Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Best Stake Conference Ever

With a smile on my face I will preface this post by stating that I never met a Stake President that wasn't "super legit."  The last two paragraphs of Elder Wedam's letter are my favorite, both sharing several true principles that warm a mother's heart.  Warning: contagious enthusiasm abounds! Have a good good day. Monica

November 18, 2013

Well, my beloved peeps,

A really crazy week.  Elder Erekson and I were given an assignment to give a 40 minute presentation at Stake Conference Adult Session this last week about how members can help full-time missionaries with missionary work.  I'll say more than this, but I want to preface this next paragraph with God really does work miracles; we did really good and the Spirit was super strong in that meeting (with Elder Erekson's talent at the language and my inherent charm, we had everybody listening and participating).

So, we talked about the work of salvation... it encompasses 5 parts:
1) Member Missionary Work
2) Retention of Recent Converts
3) Less Active Reactivation
4) Temple and Family History
5) Teach the Gospel

And we talked about Member Missionary Work through referrals  and Less Active Reactivation through home teaching and visiting teaching.  We had members participating with discussion questions (Terry and Whitney, thank you so much for telling me your favorite mission scriptures.  They came in handy at this stake conference... as did the fact that I had really awesome home teaching companions and our family always had really awesome home teachers), and, then we told members that missionaries need the members to help in the effort of finding and teaching people.  What ensued was a fairly elderly man complimenting us on the preparation we put into the presentation and adding some really helpful comments of his own, members feeling the spirit of missionary work (which resulted in us having lunch and receiving/contacting a referral), and well, it lasted into the next day when literally EVERY member of the stake who attended the night before told us that they felt something while we were speaking and that we did really good (one man even said that it was his favorite part of the entire night).  The stake president, 이인호 회장님 is super legit.  He really tied everything together, saying that really, members have the responsibility to help missionaries... to help us find people to teach, to help us learn the language, and to help us teach.  I walked away from that Stake Conference feeling more spiritually edified than I have from a lot of other church meetings.

So, another thing to add to my "Things Accomplished" list.  Work tandem with my companion to give a 40 minute presentation at  a Stake Conference in Korea.  I know I definitely didn't think I'd be doing that when I took Korean at school some 4 years ago.  President Furniss and Sister Furniss always tried helping us believe that we can do hard things.  It's totally true.  I can do hard things.  Impossible things, actually.  But with God's help, these impossible things are possible.

I prayed so hard beforehand for us to be able to teach with spiritual power; we did all we could given what we had and knew to prepare.  And it happened.  I didn't speak the language perfectly, but my message wasn't lost.  The Holy Ghost, not me, taught.  And I'm grateful that Heavenly Father answers prayers on a dime like that.  If our desires are in line with His, we can accomplish hard, impossible things.

I love you so much.  I can honestly say that when I speak of family and friends, only the best of memories come out.  Among all the blessings of serving a mission, one of the best is having the ability to speak fondly of family and friends, and to speak of them in such a way for the benefit of the people I teach.

Until next week.
Elder Wedam

In the new area

Well, I think the title for this post should be something like "Heart and Seoul."  Maybe a little corny, but I know Elliott is already following the Lord's counsel and putting his whole heart and soul into serving the people in this new area.

November 10, 2013

Well, it's official.
I'm in Seoul.  Just south of the Han River... like in case there was a map that was keeping track of my Korea expeditions.  PS.  It ain't exactly Kansas up here.
Yesterday, church was AWESOME!  Two new missionaries in the area, me and another sister (Sister Debouis... I don't know the English spelling... but I do know the Korean!).  We gave our talks at church yesterday, and the members loved us!  Elder Erekson has been training me on how to get tight with the members, and so we'll be tag-teaming it.  I'm quite excited!  All the members are really nice (oh, by the way, this ward is about the same size as Klamath Falls 3rd ward... with active members and less active.  So, that made it feel a little more like home).  The bishop and stake president were incredibly nice and paid us some nice compliments.  Which is always a boost.
PPS.  In case I forgot, the name of the ward I'm in is Hwagok.  Maybe Bishop Phair knows where that's at?
Lately, I'm been thinking about this idea of agency... specifically, how it relates to my purpose as a missionary (and member doing missionary work).  When I was down in Pyeongtaek, I've had the wonderful realization that my job as a district leader was to really be a missionary's missionary... and it helped me understand what my job is as a minister of Jesus Christ.  Really, I can only help people if they want to be helped.  I can't force anybody to accept the gospel and apply it in their lives - that would run contrary to this idea of agency.  Really, conversion only happens when our investigator (or other missionary, or person we/you are teaching...) has a spiritual experience.  My role is to help set up an environment in which the Holy Ghost can really testify.  My tools are the principles of the gospel, whatever talents I possess (by the way, I've thought a lot about what President Stewart said when he set me apart as a missionary... that I would use my talents, even ones that I didn't know about.  Totally true.  I've discovered some wonderful, albeit not showy, talents that I'm incredibly grateful for), and who I am (I'm learning more and more that being Christ-like isn't just a commandment from God, but it's really a matter of necessity in order to always be happy).  And then comes the second half of the trick.  Inviting people to do stuff.  Inviting people to read the Book of Mormon, to pray, to make changes in their lives that will help them live more in harmony with the Gospel and God's will.  For the longest time, I thought that my success and effectiveness was linked to the number of baptisms I've had, to the number of people I helped get out to church, to the number of lessons that I was able to set up and teach.  But it's not.  Really, I'm thrilled if I, in some small way, can help inspire somebody bear their testimony to a friend, help somebody want to read the Book of Mormon, or to help somebody better understand who Jesus Christ is.  I'm grateful for these small things.  And, like what dad has told me, I won't know exactly how much of an impact I've made.  All I can do is give my all to the work... to give my all to invite and encourage my newfound friends to live better lives.
I love this opportunity to teach.  To serve.  The church is true.  And know that I love you.
Elder Wedam

It's a Bittersweet Symphony, and that's Transfer Calls

I know the wonderful people in his current area have made a sweet difference in Elliott's life, and I hope he recognizes what a difference he has made for them as he has served them and the Lord with his whole heart, might, mind, and strength because of LOVE!

November 3, 2013

Well, yeah.  Transfer calls.  With the single most bittersweet outcome.
I'm leaving Pyeongtaek.  I'll be going up to Seoul in a part of the city called Hwagok (The "o" is a long "o" sound... In Korean 화곡).  Let me elaborate.  I'll probably cry as I do.  But that's fine.  It's really hard leaving an area and a zone that's been home for almost a full year (10 months and a week or two in the zone, 6 months of which were here in Pyeongtaek).  The zone, because I know so many people, and well, I really do feel like I have a family of Korean Saints here.  The area, because I invested so much of my heart into it... and I don't regret it.  Not one bit.  I've done most of my growing here in Pyeongtaek... I've come into my style of missionary work, and I've discovered so many of my talents here.  I've met some of my best friends, and I've been taken to the extremes of what talents and abilities I have to invite others to come unto Jesus Christ, to strengthen the faith of my brothers and sisters and bring hope to people who might be feeling hopeless.  I've learned what really goes into being a successful missionary (so much more than producing numbers... I honestly believe that it's about becoming and then the numbers will speak for themselves).  I've had some of the most spiritual experiences of my life here.  Some of the most precious revelations.
I love the people.  It's more than just seeing somebody on the street and liking them.  What I feel is the sense of urgency that should accompany missionary work.  It's recognizing the importance of the message we share, seeing how it applies to these, my friends, and then helping them see how it applies in their lives.  It's really desiring the happiness of all the people I've met and had the privilege of serving.  As it says in the hymn, Each Life That Touches Ours For Good, when a friend leaves (or when we need to leave), we have only sweet and tender memories in our hearts.  That's all I have.  Sweet memories of Pyeongtaek.  Of the members.  Of what I learned.
But don't worry.  As bitter as it is to leave, I do find some solace in something I've read in the Liahona.  Moving on doesn't mean forgetting, but rather it means opening our hearts.  I'll be able to move on.  As much as I love Pyeongtaek, I'm sure I'll love Hwagok.
I know I've changed.  These feelings of love won't leave.
That's the bitter part.  The sweet part.  I'll be companions with Elder Erekson.  If you recall, he was the other senior companion here in Pyeongtaek when I first came.  Tender mercies for the win? I hope so.  It'll be fun to serve with him again.  He taught me a lot when I first went senior.  I'm excited to learn even more from him.
On a different note, transfers aside, we had a Halloween Party for the Korean Ward on Saturday.  Everyone loved it.  We had pinatas... I don't think that the Koreans ever did anything like it.  When they broke, I kid you not, the kids SWARMED LIKE A HORDE OF ZOMBIES.  Like, I feared for my own life, and I wasn't even going for the candy.  And... we did three pinatas (we had four lined out, but the second one wouldn't break... yeah, Elder Hodges and Elder Dewey from Anseong did a great job in making indestructable.... the adults couldn't break it without a blindfold on... had to cut it down).  Yeah, I wouldn't recommend making round pinatas and then mache-ing streamer paper on them. 
I love all of you.  I'm really sorry for how short this email is.  But I think that if I keep writing, my eyes will get a little poofy.  From crying.  Totally serious about that.
Elder Wedam

I love this work, I love this gospel. I love my Savior. And I love you.

October 27, 2013

Well, hard to believe it's another Monday.  These weeks are becoming a giant blur.  So much happens.  So much learning, growing, and, well, everything in between.
I've been in country officially for a year as of last week.  And, in a pleasant turn of events, the Osan Military Branch had their Primary program yesterday.  Some really cool parallels.  My first Sunday in country consisted of a confirmation and a primary program.  Yesterday consisted of a confirmation and a Primary program.  Weird, right?  If history is destined to repeat itself, then I shall be enjoying some fried chicken and rice near the coast on Thanksgiving, and well, I may be emergency transfered on December 27th to 신풍.  But all speculation aside, it's been quite a year in country.
I know I've grown a lot.  I even know it from the emails... I'm less concerned about what happened during the course of the weeks in terms of things that I did, and well, I'm much more interested in sharing what tender mercies gone miracle happened in the course of the week (although, dragonfly bites and toilet museums had to be reported on).  But I think I want to share testimony.  Let me explain.  When I was companions with Elder Anderson (a year ago... weird), I stumbled on the coolest paper ever.  It was a list of ways to be a successful missionary that I think President Furniss trained on at some meeting before I came to the field.  Among all the bullet points, I remember 4 of them, 2 of which come into play right now.  One was "bear testimony often" and another "don't write stupid emails home."  Well, bearing testimony today feels like the most least stupid email I can send home, and well, most everything feels like it would pale in comparison.
I really love missionary work.  It has been and is by far the hardest thing I have ever done up to this point in my life.  This work isn't about gonig around and always talking about church and Christianity.  I honestly believe that our job is to help people who want to become better than they are now better.  I can't force anybody to change, and I can't force anybody to accept the gospel.  But the gospel helps people.  One of the many things I struggled with before the mission is how circular the service we render in the church felt... serving in church callings felt like it wasn't actually service, it felt more like a duty, and assignment.  We would always talk about serving in the Priesthood, but I didn't fully appreciate how great of a service the ordinances of the gospel really are.  The gospel helps people.  There is no question about that.  Through the gospel, people receive light and hope.  And we're not talking a fleeting happiness, we're talking a type of happiness that can withstand any trial or heartache.  We're talking about hope in it's purest form... the hope that gives people power to act and not be acted upon.  And when you understand this fact, that the gospel brings a lasting happiness to people that can't be destroyed unless we somehow let it, the question posed in Alma in the Book of Mormon, "why interrupt the rejoicings of the people and say there is no Christ" (I can't cite the exact reference or verbage... sorry.  But it's in there), takes on a new meaning.  If the gospel brings happiness to people, why would anybody seek to destroy it?
If the answer is that the gospel can't be true, then I would recommend reading the Book of Mormon.  I've read it.  I've prayed about it.  I've testified of it.  And every time I've read it, prayed about it, and testified of it, the Holy Ghost has testified to me of the truthfulness of the work.  I can honestly tell you that some of my most treasured experiences on the mission have been when I've been able to testify of the Book of Mormon, both in English and in Korean, and to have the Holy Ghost tell me, mid testimony, that what I'm saying is true.  Read the Book of Mormon, find out if it's true or not.  If it is scripture, it proves that Christ is the Son of God, that God is our Heavenly Father, and that He is a God of Love, not anger or hate.  If it's true, it's a book of the utmost value, for it teaches of things pertaining to eternity.  If it's not true, well, then it's a fraud.  Simple as that.
I know the gospel is true.  I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Jesus Christ's true Church on earth once more.  God still speaks to us; we can listen to a prophet speak, we can determine the truth of his words, and we can choose to accept or reject them as God's word.  I know God lives, and that the day of miracles hasn't ceased.  A miracle needs not be parting the Red Sea or raising the dead.  It can be as simple as a prayer being answered.  It can be as simple as a heart being softened.  And God does work miracles; He does answer prayers.
I love this work, I love this gospel.  I love my Savior.  And I love you.
Until next week,
Elder Wedam

That package came in the nick of time

Love Elliott's message to look forward and trust in the Lord, here. Hope the message uplifts you, too!

October 20, 2013

Wow.  Wow.  Wow.  This week may or may not have been the toughest one yet.  As the subject suggests, mom's package came at the most opportune time.  PS, lessons learned this week.  More to follow.
So, why was this week so rough?  I can honestly say that 5 appointments we had planned and set up fell through 30 minutes before and/or after the scheduled time.  To kind of put things in perspective... on average, Elder Pruner and I have been able to set up and attend around 10, 11, 12 appointments each week (and that's giving it our all... all our might, mind, heart, and strength).  As you can imagine, losing 5 appointments (all in the course of 2,3 days) is incredibly stressful, heartbreaking, and well, frustrating.  Mind you, everything just sort of culminated on Sunday (nothing went according to plan, and well, we had to make the backup plan on the spot), resulting in me breaking down at church during a closing prayer of a baptismal service, quickly trying to pull things together, and then have 3 members come up to me and ask me if I was all right, and that it looked like I had just been crying (whoops... yeah, it came to tears this week.  On the plus side, our members are angels... one of whom sent me a text this morning telling me to be happy and to have a wonderful day^^  I never want to leave this area.  I could spend another year here and be totally happy).
But, I learned a lot.  First, I really love the people we teach.  Every time an appointment cancelled, I was heartbroken.  And five heartbreaks in 3 days is a lot, emotionally.  Fortunately, Elder Pruner had more than enough optimism for the two of us these last few days... I don't know if he realizes how much of a help he's been... and I don't know how to put it into words how grateful I am for his support.
Second, I'm relearning and repracticing trust in the Lord.  It's not just acknowledging that this missionary effort is really God's work, and that we're just tools in His hands, but it also includes that we can't afford to be stuck wallowing in the past but to reflect, move on, and then make the most of the resulting situation.  Yes, the solution to hard situations and effective missionary work isn't to be stuck in the disappointments of the past, but to realize that the past may simply have just been the thing that needed to happen in order to be somewhere else at the right time.  I feel like I'm not being overly clear... so I'll explain with story:
Friday was exceptionally hard.  We had a dinner appointment at 7:30pm set up with an investigator, and we were going to meet at the church.  7:30 rolls around, and, well, no show.  We wait around 10 minutes (he's in high school, and I know I ran about 10 minutes late all the time).  Still no show, so we call.  No answer.  We wait another 5 minutes in case he didn't hear or feel his phone (because, well, sometimes that happens), and no show.  So, we leave the church (I'm really heartbroken at this time).  We head back home to eat dinner (we're starving at this point, and I'm still heartbroken).  And when we arrive back to our apartment complex, we run into another one of our investigators.  We talk briefly (I'm out of it... again, hungry and heartbroken), and we part ways.  I'm feeling a little bit better, but still, a little upset.  When we get into our apartment, we pray.  And at the end of the prayer, I had the distinct feeling that, well, I needed to look forward, not backward, and make the most of the situation we were in.  So, I text the investigator we saw just before arriving home, and explained a little bit of what happened that day (just that it was super rough, so we're sorry that we weren't overly talkative, but things are all right now). And he sent me back the nicest text... to the effect of keep your head up.  Something good is bound to happen soon!... And, well, I just felt good about how it played out, like we did what we were supposed to do.
And so, there's the most profound lesson I learned.  To look forward, not backwards, and to make the most of the hand that I've been dealt.  Just as in card games, sometimes we have a bit of an unfortunate dry spell during which we don't get what we want (Dad, our current cribbage streak is like, what, I've lost the last 20 games to you?).  But, eventually, the dry spell passes, and well, things turn out okay.
Now, how do we look forward and play the hand that we've been given?  It's really to trust in the Atonement.  Remember, God hasn't set us up to fail.  It's not on His agenda.  He's given us the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  We have our short-comings, we have our heartaches.  We have trials.  But because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we don't have to face these trials alone.  We have the ultimate co-pilot who, if we aren't able to drive anymore, will drive for us until we're able to drive again. 
So, the week was rough.  Now what?   Well, look forward, not backward.  Focus on the good that resulted from last week, and to build upon it.  That's the most I can do right now.  And that's what the Lord asks of each us... build upon the good that already has been established.
I love you all, work well.  Work hard.  Know that you can't fail in fulfilling your righteous desires - for God will lead, guide, and inspire... just have the courage to act.
Elder Elliott Wedam

So... 8 days til a year mark in country? My, time fies

Catching up a bit. I will not bore you with excuses for posting so late. 

October 14, 2013

Well, 가족, 치구, 형, 누나, 동생,
What a week.  Conference was awesome.  Really awesome.  More on that later though.  Exciting news, I renew a visa today.  Exciting, right?  And my heart is broken... the toilet museum is closed on Monday.  Later.  I keep telling myself later.
Elder Pruner and I met a new investigator this last week.  His name is Kim Daegyu (김대규) and well, I like him a lot.  Fun story.  Elder Oman and I met him a super long time ago (at least 15 weeks ago... we met him the last week that Elder Erekson was in 평택).  When we met him, he was going to dinner with one of his students (should have mentioned... he's a teacher at an education acadamy, or 학권.  Specifically, he teaches Korean.  So, the equivalent of an English teacher in the States).  Anyways, I started texting him 4 weeks after we met, and we've been in pretty frequent contact, culminating in setting up a lunch appointment with him.  We meet, and as we eat lunch, he has some questions about our church... like some of the stuff that people bring up when they have a bone to pick and want to argue, but he actually was just curious about it.
He then explained why he asked these questions.  Turns out the student that 김대규 was with asked his mom about our church.  His mom, being part of the churches in Korea recognized as Protestant, and not knowing a lot about our church, told her son some things that a lot of people are told to disuade them from learning more about the church... along the lines that we're a cult, we still practice polygamy, etc, etc, etc... Anyways, here comes the cool part.  When this student told 김대규, 김대규 just said... "I'll just ask Wedam about this."  And so, he did ask us about polygamy and why people call us a cult.
After lunch, the conclusion that 김대규 has about our church is that people call us cult simply because they don't really know what we believe.  And, he had such an enjoyable time that we got another lunch invitation (standing, not definite) and the definite command of "keep texting me."  There's more details, but suffice it to say that we did a good job in representing the Church at this lunch appointment.  That's what I'm thrilled about.
So conference.  I think my favorite line came from Elder Oaks (I think it was from him?).  Telling the story of a grandmother who raised her grandson to the best of her ability, and her grandson still wound up in jail, she asked the question, to the effect of, "Why?  Even after all that I had done, why?"  To which came the reply, "I gave him to you because I knew that you would love him no matter what." Powerful words.  Really.  It exemplifies the Savior's love and our command to love everyone.  Jesus Christ loves us, no matter what we do.  Similarly, we need to love our neighbor, no matter what they do.  And if we can't do that with all our neighbors, are we willing to at least do it for our family?  Our friends? Our investigators?
I try.  I really do feel a love for a lot of these friends that we teach... I think about them constantly -  how to help them be happier, make covenants, find peace.  It's hard.  It takes a lot of energy, but I know that it's worth it.  Using every talent and resource to help people come to know who Jesus Christ is, to help them know who God is, to help them know about the Plan of Salvation.  And to help them understand and apply.  The message of the Gospel leads to happiness.  The proof for what we teach is the Book of Mormon.  And I know, I really know, that the Book of Mormon is true.
I love you all.  So much, I'm glad to hear that despite all the trials on the homefront, that Heavenly Father has blessed and protected my family and my friends.  I love the promise found in Doctrine and Covenants 30 - "Your family shall live."
Elder Elliott Wedam

Monday, October 7, 2013

Dragonfly Bites and Toilet Museums

This is a fun read!

October 7, 2013
Well, devoted followers, I've got some really cool stories to tell.
First off, I learned that dragonflies can and will bite you.  Rather than catch butterflies in Korea (reminds me of another story... next paragraph), people catch dragonflies.  The secret is to wait for them to land and then sneak up on them.  One of the recent convert's sons caught a dragonfly, brought it up right next to my arm, and let me tell you, that thing chomped.  While the bug was on my arm, I thought "Wow, I hope they don't bite," and just as I finished the thought, boom.  Bite.  It didn't hurt as bad as you might think.  It was just shocking.  So, if you catch dragonflies, steer clear of the mandibles.
So, back to butterflies.  I don't think I ever shared this with anybody - it was emotionally scarring... this is when I was with Elder Oman 15 weeks back.  We were up in Osan, taking a break in a park on a nice summer day, watching butterflies playing in the flowers.   Then, out of nowhere, a magpie swoops down and demolishes a butterfly and eats it.  Keep in mind, this was right after I accidently stepped on a butterfly at a subway station.  I almost cried (both times).  Seriously, nature is scary.  That butterfly didn't stand a chance.
Last story.  Thursday (the same day I got bitten by the dragonfly), Elder Pruner and I visited a member, 임은희 (Leem Uenhuei), and on the way back, Elder Pruner really had to go to the bathroom.  This put us in quite the predicament.  We were about 10, 15 minutes away from the nearest bathroom we could use, and well, it was just a predicament.  Walking with purpose, we see a car parked on the side of the road.  As we pass, the driver rolls down the window, and it turns out that it's a less active member of the American branch who lives a few doors up from us.  He tells us to get into the car (It's about 8:50.  We needed to get home anyways), so we do.  His girlfriend is in the front seat, and we make conversation.  It went a little like this:
Me: "Did you have work today?"
Him: "No, we had the day off because of the holiday."
Me: "Oh, what'd you do then?"
Him: "We went to Suwon... we visited the toilet museum."
At this point, Elder Pruner and I just look at each other.
Elder Pruner: "Wait, what?"
His Girlfriend: "Yeah, the toilet museum."
Me: "Seriously?  Was it fun?"
She explained the sights of the toilet museum, and then they told us all about it, giving us the brochure... we were shocked.  Blindsided actually.  That morning I thought I saw it all (a car had a cross lashed onto the front of it with the speakers blaring, in understandable Korean, "Believe in Jesus"... that was quite shocking too), but the Toilet Museum caught me unawares.  I meant to take a picture of the brochure, but alas, I forgot to.  Next week.  I promise.  All I know is that I wanted to go there on a P-Day, but it's closed on Mondays.  So I have an excuse to come back now.
But, let me explain why this was so cool.  Like, this was a miracle.  This less active, he's been one that we've wanted to work with for quite a while.  We just didn't have all the tools necessary to do it (like his phone number... we got it now).  It was perhaps the most enjoyable converstation we had all week.  And the topic thereof rather fitting for our situtation.  Anyways, total tender mercy.  Elder Pruner and I were coming off of having some pretty off days on the streets talking wtih people.  This helped out a ton.  In fact, it sort of spurred personal study the next day.  I studied miracles.
Ether 2 and 3 outilines a really cool pattern for miracles.  It's the story of the Brother of Jared and the stones.  The pattern goes like this:
A) Have a goal
B) Share with God your goal
C) Make a plan to accomplish the goal
D) Ask God to make up the difference
Rather than point out the verses that show this pattern (I've only a Korean Book of Mormon, and not enough time to find them), I'll leave it to you, if you want, to look for it.  This pattern sort of changed how I approach missionary work.... I know I've shared with all ya'll that I realize, more than ever, my inadequacies and weakness.  But it's not overwhelming or depressing, in fact, it's the opposite.  I know a few things I need to work on improving.  This story and this pattern, though, helped me realize that no matter how good I may become, I'll always fall short of being perfect.  Every plan that we've made to help somebody come unto Christ only worked when God helped, and that only happened when we asked for it.  With the Spirit's companionship, it doesn't matter how week our words are, it only matters that we believe and do all that we can to succeed.  Like we learn in 2 Nephi 25:23, we are only saved by grace after all that we can do.  God doesn't want us to fail, He doesn't want us to be unhappy.  He wants us to be happy and successful.
How has this changed the way I approach missionary work?  Well, I'm not worried about being perfect, but more concerned about doing my best.  I know that if I really act out of love, I don't waste time, and if I be where I'm suppposed to be when I'm supposed to be there, then I'll see success, and needs to happen will happen.  Why?  This is God's work.  He's able to make things happen by small and simple means.  He's able to accomplish wonders with imperfect efforts.
Does that mean that we don't try?  No, not at all.  But it does mean that we shouldn't be concerned by the fact that we aren't perfect YET.  We're here to grow, learn, and become.  That's the beauty of the gospel and the plan of salvation.  Progression.  Becoming.  Those two ideas bring a lot of hope.  They bring me hope.
I love you all!
Elder Elliott Wedam