I thought I'd go dig out my old missionary journal, see what I was doing or feeling twenty eight years ago. I was 19 years old and in the beautiful city of Nelson, the northernmost city of the South Island of New Zealand. I had been in the country since September and this was the third area I had been in and with my third companion.
Here is the passage:
February 8, 1981 - Nelson, New Zealand
"Well, this is going to be a short entry tonight. There was eclipse and it was quite dark this morning. No shift today, hopefully it'll come on the 16th for sure! Well, I decided that until I shift I won't write anything in here - cuz it'll only be bad. So... maybe for a while I won't even crack this book open cuz right now I really have hard feelings against everyone. I don't like the idea of being trapped here. So... for a while... Horray!" (A 'shift' was our transfer notice that we were moving to a new area or getting a new companion)
I had to go back a few weeks and try to remember why I wasn't very happy. My companion, Elder Drew Hanson was a nice guy but I felt he spent way too much time not doing missionary work, he liked to spend a lot of time with the members. I was expecting so much more; meeting more people, teaching more of the discussions, having these great moments of insight and converting someone. I had written to the mission president and told him how I felt back at the end of December and that I wanted a change. I lived on that hope that 'things will be better when....'
It's good to go back and see how you've changed! OMG, I can't believe how naive I was back then, how confused I was and how completely different I am now.
I could easily look back in hind-sight and say what I would do differently, but it was what it was. I have learned so much and I can only be concerned about where I am now. I have to believe in what makes sense to me. I am not a believer in "things happen for a reason" philosophy, I believe we just have to learn from what happens.
Which reminds me of one of my favorite scenes in the movie Latter Days: