Every summer as High School (and Higher level) football teams get ready for the start of their season in the fall they have a week dedicated to football. This week consists of 2 practices a day for 3-4 hours each, and is often referred to as Hell Week. While missionary work isn't anything like football, we did experience our own version of "hell week" as all but 1 of our 17 lessons cancelled on us. It was pretty frustrating honestly, especially after how amazing the last 2 weeks have been. It was a reminder that missionary work is hard, but you just got to keep pushing through. This Is Talyon Perry Doctrine but I believe that, like in football, we need to have a Hell Week every now and again to be able to appreciate how great life can be and to recognize the tender mercies in our lives. While this week stunk, it did give me and Elder Dearden the chance to reflect on our work and to make goals to improve our finding/teaching in these coming weeks.
Unfortunately this week i don't really have any miracle to share so I'll leave with a spiritual thought based on repentance from something that happened this week.
Early this week Elder Dearden and I decided to go for a run, which in itself was repentance for my lack of exercise over my mission, haha. We planned to do a roughly 3 mile run to the Erasmus Bridge, which is one of the most famous parts of the city. The first half of the run was all weaving through side streets, but the last half (so roughly 1.5 miles) was on this straight road heading toward the Erasmus Bridge. As we were running head on to the bridge Elder Dearden made a comment about how when you run with the goal straight ahead of you it feels like it takes 3x as long to get there. This principle made me reflect on repentance and my mission. Repentance means only that we change in order to reach our end goal of becoming perfect like our Heavenly Father. In most cases, this means simply that we make small corrections in our lives; like our daily prayer habits, cleaning up our messes, and trying not to judge others. Eternal Life is our Erasmus Bridge and repentance is the strides that we need to take in order to get to the end goal. Often Perfection can seem like the Erasmus Bridge, in our sights but out of reach. I have seen on my mission that as time goes on I continue to run towards the goal but I don't feel like it is any closer no matter how long I've been running at it. I've learned that sometimes our perspective of progress gets distorted because we don't feel like we are getting any closer to our goal, but instead of focusing on our end goal, I would suggest that we need to look at progression in other ways. My suggestions are that instead of focusing on the big goal we should make smaller goals that are going to help us to get to the finish line. During the run I first thought "I'm never going to be able to run all the way to the bridge without taking a break" but what helped me to be able to reach my goal was telling myself "I just need to run to that building." or "Just to the tram stop" As we see ourselves achieving these small goals they give us the confidence to be able to reach our big and eternal goal. Another suggestion is not to be afraid to look back. Don't live in the past, but look back. Often when I don't feel like I've grown or changed I take a few minutes to remember what I was like before my mission or as a greeny. While I may not see a huge change every day, I can see a change from where I was when I started and where I am now.
Hopefully that may help you to reach your goals!
Elder Talyon Anderson Perry