Without any story or anything cool like that I just want to share my feelings with you about the joys of the Spirit, and missionary work.
This week I had a couple days where I was pretty low. My mood was bad, the work we were doing was slow (okay I lied I just remembered a story I will tell) and I just was struggling to find joy this week. Now everything is great, I'll tell you that first off but the process to get here from there was not over night.
So at the beginning of the week Elder Swainston got transferred and that was hard and sad. We had grown so much together and seen so many miracles. But now Elder Tolbert is here and Elder Tolbert has a very good skill of having fun and being very wise at the same time. While dealing with some personal inadequacies I went to him and asked him for some advice and it was amazing how he reached out and took some of the load off of my shoulders. What an amazing support he was for me that day, the next day I fasted. We had a packed day where we went from place to place to place and literally nobody answered the door. Even after a year, facing hours and hours of nobody answering the door it seemed fruitless. (If people had rejected us I could at least tell myself that a seed was planted and in the future they will listen). But with not even talking to anyone... it seemed like our work was a waste.
Obviously we don't give up and we talked with a family walking down the road and they were awesome! We are going back this week to see them. Then again we talked with the neighbor of one of our investigators who used to meet with missionaries and wants the missionaries to come back over to help teach her and her 4 year old son! And things just kept going right from there. Without Elder Tolbert being my physical and mental support and without God being my spiritual support, I don't know if I would have stayed diligent. Luckily everything doesn't depend on just us though. We have God and our family and friends to rely on. They are there for us always.
I have realized that I have learned how to love out here to a degree that I have never before. I love the goodness in people, I love and appreciate my Savior and friend, I love each of you that prays for me and those I teach, I could go on and on. Heavenly Father has taught me how to love through service and gratitude. This is truly the best experience for my life. My eternity is changed. And the best news is that I am not a completed masterpiece! I still have a LONG way to go, and that is the most exciting part!
I love you so much! Thank you again!
Elder Mark Howland