from Beito Tarawa
I wonder how long this will take to get to you. My guess is 2 weeks. (Reality was 4 weeks)
I want to tell you about how much perspective can change everything. When I was in America and I was in a poorer house that was unkept, I would think, "Wow, That is pretty sketchy." But, if I were to go into that same house here, I would be so impressed. I would say, Wow, this guy has a garage! And a door! Not just one, but several! He has walls! and furniture. It would be the nicest house I have gone into, by far. What kind of house that people live in doesn't matter. The people matter. We teach one investigator that has a car and a house with doors, and another one whose house is smaller than your bedroom and doesn't have walls. But they both are accepting the truth and are close to getting baptized. What people have is much less important than what people are.
On a similar note, the food here is pretty bad. If I was in America, I would not eat most of it. But, the flavor doesn't matter as much here. I was thinking about this the other day, while eating some food that was prepared for me. It was in my mouth and I was chewing it, and it dawned on me, "Hmm, this isnt very good." It wasn't my first reaction at all. I've kind of been disconnected from flavor. One reason is again, the people. They make this food just for you, so it is the least you can do to enjoy it. But the bigger reason, I think, is believe it or not, a blessing of reading the Book of Mormon. It's not a very common blessing that we think of. But, I think that it is true.
Remember the summer before last when I would work all day on the Munk's Farm. Most people would think that would be one of the worst summers of my life ie. getting covered in manure every day, literally head to toe, getting sunburned, staying up really late and getting up really early to do jobs that are uncomfortable, that include getting pooped on and attacked by cows. But, my memory of that summer is quite positive. The only thing that I can think of that changed my perspective is that every morning and every night I would spend at least a 1/2 hour reading the Book of Mormon so that I could meet my goal to finish it over the summer.
Now I am still working up to reading it that much, but even though to America's standard, what I am doing is hard and uncomfortable, every day I am happy. Every day I get up excited to go to work and am sad when I don't get the chance to. But I don't stay sad for long because there are always more ways that I can help people. Read the Book of Mormon. It works! If you are ever having a down day, make it your first remedy to read it for a little while. If you want every day to be good/better read it in the morning. I know that this is true.
So, I tell you these things or a few reasons. 1. To lift you up and to show you that even i you don't go to a 'civilized' country you will still be alright. 2. When I write, I learn things, so writing this down helps me to understand it. 3. The spirit plays a big factor in what a missionary does too.
President Packer said, "that a testimony is found in the bearing of it." This is true, but confusing because it seems backwards. When you give something away freely it is only then that you get it back. (Matt16:25) In the MTC everyone is encouraged to watch the talk, "Character of Christ by Elder Bednar. It talks about how Christ, when he was at his lowest would 'turn outwards to others' instead of turning inwards to himself. When Christ was down he would help others. I know that when we do that we will be blessed.
One more thing, when people here see pictures of our home in UT they say, "You are a millionaire!" Compared to what they have we are incredibly wealthy. So next time someone has nicer stuff than you, just smile and think, "You may be rich, but I am a millionaire!"
Love Elder Morley