them. Move forward. Keep going because everyday will have good in it if you look for it. Make the memories you want to remeber and talk about.
I had the great opportunity to go on exchanges for the day with another elder that has been out just as long as I have. He is a really great young man so I was excited to get to work with him. I had to stay in my area while Elder Pettingill went over to this elders area to work with his companion. I was not too stoked about this considering I didnt feel ready to take on the area all by myself but I just had to give it my best. It turns out that I actually was more prepared to do it then I thought. The day went really great and we taught a couple of lessons and just had an overall awesome day. At the end of the day the elder commented on how good of a job I did at taking over the area. It was a huge confidence builder to see that an elder that started at the same time as me was able to see the difference I had made and how ready I am to be the senior missionary. I know that I still have a long way to go and I am really excited to see and learn as much as I can. I dont ever want to stop progressing or learning. I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and move forward.
I had another really growing experience this week. There was an elder who had been out in Arizona for a week and he had to spend the day with Elder Pettingill and me. even though he was 18 he seemed kind of immature. By the end of the day I told Elder Pettingill that a lot of what he did and said was kind of annoying. Then I was given a huge piece of humble pie when Elder Pettingill said that I acted the exact same way my first week out here. I was like WHAT?! Holy crud I dont know how Elder Pettingill put up with me. I took a step back and realized that we are all growing constantly and at different rates. We need to be accepting of everyone and their differences. I guess that without noticing it I have become a different person. Dont get me wrong I am still the same Cole that left but just a little more mature and I have learned what to say and do in certain situations. There is a time and a place for everything and I think that the key to being mature and acting as an effective missionary is to know when those specific times are. Like I said before and will continue to say for a long time to come I have a long way to go. I wont ever lose who I am but I will refine myself and become the best that I personally can be.
General Conference was awesome! It was super weird though to hear the people saying in their prayers to pray for missionaries around the world. I was like hey thats me! The talks were all super great! I think they have taken on a whole new meaning to me because I am not only listening to learn for myself but to also help the people in Arizona. I took away from the conference in a whole that times are going to get really bad pretty soon. We need to build up our faith so that we can resist anything the advisary throws at us. There are multiple paths that we can take to get to the Celestial kingdom but the best path we can ever take is the one that allows us to bless those around us and help them make it as well.
I love all of you and will continue to think about just how much you have all blessed my life so far. Stay strong and keep moving forward.
Until next week.
Elder Cole Safford