Sometimes I think that this mission is turning me into a new person, completely different from the old me, but I am starting to understand that it is not the mission but the name on the tag that I wear every day. Christ is turning me into a new person, a literal follower of him, and that is exactly what I plan on being for the rest of my life. Ya know, I have thought about this subject lately, what it is going to be like to return to the real world, and i have officially decided that although I will not be wearing the tag for the rest of my life, I will always and constantly be striving to do the Lords will in my life. I cannot allow my spiritual progression or attitude change just because I am back in the real world, but I got to be a follower of Christ, always. Kinda like my mom and dad, they make me so proud hahaha. It seems like Dad has never really left the mission field, he is constantly talking to everyone, helping everyone, and going out of his way for everyone. Sounds like Dad was one of those missionaries that made the important click of understanding in his mission, I hope I can be like him one day.
So being a Zone Leader is teaching me a lot of things. I have always had leadership calling in sports and stuff like that, but never really in church, so its a good new experience for me. I am learning that leadership is simply becoming more and more like our Savior, Jesus Christ. Its just learning to follow his perfect example, and help others to do the same thing.
I want to share with you all, real quick, something very important that I have learned about here in the mission. The subject of Repentance. Ya know, before the mission I always looked at repentance as a scary thing, something that you had to do when you did something terrible. I was always nervous about it, because I would have to confess the things that I had done, when I was supposed to be perfect hahaha. But what I have learned here on the mission from my great leader and president, Moroni Torgan, is that repentance is an essential process that all of us need to do daily, to become more and more like our Savior. He said, WHEN WE GIVE EXCUSES AS TO WHY WE DIDNT FOLLOW GOD, WE ARE DENYING THE ATONEMENT OF CHRIST, BECAUSE WE ARE CHOOSING TO NOT REPENT. That frase has made a huge effect on my life and the way I look at my own progression. Especially as a Zone Leader I see many excuses as to why things did not happen, hahaha all kinds of reasons. Everyday I hear excuses, but there is a HUGE difference inbetween the Elder that understands repentance and the Elder that doesnt.
The Elder that understands (or anyone that understands) repentance, will quickly admit that they did not do everything possible to see sucess, or they recognize their weaknesses. The person that doesnt understand, will just make excuses and continue to do the same thing over and over again. One thing that I love to see is Elders and people that step up and take the correction that is needed for their own spiritual growth. I made a spiritual example of this,
Imagine you are in the hospital after being in a terrible accident. You have a feeding tube that goes to your nose (yup those nasty ones) that is giving you the nutrients that you need to survive and recover. Although the tube is annoying, it is essential to your health. If you pull it out because it is annoying, you are only doing damage to yourself. Repentance and correction have the same principle. Its better to just admit that you could have done better, repent so that you have another chance, and DONT PULL OUT THE TUBE!! Hahaha hopefully my doctor brothers understand that analogy, for anyone else, I am sorry I painted that picture.
I want to end this email by saying that I am so grateful for the atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ, that allows me to be forgiven for the errors that I have made in my life, and also so that I can progress and become more like Him. Without repentance, there is not growth. I hope and pray that all of us understand well the principle of repentance, and that we put it into practice everyday, so that we can all become more like Him.
Love you Family and Friends!