Thursday, May 31, 2012

May 28th, 2012

           This past week has been a huge change in everything about me and my service! It has been a great experience and has been a real special part of my mission so far!

Last week we had zone conference! It was a great experience but during it Elder Bradley and I discovered that we need to change. The last couple of weeks we have been getting lazy and complacent in our level of service. We wouldn't do anything bad but we just weren't trying very hard. We had stopped getting up right on-time, we had slacked a bit on our studies. We were just waiting for good things to come our way instead of going and getting them! It was bad! After Zone Conference we both knew we had to change but we still did not have the desire to change, we needed a kick in the butt.

It is amazing how much our Father in Heaven knows us and knows exactly what we need! He knew what would give me the fire to start to change and He knew that if I started then Elder Bradley would be right there with me! My biggest pet peeve in the world is someone telling me that I can't do something, most people know this and my Heavenly Father really knows this. On Tuesday night we got a call from Elder Bradley's MTC Companion who is serving up in Mesa, he let us know that someone in our branch had called his branch president in Mesa and commented that Tucson needed an actual deaf missionary, not 2 hearing missionaries who learned sign language but don’t know the real deaf community. The Mesa branch president called his mission president and told him about it. Elder Bradley's MTC companion heard about it because he is deaf and told us.

What a slap in the face! When I heard about this I was livid! I don't get offended often but that was bad! They were basically saying that me and Elder Bradley could not do the work in Tucson! The last six missionaries in Tucson have all being hearing missionaries! I feel like this branch needs to learn to accept us as part of their community and rely on the prophet’s decision to send us here? I mean, it is the Lord who sent us here; they need to have some faith in that.
Anyway I was mad! As soon as I heard this I developed the attitude of “I am going to do everything I can to be the best missionary you have ever seen and I will show you that your whole deaf supremacy theory is wrong! It doesn't matter if anyone is deaf or hearing it all depends on the person!” I said that aloud to Elder Bradley, he laughed. That is when it struck me that God does know me enough to know that is exactly what I needed to hear to make me want to change! I just had to get mad enough to try and prove everyone wrong!

So.......we started to work! The next day at district meeting Elder Barrot gave his training that matched our needs perfectly! It was about being apathetic and complacent and how to change that! After district meeting, Elder Bradley and I sat down for a few hours and discussed where we were, where we wanted to be, and how we were going to get there. We wrote down everything we were doing that was keeping us from it and committed to giving that up! It has been really hard but since that moment we have been how missionaries should be! Our goal is complete obedience! For example, we are asked to back the truck with one of us “spotting” the driver so we can be safe. There is nothing more humbling then a grown man standing in back of a truck and directing in broad daylight in an empty parking lot! haha 
Now that we have decided to work hard I am so much happier and alert all the time! I thought I was having the time of my life before but now I am just always happy and always smiling! It has been a great experience and a great change and we have both learned so much from it! We are hoping to start to see the fruits of our sacrifice soon! We have seen so many blessings that have already come from our new attitudes! We received 3 referrals this weekend so we are hoping some of them work out! We are trying to go see Rita again (the lady we followed home a few weeks ago and then spoke with her last week) but she hasn't been home recently. We are also hoping Danny will let us start teaching him. Danny lives with Tom (the less active member that I found recently).

I feel that we are not alone in this; I would like to challenge you all to learn from our experience. Think about the things that are keeping you from further developing your relationship with your Father in Heaven and show your faith by giving those things up! You will feel a difference in your life that you would never imagine could happen!

Till next week!

Elder Banner

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