Well, another week in the mission field. Honestly, it was a little slow. My new trainer is getting to know the area better and we were both a little sick at the end of the week, but all is well. We have some promising investigators in the pipeline and we`re going to spend time searching for new families that live closer to the church building (20 minute walk instead of 30-45).
I learned a good lesson this week. This past P-day, my camera was stolen at the internet cafe. I had left the computer to go pay for my usage and started reading Jesus the Christ in the lobby while waiting for the other Elders to finish up. Not even 15 minutes had passed when I realized I had left my camera at the computer. A 20-somthing year old man was there and I asked him if he had seen it. He told me no, and I asked if I could look in his bag. It wasn`t there either. I was then informed by an employee that someone was there before him and was on for only a few minutes. Realizing that my camera was probably gone forever, I sat back down in the lobby and started thinking. At first, I was really upset and really mad. I thought to myself, "why didn`t I get a warning from the Holy Ghost? Dad had been warned in the middle of the night about an unknown gas leak at the laundromat...why didn`t the Lord help me with this?" After complaining (murmuring) for a solid 5 minutes, the question that so many people in this world have came to my attention: why does God let bad things happen? I started thinking again, "Well, God let`s people use their agency. If he interfered directly with their agency then He would cease to be God. But then again, He sometimes warns people of danger, helps people escape unharmed, etc. What is the reasoning with these different situations?" I thought some more and realized that our Heavenly Father lets things happen for a reason. Sometimes it`s for the reasoning explained in Alma 14:10-11. Sometimes we can learn something new or grow spiritually from the difficult setback. When I came to this conclusion, I said a quick prayer and began thinking of things I was supposed to learn from this situation. Here are just a few:
- Always live your life to be in tune with the spirit. (Even if you do this, realize the Lord may not warn you of everything)
- I felt terrible when my camera was stolen. How does God feel when we don`t pay our tithing (robbing God). Or as missionaries, how does God feel if we use the consecrated missionary funds unwisely or for personal items?
- Don`t take inappropriate photos or videos as a missionary. When I mean inappropriate, I mean something that could make the church look bad. For instance, I have heard of one Elder who had a video of them and a member family killing a pig for dinner. The method was culturally fine in Honduras, but would probably look brutal or inhumane in the eyes of Americans. Especially with the rise of social/mass media, these photos or videos could get into the wrong hands and virally spread on Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube within a matter of hours.
- The things of this world (AKA, a camera) are really not that important, especially when you`re on the Lord`s errand as a missionary
- Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Furthermore, "light up" someone`s day with kind words or actions (Mom...your email)
- Jesus Christ has descended below all things. He knows exactly how I felt. You should be happy, full of love, work hard, etc under any circumstance. Don`t let something outside of your control influence your emotional or physical state.
Bad things happen. It`s a fact of life. Always live your life so that you`re worthy of the guidance from the Holy Ghost and when bad things still happen, look for the good. Look for what you can learn from that experience. I learned a lot when my camera was stolen. Thankfully, I had transferred all the photos back home and cameras shouldn`t be too expensive here in Honduras.
If you have time, I invite you to watch the two videos from that meeting:
conference/watch/2014/04?lang= eng&vid=3408500022001&cid=4 (GETTIN` CHILLS)
conference/watch/2014/04?lang= eng&vid=3400040273001&cid=6 (EVEN MORE CHILLS)
Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras