July 14, 2013

Special Changed for the Last Time

So, some interesting things happened to me recently. First of all, I had to pass through what I think will be the last special changes of my mission. Elder Price got raised to mayor again and I am now with Elder Christensen, a great Elder from Utah who is on the third change of his mission. Just so you know, in his first change he was with an Elder who was going home, his second change he was with an Elder from my generation (about to go home) and now he is with me and I am going home. Poor guy. It's tough to kill your comp, from what I've heard. He's pretty much had to do it three times already. Luckily, that means he has great practice at helping his comp work at a really hard pace. Which is exactly what I want. Let me explain to you why.

I have always wanted to end my mission well. One of the few things I still remember from my mission prep class in BYU is when Prof. Bott explained how the end of a mission can be a springboard or a diving board from the rest of your life. YOu can end your mission lazy and relaxed and you will return home lazy and relaxed and accomplish very little of your goals, hopes and dreams for life. That would be the diving board. Or, you can end your mission working like a fool and crashing to bed exhausted every night just worrying about the goals you haven't achieved and essentially be a Mormon maniac that nobody in their right mind would want to try to emulate and when you get home, you have too much energy, time, and restlessness to not go out and do something productive. I want to be productive when I get home. So I have always been working and I have not stopped. Which brings me to the added motivation the mission just gave me.
They just offered a porsche to the hardest working elder who is going home.
I'm kidding.

No, what happened is that they doubted me. My numbers, in Nochixtlan, have not been that great. It is not because I have not been working. In fact, I have rededicated myself to little things like planning, updating the area book, verifying commitments, etc. We just haven't had good numbers because we dropped all the investigators that told us that they weren't really interested in investigating a Church, stopped counting semi-Gospel conversations as lessons (as previous elders did), and started actually trying to work with the active and less active members of the ward. But now the leaders see bad numbers next to the name of a missionary who has 23 months and immediately think DEAD. I am not dead. I am not complaining; I have been a leader for 16 months in this mission and I understand how hard it is to see the real story when you just have a slate of numbers to base yourself off of. I just don't like being doubted. ANd, luckily (or perhaps purposefully), Pres just gave me a really hard working young companion. I am very happy about this.

In the end, though, it doesn't really matter what anybody thinks as long as I return from the mission satisfied with what I've done and what I've learned. Mission politics are not for me anymore. The mission is a wonderful experience, meant to be encapsulated and reviewed consistently for the course of your entire life. THe mission has been a blessing and well, there's not much else to do except try to remember all of the lessons that I have learned and try to apply them as best I can for the next four weeks. Yup, four more emails left. That's scary.

As for investigators go, not much has happened except we learned that Mitzi is actually 8 and not nine, which means her baptism is the ward's job and not ours. That's fine, as long as she gets baptized and her family stays active. WE are going to keep going with them, but more to make sure that their testimonies are strong than to baptize their little daughter.

Well, I don't have much left to say. I love you all and I'll see you soon!
Elder Johnson

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