I am Now Quite Old in the Mission

Last Tuesday I was invited to participate in the Executive Council of the Mission. Here are the photos:

I was impressed that I am now quite old in the mission. Many people who were leaders when I came in have already gone home and those who were ending training when I arrived are now getting ready to go home. Elder Munhoz who was my Zone Leader in Casa Grande has gone home and Elder R. Costa (my second companion) goes home this transfer.

There were many baptismal interviews to do this week and I spent a few hours behind a desk in a nice little interview room in the chapel. I never thought how tiring interviews could be, must be why President Dalton is so tired on Mondays. In the end, Gilvan, an investigator of the Elders in my district got baptized and confirmed this week.

The work was a relentless charge this week to hit the standards of excellence. We destroyed two of them and yet again lacked people in the chapel. But now we are working like a raging fire. This week will be a success.

I talked a lot with Elder Friere about the subject of leadership in the mission and really in the Church. In the mission, I think I have learned to see how a person truly can lose themselves and be lost to “power”. I watched this happen with myself in the last transfer in Casa Grande and now I’m trying to learn more about how to be a leader, and truly a leader. I was impressed by the lesson on leadership that there was in the Book of Mosiah during my studies. It seems a constant study on the characteristics of leaders, both good and bad. King Benjamin, King Mosiah, Alma, King Noah, Amulon, Gideon, Ammon, all of them. I was impressed how the kingdom of Mosiah grew and prospered as his people loved him, and also why they loved him. They grew to love him because they felt a genuine concern that he had for them, and he didn’t have to micromanage the generation of wealth in the kingdom, it occurred naturally. Meanwhile, King Noah, he started off with an excellent kingdom, yet tried to manage everything and artificially generate personal gains through taxation and his deceiving priests. His kingdom prospered, yet was in a constant state of decay. This same duality I think can be applied to the drama that played out in the premortal life. Lucifer looked to force everyone into exaltation through micromanagement, making something natural artificial to produce unnatural results. The Savior instead looked to let the natural tendency of each individual soul to return to their celestial home drive the results. And the results are natural. These are things I think I only can have learned on the mission. As I talked with the other Elders last night about Moroni 7 I found myself supporting the idea that man and his soul is naturally good and inclined to do what is right. It is the flesh that seeks to do wrong, but the flesh is not the soul, rather a tool and instrument to be dominated by the soul. This in itself is a great change from my pre-mission ideology that man is a naturally evil creature that must be dominated and ruled over. The things we learn when serving; I’m grateful for the chance I have to serve!

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