Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Vizag, July 30

My birthday came and went with very little occasion, which I didn’t really mind. The only occasion was that I had a bit of a fever, was moving around at about 70% speed, and was feeling lightheaded when I stood up. I thought I would be fine but then wasn’t so we went to the church and then I pulled out some chairs and slept for an hour.

Things are going really well here. Something I noticed last week that I failed to notice before. A lot of things don’t work here, for example people are supposed to go home teaching (every church member should be visited once monthly by another church member) but they don’t. (They do in the U.S., by and large.) Or in the U.S., fathers will almost always fulfil ecclesiastical duties like baptizing their own children when they turn 8, or give them blessings when they need it, instead of asking elders. And there are plenty of other examples.

It’s really easy to get frustrated when things aren’t working the way they’re supposed to. Especially when you know the way things are supposed to work. And especially when other people have committed to do what you know they need to. This applies to organizational stuff as well as people we’re teaching that commit to do stuff or other elders or (more difficult to admit) myself.

Anyway I’ve become a lot more calm and peaceful and able to handle problems when I change my view. More and more (means at least, say, 15 percent now as opposed to like 5 percent before, hah) I’m able to view this stuff not as problems to be fixed but as the result of people and organizations who know true principles but only apply them partially, not completely.

The problem is, people who don’t do things the way they need to be done, because the people are still learning, do still cause real problems that cause real harm to real people or damage things of real importance. I’m still trying to figure out how to emotionally balance kneejerk anger and frustration from that real harm and the patience that will let me help myself, other elders and church members around me, and those I teach.

Anyway, on Saturday we’re holding a training showing members how to teach in lessons, which should be good on that front, and is also the reason I’ve been thinking about that.

We’ve been so crazy busy, today and tomorrow we’re booked solid and we’re actually splitting up and going with members in the evening to cover all the people we need to teach. By now we can basically find our way around the area – like if we need to find an address we take a reasonable amount of time, if we go meet a family who hasn’t come to church in a while who has friends in the branch again, I’ll know who they are. It’s pretty cool. And I also speak/understand enough Telugu to figure out what’s going on a decent amount of the time (plus Elder Bartlett is teaching me about body language which I’m really bad at reading).


Love
Sam

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