"...it's been an interesting week, due to some meetings and Christmas we didn't get to work as much as we would have like this week. Haha it's weird, Christmas in the mission is super weird, it just felt like another day, just one where we couldn't teach. Still, it was cool to open all the presents and then do the usual run arounds for church attendance as Jessica related. It was really cool and there were quite a few people at church. We still have that one old lady that's doing super well and should be baptized on the 8th of January! Haha, she's super funny, so weird, but very willing to learn and progress towards baptism. We had an awesome lesson with her, and it was a testimony to me of the purpose of us teaching the lessons, namely helping their faith in Jesus Christ grow. It was cool to see how her faith could grow in just that one lesson!
"Let's see, Christmas was spent at our branch president's house and the Visitor's Center and it was pretty fun. Probably the coolest thing about this week has been training! Because I'm training we now get two hours of companionship study, something the rest of the world would probably look at and say, wow, that's a ton of studying, considering we study from 8-12 straight every day! However, it's super sweet, I feel like I know how to train much better this time around, poor Elder Gleed, I could've done a much better job! Still, it's been cool to see the progression of Elder Steer in just one week, he'll be a super good missionary!
"Another thing I wasn't going to mention, but I guess I will, because it's helped me realize something more about missionary work is that I am also a District Leader now. Because of that I got to go to a leadership meeting where we received training and also went over numbers for the transfer. I don't like numbers. It was weird, it was entirely new perspective on missionary work, and just from the way things were talked about, and goals were set and such I felt that leadership has the danger of taking us away from the purpose of missionary work. We look at the numbers as the end rather than the means. For instance focusing on how many new investigators we can get, it may look impressive, but it's not what matters. I don't know, it was a really weird experience, it made me feel like kind of a less "pure" missionary I guess you could say. With Elder White we just worked super hard and numbers came as they came, and we just cared about the people, which is what I've tried to do the whole mission, but now it makes it seem like numbers are important, that we have to get our goals on our numbers, rather than using the numbers as a means whereby we can more effectively serve. I just hope I never fall into that thought process of thinking of numbers as the end, rather than the means, and lose sight of the true importance of missionary work. We are here for the one, the one individual that has dreams, fears, problems, and hopes. The Son or Daughter of God that is looking to make it back home. It was a good reminder to me of why I'm here and to make sure I never lose sight of my true purpose as a missionary.
"Other than that the week has been pretty good. We just need to find some people that are willing to progress. It's sad, we have a lot of investigators, but none seem willing to progress right now. We'll have to see what happens here in the next week. Hopefully the spirit can touch them, if not we'll have to drop them to make room for those whom the Lord has truly prepared. Haha it's great to have a trainee as well, he reminds me of the fire and naivety/faith I had when I came out. I still have some fire, or at least I'd like to think I do, but it reminds me of my first day in the field when I was sitting in Ihop with the assistants and I just had the most intense desire to stand up on the table and tell people the Book of Mormon is true. This is a true work, and we do it because this is the only way these people will ever live with our Father in Heaven. There is no other way. It's not about the numbers, it's about making sure we're doing all we can to ensure we don't lose our brothers and sisters. I love this work and the Lord, one year has already gone by... It's way too fast! Still, this next year will be even better! :)