Elder Carter's Argentinian Mission

for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – all comments sent to Jared!

Consistency is Key

What a week!  The first part was a little bit rough because I didn’t have a companion.  Don’t worry though because Elder Nuñez is fine now.  The first three days last week I dropped him off at a member’s home and I kept working with another member (because of his sprained ankle).  I had a great time, but Elder Nuñez almost went crazy for not being able to work.  It made me laugh because it seems nice to be able to relax all day . . .  but it is a missionary’s greatest fear.  Anyway, he’s better now and was able to study A LOT.

Anyway, something really interesting happened in the past couple of days.  We have had to adapt our working habits because President Levrino presented a new method of working in the mission.  One of the biggest changes was about how we approach planning our lessons.  Before, we only reported lessons where a member was present, but now we are reporting every single type of lesson that we teach (lessons with investigators, recent converts, less active members, with and without a member present, etc.).  Also, the goal increased a lot (statistically, the goal increased by 500% but in reality it is more like a change of 200%).  What does that mean?   Lots of really short lessons!
We started running around (the best that my companion could) and visiting as many people as possible.  We had to plan our routes a lot better and visit many people on the way to other appointments.  Instead of visiting our 15 families twice a week, we will be visiting them about every other day and contacting them almost daily.  Amidst the chaos I thought about the significance of the change . . .

I was reminded of what I have shared with many investigators.  I compare reading and praying to eating (aka “feasting” – see 2 Nephi 31-32).  Just as it isn’t healthy to eat 7 times more during one day and then not eat during the week, we shouldn’t limit our spiritual nutrition to one day in the week.  Also, why eat just once during the day when you can snack throughout the entire day?  Should we limit ourselves to one isolated moment of spiritual nutrition? How would our studies change if we reflected throughout the entire day.  Then, I started to think about other parts of my life.  Before my mission, I would become obsessed about something and work on it for hours during one day while other days I wouldn’t do anything.  I lacked consistency.  Sometimes I was super excited about my calling and other times it didn’t even cross my mind.  One day I would be focused on my family so much that I let work and school fall to one side.  Then I picked up the slack and unconsciously cut out other aspects of my life (such as personal study or sleep).  If I had divided everything into smaller, more manageable portions, I would have been able to accomplish every important thing that I needed to do.

Visiting an investigator for one hour in every five days leaves them vulnerable to the attacks of the adversary and the distractions of the world.  It is much better to visit for 10 minutes each day to be able to fortify them and verify that they are okay.  Just as visiting an investigator in one day out of five leaves them weak, our daily inconsistency can leave weak spots in our lives.  We cannot spiritually feed our spirits with an “every other day” approach to our studies. We cannot try to isolate our contact with our family to a “quality dinner discussion”.  We cannot expect to retain all of our studies in a “super study session” once a week.  We shouldn’t work ourselves to death in order to go on a “getaway vacation” while the simple joys in life wither all around us.  We were made to be consistent and not extremists.  Our Heavenly Father knows this and is trying to help us become more balanced in our lives.  General Conference, the Liahona (Ensign), and many other sources have shown me the great importance of balance and consistency in our lives.  Now, more then ever, I know that mastering a healthy and balanced lifestyle is the key to happiness and perfection.

Thanks again for everything!  I look forward to hearing and seeing you all soon!  Have an awesome week!

Elder Carter
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One Comment to

“Consistency is Key”

  1. On August 12th, 2011 at 10:40 am Courtney D Says:

    Jared!!!! I would send you a real letter, but by the time it got to Argentina, you would be home. But do know that I’m praying for you this last part of your mission, finish strong! You are such a happy and hard-working missionary, and that is a huge blessings to all those that serve with you and all those that you serve. See you when you get back!!! I’ll be in Provo for Fall semester, but then I’m turning in my mission papers, hopefully to be on a mission in January/February!

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