Monday, January 30, 2017

Iokwe from OK: One of the Best Weeks of My Mission!


As the title says, this was definitely one of the best weeks of my mission. Not everything went right - I was sick this week and often didn't get very high-quality sleep due to coughing fits - but it was just an awesome week. 

Honestly, I attribute it to the personal constitution that I talked about a few weeks ago (I finished my rough draft, by the way!). Despite how tired I was each day, looking back over my constitution, it was easy to see that rationalizing going back to sleep or taking time out of our working hours to rest would not be what would make me happy. That's not to say that rest isn't important - it is super important and I've made sure that I've gotten sufficient rest; one day I slept in an extra hour because I didn't fall asleep until 1:30 and slept really poorly because I couldn't breathe too well - but whenever I wanted to go back to sleep, it was because I felt poorly in the moment and just wanted to escape feeling bad, not because I wanted to prepare myself to be a more effective person later (though that's always what the lazy side of my brain would tell me). 

As such, I have sincerely enjoyed this week. I've spent my time well on good studies in the morning, being productive during any brief moments of down-time, working hard during the day, and then sleeping like a cucumber (Marshallese idiom) at night. 

Yesterday especially was amazing:
I enjoyed some good studies on conference talks, one from Elder Bednar on always retaining a remission of your sins, the other from President Eyring on gratitude on the Sabbath day. Then it was off to church, where we had a PEC meeting with the branch leaders. Usually, this meeting is one of the most stressful times of the week because we get to find out what things we messed up on that week due to our lack of understanding of the language or something similar. Well, that didn't happen this week! Everything went really well as we shared our efforts during the week and we had a productive meeting. At church, both areas combined had about 10 less-active members who attended church. We were so excited. Not only that, but one of the members brought his friend to church and after talking with him, he agreed to let us come and teach him next Sunday. He had a bunch of questions and it was wonderful to see members reaching out to him and helping to explain things like what a prophet is. 

After church, we had dinner and I took a nap (because Elder Kilmer = sick) and then we went to go visit an investigator named Lati. He listened with great interest as we explained about where the Book of Mormon comes from, and when he asked about the story of Jesus Christ and Satan, he listened with wonder as we talked about where we come from, the purpose of this life, and God's plan for us. It was such a great lesson and it was so refreshing to teach someone with such a great desire to learn. The Spirit was very powerful throughout the whole lesson (which was almost 2 hours long) and afterward he told us that what we explained to him was something he had been wondering about and had wanted to learn. The best part was, this was a guy that I had really struggled to understand and also to speak to and be understood previously. Well, in that lesson, we talked with him for two hours and Elder Tetea spoke his best Marshallese ever; Lati understood everything we said and we answered his questions without any problems. That was a huge miracle.

Sometimes this week I felt really bad, and I was often pretty frustrated with various situations and it had some low moments. But, overall, it was a really great week. Again, one of the best weeks really of my life. I know that's because I am living the way I should. Not that I'm perfect, but I am beginning to really center my life on living according to what I feel to be right. That has brought me so much happiness. I know that, even if we face some struggles and that life is tough in the moment, we can still be happy if we follow what is right and what we value.

Therefore, this week my challenge is a follow up on my challenge from a few weeks ago. Remember back when I extended the invitation to spend some time figuring out what is really a priority for you in your life, and what you really value. If you haven't done that, now is your time. I'll reiterate the quote that I put in that letter: living according to your values gives you a "credible claim to inner peace." - Hyrum Smith

I've seen that in my life this week. Yeah, some bad stuff happened, but honestly, I can hardly remember it. I really feel like I have more peace in my life. There is satisfaction in living right. Let me know when you see it too!

Have a great week! Thanks for keeping up with my rambling letters (I know they get long)!


Elder Josh Kilmer
Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Mission
不動心 Fudoshin:  immovable mind

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