Two weeks down, not enough to go. This has been one of the best experiences that I have ever had. I am so happy to be out here preparing to serve my mission. I can't wait to get out there.
Me and my Companion didn't do so well. We got a few lessons across, but either she wasn't willing to listen or we were really bad teachers. I would place it somewhere in the middle. Our last time talking to her, she told us to meet her at the dinning room, so we found her and started to try to talk with her. For the first few minutes she was listening and responding, then she got to the point where she wouldn't answer and wouldn't look up at us, and we said our goodbyes and left her to her meal. Neither me nor my companion could figure out what went wrong with the lessons. I still don't really know, but I am confident that I learned from it, and it is nice to know that I still need to improve on some things. We talked a lot in classes about how when you think you can do it all yourself, that is usually when God decides to let you try it so you can be humble before him and remember it is his work, not ours.
My companion and I had a few issues this week. We had a few arguments that we had to work through that could have really slowed us down. But we got through them and I think we both learned and grew from it. I learned that the slightest of contention between a companionship will drive away the Spirit and make teaching impossible. I also learned some things that I need to work on, and have started to Work on. I am working on being patient and more humble, and also in trusting the Lord's knowledge more and mine less. I think that it was a great experience for me. As for what he learned, you would have to ask him. I think that overcoming that helped us to teach better in our lessons and helped us to work better as a companionship. Not saying that I want a similar situation with every companion that I have, but this time it seemed like it was a good thing.
We all got our reassignments this week (well all but Elder Merritt who doesn't seem to exist on the MTC's records for some reason). We have people who are going to Florida, Louisiana, California and even one who is going to Canada (it is funny cause he is from Canada in the first place). I myself am going to the San Jose California mission with two other Elders from my zone, Elder Oleson and Elder Merritt (a different Elder Merritt then the one previously mentioned. We had two Elder White's and two Elder Merritt's. How fun is that?) We have in our District now only five of us left. Most of the others left in the last two days and all but the Elder Merritt without a reassignment are leaving tomorrow in the very early morning. Last night was weird, we usually all gather in the hallway outside of our rooms, and we did that last night. But it was weird how many of us were gone. It is a little sad, because we have all become very close friends over the last two weeks. It is cool thought, because we speculate that we will next meet on our way to Zimbabwe in a transfer or two. I heard that San Jose is more of a service mission, and as I've been told I am only really good at manual labor. So that is a good thing. ;)
I have run into a lot of my old friends from up in Washington and met a few from up there two. I have seen friends from Camp Helaman who I had really hoped to run into, and a few that I didn't even know where here yet. I met a friendly sister from Sumner in the line to play four square in the gym, and I ran into the Elder who left our ward shortly after I did. Now that I am trying to I won't be able to think of his name. But I am sure you know who it is. I really enjoyed that, it was nice to see some old and familiar faces among the new.
We were given a few parting words from our teachers last night, all of whom are return missionaries from either a month or two ago to a few years, who offered us their suggestions on what think we should try to do, or what they wish they had done while they were on their missions. Brother Dunford and Brother Craft told us nine things they would suggest.
#1 When you are discouraged you should look for people to Love and Serve
#2 Don't wait, Don't take it easy
#3 Give yourself a break. Don't expect to be perfect.
Do the best you can at doing the best you can
#4 The field is Very White
#5 We are very lucky. We have an extra portion.
#6 Be a Leader, no matter your leadership calling
#7 Keep a journal. Everyday
#8 Be bold, work hard, be obedient, have the Spirit and love.
#9 Be wary of distractions. both past and future.
#10 You have been prepared.
#11 Focus everything on your purpose. You will Baptize more people.
I guess that was eleven things. But they are things that our teachers told us would make us better missionaries and there a few they wish they had done.
We were told in a Departure Devotional to "Never, never leave your mission. Take it with you." Me and my zone get the opportunity to have two missions for the price of one. I think that will be very cool. Brother Nelson the Second Councilor of my branch Presidency told me that he thinks I will be paired up with weaker missionaries, or missionaries who are struggling. He said he thinks that because he believes I have the strength to help them and buoy them up. I think that is pretty cool. :)
My friend Elder White is so good at quoting voices from movies. I think the one he does best is Chi Foo from Mulan. "You men owe me a new pair of slippers." He would randomly say that to us in the residence hall. It was so funny and cool how good he was at that voice. I knew more lines, but he was great at mimicking.
"I see you have found the Sacred Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom. Is that what this is? I am so sorry, I thought it was a regular peach tree."
I thought you might like to hear that mom. Say mom could you send me the numbers and email addresses of Bryon and Kenji and Liz and Jon, and.... well I guess everyone you can think of that you think I don't have. Expect a call from me early in the morning mom, we are able to call from the airport on the way out. But that may be around five in the morning so you may still be at work, if you are I will leave you a message. Love you all. Bye.
Elder Andrew Michael Melot.