Ej et ami mour? How are you all doing? As for myself, I'm doing great. This past week has been fantastic.
Biggest news first. I'm transferring to Enid! Elder Nicholas and I will still be companions, which I am excited about, though we're sad to leave Elder Bills here in Ponca City. I'm really happy to go to Enid because that city has the highest concentration of Marshallese speakers in Oklahoma. So, I'll finally get to use my language skills!
Speaking of which, Saturday was Baby's first Marshallese lesson! After weeks of trying to schedule a lesson with this couple, we finally got in for my first Marshallese lesson. I was surprised to understand about 80% of the whole conversation and I was able to contribute a small amount. It was a nice ego booster in preparation for Enid, where I'm sure they will talk so quickly that I won't be able to understand anything other than "Iokwe." Such is life.
It rained pretty hard this week. The lightning here is amazing! It's so bright that each strike illuminated the street so that every detail was visible. Not to be outdone, the thunder shook our entire house. I love it!
Elder Nicholas' bike broke this week. It made for an easy way to contact people because we could ask if they had a spare bolt to re-attach the pedal (it fell of entirely). No one did, so I ended up riding his bike by standing on the side with the working pedal and pushing off with my outside leg. I never thought that long boarding would come in handy on my mission, but I was super grateful that I had developed the leg strength to keep up with the working bikes.
As I've been thinking about my challenge for this week my mind kept returning to this Sunday. During church, four of the people we teach showed up. We usually have one or two. We had two that we actually haven't even been able to have a lesson with yet because they keep forgetting about our appointments. The talks that were shared were fantastic and they enjoyed all of it. We were super excited and in high spirits!
However, our lesson afterwards did not go well. Actually, it wasn't even a lesson because it involved us going to this house, watching Nascar against our will, then listening to the wife say she doesn't think she needs the Book of Mormon and the husband talk for 20 minutes about how churches aren't important and you just need to feel the Spirit and read the Bible and then you're good (not that those are bad things). We never got a word in edgeways and ended up deciding they were not willing to listen and we could spend our time better elsewhere. The rest of the evening went well, but I spent most of it feeling sorry for myself about how that appointment went.
I kept wondering if I could have said something that would have changed that outcome, and I was less than excited to talk to other people. I noticed I was feeling sorry for myself and quickly turned my attitude around by remembering all of the things that had gone well that day, but I realized how easily I had let myself throw a pity parter for one, just a few hours after great success.
That brings me to my challenge: Stop magnifying bad experiences! How often do we let burning the food, breaking our sunglasses, waiting in line, and a myriad of other simple problems overcome our lives? But those are easy ones to shrug off. How about losing a friend, a pet, a serious illness, failing an audition or a class, or getting in a substantial car accident? Those are some painful things that we allow to send us into a bad mood for days, or worse. They are hard to deal with, but what we forget to recognize is the multitude of blessings that we are still privileged to have. Families, friends, health, a car, a house, a life, this earth? A Savior? A loving Heavenly Father? Prayer? Scriptures? A living prophet? We are blessed with things others would give their lives for. If we remember that, our lives will seem joyful, despite the rainclouds. We will find an unshakable peace in all situations.
I am grateful for all of you.
Elder Josh Kilmer
Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Mission, Marshallese speaking
Fudoshin: immovable spirit--