18 May 2015

Guest Post:TMFKATB Reflects on His First Eight Months of Service

It had never dawned on me to offer up the opportunity for a guest post here in the Den. Then The Missionary Formerly Known As The Boy (TMFKATB) returned home to heal a bit. While he is progressing, we are eagerly awaiting some test results which will give us definitive insight into what's next. In the week he's been home now, he has shared some stories from his experiences as a missionary in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico. As he was telling us a story one night, I realized I needed to have him share a bit here in the Den and in his mission blog. What follows are his reflections, in his own words:

First, I would like to talk about my time in Mexico. The 8 months while being away were the best 8 months I could have asked for. Since the moment I landed in Mexico, my love for the country and its people began to grow. I started my time in Mexico with the best trainer I could have asked for. Before entering the field, many people told me i should pray to receive a good trainer because they can really start the feeling of a mission. My trainer was definitely an answer to many prayers. We hit it off from the beginning and we both just had a huge desire to work. My first area was one of the harder areas in the mission that hasn't seen "success" in a very long time. When i arrived, my companion told me we were going to leave the area better than we found it. Thanks to the grace of god, i think we were able to do that. That area will always be my favorite and something i will never forget. The lessons i learned there were incredible. I learned the power of obedience and the miracles that come from it. Some of my favorite families came from that area. Following my short training with my trainer, I was called to train and be a district leader. I felt so incapable of doing those two things, for i had not had a full grip on the language yet, let alone much experience in the field and the ability to motivate my district of missionaries. I ended up opening a new area and training a brand new missionary from Guatemala. I was forced to open my mouth and talk to everyone in my new area. This speeded up my learning of spanish ten fold. I had to do everything, just as my first companion had to do everything when i arrived in my first area. In this area i saw the power yet again of miracles. I began to get super sick again and as a companionship, we saw lots of trials in our area. We weren't seeing lots of "success" but we decided we would change some things and we just went to work. By the end of my time there we saw miracles. I learned patience and the power of prayer in my time there. I was often getting switched around with other missionaries that transfer due to my companion getting sick as well as myself. I saw so many things i would never have seen if i weren't in that situation. The lord was preparing me in so many ways. I was able to do a lot in those 8 months in Mexico. The things i learned there will only prepare me for my next phase ahead of me. as i got home, there were a lot of different things i am still getting used to again. A hot shower feels foreign to me still and it burnt me pretty good the first time. the amount of things we have in the states still shocks me. the support i have felt from my family principally and then from all my friends and people i don't even know has been wonderful. I know that this next phase will be incredible. I know that the lord needed me in mexico for the short time i was there. he prepared me in many ways for my next mission and i am positive i will see the reasons for why a lot of things happened while in mexico in my next mission. I love missionary service and i am itching to get back out there. The only thing i do is trust in the lord because if i do anything else, this would all be not worth it and i would be pretty upset. The fact is that i needed to be in mexcio for while i was there and i know there is things i will only be able to learn in my next area. for that reason i am going there. the lord does not get confused or make errors. i can't wait to see the reasons of all these events in these upcoming 16 months!

So there you have it. Many of you don't know TMFKATB personally but he, as he said, has felt your support. We have too, and I can't say it enough, but thank you again.

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