Well, I’ve been called to be a trainer. It’s an exciting and simultaneously terrifying prospect. I left with my trainer from our interior city of Garanhuns this morning at 2:30am to arrive at 5:40am in Recife and 7:30am at the Stake Center. Needless to say, between sleeping/not-sleeping on the bus, the vision of my responsibilities as senior companion this next week, and everything being in Portuguese, my world’s more or less a phantasmagoria right now. I’m not quite sure what to think.
I suppose with almost 5 months/half a year on the mission one should be ready to take on responsibilities like this, but I can’t help but feel grossly inadequate for the magnitude of this work. I imagine many new parents must feel the same way. My Portuguese is sufficient to teach, organize the missionary efforts in meetings, converse at lunch time, and make brief comments about how to cook noodles and brownies. There are still, however, many moments throughout the day where particulars (or sometimes even the main thrust) of a conversation is lost on me. That’s the language aspect. The other aspect is teaching and organization. I’ve come to realize that missionary work requires a certain sense of boldness and flawless confidence in order to turn regular people into disciples of Christ. Raised in appreciation for intellectual ambiguity (in fields like philosophy and science where such respect for ignorance is required) the jump to missionary work is a big one for me. But, as I said before, the work requires flawless confidence, not necessarily flawless self-confidence. This being the work of the Lord, I feel very much assured that as I focus on my own personal relationship and obedience in following Jesus Christ, he will complete my insufficient work. This work is a work of subtle miracles.
This last week we visited a reference way out in farm-land that came from the city. We were told the reference was a family that was interested in our message. On our way to his house, we asked directions from a young man who was on his way to pick up his motorcycle from home because he needed to carry something from his home to his family farm in the outskirts. The bishop felt impressed to give him a ride. The young man said he lived near the bishop and recognized him by sight. He mentioned that he was searching for the truth in Christ but hadn’t found it yet. We marked to visit him later. The reference in the farm has their baptism marked for February 2.
This Sunday we brought a school teacher to church. As it happened, the topic of all three meetings at church were about education.
I can’t help but smile in recognizing the mysterious ways the lord works in our lives.
God Bless you all.