This is Josh's last letter from the missionary training center (MTC). He leaves this coming Tuesday for Oklahoma. We have new photos this week: below is a picture of Josh with his companion, Elder Hirinuki, and his zone (a group of missionaries). This week he told us he is about 10 pounds lighter since entering the MTC. Hopefully he'll gain some of that weight back in Oklahoma.
Josh gets to call us from the airport next Tuesday. We are so excited to hear from him. If you want to connect with Josh, feel free to email him and he will pick it up on his next preparation day (P-Day). Thanks again to everyone for following and supporting him.
We are so thankful for Josh and how his service is changing his heart as you'll read below. We are also so thankful for Easter and the time we have to celebrate our Savior and the reason why Josh is out teaching the gospel.
First off, my dad requested that I explain where my companions are going: Elder Hirinuki is going to Tonga. Elder McFall is going to the Marshall Islands. Elder Miller is going to Kiribati. Those are the elders in my room (Elder Hirinuki being my companion at the moment). Everyone else is either going to Tonga, Kiribati, Fiji, or Samoa.
I don't have a lot of time this week, but that's okay because I don't have a lot of updates this week. It was my last full week in the MTC. That feels weird. I'm used to this type of schooling experience to last for another two months. I'm especially sorry to leave Brother Sherman and Sister Seegmiller, my teachers. Our classes have mostly devolved to us sassing one another in Marshallese, which has been both a blast and has lead me to cry myself to sleep at night. Brother Sherman knows how to trash people. I didn't catch all of it, but one of his comments ended with something along the lines of "and you won't be able to resurrect because you'll be in so much pain." I'll be sure to write that one in his teacher evaluation.
The zone has been like a roller coaster. Some days they're all super obedient and they even go to bed on time. And then there are days like today when I'm scrambling to get all of them to the temple on time and end up wanting to strangle-I mean... lovingly hug.... all of them. But, they have been making slow improvements and that is what matters. Mostly.
We get new zone leaders , which means Elder Hirinuki can finally slack off and be lazy for our remaining time here. Actually, I'm excited because it means I can start to focus on my own studies again while silently influencing the new zone leaders and acting as a puppeteer from behind the scenes. I am determined to leave a lasting impression of obedience, diligence, and love on this zone and I might best accomplish it from small acts from outside a leadership position. We'll see how this goes.
Short on time, so here's my thought for this week: I've realized how important humility is. I used to think I was a humble guy. Yeah.... no. Thankfully, I've been smacked down many times here by every leadership position I've received. No way to find humility like failing miserably at helping others. The more I have realized how much I need the Lord's help, the more I have been able to find it. And, ironically, the more I have progressed versus when I tried to do everything myself. The reason is that when we are humble, we are teachable. Humility isn't weakness. It's not thinking less of yourself. It's being willing to sacrifice your will for a better way.
So, my challenge this week is this: pray for humility. Or, if you don't believe in prayer - seek after humility in your life. I promise that as you pursue humility - true humility - you'll find it. And it will suck. Because it doesn't come easily; it comes from falling on your face. But, when you stand up again, I promise that you will stand with a greater strength than you did before. Because you will be standing while being supported by One who is stronger than us all.
Thank you all for who you are. Talk to you all next week, when I'll probably laugh at what I thought was humility now, since I'm guessing I'm going to fall on my face every second of this next week. Go fight win!