Monday, June 3, 2013

Don't worry--I'm working my tail off.

Cody Eckman
11:39 AM (1 hour ago)

to me
Dear everyone under the sun, 
Our week went a bit slowly, but the coming week looks quite promising.  Cesarina was baptized and received The Gift of the Holy Ghost!  She and Augusto are doing great and we're working with their kids so that they can be baptized on the 29th of June.  I'm very excited for them.  Armando and Micha are both doing really well and should be baptized on the 15th and 29th, respectively. 
We had a Zone Conference with President Kretly and I enjoyed it.  I'm sad to say that I feel just a titch disconnected from it all because most of the trainings, ideas, and changes can only be brought about so much in 3 weeks.  Don't worry--I'm working my tail off.  I refuse to quit and I won't make any excuses for poor work simply because I'm just about on an airplane.  I'm going home on a stretcher.  Still, it's hard to be super inspired by the Zone Conference that only kind of affects me.
Speaking of going home a stretcher, my back has started acting up again.  =)  It's been fun.  Still, I haven't been bed-ridden and I won't be.
My last fast Sunday came and went.  Elder Arrington and I fought our way to the front of the testimony line so we could give a good send-off.  It was nice to be able to tell the people I know and love why I care about this Gospel.  I've realized that my mission has taught me to love and that that's become the most valuable thing that I have.  I don't know where life will take me, but I have love--love for my fellow man, love for myself, and love for Jesus Christ.  That's enough to get me started down any worthwhile path, I think. 
I feel strongly that these last few weeks of my mission are to be some of the richest, most emotional weeks of my life up to this point and I would that I could share those feelings with you all in a way that made sense.  I can't, however, and that's what makes it all the more personal and beautiful to me.  I love my mission.  I'm of the firm opinion that you're never well-enough prepared to come on one nor well-enough prepared to leave the one you're on.  I can't believe that it's coming to an end.  It feels false.  
The devil is really working on trying to make me feel like a failure in the last few weeks of my mission and I spent a few days feeling pretty down in this last week because I was remembering the regrets I have from my mission--silly things that sound really pertinent in the moment like not having found as many people as I could have, not having helped as many families as I'd have liked to, etc.  It got me feeling down because I know that I haven't been the best servant ever or anything like that and that fed my self-pity and self-loathing for a few moments.  But, I prayed a lot and asked a lot of forgiveness and kept keeping on and I finally realized that it was all a lie.  I know now that my service has been acceptable to the Lord and that I should leave my regrets behind.  I tried and I worked and I grew and I helped others.  That's enough for Him and I know that now.  That helped me feel a lot better.  In spite of wishing that I had understood the things I know now before I came out here and started helping people, I feel successful and have realized that my mission is just like my or any other life--a process.  I don't think we can ever measure ourselves by what we don't or didn't know.  We simply work as well as we can with what we've got.
I love you all.  I'm feeling really good.  I'm not ready to leave Angola but I am ready to see you all. Get ready for great adventures and long talks.
I love you and the church is true! 
Elder Eckman

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting these. You have an awesome son. It was a great blessing for Steven to have him has a senior companion. We're so happy that Cesarina and Augusto are progressing so well. Have a wonderful month!