July 27, 2015
Dear family and Friends,
Where to begin, I am so grateful to be a missionary. It is easily the best experience I have had in all of my life. I never want to take any day for granted.
I would love to tell you about one wonderful person in my ward I have come in contact with. Sister Teke! We call her grandma, and she calls all the missionaries my son, my daughter. She is the best. I want to be just like her. Sometimes I worry about her; I don't know why. She just seems a little like she is struggling and she just puts a smile on her face. Well my companion and I try to serve her once a week in the distribution center. (I might be broke when I go home. I am pretty sure--I keep buying things from there but everything is so cheap like Teachings of the Prophets costs 1.7 kwacha which is like 25 cents or less) Sister Teke just loves people so much. I wish I could just give and give like her. She is the best. She recently got kicked out of her home because she was spreading the gospel. And the landowner said that she couldn't live there if she continued to spread the gospel. And she said, “Okay, well then kick me out.” So she basically has been houseless and is looking for a home right now. She almost signed papers on a home and then she warned the lady that she would be spreading the gospel to all her neighbors and the lady decided not to was selling the house didn't sell it to her. Sometimes I feel I have just a small taste of what the pioneers went through when they were establishing the Church back in the olden days. The opposition against the church is so real in Africa. It’s so real. I don't know if everyone feels the same if they are serving in different countries, but really I had no idea I would be called a satanic almost every other day.
I'll update you on D____... I don't know how I feel about him. He seems so hard to read. I can't tell. I feel he is struggling a lot with an addiction but he is too shy to admit it. It’s so sad. I feel like I would be the same. It’s so embarrassing to admit that you have a problem, even to the Lord, let alone two missionaries. I wish we could help him more. But I don't really know how if he won't open up. We tell him he has to come to church 4 times in a row before his baptism and he always misses one Sunday so that he has a reason why he can’t be baptized... haha and he says its because of church, I don't believe it I feel he knows he isn't worthy to be baptized so he uses it as an excuse. I am sad; my heart hurts for him.
Well I have been pondering about two things--revelation and honesty. First, I will talk about honesty. I remember the first Family Home Evening when Jeff returned from his mission was on justification, self-reliance (or entitlement issues) and discipline, and I see why Jeff talked about justification. I have been thinking about how often we justify our actions. And I feel justification is a dark hole that many of us get into. I feel that it is something that takes away so much freedom. IT IS SO EASY to see strengths in yourself, but to admit weaknesses it can be so hard. Or sometimes we admit them and we just feel so bad for ourselves that we lie to ourselves and see no point in changing. We need to be honest with ourselves. We tend to blame our actions on other people saying he made me do it, or it was his fault, he is the one who started this all. Whenever we get into a situation which threatens our self reliance, we find our freedoms threatened. If we increase our dependence on anything or anyone except the Lord, we will find an immediate decrease in our freedom to act. If we blame anyone for the mistakes we make we decrease our ability to make effective changes. Like really. Honesty Honesty Honesty. I don’t really care about what made you sin, but care more about that sin. If we blame, we automatically hinder our growth. Humiliation MUST come before exaltation. If we don’t want our sins to be humiliating, we won’t make effective changes. And humiliation comes from complete honesty with ourselves. Advancement to perfection can nevertheless be rapid if one resolutely strides toward the goal. We must remember the why of change, the why of humiliation and the why of the gospel. And when I say humiliation, I don’t mean to become depressed over sins, but as Heber J grant says, ‘To make war on our weaknesses.” Whether our weaknesses are our individual sins or maybe a weakness in an area. We make war on our weak points as missionaries, as people, and as businesses (I really want to go into business) to become more effective people, more effective missionaries, have more effective areas and have a successful business. A true measure of our personal integrity is how much we let those sins that no one sees humiliate us. And when they humiliate us, a true measure of our faith or hope is how willing we are to make war on our weaknesses. Honesty cultivates humility and humility cultivates change and change cultivates progress. I feel every missionary who has a hard area, a hard companion or a hard situation, needs to be honest. Have I done everything in my personal power to improve my area or to improve my companionship or to improve the business, and I don’t believe anyone can say that they have tried everything. I feel companionships and areas will always progress if we are completely honest with the work in which we put forth. And we never blame anyone for our small success or no success. I feel personally I will always progress if I solidify honesty in my life. I will be successful, and never prideful. I feel if we are truly honest with ourselves it will be nearly impossible to become prideful.
Well I am so grateful to be a missionary. It’s the best thing I have ever done. Sometimes I feel mission goes by too fast. Don’t blink, cause just like that you close your eyes and open and it just becomes a memory. I truly am trying my best to bask in my mission and to enjoy every moment. It’s the best thing I have ever done.
I love you all so very much!!!!
Being a missionary is the best!
Emanuel & his best friend.
The Best Recent Convert!!
Lollipops @ Church
Only serving with the best!! Elder Nakele's going home.
Power is out ALWAYS! haha