Thursday, September 10, 2015

E-mail Sept. 6, 2015 "If at first you don't succeed then try, try again. ...and again, and again.‏"

A few weeks ago I complained about my companion getting a violin because I was sure he wouldn't be able to play it. I was afraid that it would be painful to listen to and that he's end up trying to play it for a few days and then give up.

I was wrong.

I almost couldn't believe my ears but as I listened to my companion playing his new instrument this week I was amazed that not only was he able to pick out the melody for several hymns and popular church songs, but it sounded good too. Considering that he has no formal teacher and he picked it up just by listening to his pen drive of music is incredible, but maybe even more incredible is that fact that I've seen similar results with my efforts on the guitar. I got a guitar for Christmas years ago and I even went to classes every week for a month to learn the basics, but, and anyone who's ever tried to learn guitar before knows this, the beginning stages of that particular instrument often result in frustration and bleeding fingers and I gave up too soon, thinking it just wasn't for me. However when I arrived in the Philippines and watched my companion strumming away on our neighbor's guitar I decided to give it another try. It's taken persistence, it's taken patience, it's taken tips and teaching from my companion and members, and it was just as painful as when I tried it years ago, but I'm proud to say that because of a little dedication I'm picking it up, and quite rapidly at that.

One thing I've learned on my mission (and am still learning) is that with a little dedication and hard work anything is possible. I've seen it with the guitar, I've seen it with exercise as I try to stay healthy, but most importantly I've seen it in abundance with developing Christ-like attributes and striving to become the person the lord wants me to be. The Lord will very seldom help us to change if we don't desire it and ask for his help, but he also won't help us if we ask him and don't do anything. There have been times when I asked the Lord to help me change and then I was frustrated as I waited around and nothing seemed to change. What I've learned is that the Lord will always help us, but He will almost always wait for us to take the first step. I think that's one definition for faith, and as I've set goals and tried hard to improve I've seen the hand of the Lord taking me further then I could ever go on my own. I only play the guitar in the evenings after all our work is done because we're busy and I don't want it to be a distraction, which means there's hardly any time to practice, and yet I'm still seeing rapid progress. In the Same way when we give our best effort to improve ourselves, even if that effort is small at first, we'll be amazed at how quickly the Lord helps us to progress as He makes up for our shortcomings.


Sister I-Forgot-Her-Name, Sister Dominic, Elder Grimmett, Elder Clouds, and Elder Semideni and the Manila MTC. (Sister Dominic was from my ward in Hyderabad, it was a pleasant surprise to see her again).

Beautiful Philippines

My Filipino Father

Ran into this handsome Elder at the mission office when I arrived.
- It's Elder Colt Williams from Layton!
(And no, I haven't gained weight there, it's just the humidity).

Real Beef Burgers!!!

Just another day in paradise

Anyways until next time everyone, mahal kita. :)
-Elder Cloward

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