Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 77: "Being a Missionary Is Like Being a Rubber Chicken that Everyone Slaps Around"

5 Questions
1) Is the institute class you signed up for the "Returning Missionaries" class?  Dad and I heard about that one--and would encourage you to take that.  Maybe Annika and Maddie Giles could take it with you.  I think it is at the Lone Peak seminary building though.

2) How is your companion doing knowing she'll get a new comp next week?  Is she ready?  Have you trained her up in the way she should go?

3) Do you have any sort of "exit interview" with the MP?  President Allred wants to meet with you as soon as we get back from the airport.  I saw him at ward conference today and he mentioned that he prefers to visit with returning missionaries as soon as they are on firm ground. ;)

4) Do you think you might want to spend more than the weekend seeing your brother?  Just trying to plan.

5) Is there anything you are looking forward to finishing before coming home?

  1. No, unfortunately. I couldn't find that one anywhere close to PG. But if you can find it at Lone Peak I would totally attend it. Let me know if you hear anything else. I'd sign up in a heart beat.
  2. I asked her, and she said "I have anxiety all the time and tears are always on the verge. ... Just kidding, I don't have anxiety." I think she's okay. Of course she's a little sad/nervous, but she knew this would be coming basically since we were put together, and since this happened with her first trainer, I think she's at least somewhat prepared for it. Haha as for me training her, I hope I've given her some tips and a direction to go in. But honestly she probably doesn't even need my help. She just kind of naturally does what needs to be done, so I'm sure it'll be good. She did ask me yesterday for some tips on training someone into an area so I gave her some ideas, but that's about it. For the most part, we just don't talk about me going home next week so we can keep working hard and seeing miracles. (Not that I'm in denial, but it does no good to worry about it so why bother thinking about it at all? We're here to work up until the last possible minute.)
  3. Yes. I believe I'll have an interview with President Griffin this Sunday. Not entirely sure, but I'll have one at some point before I leave. As for meeting with President Allred, I'm happy to meet with him Wednesday.
  4. As in, do I want to spend more time than just the weekend with Cameron? Or are there other things I want to do that weekend? I have no idea. I'm just kind of trusting that everything will work out how Heavenly Father wants. I'm doing my best to prepare without losing focus. So I guess whatever happens, happens.
  5. Well, our investigator Pablo was going to be baptized this coming Saturday, but we had to move it back a week. That was one of the hardest decisions I've made in my life, but I know that it'll be better for him and for us. It gives him one more week to prepare and keep learning, and he's okay with it--though he's practically dying to be baptized. Anyway, this week we'll be teaching him almost every day and Wednesday is his baptismal interview so that'll be good. We've GOT to get the baptismal record form filled out before the interview though. Oh man. Why is it so hard to get paperwork done in a timely manner? (Struggles that I was not expecting...)

Question for Mom: how much did the keyboard you sent me cost? (Hermana Albrechtsen wants to buy it from me, so I told her I'd ask.)

Well. Let's just say this week was a Russian mountain. ("Roller coaster" in Spanish is literally translated to "Russian Mountain". Too funny.) Last Sunday we'd gotten a text from Pablo that sounded like "I've thought about it and you can come get your book back." We weren't able to talk with him until Tuesday, and when we did he was totally normal again. He came to English class and we taught him afterwards with Saul (recent convert) and our ward mission leader, Brother McConkie--he told us that he still wants to be baptized and keep learning. The following day, Wednesday, we taught Pablo about the one of the commandments and in the end he told us that he couldn't change that much, it was just too hard, and he didn't want to be baptized. Then, at 6 am the next morning, he texts us and says that he thought about it a lot and actually he does want to be baptized. We taught him that day and he seemed perfectly okay. Anyway, now he's good and is progressing and is SO excited to be baptized. I'm sad that I won't be here for it, but I know that it's better for him to have more time to prepare and it really doesn't matter if I'm here or not for the actual baptism, because I was still a part of his conversion process--and what a blessing it has been! He has taught me so much about love, and patience, and humility. 

Yesterday, we visited a family in Sycamore and one of them asked me, "If you had to, could you pick just one thing that you've gained from your mission that you are most grateful for?" I thought about it for a moment and decided yes, I could pick just one (of course there's probably seventy times seven more, but that's besides the point). He asked what and I said it's made me a more loving person. After the fact, I thought about it some more and I realized that ultimately what I'm getting at is that my mission has made me a more Christlike person--just the attribute that has changed the most, in my opinion, is charity and love. I've learned to feel more love for all people around  me, no matter what differences we may have, and I've learned to express that love more openly. Of course, I'm still not perfect and I still struggle sometimes with letting people know that I care about them as a child of God, but I've gotten a lot better. 

As for the number two thing, I would have to say the testimony I've gained. Not only have I gained a greater knowledge about my Savior and about His Gospel, but I've come to know Him so much better. I read a story once about a man who crossed the plains with the handcart companies and, in a class that was criticizing the decision to travel when they did, he stood when he could take no more and, "In substance [he] said, ‘I ask you to stop this criticism. You are discussing a matter you know nothing about. Cold historic facts mean nothing here, for they give no proper interpretation of the questions involved. Mistake to send the Handcart Company out so late in the season? Yes. But I was in that company and my wife was in it and Sister Nellie Unthank whom you have cited was there, too. We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism? Not one of that company ever apostatized or left the Church, because everyone of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with him in our extremities.

“‘I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it.’” He continues: “‘I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the angels of God were there.

“‘Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company.’"

Although I have experienced nothing like what the pioneers experienced, I identify with this story. Because, through the experiences that I have had as a full-time missionary and representative of Jesus Christ, I truly have come to know Him "in my extremities". I've realized just how much nothing I am and how much I rely on my Savior and His Atonement. I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak. But through Christ, I truly can do all things (Phil. 4:13; Alma 26:12). And it's because of this burning and abiding testimony that I know I'll be able to persevere and endure joyfully whatever trials and opposition come my way in life. Because I know my Savior, and I believe every word He has said. I know that He lives, and that this is His Gospel. This is His Church. He stands at the head of it, and He directs it through His chosen prophet on the earth today, Thomas S. Monson. I know that Jesus Christ and His Father--our Father--appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, in answer to a sincere and heartfelt humble prayer. Through him, They restored the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that each of us could receive all that the Father hath, if we would but hearken to the voice of the Good Shepherd. He has not ceased to call out to us--just as He has done throughout the history of the earth, He speaks to us through His prophets so that we may hear and know His voice. I am so grateful for living prophets, to guide us in these latter days. The Son of Man will soon come on earth to reign, and there will be one fold and one shepherd. I look forward to that day not with fear, but with gladness, when He shall say to me, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." I love the Lord, and it truly is a pleasure to serve Him. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love, Hermana DeBuck


1. Photo from exchanges two (?) weeks ago. I know it's a bit late, but better late than never. (With Hermana Capps and Hermana Neff)

2. Had FHE with the Hill family last night, and we had to take a picture. Funny story: DJ (to my right in the photo) served in the same mission as (cousin) Taylor. Small world, no?!

3. This is the word of God.

 4. Had a zone activity today and we went bowling (in Rochelle! It was somewhat odd being back...especially in jeans....) anyway, let's just say I'm not a fantastic bowler and it isn't my favorite thing to do, but we had a good time.

 5. Four Hermanas and their shoes...

6. S. Noguera, H. Webb, H. Albrechtsen and me. Plus some elders in the background. (I think they must have a photo-bombing-opportunity sense or something...)

7. Afterwards we ate out at Sunrise, a restaurant in Rochelle. We tried giving our waitress a card and found out she is meeting with the Elders. #smalltowns

No comments:

Post a Comment