September 15, 2013
This was actually a bit more of a laid back week. Sister Tobler got the flu last Monday so we spent Tuesday through Thursday completely locked in the apartment. It was ugly, I felt pretty bad she was so sick. So you know how I used to be kind of lazy. (Yes it takes a lot to admit that). Well no longer! I have caught the missionary fever. Since we had to stay in for three days I had to find a lot to do to occupy my time. It used to be easy to waste the day away, relaxing even. Now it just feels strange to not have something to do, somewhere to be constantly 24/7. So I made the best use of my time in the apartment. I deep cleaned everything... twice. Cooked delicious soup. Read and studied, which is kind of hard to do when you can only read church materials. I think I read every church magazine in our apartment. And yes... I did nap. It was weird not being out and about, yet it was nice to have three days to catch up and get things back and organized again. Now we are all back and running at top speed again. Let's just say Sister Tobler handles being sick a lot better than I do! I am very impressed, she is a saint!
So, sad thing. We went from having the 'standard of excellence' last week and having three baptismal dates, down to only one this week. It was really sad to lose two of them, but I am not giving up in the slightest. One of the hardest things that you watch happen on your mission is people exercising their God given agency. At the end of the day it is all about personal choice because your relationship with God is a personal matter. Sometimes I worry that I should care more and more about the people and the work, like I am not taking it seriously enough, but then I think if I cared any more that I would constantly be breaking because things don't always go as planned. Again, there is a really good balance between being light hearted and not light minded about missionary work. Filling your heart with joy and love really attracts people to the gospel message. Another interesting thing my mission president said in his weekly letter this week is that you can be exactly obedient without being perfect. I don't know how this makes sense, but it just does haha! Perfection is a lifelong pursuit. Just because you mess up doesn't mean you give up. Through Jesus Christ and His atonement we can find that perfection.
My perspective this week has just been changing. I feel like I saw a lot of good and a lot of bad. One of the most heartbreaking things here that I have seen is in relation to families. My family is my rock, they are one of the most important things to me in the entire world. When missionaries talk about the plan of salvation and eternal families it usually sparks peoples interest, but we have so many people straight up be like I don't want to be with my family forever, I can hardly stand them now. Someone even joked, when you get married it's supposed to be "until death do you part" for a reason. Families can be a source of your greatest joy in life, but also some of your greatest pain. That is why Gospel centered homes are so important. Families really need to step it up now days to keep the love and harmony at home. Something I have realized on my mission is that I used to go out and give my very best to people at work, school, community, church, and then come home and give my family my leftovers or nothing at all. Your family is what is most important after all, so why come home and give them your anger, frustration, stress, etc. Of course you need the outlet; you can be your most base self around your family. But I really hope that I come home changed from this mission. A little more patient, a little more kind, a little less easy to fluster, and always trying to give my family a little better piece of me than before.
We also saw a lot of good this week. We didn't get to watch the European women’s broadcast, but we did get to attend the women's district conference on Friday evening and Saturday morning with all of the Ladies of the church from Warsaw. So many wonderful souls, it just goes to show that the gospel is a worldwide thing. It is definitely different based off of culture and progress of the missionary work, but what the unity and love and message the gospel of Jesus Christ brings is the same. My companion is also really amazing. Seriously though, I think I might die if President doesn't keep us together next transfer. I don't think I have ever laughed so hard or so much in my entire life, than with Sister Tobler. I love her to death.
It is finally turning fall here, but it is actually still really warm. We don't even wear sweaters out during the day and practically live on our back balcony. The Poles don't consider it fall yet, even though the leaves are beginning to change and fall off the trees, but you can smell it in the air. mmmmm.
Love, Love, Love
Also did you know that it is socially unacceptable to whistle here! I get in trouble all of the time!