Saturday, August 6, 2016

Be Yourself

Hello friends and fam!

This week was pretty solid. Just continuing to learn about the gospel and improving the Tagalog. Thanks everyone for the birthday emails, letters, packages, etc! I'm so lucky to know so many awesome people who are so supportive. Can't believe I'm 19.. I'm officially a tang (old man) now haha :)

Haha the bday was definately different here but it was pretty great! My district all surprised me with funny gifts including a journal that says "they call me sister" on the front. Haha we all get teased so much it kinda reminds me of my friends back at home. Nearly 50 people piled into my room to sing happy birthday haha. I'm pretty close to all of the samoan elders and they made sure to hunt down the whole zone to embarass me haha! Doesn't beat my birthdays at scout camp tho ;)

This week I heard a super cool story. There was a missionary from Australia that had a pretty rough life but decided there's got to be a better way to live. He worked super hard to save money and made lots of life changes to be able to go on a mission. He got called to the Philippines. The whole mission he struggled with the language. He worked really hard at it but it just wouldn't click. On top of that he got sick allll the time. He started to lose hope as he got to the last six months and wondered if God even wanted him on a mission. He kept working hard and stayed obedient and tried to be positive. Things then got harder as he got transferred to the hardest area in the mission that hadn't had a baptism in months. One day in this area he knocked on a door and a big family answered. Every single family member except one was deaf. He then got permission to learn sign language which he miraculously learned in about a month. Faster than anyone could possibly imagine! He went on to baptize the entire family as well as dozens of other deaf people the family referred in the most unsuccessful area in the mission!

Isn't that just so cool?? It taught me a few things. We should never give up. We are given challenges so we can grow. You don't grow in your comfort zone. You grow when things are difficult and when you're working hard. Next, God knows each of His children. He won't give up on any of us! He just wants us to be happy and return to live with Him. He wants us to reach our full potential and he does that by giving us experiences both good and bad. Lastly, it taught me that we are all different and we all play a part in God's plan. This Elder from Samoa just couldn't learn Tagalog to save his life, but he could learn sign language crazy fast. One thing that has really stood out to me here at the mtc is how there are so many DIFFERENT people. So many different cultures, interests, humor, families, and talents. You can easily look at the negatives in people, but if you just focus on the good you will realize how great people are in their own little way. We shouldn't try to act like others, but if we can learn to see the good in others, we will notice what we like in a person and can try to apply that to our own lives.

We had a fireside tuesday night. He talked alot about seeing our investigators with our "spiritual eyes." We need to be able to look at people and see them by their potential, not by where they're currently at. I love that through the atonement, anyone can have a change of heart and begin to find happiness in their life. He then pointed out that we will be "blind" if we are looking inward. We need to be able to turn outward if we want to be successful in life. Being selfless doesn't make your life easier but it will make your life better!

It was fun to see both Elder Fife and Elder Briggs yesterday! They look like such amateurs haha jk. I know that they will be such great missionaries. I'm so grateful for my friends and I know they will all do awesome.

Have a great week!

Elder Reber

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