THE NATURAL MAN IS DYING
This last week me and Crystal (Hermana Crystal) talked a lot about the natural man. There is a scripture somewhere in The Book of Mormon that mentions that the natural man is an enemy to God, and we were discussing what we thought that really meant.
Who is the natural man? What is he like? How do we not BE him? As human beings we're pretty much used to being fairly focused on ourselves. I'M hungry. I'M tired. MY feet hurt. I'M lost. We take care of ourselves, our wants, our needs, our desires, our opinions, and everyone and everything (including God sometimes) comes second, or third, or fourth.
Being a missionary is rough stuff at times because one has to ALWAYS put others first. We talked about it a lot and decided to set some pretty steep goals for ourselves as a companionship and for our area. As we were writing these lofty and difficult (but oh-so-genius) goals down, Hermana Crystal mumbled something. "Huh?" I responded. She looked right at me and answered loudly and clearly.
"The natural man is dying."
At first her comment confused me. The natural man is dying...but how? And who? And....huh? But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. We were killing him. Every time we roll out of bed at 6:30 AM and onto our knees he dies a little more. With every step, every lesson, every testimony, every scripture, every contact, he dies.
There have been times on my mission where I have been tempted to cry out, "I AM TIRED AND HUNGRY AND HOT AND I WANT TO JUST TAKE A DANG NAP." Or something along those lines. Sometimes I don't want to put myself out there and bear my testimony to the people we walk past on the street because lots of the time they tell me no or they ignore me and keep walking.
Sometimes I'm tempted to sit down in the shade and just take a minute for myself. Sometimes I want to sleep in or listen to something other than Spanish EFY music. But that is my natural man putting up the fight. Well joke's on the natural man because just like Hermana Crystal said, He's dying. I'm killing him. With hard work and heart. With love and testimony. With hugs and smiles and prayers. With fasting and saying "have a great day" to the man who told us off the other day. Were killing him with kindness. He is dying. Everyday a little more. Crystal was onto something there. The natural man is dying.
I received an e mail last week from a dear friend and fellow missionary who told me about a goal that him and his mission had set to contact a minimum of TEN people everyday. His lofty goal made me think. Could it really be possible? And could I, Hermana Matesen, do something that big?
In our weekly planning session, as we came up with our battle plan to kill the natural man, we decided to bump up our wimpy and doable 4 contacts a day to 10. I looked at Crystal, "Do you think we can actually do it?"
"I don't know, do you?"
"I don't know."
We sat and we thought.
"Lets do it." I said.
And we did. We put a big yellow number ten on our door and stuck sticky notes all over the house with the number ten on it to get us pumped and ready to go change the world.
"Ten." said Crystal.
"Ten people." I responded.
"Ten souls," she said.
"Ten of our brothers and sisters," I told her.
"Ten children of God." whispered Crystal.
And with that we marched on out the door and made it happen. We have contacted TEN or MORE people everyday since. And we sure saw some pretty great results. We told our district leader about it and that inspired him to tell the whole district about it, and now it's spreading like wildfire. So to all missionaries out there who may read this, I hearby challenge you to kill the natural man and JUST DO IT (go with Nike on this one). Ten. Ten people. Ten souls. Ten brothers and sisters. Ten children of God.
Went to go visit some investigators, turns out they were throwing a surprise birthday party. They dragged us in, sat us down in front of a HUGE MEXICAN BAND, and told us to request a song. I did, and they began to play my favorite Mexican jam (Como te Voy Olvidar by Los Angeles Azules, go look it up). It was hilarious. We always seem to find ourselves in the middle of a Mexican party. Mexicans like to throw parties. And I like to attend them and contact people. It's a wonderful combination.
*its really hard to take a good stache picture when you can't stop laughing long enough for the mustache to stick.
*yesterday i sat in sacrament meeting and i had a very random and very strong pang of I MISS MY FAMILY. It hit suddenly like a arrow through the heart. They don't come very often, but when they come they come hard. Sometimes I just really love you guys way too much. but then i recomposed myself and focused back in. Do you get random missing attacks too?