my missionary journal

Missionary Journal – July 12, 1989

Day 43 of my full-time mission
Area: Afton, Wyoming

Wow! I can’t even describe in words how I feel right now! I’m so excited! I got up at 7 a.m. (yes, I slept in a little; I think the sun got to me yesterday because I felt lousy), showered and got dressed and then started reading in 3 Nephi 11 and read all the way through chapter 30. Man, I love the promises the Lord gives His righteous people.

I just feel like I’m on fire! I’m happy because of my potential, and yet my soul is grieved because of my shortcomings. I need to speak with Pres. Shumway, I guess. Oh, how I wish my spirit could always control my body. How great is my desire to do what’s right and yet how weak is the flesh.

I’m shaking. I want so much to know that these things are true. Sure, I feel this way, but I feel like when I pray I just have a “stupor of thought.” What am I doing wrong? Why won’t Heavenly Father touch me and let me know for sure? Oh how I wish I knew how to really communicate with my Father in Heaven.

I’m going to read my patriarchal blessing and pray.

To those who are reading this: I want you to know that I have one purpose in this life. I will do everything necessary for me (and my future companion) to return to live with my Father in Heaven. There’s nothing that I want more than eternal life with Him.

As I’ve read my blessing, I’ve realized how well it suits me, my desires, my gifts, and my capabilities. The things I wrote earlier are exactly what my blessing talks about. I’m admonished to seek for a “sure knowledge of the divinity of the Savior.”

You see, I’m not seeking for a sign, just that “sure knowledge.” I must be unworthy to receive such a knowledge at this time. I don’t know what to do or say, except I’m trying. Man, I’m trying.

I’m going to be the best example of this gospel that I can be. I mean it.

It’s 11 a.m. now (a few hours after my last entry). We left around 10 a.m. and talked to a few people, delivered some pamphlets to a lady that has asked for them. Then, I’ve been reading in my journal (yes, in this) for the past half-hour.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this about Mark, and I want to make sure I do. Something I read reminded me of it. That was when I wrote that maybe it would be better for John and I to room together and Mark and Scott to share a room (at BYU after our missions). Well, I may have changed my mind. Not that it really matters because if we’re in the same apartment, we’d all be together anyway. But I think Scott’s going to go to school in California anyway.

Mark wrote me a really complimentary letter (about two weeks ago) and said I’d always be his “big brother,” and that if it wasn’t for the influence of me and my family on him in Texas, he wouldn’t be experiencing the joy of the gospel and of being a missionary that he feels now. I was impressed. I didn’t know he loved me that much.

Yesterday, I got three letters. One from Darlene, Julia, and Laura. Man, no matter how much I write, I still leave things out! Well, I’m saving most of my mail anyway, so you’ll have to sort through stuff to find it. One of my life projects will be to put my life history together before I die — my own scriptures!

We’re going to get the mail now.

My goodness. I’ve never been so bored in my life. Elder Gatlin just wants to watch TV or play foosball at member’s homes. I finally got him to come back to the apartment (at 2:45 p.m.; now) and he’s just standing on the porch watching the rain.

I didn’t get any mail. So, I started and finished another requirement for my mission bachelor’s certification. I read through and outlined the stake mission handbook. I learned a few things and got excited to talk with Pres. Call about them, and Gatlin said it’s good you’re excited, but we can’t do that stuff here. They’ll just talk about it. It’s not even worth our time to talk with Pres. Call.

Can you believe it? He made a comment himself today, “Man, everywhere I’ve been, it’s been slow. I guess I’m just not a good missionary.” Well, at least he realizes that maybe he’s causing the slowness.

I’m going to work on organizing our area book.

I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be able to deal with wasting time like this. Anything I suggest is “too ambitious,” or “won’t do us any good.” Someone needs to learn what initiative is.

It’s now 9 p.m. You know, Gatlin really isn’t that bad (even though he slept for an-hour-and-a-half this afternoon while I tackled the area records and stuff). We’re getting along well when I just loosen up a little and play around with him, we have a good time. But then I feel guilty. We have to reach a happy medium.

Tonight, we were at the Hall’s for four-and-a-half hours! We ate and talked and played Atari with their kids while she was having a Relief Society meeting.

Well, we didn’t get a lot of work done towards missionary stuff today, except the reading and organizing I did this afternoon. But the day turned out pretty good.

I still wish I had a real answer. I don’t know how to get it.

We just made a really neat message for our answering machine (kind of obnoxious, but it’s cool).

My Scripture: 2 Corinthians 13:1 — In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.


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