It's Only A Camera...Life Lessons in the Mission Field


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:
  1. 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)
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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)
  6. 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.

Saturday was a little interesting. My comp had been sick the past couple days and I caught that sickness on Saturday. Both of us weren`t feeling well, but at the same time it really wasn`t that bad (relatively speaking). Anyways, the other Elders told us that morning that they were going to have a baptism that evening either at 5:00 or at 8:00 after the General Women`s Broadcast. We didn`t know about any of this because their investigator had issues with question 4 but had just gotten approval from the mission president. We adjusted our plans to invite an investigator to the baptism and then watch the broadcast after. We coordinated a ride with the branch missionaries (an elderly couple) and we felt good about it. Then everything fell apart. At 4:00 (an hour before the baptism) the Elders told us the baptism was cancelled because of problems with the bapitsmal font. We went to pick up the investigator, but she said she couldn`t make it. We decided to just take her daughter (30s...menos activa) to the broadcast. All of our plans fell and when we got to the church it was 6:00, we were a solid 45 minutes from the area we`ve been proselyting in recently and we didn`t have any confirmed appointments. We decided to watch the broadcast in the english room with the other gringa hermanas. Even though the estrogen levels present were a little much for me and my companion, I still learned a lot and felt the spirit during the broadcast. The topic of covenants was brought up a lot and I will definitely use the things I learned with my investigators. Even when plans fall apart, make the best of the opportunities that you have.
If you have time, I invite you to watch the two videos from that meeting:
¡Nos Vemos!
Elder Lund
Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras 3/25/14 - 3/31/14

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