Well I will try to convey and share everything as best I can and also try to share more missionary/spiritual experiences (I know I am not good, I was thinking about that over the past few days, I really do try to share things, but then I also have lots of things on my mind).
So first thank you for what you shared about Elders Quorum, Heavenly Father always nearby, and the analogy with Marty. I know Heavenly Father is there and will always be there.
Definitely this past week has been one of the hardest by far. I have turned to Heavenly Father many times and pleaded in prayer, but I still don't understand everything that He wants me to learn right now. This past week I just spiraled and built into much much more stress. It seems always that we have a hard time getting planning done in half an hour at night which then causes us to lead into eating up time to relax, wind down, and get ready for bed. So then often times I am never in bed at 10:30. I also don't get time sometimes to do all I want at night that I would like to (like flossing or doing some core exercises). So Wednesday was just a hard and really down day. Thursday started out a bit the same with the same feelings and just feeling down and not having the Spirit or light of Christ or happy. We met with our RC later that afternoon, but both of us were feeling awful because we hadn't done much or been effective from the morning to that point in time. But so after our lesson I said ok, I don't want to have a crappy night. I know that we will all have experiences in our lives, but it will always be our choice how we react to them. So we said a prayer together which I offered starting in Chinese but switched to English because I was really needing to fervently pray and plead for help. I don't remember exactly what we did Thursday night, but I remember we worked hard and I had gotten up from that prayer that I was going to have a good night and not let myself feel like crap like the night before. I truly testify that prayer however simple or however small and insignificant you may feel, Heavenly Father will hear and answer your prayers. But so Thursday night was really great. But then Friday turned around again as plan wasn't as specific or well planned as it should.
So Friday was okish. But I just felt worse and worse as I felt I wasn't a good missionary and wasn't obedient (knowing I could do more, do better, and be more obedient) such as eating to long at meals with RCs or meeting too long with investigators or LAs and feeling that we should be moving on to our next task and using our time to try and find others. I always get the recurring haunting feeling of if there had been someone I could have saved, could have brought unto Christ, but didn't because I wasn't obedient, it will be upon my head. So this progressed into Saturday and I felt just as about as worse and was explaining my situation of not feeling obedient or a good missionary to our RC as he had gone to lunch with us. He talked with me and explained about that I am good and am obedient and that with each companion it will be different. They will have their own weaknesses, own strengths, own gifts.
But so Saturday there were many blessings given to us (we had 4 lessons, which is a lot to have in 1 day for us in a long time) as well as having a Thanksgiving dinner. A LA in the San Min Ward owns a English class/school and was throwing a thanksgiving dinner and wanted to invite as many missionaries as possible as well. So we had all the missionaries from San Min Ward, Yuan Shan Ward, and Feng Shan Ward (totalling 14 missionaries). It was a great dinner and when we arrived there Elder Anderson and Elder Mckenzie were already there early with another member helping to set things up and get it ready. But so Elder Mckenzie and David (the member) were trying to carve a turkey and some chickens, but they didn't know what to do. So they were just trying to cut at it and such. But so David kept asking if I could do it, but I was a little reluctant because I have never carved a turkey before. Eventually I took the knife though and so I carved a turkey as well as several chickens that we had. And I might say to not brag or anything, but that I did a pretty good job.
So that night I was still just feeling a bit down because I felt how can Heavenly Father give me all these blessings when I am not a good missionary, not doing my best I could be doing (and knowing I can do better, really, from past experiences), and not feeling like I am an obedient missionary.
Sunday came and that morning we have about a 25 minute bike ride to church. Elder Chen didn't come out of the shower until about 8:25. So my stress and anxiety went up more. So church ended up being okish as my stress had now just been accumulating more and more and feeling like I wasn't good or obedient at all. I had to go to ward council as well after church and after that one of the members who is a good friend gave me a little note saying she doesn't know how she can help and can see that I am under a lot of pressure and reassuring me that I can do it and Heavenly Father is there and that if I ever need help she will help.
So after ward council I sought out Elder Barson and talked with him one on one in a classroom sharing just about everything that I have been trying to share and asking for a priesthood blessing. What he shared and said most that struck me was having patience and love. But the blessing truly helped me a lot in relieving some stress and helping me to calm down. I also can truly testify that the Priesthood is real, and when exercised in righteousness and purity can work miracles that bless lives and families. So we went home to eat and do studies. I was ok through that time. but when it got to almost before 6 to leave the door and go out Elder Chen was making some calls to see if we could try and visit some people that night (we didn't have any time much the previous night to plan Sunday because we had come in the door pretty late from a lesson that had started a little late and had gone long). He ended up talking to for 2 hours (we were still in our apartment and hadn't left yet). I used the beginning part to update some teaching forms. We had set in our plan to go try a visit an LA close by at 8 with a member helping us. We didn't leave out the door until 8:15.We finally left and met up with the member, walked down the street to the LA's house and outside things just kind of exploded. I started explaining and saying everything that I have now told you to the member and feeling that I am not good and not obedient. The member was acting as the peacemaker and mediator, talking to me and explaining about rules and like the rule for keeping lessons under 45 minutes (which several times we haven't done) as well as Elder Chen talking for 2 hours with this guy and how he possibly really needs it. And then just talking about how Elder Chen and I are not the same, I have this great desire and drive to be obedient, and Elder Chen has a lot of love and compassion for people and talking with them to help them. We went home and Last night we were ok and such and played Chinese Chess to just kind of relax a little and ease up.
Needless to say this is where I have arrived at today. I honestly don't know how I feel. I already emailed President Blickenstaff with a shorter version of all this. So I will be awaiting to hear from him and his advice and help. Because I just don't know really what to do or what steps to take because I have had too much stress, to much hurt, to much worry in my life right now.
So sorry that is not much really of spiritual or missionary. I just felt to share what has been going on.
That would be cool if Real goes to the Championship game. Go Real! I miss going to the games.
Yes I exercise and I am going to be pushing myself more on it. Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning we run. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we work out at home with the weights that we have. I don't have any more pass offs with leaders with the languages. The next phases are just a whole bunch of flash cards. I have actually been studying Phase 3 a lot which is characters. So I can actually start to read more and more and definitely throughout the day I recognize characters and know them.
I definitely miss reading and wish I could read out here. Something to look forward to when coming home is LotR and the Oregon Files. I will have to see about Ender's Game when I come home. Wish so bad I could see the Hobbit. Oh well....
I will try to have next week some more spiritual and meaningful missionary experiences. Right now is just a time of healing and fixing things.
I will testify and stand this week though as it is Thanksgiving that I am grateful for the Savior. I am grateful for his sacrifice. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who sent him to atone for my sins and my mistakes. I know that Jesus is the Christ. Our Savior and Redeemer. He knows our sorrows, our pains, and our tribulations. I will always turn to him and be ever indebtted and grateful for his Atonement.
I love you with all my heart!Elder Dayley