Tuesday, September 10, 2013

the blind leading the blind

Wow, being a trainer really is a different world. Sometimes I feel like I am running around with my head cut off. (I mean I literally ran after our investigator, in a really dignified and missionary-like kind of way, after sacrament meeting to get him to come to Gospel Principles class.) It has been really interesting for me to be in this position and to realize even more what my purpose is here as a missionary. To invite others to come unto Christ, that especially means my companion. Everything has its time and place and I have realized very quickly some of the lessons that I have needed to learn as I have been training. 
I was really excited to train. One of the things I was excited for was to be able to do everything the way I wanted to. To be able to have control on what we do, how we do it, and when we do it. I was really lucky to observe a missionary in training back when I was in Morristown. I remember being shocked at the progress the trainee had.. So of course, I asked what he was doing. He told me one thing. "The responsibility of the trainer is the trainee. The responsibility of the trainee is the area." So as I started training with both of the ideas that I was going to be doing everything the way I wanted to, and that I will give complete control of the area to my trainee.. there was a pretty obvious conflict. So... I took his challenge and have turned over the whole area to Sister Schaefer. I still think it might be my pride, but I am determined that by the end of her training, Sister Schaefer is going to be the most experienced just out of training missionary in the New Jersey Morristown Mission. 
We have had some really fun experiences together. Oh I remember very well being trained, the good ol' days.. I have been able to think A LOT about my trainer through this, and a lot about my mom. Their examples for me and the love that I have seen as I have been growing up. At home and here in the mission. What I have found is that it's hard to watch somebody learn. It's like the baby chick. You don't want to see them struggle, but you know that you are making them even more weak if you break that shell for them. It has been a really humbling experience for me to be able to put ALL of my focus on my companion. As I do that, I have found that my prayers and desires for out investigators have become stronger because I want Sister Schaefer to have incredible experiences. (She invited Miguel to be baptized this week. He set the date for Oct 27which is incredible!! He has been investigating the church for SO long. Another internigator!! And we have been able to work with him a lot over the past week.) My love for Christ has grown as I try and follow in His footsteps and realize what "perfect" actually means and how far away I am from it. I have learned that the more that I focus on others, my problems either dissolve or don't seem to matter any more. 
It is AWESOME to be on the other end of training with somebody who doesn't know a lick of spanish. #istilldontknowit I have been able to laugh so hard at some of the things that come out of my companions mouth. It reminds me of some of the completely backwards and sometimes inappropriate things I would say because I understood enough to know what people were talking about but not enough to know the details. One situation we were in, we were talking to this man and he told us about the story of when he came to new jersey and some "things" happened and so then he got married and never went home and my companion told him that she was probably going to have the same things happen to her! #oops Or when she asked us who almuerzo (lunch) was that we had scheduled in! But the thing I am looking forward to the most is for her to experience the most incredible revelation in her life. Being a new missionary I was desperate for the spirit and for revelation because I had NO clue what was going on. I strive to be at that place constantly. To be desperate for the spirit. Man, I love being a missionary. Even though some times I feel that it really is the blind leading the blind... It's all about trust in the Lord, right? If we are doing what's right, and following the spirit, we are doing what He needs us to. Onward and upward!!

 I love you all!! 

Hermanan Schwendiman 

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