Alright, so, since I started the whole mission-in-review email last week, I shall continue it here. I'm hoping that you enjoyed reading the last one as much as I enjoyed writing it. It's pretty cool to sit and think about where I've been and what I've learned.
When I finished the last email I was talking about my time in Cambridge. After six months and two companions in Cambridge, I was shifted into Hamilton and got my third companion, Elder Ilai. To this day, Elder Ilai is still one of my favorite companions. Elder Ilai was instrumental in helping strip some of my pride. All through Cambridge, my companion and I had bought groceries separately. Though this may seem like a small thing, it has actually turned out to be a bit of a big deal throughout my mission. With Elder Ilai, we bought groceries all in. There are two parts to this that helped me to humble myself a little more, and think about my companion's needs as well as my own. When you're buying in together you have to think about what you really need and what your companion may or may not like. I guess some guys don't care, and they still just get whatever, but I didn't want be throwing in stuff that ultimately my comp wouldn't like, and it would just be "mine." That seemed pretty selfish, so I tried my best to shop with both of our needs in mind. The next part that turns out to be an issue many times is how much you eat. With Elder Ilai I learned to mitigate how much I consume, just as I know he was doing the same; as much as I would like to have that full tub of ice cream, I know my companion wants some too. I struggled a lot with the next companion I had, and a part of it was because of this one simple thing; the groceries. I ended up being really hungry a lot of the time over the next two transfers because my companion would eat far too much. Between those two companions it really helped me learn what an impact the smallest things might make.
While in Hamilton I was called to be a district leader. Elder Ilai had been the district leader, but when he left, I was called to take his place. I was pretty nervous going into it. Not overly so, but was not sure at all if I would turn out any good. Up to this point I hadn't much liked a lot of my leaders, and I didn't know if those in the district were going to think that way about me. That was the first thing that being a district leader taught me; my leaders are doing their best, even if sometimes they do things I don't particularly like, I still need to show them respect. The other thing that I learned is how fulfilling having a calling can be. I had heard from other missionaries that being a district leader was the worst. It was this and that and the other, and I wasn't going to like it. I went into it though with the mindset that I was going to do my very best, so when I was no longer a district leader, I would know that I had left everything on the table. Those two transfers in Hamilton as a district leader hold some of the most fulfilling times of my mission. Some of it wasn't the greatest, and every now and again it would be a bit stressful, but overall, I loved it. I was able to get to know those in the district, and spend time helping them to have a good mission. Surprisingly enough, one of my favorite things was holding district meetings. From what I understand, those in the district really loved having me as their leader, and I have been very thankful for what I was able to learn as I served in that position. As with everything, it is what you make of it.
Well, I'll leave it at that for now, though, probably nobody even really reads these anymore anyway....
Should be a good week.