I'm not going to sugar-coat it, this week was difficult for me. The Lord saw if fit to put Elder Hazen through some divine chastening and decided to do it by stretching me physically and spiritually. Last Sunday after lunch, I began to feel body aches that are a common sign of the flu. It gradually got worse and by the end of the night, I was drained. Monday was better after I got on a cycle of ibuprofen and Tylenol prescribed by Sis. Collings. Tuesday, the same feelings came back, and not wanting to miss time in the short time I have left in the field, I tried to push through and work. My family knows first hand that I can be a baby when I'm sick. At around 7, I decided in my mind I had enough of missionary work for the day, but Elder Moyes suggested we go finding. That was literally the last thing I wanted to do, but I decided to grudgingly go along. I did not have the right attitude. I felt like I was demonstrating faith to precede a miracle or faith building experience, but the charity element was lacking. Elder S. Mark Palmer said,"No true teaching or learning will ever occur when done in frustration or anger, and hearts will not change where love is not present." That is one lesson I was reminded of. The flu left by Wednesday in time for us to attend Zone Conference in peace. The Spirit was felt and we were all edified.
On Thursday, I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder Andriatsoherina, an elder from Madagascar. (If you can't pronounce that, don't worry, neither could any of our investigators) We had an extremely busy day which flew by and topped off the day visiting an RM with the intent of sharing the Restoration and asking for a referral. There was no need as he already had someone there waiting for us to teach...tender mercy for sure.
On Friday morning, I woke up with the body aches and a headache and had to drive Elder Andria home and pick up Elder Moyes. I had him drive home and as I was in the car, the most negative thoughts were passing through my mind which is very unlike me and it made me even more frustrated that I was thinking that way. When we got home, I offered a prayer to Heavenly Father that went something like this: "Heavenly Father, right now, I'm not feeling great and you know I haven't been feeling great this whole week. In the scriptures, it talks about how the Savior bears up burdens and makes them light and succors according to people's needs. I need that right now." Honestly, the headaches haven't gone away, but this week I gained greater understanding for the love our Heavenly Father has for his children by chastening them and putting them through trials. I need to be patient with myself when I fall short because, after all, we are dwelling in an imperfect tabernacle of clay. I think as I draw to the close of my mission, it's easy to think that there's nothing more for me to learn but the Lord humbled me and reminded me this mortal life is about progression and constant growing. I'm thankful for his love and the Holy Ghost that is a gift from God and is an indicator when we need to change and what we need to change.