Dear Elder Slavens

Dear Elder Slavens

Elder Dallin J Slavens Cambodia Phnom Penh

Elder Chancellor J Slavens Idaho Twin Falls

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Have a Dream...

...that one day the library will still be open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day so that it doesn't look like I completely ditched my family and friends.

I have a dream today!

Now how is everybody doing on this beautiful Tuesday? It's not looking especially beautiful in Wendell today in particular, but I'm sure it's really nice out in other places of the world, like in California or something. It's always a beautiful day somewhere!!

This week has seemed so long. But what I've come to realize is that how long a week feels on your mission is absolutely no measure of how much fun you're having, or of how much success you're seeing. It seems to be completely random how quickly a week goes by. It can feel like it didn't happen at all, it can feel like your mission should already be over. This week was one of those weeks. Although that in no way means that I want to be done with my mission. Just feels like I should be. Either way, this has been a great week, albeit a long one.

We've seen a lot of progress this week, and it's so darn exciting to see! I already feel like I'm improving as a missionary day by day since my experience last week, and that is super gratifying! This week has just been such a huge blessing; proof that hard work does bring miracles! Fo realz.

The most exciting occurrence this week, I believe, has been the progress of the Ortiz family. I dunno if you guys remember, but that was the family consisting of the guy who got his arm run over and completely pulverized. Anyway, they've just shown some incredible steps of progress (not to mention the incredible rate at which his arm is healing), and it's been so cool to be a part of. We taught Raul, the father, about the Word of Wisdom this week, going into it knowing that drinking had been a huge problem in his life in the past, but that he had dropped it, instead resorting to the drinking of coffee. But we taught him the Word, and boom. He dropped coffee then and there, vowing never to drink it again. "It may be fun to drink and I may like it," he said, "but if the Lord tells me not to, then I better not." He accepted it so dang quickly that I thought he may just be telling us what we wanted to hear so we'd get off his back. Yet with more discussion came my realization that this guy just wants to do the best he possibly can to follow the Savior.

That hit me hard. This super humble guy just heard the words and followed them. He needed no proof, no sign - he just did. I find that too often in my life I always seem to need a kind of strong impression or smack in the face before I do what I, deep inside, know needs to be done now. On top of that I always seem to expect some sort of instant gratification for my good acts, otherwise (in my mind) they aren't worth my time. But in reality, the only thing that really matters in this life is doing the will of the Father. And with every new morsel of information concerning this I receive, I should in turn act instantly to change my ways to accommodate that new knowledge. It's as simple as that. And while, of course, we should always have an eternal perspective on things, looking to the future in hope for blessings is beside the point. The point is that we should do what the Father asks, right now, because we love Him, not because we hope to get something out of Him.

So as you can see I'm still doing quite a bit of learning out here! It just never ends, and that is very very cool. Blessing to the max.

Apart from that, and significantly less spiritual, is the fact that we ran around in a giant gorge yesterday for P-day, which was way fun! Pictures of that in minus one or two paragraphs.

I love you all and I thank you for your love and support!! Hope your upcoming week reflects the love that God has for you! In fact, I know that it will, be your week covered in rain or sun! He knows what He's doing!

Lesson Learned: Don't wear flip-flops when you're commanded to wear sneakers. (Mormon Message, "The Sting of the Scorpion")  

The King of the Gorge

The Malad Gorge

Elder Wright's moves

Elder Davis is cute

The guys of the Jerome Zone

1 comment:

  1. I bet chancellor's email this week made you smile! Nothing better than for a mom to see her child grow & get it! I love his letters and watching him grow. Have a wonderful week. Love you
    Jill Bernhardt