I am now in Findlay, Ohio (which is so much nicer than Toledo! It's how I imagined Ohio to be, clean, very open, nice people, etc.). I am also now a Zone Leader, which is crazy. I got a call from President Sorensen Tuesday night at 10:28pm asking if I would accept the calling as a Zone Leader. I was shocked, but accepted. As far as anybody knows, no missionary in this mission has gone straight to Zone Leader after 6 weeks (without first being a trainer or district leader or senior companion, etc.). I continually ask myself "why me?" I feel so inadequate, so young (missionary-wise), and somewhat overwhelmed. I have found comfort in a number of things.
First is the wonderful missionaries around me, strengthening me with encouragement. My companion and zone leaders from my last area, President, the Assistants to the President, my companion now, etc. are all such great examples to me as they demonstrate charity - "the pure love of Christ" (Moroni 7:47). Verse 45 reads "And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." Verse 46 - "charity never faileth." I was pretty freaked out at the idea of being a Zone Leader, for I have little to no experience, but their kindness has helped me keep going.
Second would be the scriptures. In The Book of Ether, Moroni says in Ch. 12 verse 6 "I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trail of your faith." This has helped me to stop asking "why me?" and kick my butt into gear. Stop thinking about myself, and think about the Lord's work. I will understand after the trail of my faith. Moroni continues in verse 27 "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
Third would be the Atonement. In Alma 7:11 it reads "And [Christ] shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people." I am by no means saying that what I am going through, this fear and anxiety, is a huge ordeal that I need people to worry about me over. I am going to be okay. But in those times of discouragment and fear, I know that the Lord knows what I am feeling, He knows what I am going through. And what joy it brings to know that I can get through this as I rely on Him. We are not expected to be able to run faster than we run. Heavenly Father loves us and will help us with every step of our lives if we let him.
I have no more time on the computer at the library. Love you all. I know I've been slacking on letters - I will try to do better. Will let you know more about being a ZL in the next email. The church is true! Happy Holidays!