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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

100 Days!

Well, I hit 100 days in the mission yesterday, but whose counting! As I reflect upon this time spent in the hottest, dirtiest, poorest, and most polluted climate in the world, I have come to the conclusion that every day has been a blast so far. It has certainly been a time of trial and tribulation, the language in particular has not been particularly entertaining to deal with. However, I have come to the early conclusion that while I would not wish to ever relive the last 100 days of my life, I would never trade the experience and wisdom I have gained from them for anything else in the world. 
Looking forward to the next 100 days of my mission to be even brighter than the last. My goal is to become completely fluent in the language by Mother's Day so hopefully the Gift of Tongues will continue to work its magic. Right now I am having a really hard time rolling my Rs, its that white man syndrome I just can't get over it. 

Up til this point in my mission I have mostly taken the back seat in teaching discussions and lessons but because of the frequency of appointments I have slowly been able to participate more and more. I am pretty excited for the days ahead when I am comfortable enough in the language to give a 1-2 punch in teaching with wisdom and the spirit. 

This week specifically has been a great week in terms of really getting to know the needs of our investigators and less actives. Elder Jensen and I really made it a goal to focus on their true underlying issues with the gospel and get them resolved. We found that the biggest problem has been the lack of familiarity with the culture of the Church. Having grown up all my life in the Church I have never been able to understand what it must be like for a new investigator. The scriptures and doctrine alone are like a whole new language, which at 20 years I myself am barely beginning to comprehend effectively. Then there is the aspect of customs and practices observed by members in the Church. I must admit that if I had not been born in the Church I don't think there is any way I could maintain focus for 3 hours of church every Sunday and countless hours of other studies and spiritual experiences. I have come to the conclusion that missionary work is absolutely 100% ineffective without the support of ward members. Just like the family, there are different duties and responsibilities for all who are involved in the work of salvation. While we are all on the same team and share an equal responsibility to share the gospel, it is the primary duty of missionaries to teach, whereas it is the primary duty of members to retain and welcome. In our ward we have 205 active members. Unfortunately we have 524 less active members living in our ward boundaries. 524 people who have received the saving ordinance of baptism and yet are no better off then when they started. In fact, most likely worse off because they have received remission and now cannot sin in ignorance. 

We had the opportunity to see an area broadcast from the Philippines Area Presidency this week and President Nielsen talked about the pioneers. He said the reason we always talk about the early pioneers is because they set the bar so high that none of us living on the Earth right now has ever been asked to nor given as much as they did. In reality the Lord has not asked us to forsake all or live the law of consecration. He has not asked us to lay down our lives, or travel thousands of miles pulling handcarts. All he is asking of us is that we would be willing to do so if Thomas S. Monson gave the command. Certainly in comparison to the pioneers and the Savior himself whose blood was literally shed so that we might live again...we are asked to do nothing.
It is comforting to me in times of trial that I have many examples to look to letting me know that my struggles are very little. And all the more blessed will I be if I give a little more instead of giving a little less whenever challenges come. The Lord is hastening His work, now is the time to decides whose team we are on and what type of player we will be. When the game ends will we be able to say with a clear conscious that although we may not have played a perfect game, we gave everything we had in us. At the end of the day, that's all the Lord cares about. 2 Nephi 25:23, "it is by grace that we are saved, AFTER all we can do".
God Bless and Go Hawks!
Elder Krueger T
 Elder Jensen on the hood of a Tryc
 Lion and the Lamb Picture from the Airwizard, super cheap only 800 pisos! He does incredible work. I might get another photo done, let me know if you want anything.  This is done with spray paint and a brush.
Tryc ride hanging off the edge, before calm and ready, and then during

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