Thursday, December 26, 2013

Nov 11, 2013 - letter to Dad

Hey Dad!

     Cool cool you got to go to Elder Dailey's homecoming. That really means a lot that Elder Dailey's mom said I was the perfect companion for him to end on. Such a weird and unique experience that you have two elders end up together with almost the same last name, that is pronounced the same, that went through similar experiences. Maybe God has a sense of humor to pair a Dayley with a Dailey, but also is sensitive and aware of all our needs and what will bless us the most.
     All I would say with the home teaching is keep up with it. Home teaching is key and vital to a ward. This is something that Taiwan seriously lacks is home teaching. It's a little saddening to see that there is not much effort in doing home teaching. I really hope that it can improve over the years.
     So my new comp is from Taiyuan, up by Taibei. He comes from a family of six. His Dad is not a member, his Mom is a member. And then he has an older brother and sister as well as a younger brother. I think all the kids are active. Not sure. But so it was 7 years ago that the missionaries met with his family. So he was baptized when he was 12. He went a little less active for a period, but then came back and is now serving a mission. He is on his 11th move call. He has been out for a year and one month.
     Dad I strive to be obedient as I can. I really do try to be obedient and do my best. It's tiring and exhausting when I am trying to work at a pace that I know I am capable of doing but that I feel sometimes my companion cannot or just by nature is that much more relaxed. I really will try my best. It's exhausting trying to be that strict and studious or to not be rude or mean some of the time. This brings another thought that I really try to do my best or maybe there are times where I slack, but I feel that I will never live up to being as good as you.  Which leads to another part of me that I am discovering more and more. I'll explain in a second.
     So the language is going well. I mean I have a native companion now that most of the time I am speaking Chinese. Even the Sisters in our ward are both native. So ward correlation is fun with being the only foreigner there. But yeah right before my move call with Elder Dailey I passed off my last Phase 1 language evaluation. I now have Phase 2 flashcards that I review as often as I can. This will build my vocabulary now.
     So the thing to explain. I am discovering and feeling often that I don't have confidence in myself and that I doubt myself. I doubt whether I am a good missionary, whether I am a good person, whether I am being lazy and not working hard enough or I am working hard but that there are doubts that I am not. So this then paired with my harsh critical look at myself and perfectionism is a beast to deal with. I mean often times I do things or missionary work I do, that after it is done I then doubt what I just did and if it was good or not. Then the self-criticism kicks in and the perfectionism and I start beating myself up and saying man I should have done this or I know better to do this or man my faults and weaknesses just made me miss opportunities here. So then I get myself down. Over the last few days I have been having a lot of introspective thinking and pondering and I feel that I reached at the conclusion of why all of these are cascading together and causing me to feel over-worried, taking all the stresses and worries of the work and placing them on my own shoulders, and not enjoying as much as I could and being too serious and strict with myself. That conclusion is that I feel maybe I haven't fully forgiven myself yet and that I am nervous and worried about messing up again. I know in my past I made some pretty dumb, stupid, big mistakes and that struggled with some nasty things for several years. My thoughts are that because of these past mistakes is that maybe I just really haven't forgiven myself fully which causes my self-confidence to be very small and to doubt myself. And that the perfectionism and self-criticism thrive from me feeling worried and nervous that I don't want to make mistakes again. I don't want to feel the same pain again. I don't want to fall like that again. So I feel that perhaps my brain is connecting that with my missionary work and that if I don't do things perfect and that I don't have investigators and that I don't set up times to meet with people even though I try and they say they are not sure of their schedules or time that I have fallen. That perhaps I am connecting the two and causing myself to hurt too much, putting too much upon my own shoulders, and not really actually learning and growing and enjoying my time. I feel that just my confidence in myself has weakened again a bit now because of this destruction of myself in demanding perfection and feeling if I don't do this or achieve this then I messed up and am not good. So then I feel that I won't be as good as others. Don't feel like I am special, good, or unique. That I am doing well, or that I live up to your praise and words. So I feel I have pinned down where maybe so much of my stress, worries, and anxiety are coming from, that cause me to beat myself up, demand so much of myself, and basically shoot my self-confidence to pieces. I don't really know how to go about fixing and healing this though so that I can have confidence in myself, and can enjoy my mission more!
     Well I love you with all my heart! Pray for me that I will be patient with myself, with my new companion, and that I can have confidence in myself!

Elder Dayley