Monday, April 4, 2011

#83 The Dreaded "M" Word

Dear Family and Friends,                                      April 4, 2011

I spent half of this week, lying on my back, absolutely hating
everything. I was joking with Elder Do. that malaria has some
unknown side effects that I will make millions documenting, including
the shortening of one's fuse.
It started Sunday night when my fever shot up to around 103 and stayed
there. Monday, I had a terrible fever, but was chipper the whole day.
Not sure why, but I was the smiliest I've been in a while. Then,
Tuesday morning... oh my gosh. I tried to go out and proselyte. Not
going to happen. When I called Sis. Smith, she told me to just bite the
bullet and take the malaria meds. I had resisted once before, out of
pride (and I was RIGHT, by the way), and so she was pretty adamant.
Tuesday, I spent asleep. Wednesday, I spent asleep. Thursday, I was
about 88%... just well enough to have to take a nasty, rickety Tro-Tro
to the mission home.

Zone Leader's Council was informative. One thing we do there is set
our goals for the upcoming month. President pointed out that, even
though we had about 200 more people with a Baptismal Date (people who
have heard our message, and agreed to be baptized), our Mission's
overall goal was LOWER. Why? Because last month, we experienced some
challenges, and NO missionary wants to miss his goals twice. So, even
though this month looks WAY better than last month, everyone just sees
his last failure, and acts accordingly. I think we do this all the
time, with too much focus on the path, and not enough hope in the
future. Because sometimes, the future is a terrifying thing. I'm
sitting down with a list of majors on Mondays now because I'm
supposed to have a future. But the whole point of what we teach is
that if you do what is right, the future works out for itself. "Take
no thought of tomorrow... sufficient to the day is the evil thereof",

The only real full day of preachin' and teachin' and workin' as
missionaries do was Saturday, and that was in a rougher area. Just a
word of advice to all the wards back home. Maybe, after you have a
really good relationship with your missionaries, ask them how the
mission honestly perceives your unit. If I was a bishop, or an elders'
quorum president, or even just a member, I'd love to have the
missionaries at their little secret meetings say things like, "Man!
Your going to that place? Sweet. I'd kill to go there." and not
"If I have to spend another day in that area, I will punch myself."

Sunday, we had a cool baptism for a sister in Sankubanase. We decided
to have it right after church. It was awesome to have the entire
congregation attend one of our baptisms. This sister was baptized by
her husband, with the entire branch there. It was a great feeling,
welcoming someone all together into the family.

President called us on Sunday. No matter how long I serve, leader or
not, numbers look good or not, that will always terrify me. We were
sitting in a lesson when "Pres. Smith" shows up on the phone. "You
take it," I say to Elder Do., and quickly go back to teaching. He
came back. "President says to call him back when we can be on speaker
phone." Oh no... That's never happened before.
-Ring ring... ring ring...-
"Hi! President Smith.”
“ Are you both there?"
*gulp* “Yes President," I said.
"Just finished reading both your letters. I'm very impressed with you
          two. You're doing great work. Make sure you teach
          the other missionaries in your Zone to do those things, okay?"
“Yes, President".
"Alright. Thank you!"
... few seconds... *Gasping for air* "We're alive!!" hahahaha. I love
President, but I thought I'd share a small missionary moment there, as
I really didn't have anything else this week to talk about.

Elder Ke. and Elder Om. had their trial moved again. THIS Thursday
should be it, though.

As Dad likes to say "Never let not having anything to say stop you
from writing a huge letter." Mission accomplished.

Elder W. Farnbach

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