Monday, November 21, 2011

November 18th, 2011

ola familia,

This week was pretty good. We worked a ton already this week and kinda what we call in the mission quebrado, broken, or really tired. But i am really excited to see what will happen this weekend with some of our investigators and i hope that we get a chance to get our feet wet. There really is nothing better then that feeling! I'm learning a ton being here in Ribeira do Pombal from everything around me. My companion, the branch, the work and the Lord. I'm just trying to do the best I can and give my all to the work.

I'm seeing that the work is more like a marathon than a 100 meter sprint. The thing is you have to keep going and you don't stop and the miracle is you are supported and sustained. Like a marathon you start out with many people but soon you realize that the other people don't matter. It's not how fast they run, or how good their technique is, or what kind of shoes they are wearing it is between you and the road. In any race there is a point where you weigh out your options. You think, "should I stop?", "Is this really worth it?" You have to make the decision if it is really indeed worth it and if you can really finish. But i think the thing more important at that point is how you want to finish. When you come to the decision, "I will keep going", then the race really begins. I like to think the marathon is really individual. You along with several hundred people all of them with one purpose, to finish. I don't think the most experienced runners line up before the gun fires thinking, "i want to beat that guy." But, "how can I run MY race and do my personal best?" Don't focus on what the others are doing or how fast they are running you just run your race and you will win the greatest prize. (D&C 14:7) When you start the race everyone is full of energy and excited and run a little giddier and {with more lightness in their step} Wow what a terrible sentence ha. , Portuguese is killing me ha. I forget how to say that in English. On the mission it is the same you come with that energy and go, go, go! You can't stand the fact that you have to waste time eating and sleeping all you want to do is go. And a few miles into the race is where the men are separated from the boys ha. When your legs are a little tired and you breathing heavier then before and most definitely that, "should i stop and go home?" moment comes and you choose. The mission is no walk in the park, that moment comes to every missionary, at different times! And it really comes down to how bad you want "it." And after that struggle comes into play the "watch game" i would imagine that the experienced runner would have been timing the race on his watch and keeping track of his pace. And the same is true in the mission you do self evaluations to see progress but why? So you can run faster! It is and should be the goal of all missionaries to run every mile faster than the last. Until you get to the end of the race. And that is where I believe world records are broken, in the last miles of the race. Where you mentally, physically and emotionally challenge yourself and give your all to reach that perfect time for YOU, and no one else. And now with one year in the mission I feel like i have little time left. I'm working for that finish so i can reach MY "time," or better said who HE wants me to become.
If i could only have one gift here on this earth it would be to be able to see what the Lord wants me to be and what I need to reach. But I don't have that spiritual gift, but I will run my race and hopefully meet the Lord´s "time."

I hope this email made some sort of sense

te amo,
Elder Brown

P.s.- Parabens!! to my Aunt and Cousins there in Dallas, Oregon and for all the hard work and dedication it took to prepare for your marathon!! Elas são os caras!! (my cousins are the bomb!!) Thanks grandma for sending me the article. :)

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