Monday, June 13, 2016

E-mail June 6, 2016: "Um, excuse me brother, why is mine red?"‏

Lately my companion and I have been so busy trying to stay busy that we haven't taken time to come back to our apartment for lunch. Here in Hyderabad, Chinese noodles and fried rice are very popular and in our area here in A S Rao Nagar the Chinese stands are everywhere. We've started going to one such stand near the church because it's fast, cheap, and delicious, but one day this week as we stopped by I got a surprise. I usually get the noodles but as we approached the stand that day I glanced at a dish two other customers were enjoying- nice, plain brown fried rice- and I decided to order the same thing. A few minutes later the cook brought over my plate but to my surprise my fried rice was bright red. As soon as I took a bite I knew why.

There are some people in this world who go to movies for entertainment, some like to read books while others like to hang out with good friends to get a good laugh. I learned this week that my friends at the noodle cart like to play a game called "let's spice out the American" for their entertainment. It took almost a full pitcher of water to ease my burning throat and stop my violent hiccups and several tissues to cure my chili-induced runny nose.

Now granted I don't know if those guys were really trying to give me hard time, but what I do know is that everyone else's fried nice was brown, and mine was flaming red. Regardless we're finding a new Chinese stand this week.

This last week was hard again. We've dropped most of the investigators we found a few months ago because they're just not progressing. We're trying to stay optimistic though and we're working with the ward to coordinate with the members and get referrals.

I used to hope that when I reached this point in my mission I'd be a converting missionary machine who knew all the ropes but to be honest I realize more and more every day how much I still have to learn. I don't think I'll ever be a Dan Jones or a Wilford Woodruff when it comes to missionary work but what I'm learning is that I can use my strengths despite my weaknesses to do the best I can here.

There's a quote I read recently from a general authority that says "You can't do everything for everyone everywhere, but you can do something for someone somewhere." and I've learned that that's absolutely true. Sometimes I get stressed when I think about all that I can't do due to my weaknesses or physical limitations, but now I'm trying to focus instead on what I can do. That's my invitation for all of you this week too. Don't get stressed about what you can't do, but do your best to do all you can do. I promise that as you do that the Lord will magnify your strengths and that you will be a blessing to someone somewhere.

Until next week everyone, stay strong and Rock on. :)
-Elder Cloward

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