This letter will be a little different than previous ones. I won't really be talking about missionary work, because I have something different I wish to tell all of you. It concerns a personal change that I have just had over the past couple weeks, and especially yesterday. I hope that the Spirit will help me properly describe these things to you, and as well that you will understand.
For those who do not know, yesterday marked the 7 month anniversary since the time I officially entered the MTC and this whole journey began. It has been an amazing experience, with so much learning and growth and many great things happen. Many hard things have happened as well.
One of these hard things has been of my own cause. I have not truly/fully in my heart been able to have lasting peace, joy, and contentment. Now don't misunderstand, I have not been unhappy, or not had joy, peace, and contentment, but they have not lasted. I have always felt in my heart that there was something missing. I have also questioned why this mission experience hasn't fully been what I expected it to be, or why I am not as good as I want to be or expect to be. In short, I have been prideful.
Over the last couple weeks, our Heavenly Father has been kind enough to me to show me some of my biggest weaknesses. First one is how I seem to have this habit of always wanting my situation to be more, "something" than another missionaries. For example, if a missionary is receiving more success and seeing more miracles than me, I am jealous. I want to have more and better than that missionary. As well, if a missionary is experiencing something harder than me, like their area is more difficult, I wish that I was in their shoes so that I could say I am going through more. it is very selfish, and I don't like it. It is not a fun way to think. For some reason, I was able to see this and was able to notice how silly it is. I have been working to stop this, but have love for other missionaries in whatever they are experiencing, not comparing their circumstances to mine.
Another thing I discovered is that I am very prideful. I think I deserve a lot of prestige. I think I am very great and should be having lots of recognition and receiving lots of leadership. This is not good. It is not right, but I have a habit of thinking like this. Again, I don't like it. Again, the Lord has loved me enough to show me that I had this negative habit. Of course I want to get rid of it, and He has kindly shown me in a greater light what I was doing that was causing me unhappiness.
Now there are other small things that are there that I do wrong, but we don't have time for those and really, I can't think of all of them right now. I did however want to give you a couple examples so you got the idea. Now of course I do not think that these are all I define myself by. We all have weaknesses and things that we do but shouldn't. My intent in sharing this all with you is that I in my mission desperately want to be what the Lord wants me to be. I want to do all that He wants me to do. This desire has been growing to the point where it is at the top of all other desires. Because of this growth, the Lord has brought forth to me a new way of doing this missionary work. Over the past weeks, while showing me my many weaknesses, I have asked Him what I need to do to change all this. To truly enjoy all of this, to fully in my heart, 100% love this work, and be content and joyful. The answer came yesterday.
Elder Hadley and I were out doing missionary work and I was really feeling down, and this feeling kept getting worse. I felt so bad at all of this, like I was failing in my mission, and I didn't know how to change it. I felt very depressed. I could not feel happiness. I felt so bad. I wondered if I was seriously depressed. Now this didn't seem right. I am on a mission and have been promised that I will find great joy in my service. I knew something needed to change. My feelings of depression stayed as we went into sacrament meeting. The great thing about it is it got my thoughts beginning to be directed toward Jesus Christ. We had talks on gratitude, and by my focus on the Savior and through other things said and read throughout the day, I learned that that my lack of true love and happiness for all things came because I was not relying and coming unto the Savior to the extent I needed to. I have in the past, but my reliance and need of Him and His Atonement was now greater than it had ever been before, because it is time for me to become better. My answer on how to become better was to use the Atonement, and follow and become more like my Savior.
My answer was something I love to teach people, but for some reason was not applying with myself. In my sadness I began to wonder "How do I do it? How do I gain access to this power and receive the help of my Savior?" I didn't see how, but it came to me. To follow the Savior, I need to become more like Him and be like Him in all that I do. I need to develop His attributes. Charity, humility, faith, patience, etc. My experience earlier in the day truly humbled me. I felt like nothing for awhile. However, because my Heavenly Father loved me enough to have me feel that way, it opened me up to see that if I am to be the missionary I want to be, and to be happy in the way I want to be happy, it all needs to come from Christ. It cannot come from anyone else. I need to become like Him. I need to put off all these former things that I mentioned before and have all things I do be motivated and directed by Christ and His attributes. When I realized this, and committed to do it, from then on I have had this feeling in my heart that my path is right. That what I have decided and am trying to do will bring me the joy and love that I seek. I feel that support from Christ and Heavenly Father that I didn't know how to access. It comes from doing our best, focusing on Him and who He is, and following His commandments. I know I won't be perfect, but I know that as I work with all my heart, mind, might and strength, that I will be able to become better and who I want to be and more importantly, who the Lord wants me to be. I love my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I know they love me. I know they will always help me and that it will all work out how it is supposed to.
I love you all. Hope you all have a wonderful week. I love you Mom, Dad, and Anna especially.
Elder Kynan Sorochan