Wednesday, September 21, 2011

P-Days and patience

Christopher is really enjoying his time in Buffalo, NY.  He has been in Buffalo for a couple of months now, ever since the Hill Cumorah pageant finished last July.  He has really enjoyed working with his current companion and they have been having a lot of success lately.  In Christopher's most recent letter home, he told us about a baptism that they had a week ago and also about the people that he and his companion have been teaching. 

Both Christopher and his companion are really excited about the people that they are currently teaching.  Christopher told us that last week, four of their investigators came to church and really enjoyed the experience.  He said that their Ward is very supportive of missionary work and when they see new people attending their church meetings, they automatically take them in and make them feel welcome.  Christopher said that they have a great Ward mission leader and that the members who have been called as Ward missionaries are awesome too.  They have really helped out the missionaries especially when new people come to church for the first time.

A couple of weeks ago on what is normally Christopher's P-Day, we didn't hear from him at all.  However, the next day we finally got a letter from Christopher and he told us why he didn't write home the day before.  It turned out that the mission had a special visit from Elder Nash of the Quorum of the Seventy.  The missionaries spent about eight hours in meetings during the day and Christopher told us how the day flew by.  He really enjoyed hearing from Elder Nash and feeling the spirit of the meetings.  Before the meetings began, Elder Nash invited all of the missionaries to prepare a short talk.  The reason why he wanted them to prepare a talk was so that he could call on a few of them randomly to share the topic that they had prepared.  Unlike most people I know, this is exactly the kind of thing that Christopher really enjoys.  He loves to get up in front of people and share whatever is on his mind.  Christopher said that he was really hoping to be called on to speak, but to his disappointment, he wasn't picked.  To bad, because he felt like he had some really good things to say about being a good missionary, working with church members and teaching with power and authority.  Of course good topics like these never go to waste.  I'm sure that Christopher will have plenty of opportunities to share what he had prepared.

After Christopher told us this story, I think he just got so excited to share his thoughts that he decided to share them with us in the rest of his letter.  So to help give Christopher a little larger audience, here is some of what he told us:

"So I've been out for a bit of time now and it's really strange to look back and see the ways I've grown. It's not really at all what I expected. A lot of it has been things that aren't so related to the gospel. Patience is one of the biggest things you learn on a mission and being here you have the opportunity to work and deal with people that you never ever would have in my normal life. A mission is made up of all kinds of kids and so I've learned a lot from them. Its pretty difficult at times. I've met a few who have frustrated me more than anyone else I've ever met, but it all helps you learn and grow.  I feel like its hard to measure spiritual growth on a mission. I know I've grown a lot spiritually but it's hard to tell just how much. I think I'll really see myself in a different light once I am back home and have to face everyday things again. When it's your whole life, it's tough to judge. But things have changed a lot and I'm grateful for that. A mission is quite the experience. While it can be really hard, long and frustrating, the growth is amazing."

If you read the previous blog entry, one of the things that Christopher really loves is to play basketball.  Unfortunately for him, the other missionaries that he is currently serving with in his area, aren't much into sports.  Of course except for some rare occasions like the one he talked about several weeks back, his only opportunity to play basketball is on his P-Day.  He told us in his last letter that he really didn't know what he was going to do for the rest of his p-Day because there really wasn't anybody around who enjoys basketball as much as he does.  Maybe this is just a good opportunity to branch out a little and try something new besides basketball.  Apparently he must have because he recently sent home some great pictures of him and the other Elders in his district, out enjoying a day at Fort Niagara State Park.  We only know where he was because the pictures below kind of clued us in.

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