Wow, usually I am excited to write back, but I am especially excited this week.
First off: The weather is finally cool! It feels like Fall and it feels soooo good! I finally don't have a permanently soaked back! Also, the mosquito population is dying out. However, despite that, I somehow still have bug bites! Two or three weeks ago, I got a bug bite on my face, which was fine and dandy until a mosquito decided to bite me right on top of it. That thoughtful service was the beginning of several weeks of consistent bug bites on the right side of my face. Just as I think it's going to heal completely, I get 3 more. I'm so passively mad. Okay, rant over.
In other, far more important news! Transfers are next week, but we've already had some preliminary changes. A little background info: If you take a look at Norman, it's split up into a couple of different missionary areas. The northernmost part was one, ours was the central area, and the Sister missionaries were the southern area. Well, that changed today. The Sisters will now be in the northern area and we have merged the central and southern areas into one, which, for the time being, will be the domain of Elder Larsen and myself. Exciting!!!
So, this next week will be crazy. We get to pick up a lot of the people the Sisters were meeting with and figure out exactly who they are, where they are at in the missionary lesson process, what their needs are, etc. And we'll have to learn the new area and take on the entire ward (our congregation) ourselves. Challenge accepted.
We did have a crazy cool miracle (a couple, actually) this week, but I have a feeling it will pan out into something big next week, so I'll save it. Tune in next time :)
This week, Elder Larsen and I felt like we have been going through the motions for a while now. For those of you unfamiliar with that phrase, it means to do the actions you are supposed to, but to do it automatically and without thought, care, purpose, energy, or drive. You're just kind of on auto pilot and stagnant. For a missionary, that is a no-no. I've only got two years to carry this mantle. Before coming out, I had already decided that these two years were no longer mine--this is now the Lord's time; they are not my two years to use as I would like.
A Marshallese word I learned (relearned -- sorry Brother Sherman *insert sheepish smile*) is Kattoto, which means "time-consuming" or "uses a lot of time." While we were in the MTC, Brother Sherman warned us a few days before we left to be mindful of this word and to not waste time. Recently, some of the things we've done in our area probably wouldn't fall into thetime-wasting category, but definitely into the needlessly Kattoto category.
My invitation this week is for you all to consider your lives and ask yourself if there are any areas in which you are just going through the motions. Work? School? Family? If so, do as we did and set goals and make plans to be where you are and truly involved in what you are doing. Just like how I only have two years as a missionary, you only have one life to spend. This is kind of the flipside of "YOLO." The world tried to make that a party thing, a "You Only Live Once...might as well do stupid stuff and waste our life on pleasure because we might die any day" thing. But really, the truth is that we do only have a short time, and it would be a shame to spend that time on auto pilot, especially during things that matter. Don't quit work or school to go live it up while you still can. Instead, really be there when you are there. Make it count. Find joy amidst the routine. I have.
Elder Josh Kilmer
Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Mission, Marshallese/English speaking
Fudoshin: immovable spirit