At the beginning of my mission I heard an important truth: the difference between being someone who has been called, and someone who has been chosen. In Doctrine and Covenants we read, "Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men"
I never quite understood what that meant until this week.
How could somebody be called and NOT chosen? What do we have to do to be able to qualify ourselves to be one of the chosen?
Well, now I know.
This was one of those rollercoaster-type weeks, where so many things were happening all so fast that I really didn't have time to breathe. Everything sort of took off on Wednesday and started going rapid fire, out of control, crazy-style until last night when everything came to a head. There were so many miracles, so many heart breaks and so many close calls that I'm having trouble trying to do a cohesive summary.
Let's just start from the beginning and see where we get at the end:
Tuesday was a relatively long day. We were actually able to teach a good number of lessons and help out a lot of different people, so it was productive in a sort. In the morning during Personal Study I read out of the book of Alma and the story of the 2,000 stripling warriors, and the classic scripture that says "Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it." As I was reading the scripture I realized something incredibly important:
It was my mom's birthday last Monday.
And I forgot to congratulate her.
So this is me, publically wishing my mother a very happy Birthday! She is an inspiration to me of faithful and devoted service to the Lord, a woman of God, a truly righteous daughter and my very best friend.
I love you mom.
On Wednesday, Elder Argueta had an interview with President Caffaro, so I got to go and visit the Offices again, while there I saw Elder Gil and Elder Prestwich! It made me feel grateful for how well the Lord has blessed me with incredible companions here in Guatemala...Wednesday really reminded me of that. I've learned something special from every one of them.
|Elder Monson, Gil, Prestwich, Jiminez|
After my companion left the interview I asked if I could talk to President for a few minutes. As we spoke, it felt good to just spill out all of my problems to him and have me listen and give me advice...something that I had been longing for all week. He told me that I should fast and depend on the Lord more than I had been doing.
It was needed advice.
As we were leaving the offices, Elder Prestwich shot me a quick and poignant comment, "Minor and Veronica and all of them are going to be baptized on Saturday... and they keep asking what they need to do to be able to have you there at the service. I asked President and he says that he's probably going to give you permission to go..."
"I'll let you know on Friday."
So all of a sudden I was given a very good reason to fast. When we got home I kneeled down...and started.
That night my companion looked discouraged. When I asked him what was wrong he sighed and said, "Elder Monson, can I tell you the truth?"
"Yeah sure buddy...."
"The truth is that I don't like the mission...I don't want to be here.."
The next day we went on divisions with the Zone Leaders, which helped me to really just take a deep breath and chat with my good friend Elder Wilson from Arizona. Even though all of our appointments fell through, and it rained....we had a good day.
When we finished divisions on Friday I received a text message from President Caffaro, "You may have permission to go to the baptism of those you taught in Montufar."
I was so happy I almost started crying like a little girl.
So, as my mood got better and better, Elder Argueta's started taking a dive bomb. On Friday afternoon he called President telling him that he wanted to go home....that he felt out of place in the mission and that he didn't want to stay here any longer.
I was hoping that the Baptism on Saturday would make him feel better.
On Saturday morning we got on a bus and headed back to the Chapel in Montufar. There I attended the Baptism of Minor, Veronica, Erika, Bryan, Beverly and Krissy Garcia...a service that was as touching as it was spiritually filling. Two weeks after I had left they were ready to make this covenant with the Lord.
And at the end Minor came and gave me a big hug, and said, "Elder Monson, Thank you...thank you so much for knocking on our door."
I don't know that much about missionary service...but I do know that that was one of the greatest feelings I've ever gotten as a missionary.
The feeling carried over until Sunday Night...in spite of my companion's grumblings about how much he didn't want to be here...and no matter what I told him or how convincing I was...he had decided to go home...and there was nothing that I could do to change his mind.
I called in the Zone Leaders, and last night we held a "companionship study" ....or basically a last ditch effort to keep my comp in the mission...
But even after 2 hours or poking and prodding and asking and pleading...he wouldn't budge. He said that he missed his home too much, that he felt trapped here in the mission and that he wasn't going to make it 2 years.
That's when the scripture came back to my mind: "Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men"
Hence, many are called but few are chosen.
For the moment we're in limbo, without any real idea of what happens next...President is calling SLC trying to see how we're going to pull the plug on El Tesoro II.
And I guess that's the end.
I really don't know what happens next...
To be continued...