Monday, July 29, 2013

Time for a Top Ten

We had a wonderful week and are looking toward two baptisms next week and one the week after before it's time to go.  We found an absolutely golden investigator this week who is prepared beyond imagination with a small background in Christianity and a desire to find the truth.  We had splits with the AP's this week and continue to meet with several ALA's.  Sprinkle in a little English and a zone training meeting and it was another great week of being effective and productive. 
This week I thought a lot about a year ago at this time as Elders Wilson, Jolly and Huff prepared to leave.  My biggest reflection was what Elder Wilson told me the night before they left.  "The next year is going to pass like a week"  True in every way.  The next was about one of the last letters Elder Wilson wrote which was a nod to ESPN I'm sure, in the top ten format.  As the number of emails I get to write from internet cafes in Mongolia is quickly diminishing I felt the best way to work to some sort of a close would be to compose a similar list...

Five reasons coming home will be bearable:
1)Family-This would probably top the list of any missionary and for me it tops it by a long shot.  I love my family so much! and I feel I owe them for two years of support, letters and being behind me in everything.
2)Living the Gospel in everyday life-"But isn't that what your doing now," you ask.  Yes, but living the gospel when there are other things going on around me; prioritizing so the Lord is always first and find times and places to be a missionary after serving a mission are all parts of what makes this #2. 
3)Learning-Ask me again in a month but sitting in a chem lecture sounds great.  Learning about everything, becoming educated and participating in intelligent conversation.  If I enjoyed learning before my mission I think that desire has increased about ten fold.  This quote from Brigham young about sums it up:
"If men [and we would add women] would be great in goodness, they must be intelligent, for no man can do good unless he knows how; therefore seek after knowledge, all knowledge, and especially that which is from above, which is wisdom to direct in all things, and if you find any thing that God does not know, you need not learn that thing; but strive to know what God knows, and use that knowledge as God uses it, and then you will be like him; [you] will . . . have charity, love one another, and do each other good continually, and for ever. . ."
4)Being the greatest Home Teacher/ Calling fulfiller. This one relates a lot to number 2.  After almost fighting people to do their home teaching and seeing the benefits when it's done, I want to do all I can  without a dragging-our-feet, staring-at-our-watch, complaining-as-we-go approach to discipleship a President Uchtdorf explained in a recent conference.  Continue to love the people I'm called to serve.
5)Talking to People-What? Who? Elder Neuberger?  You mean the kid scared of talking to the lady at cash register at the store? Yea.  A lot of times people go on mission and the fact that you have to be so open forces them out of their comfort zones.  For me it was a bit the opposite.  I think the absolute inability to communicate for the first however many months and then the gradual increase from there built up a tremendous desire to just talk with people that never really existed before.
Top Five things I'll miss about serving in the Land of the Blue Sky:
5)Teaching English - I think this one was on Elder Wilson's list and it stands.  Two years ago I would have traded half my white shirts and a cool tie to not have to teach English.  But the relationships that I have build with those I have taught and with my sponsor are as strong as any other that I've made here.  I really can say that I enjoy teaching English.
4)Mongolian - I don't care what the MTC says. Mongolian is without a doubt the hardest language to learn for multiple reasons listed in several earlier letters.  It's mind blowing in the MTC and continues to be mind bending throughout the journey.  I would be the last to say that my language is anything spectacular, but I will miss the daily challenge it has been to learn the language and improve my ability to communicate with people. I've learned more then Mongolian from learning Mongolian.
3)Companions - I'm not sure for what reason, but I can honestly say that I have been blessed with fantastic companions at every point in my mission.  Some easier than others, but there's no companion that I'm not excited to continue contact with as I move forward.  There is certainly something about being within sight and sound of another person for 24 hour a day that causes you to rethink your relationships with others and analyze how you can be an influence for good on others.  As I think back over my companions I can see things specifically learned from each and every one.  I love my companions
2)The Mongolian People - I'm not sure of many places in America where you can walk up to a house you've never been to, with people you've never meet, knock on the door and instantly be invited in for water, bread and whatever the family is eating at the time. Beyond the unbelievable hospitality is the amazing sacrifices that so many make to provide for their family, get through school, and be members of the church.  With the backdrop of thousands of years of wrestling, the Mongolian people can be a bit strong willed, but most of the time that just means they are prepared to do whatever is necessary to finish what they started.  I'll miss all the crazy small traditions and rules and the cultural things that make Mongolia, Mongolia. I'll especially miss the new members, and members who have become great friends over this last two years. To paraphrase George Mason...To love people is truly the purpose of life...
1)BEING A MISSIONARY - It's hard to believe that my days of waking up, putting on the tag and devoting every waking hour to serving the Lord are coming to an end.  With all the stresses that come with missionary work, there can be no greater assurance that you are where you are doing what you are supposed to be doing.  Your goal is so singular; lift, inspire, love, and teach people about the amazing gift of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  There is simply nothing as difficulty wonderful or joyously hard as serving the Lord full time.  I love it.  I'll miss every facet from mission meetings to teaching investigators to just walking the dusty roads filling the day with efforts to bring others happiness. 
I have a testimony of what a wonderful tranformative experience the past two years have been as as well as an increased testimony that God lives and loves each one of us individually.  The Gospel is truly the door to greater happiness!

Have a wonderful week,
Elder Neuberger

No comments:

Post a Comment