Monday, July 1, 2013

Texas: Week 9

So I have quite a bit to talk about and I already used quite a bit of my time reading emails because the library's printer doesnt have ink: dumb. This week was guaranteed the hardest of my life. I have been progressively feeling worse and worse as my mission went on and each week we continually found but lost. It was harder than I could understand before actually experiencing it. I tried so hard to remind myself that a successful missionary is measured by their commitment, but that made me feel worse at times. I tried to push the feelings down and pretend to be happy, but as time was progressing it seemed to press down on me and close me in. I broke down to a point where I couldnt pick myself back up. I wasnt feeling any amount of happiness and a new understanding of depression seemed to be my outcome. It was horrible. I cant properly describe to you the abounding amount of sadness that I felt because it is not properly communicated with words. I dont know why it hit me so hard honestly, because I have been focusing on others and I want this so bad for them. I want them to experience the joy of having eternal families and knowing that they will see their loved ones again. I wanted it all for them and I didnt know how to help them understand that. I didnt know how to use the scriptures as effectively as I felt I should know and I just wanted to quit. I felt like if Heavenly Father took me now then I would be ok. My family would never know that I was too weak or that I had failed. If He wanted me now I was willing to go if something happened. I felt like any other missionary would do a better job than I have been doing. I dont tell you this so that you can feel sorry for me or that you can feel like something you say would take away that burden: I tell you so that you can understand the profound lesson that I have learned from my Heavenly Father. I felt this way for all of Saturday and most of Sunday. I couldnt bring myself to smile at church and pretend that I was ok because I knew that if I showed any emotion I would cry (Mom stop thinking about how dramatic I am and just listen because I know). This was the beginning of my first lesson because for the first time in my life I could feel the healing power of church. As Sacrament meeting progressed and the talks were giving I could feel myself being healed. I could literally feel myself growing spiritually closer to Christ. It was an amazing experience that I wish I could properly convey, but these weak words will have to do. I slowly got better as Gospel Principles and Relief Society went on, but I still wasnt fully better. I could feel that my depression was just under the surface and if I dwelt on it too long then it would come back. I went through the day like I had all the others, waiting until we got a break so that I could take a nap and forget about how I was feeling and doing in the mission. We finally got a break and I tried to sleep but it never fully came. I seemed to unconsciously think about everything and everyone that we had met and I had failed. I thought about Roy, and Amy. I thought about all the ones that for some reason or another had not accepted it and I thought that I had been here to help them. I could feel it. I was sent here to change their lives and I didnt. They dont have the fullness of the gospel. I read my scriptures and tried to chase away the demons, but the happiness that I had once felt about missionary work seemed to elude me. Right before that FANTASTIC missionary broadcast, the Relief Society president was telling me how her daughter was having a super hard time in the MTC one time and she was told by her teacher to take an hour to pray and only tell Heavenly Father what she was thankful for; nothing else. Dont ask Him for things, just say what you are thankful for. She did and she said that the sadness she felt was gone the next day. I thought I should do the same. I had exhausted all my other options, including pleading for the Atonement to help me overcome this. My faith was lacking, but as I prayed for that time and thought of all that He had blessed me with and all that He has given my family, my friends, and my investigators: I could feel the difference. I could feel a slight change in me. The entire night I thought about what I have learned so far on my mission and how far I have come (that was actually what I had dreamed about). I thought about what I know and that is He is proud of me: I can feel that. He loves me: I know that. This morning I woke up feeling like my personal study should be spent reading my journal and notes from talks that I have learned from. I should focus on having an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE. The one thing I did ask for was to be blessed with the miracle of never experiencing that feeling again. Never feeling so far from Him and feeling so low that I couldnt pick myself up. If I never experience another miracle on my mission I will still be happy to never go through those feelings again. I know my purpose. I know why I am here on this Earth and I know that this is His work and His glory.
So I should probably update a little on the other work that has been going on in this physical place rather than my crazy head. Brother Torres is not really going anywhere. He hasnt attended church or kept our other commitments and he actually just seems to want our company. We went by to see why he didnt come and there was one point in the lesson where he told us that he didnt make mistakes. I think it is very important to him that we think well of him, so he wont tell us when he doesnt understand something or admit that he is human: we decided that we couldnt trust him enough to continue teaching him.
Victoria hasnt had a second lesson and neither has Ashley (19 yr old with 3 kids). Victoria had to work like crazy and Ashley is a little too spontaneous for her own good. She just decided to pick up and live at a friends house for a week. Her grandma says it is normal. Her grandma is an inactive catholic that we actually went and did service for another day when we came back to see Ashley but she wasnt there. We hope that something comes of it. I testified of Joseph Smith and told her a little bit about our message but I couldnt discern her response. We are planning on going back on thursday so hopefully that will go well. We havent found anyone else, but we did see Roy again yesterday. He seemed happier than a couple weeks ago and he said that "Eventhough I didnt join ya'lls church, dont think that you wasted your time." Pah. He thinks he is done with us. :) He may not have joined it at this point in time, but I have no doubt that he will join in the coming future. I still have hopes that he might serve a mission, but those hopes arent as strong as they were when we found him.
Anyway, I dont have much time, but as an update: I dont have my visa yet, but transfers are not for three more weeks. If I do get it within that time then I will leave, but if not then I will wait 6 more weeks after next transfer. Our mission president is changing this week, but that last one has experienced lots of visa waiters and he said that he thinks I will go this transfer. He doesnt think I will have to wait a whole other one. He said the record for waiting is 5 months and that was to Brazil. Anyway, I have tons of letters to write today so hopefully all who wrote me will get one. I just need more time in a p-day!
My foot feels a lot better but I am going to the pediatrist today. They threatened me with not going to Argentina if I didnt make sure it was ok, so we have an appointment. I am hoping it wont take long there but we all know how doctors can be. At least this doctor is a member! Anyway, I love you all so much! I hope that everything is going well.
Hermana Allen

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