A lot of crazy things have happened in the past few weeks. The work has progressed a lot, but it has not been without its setbacks. We had two families accept the invitation to be baptized, however we have had many reject this gospel this Christmas season.
A few weeks ago, Elder Bosley and I hiked into the mountains in order to teach a progressing family. After some time of trucking through the mud, we finally arrived at the mountain abode. The family was excited to see us, and we taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. They accepted the message and the invitation we bore, but as we began to pack up our things to leave, we noticed something unfortunate. All of the small dogs that had been running around our feet were covered in hundreds upon hundreds of lice. On the way down the mountain, I confirmed that it had indeed spread to us, and we hurried our way back to our apartment. The better part of two hours was spent in an attempt to save our hair. I am glad to report that it was successful.
Another unfortunate happening of the past few weeks was the emergency transfer of my companion. It was 9:45 on a Monday night when we received a surprise call from the office. They informed us that my companion would transfer early the next morning. Without almost any warning, we spent the next 4 hours preparing for his departure. The next day, we traveled to Tacloban, and I received my new companion. Due to the transfer, I have become the new district leader for the largest district in my mission. Though I was prospected to transfer this cycle, it seems like my adventures in Capoocan are not yet over.
Sometimes, it seems that I keep getting curve balls after curve balls on the mission. A cycle has not gone by when I haven't been afflicted with a strange new disease or ailment. From never ending diarrhea to heat exhaustion and athletes foot to projectile vomiting, sometimes it feels like there is always one more thing. But despite the consistency of the unexpectability, life goes on. I have learned a lot in the field of patience and "to come what may and love it."
A while ago, Elder Joseph B Wirthlin gave a talk in regard to the uncontrollable lives in which we live. He recounted the advice his mother had given him when he had been young. This was to "come what may and love it." You can't always see the sharp turn ahead but the ability to be composed despite the sudden shifts in life will always result in a better outcome. Early on in my mission, the smallest things used to get on my nerves. My constant murmuring and complaining never helped the problem and often resulted in a lower morale for everyone. For the longest time I used to see the misfortunes of life as nothing more than an inconvenience that should never have existed in the first place. Little did I realize that these inconveniences were the plan for happiness.
Our Heavenly Father never intended us to come into life comfortable and have it stay that way. He wanted us to experience discomfort. The Lord himself, Jesus Christ, was born in a manger and experienced all sorts of pains and afflictions in his childhood. Despite the conditions however, he
"increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." Luke 2:52
I hope that we can come to love the lives that we have been given despite the circumstances. I know that they are given to us so we can increase in wisdom and love of God as well. Through the Savior, Jesus Christ, we can be succored in our afflictions and feel the strength of Lord in our sorrows. He is the bread of life and our salvation. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.