Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Not Even Buses Can Stop Us

Hey friends & family!

And another week gone! And another year as well. This year has gone by so quickly that my mind seems to think that next Christmas is right around the corner. Pretty confusing stuff. With perhaps the only full year of my life as a missionary, I've done a lot of reflecting. I've decided that last year was hands down the best year of my life thus far. No competition! I've learned a lot and taught a lot, seen a lot and walked a lot. If my fitbit's calculations are correct, I've walked over 2000 miles in the last year. Hopefully I can get 3000 more in a few more months, but that's a long shot! Plus, my shoes are starting to fall apart. But that's mission life for you!

With that reflection has come evaluation and new goals! I've been able to reach a few of my goals from last year and it's the best feeling in the world. Goals are important, but I've learned an interesting lesson from them. As missionaries, we set goals everyday. Daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, transfer goals, yearly goals, and mission goals. There's loads of them, and it can be really overwhelming to have so many. I've learned that the more goals you set, the less you'll be able to accomplish. If you set 10 goals you may think you'll be able to achieve 8 or 9 of them, when you'll really only get 1 or 2. If you have 8 goals, you'll be able to get 2 or 3. This is called the law of diminishing returns, and I've seen it a lot during my time as a missionary! The solution to the problem is to set interlinking goals that build off each other. That way you're not going every different direction trying to get everything done. Instead you're organized and you know what you need to do to reach your next step! For example, I could set a goal to become the best basketball player in the world. If I'm not smart, then I start practicing everything at the same time and try to conquer the whole game at once. If I am smart, then I'd start by mastering my ball-handling skills, then I'd move on to lay ups, then to shooting, then to defense, and pretty soon everything pieces itself together. This way each step leads to the next and it's one continuous line of improvement. "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass." Best of luck to you as you set New Year Resolutions!

We've done loads of finding this week and we've faced a lot of rejection. Not only were the people and the weather trying to stop us, but the public transport was as well! The doors closed on me as we were hopping off the bus one day. Elder Baum was already off the bus and since I couldn't leave him there alone I had to figure out a way to pry the door open with my body. Fortunately the bus didn't start moving until after I escaped. It was really embarrassing and now I'm the butt of every joke in our companionship!

Not much else happened this week to be honest! John Paul is still an absolute gift from heaven and he's still set for baptism on the 28th of January. I'm really hoping I don't get transferred this week!

Thanks for your letters and emails! Love you all and wish your 2017 is off to a good start. Talk to you next week!

Love, Elder Thomas


The only picture of the week, but it's a good one.  Taken 5 minutes
before a feast on Kara Burnett's famous pumpkin muffins!

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