This week was awesome. The zone leaders stopped off here in Ascoli to do an exchange and it was a really great experience. I was with Anziano Mika, who finishes his mission in two weeks. As a side note he plays basketball for BYU and started his freshman year. We’re the same age and started BYU at the same time and I saw him play some so we thought it was pretty funny how we ended up serving together for a day this week. He’s awesome. Super humble, funny, and outgoing. Great missionary. Loves to serve and loves to talk to people. It was a great opportunity to learn from him and serve together. He has a huge heart for this work and you would never be able to tell he is so close to going home. He is excited now as I am sure he was in the very beginning of his mission to be a missionary. Such an awesome example.
This week was a little bit of everything. We are still helping our member move, well not necessarily move but settle in to their new apartment. But we also got to see some of our investigators again and English course grew this week! Something cool that happened was on Tuesday we were going to go out and play soccer with a new convert and his brothers (15 and 21) because we are trying to grow a relationship with is brothers so they become interested in the gospel and it’s a nice friendly way to get to know them and be with them, also they can see that we are just normal people too. Anyway we meet up and his brothers aren’t with him. It’s just him and his little brother who is 10 and doesn’t speak Italian because he just came from Romania and his little niece who is about 4.
I started to become a little frustrated because the whole reason for us going out to play was to get to know his brothers better and I felt like now we were just wasting time. We get to the field and off to the side there are 3 guys (about my age) playing basketball on a little court. I took that as an opportunity to offer to play with them and go two on two. They were horrible at basketball but great guys. It was fun playing together. At the end they started asking me who I was and where I was from and I had the chance to share with them a little about our church and they thought it was really cool. They want to meet up again to play and said they would like to learn more. I was really shocked and grateful to have had that opportunity. Which leads me into my thought for the week.
Patience is hard. I’ve been tested in my patience in the last 8 months than ever before. It’s a very interesting quality to have. Some might look as patience as an indifference, a go with the flow, laid back kind of attitude. But it’s deeper than that. Being laid back does not signify patience but just a lack of preference which entails a bit of laziness with it. To be patient, you must possess a trust in things greater than you. You must believe that there is a plan and all things will work out. Patience is poise that one possesses when met with opposition. It is calm under pressure. It is tranquility in the face of chaos. When we have patience we are able to control our reflexes to life’s sometimes frustrating twists and turns. If only I would have had just 5 minutes worth of patience before I became frustrated this past week, I would have seen the wisdom in the Lord giving me the opportunity to play with these three young men that I never would have had if things had gone the way I initially wanted them to go.
So my invitation is this. When, not if, you are faced with something unexpected this week, take a moment and CHOOSE to be patient. Give Heavenly Father the chance to show you His wisdom and His awareness of you. I promise you that it will be a very special experience.