Just got your letter and I am doing ok. I wouldn't say I've had much of an improvement, but I'm still alive aren't I? hahaha I'm joking, I don't wanna scare ya. I'm fine, and Padawan and I are trying our best.
It's SO GREAT to hear from you guys and all of the things that are going on! It seems like there are a million and one things happening all at once and I probably only get the condensed version :)
MLK Day wasn't really a huge celebration like you think it'd be. Really, the main thing people did to celebrate was not go to school...and close the library.
This week was fine. We had some good lessons with Rossana and a few other people. Padawan had his first experience where an investigator got freaked out by a baptism commitment and never wanted to talk to us again hahaha! Good experience :) Then it was just the usual ups and downs.
Seeing as the transfer is coming to a close this next wednesday (the 25th...ish?) it is time to confess all. This past transfer has been kind of a struggle for me. As I work and strive my hardest to do all the things i'm supposed to, it all seems to go nowhere. As I've been running in to brick wall after brick wall, I've tried to keep moving forward, but it gets harder. (I'm not complaining, I just want you to understand my position.) Being a trainer here is crazy cuz it puts a lot more on your shoulders: you are the only one who knows spanish, how to work, what to do, etc. The people you teach don't wanna hear from you, or only pretend to want to hear from you. The people that do progress, end up dropping off the face of the earth. Learning spanish in the USA is hard to do, blah, blah, blah. I'm sure everyone in the family can relate (ie. a ton of school work, crappy job, mountain of bills, sickness, relationship and other personal issues, etc.). Well, when someone is faced with things like this they feel isolated, alone, and helpless. Maybe they ask, "Why me?"
One thing that has helped me is this story:
Pushing Against The Rock
A man was asleep one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior appeared.
The Lord told him He had a great work for him to do, then showed him a large rock, explaining that he was to push against the rock with all his might.
This the man did, and for many days he toiled from sunup to sundown, his shoulder set squarely against the cold massive surface of the rock, pushing with all his might.
Each night, the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling his whole day had been spent in vain.
Seeing that the man showed signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture - placing thoughts in the man's mind, such as, "Why kill yourself over this? You're never going to move it!" and "Boy, you've been at it a long time and you haven't even moved it one bit!" Satan gave the man the impression the task was impossible, and that perhaps the man was an unworthy servant because he wasn't moving the massive stone.
These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man, and he started to ease up in his efforts. "Why kill myself?" he thought. "I should just bide my time, putting forth just the minimum amount of effort, and that will be good enough."
And this he did -- or at least planned on doing -- until one day, when he decided to take his troubles to the Lord.
"Lord," he said, "I have labored hard and long in Your service, putting forth all my strength to do that which You have asked of me. Yet after all this time, I have not even budged that rock even half a millimeter. What am I doing wrong? Why am I failing?"
To this heartfelt plea, the Lord responded compassionately, "My friend, when long ago I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you to push against the rock with all your strength. This you have done. Never once did I tell you that I expected you to move it -- and never by yourself. Your task was to push.
"Now you come to Me, your strength spent, ready to quit, thinking you have failed. But is this really so? Take a look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled; your back sinewed and brown. Your hands are calloused from constant pressure and your legs have become massive and hard. Through great opposition you have grown much and your ability now far surpasses that which you used to have. Yet still, you have not succeeded in moving the rock, and you come to Me now with a heavy heart, feeling spent and discouraged. But I am always here, and I will move the rock. Your calling was to be obedient and push, to exercise your faith and trust in Me, and this you have done."
We are put through things that will make us stronger and more capable. The only thing we are asked to do is PERSEVERE. The "lonely" feeling is a big one for me, but I'm still working on it, and I know if I continue working, I will be ok.
The mission is an awsome experience, and as I take a step back and take a look at the big picture, I'm so glad I'm here. Even though we may feel alone in this life, we should always remember the Lord's words to Joseph Smith [D&C 121:7-8] when he was in Liberty Jail (poorly translated from spanish), "My son, peace be unto thy soul, thine adversities and afflictions will be but a small moment. And then, if thou endure it well..."
Well, I love you and I'll talk to you next week! Tell ALL the family that I love them!
Love, Elder Heimuli
p.s. do you like my new haircut?