[Note: Duncan sent this email out 5/21/12. Sorry for being late.]
So this week I read over my past journal entries in my missionary journal. My purpose in doing this was to see how far I’ve come. It didn’t work out quite like I was expecting…. I started from the beginning, and read about how I was excited to leave on a mission, some frustration with other elders in the MTC, cool experiences I had there–some that I’d forgotten about, others I hadn’t–and mostly it was a general trend of “I love EVERYTHING!!!” to “things are tough, but I know I can handle it” and back. Out here it’s kinda been the same, but the process is much slower. We had a great first transfer and a half, and now we’re sliding down into the “things are rough” part. The hard part is keeping the “but I know I can handle it” still attached at the end of that phrase. But things are looking up. We’ve been taking a hard look at our companionship, our work and how we could improve things. I think it’s been paying off, but I’ve learned out here that missionary work is a bit like gambling, in the respect that ‘there’s no such thing as a sure thing.’ Ever. A balance between aspiration and realism is hard for me to find. But I’ve got a year and a half to figure it out, I guess.
But onto happier matters! We met a guy named Joseph the other day, and he told us that he saw Jesus walking the halls of the hospital he was in for a month. He also told us that he was heavily sedated when he saw the Christ walking the halls. He also told us that he believes the world will end in 2023, but he can’t tell us what day or month. He asked us for literature, and we gave him a pamphlet about the restoration of the Gospel of Christ, since he already had a Book of Mormon. We ran into Joseph again yesterday and he stopped us to waste about 40 minutes of our day, recounting all that he had told us previously, in addition to telling us that angels can be up to 60 feet tall, telling us about the War in Heaven in the premortal life, how Satan came into existence, and that the word “Bible” stands for “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.” (He still has to figure out what “Holy” stands for, he said.) It was probably the most enjoyable waste of 30-40 minutes I’ve ever had. Elder Gines and I had a good laugh about it afterwards. You run into the strangest people on a mission. Kinda like Moses, and one guy who came up to us and asked us if we rapped. When we replied that we, in fact, did not, he bid us a good day and promptly left. Also, the guy who walked all the way from Ciudad Juarez to El Monte, CA. (Juarez is near the border of Texas, I hear.) There are a fair number of crazy people out there. And somehow, they always seem to find the missionaries. I love it =)
Well, that’s all this week. Know that I love you and am working hard. Don’t stop believing!