I had NO idea what goes into making a mission work! Its interesting, because as a missionary you focus on your one little area and your own investigators. Then, as a district or zone leader you worry about your respective zones or districts, but still a relatively small area. When you are in the office, all the sudden you are put into different situations where the whole mission is concerned.
I finished being trained last week and it was a crazy couple of days. We had transfers (with 23 new elders coming in) so we have to do a lot of instructing for that and then did several hours of teaching. Then we have to translate for the new Cambodian Elders and etc etc. Its crazy and its hard work. It will definitely get me prepared for school! We are required to do many things things that no one will ever see or know. Had no idea. My new companion, Elder Ott and I are having a blast. It's really fun being with him. We are both pretty good at keeping things loose in stressful situations.
Example: Last night we'd just finished a long day. We were driving back completely exhausted. We got a phone call from an elder saying that he needed a mattress. (A little frustrating, who waits 30 minutes before lights out to ask for that?) We were absolutely exhausted but, drove back to the mission home and got the mattresses. We were the only ones there, so we decided to ride the mattresses all the way down the stairs. Sounds dumb but it was REALLY funny!
Other things we did this week: Conducted a devotional of very emotional departing missionaries and their families with the senior couple from the office. Picked up all the new missionaries. Learned how to drive a stick shift. Gave instructions to all the trainers in the mission. Coordinated all the bus tickets. Shuttled Elders to bus stations. We got to be a part of a last minute transfer meeting with President. (super cool) And so much more...
Also, OUR INVESTIGATORS ARE SO COOL! I'm now in the international branch so we teach people from many places in the world. Mostly Nigerians right now. They have an amazing accent and are the nicest people. I feel like the Lord has really been looking out for me. I actually wanted to serve in Africa my whole life and right now, we're teaching many Nigerians. Some are refugees others are here playing soccer and others are here to teach. So awesome. The other day we took Solomon (a super buff 19 year old Nigerian man who is leaving soccer to serve a mission... to Nigeria) to help us with teaching Isaac. (another man from Nigeria) They started talking after the meeting and said something to each other and then went off for like 15 minutes about their ancestors.... turns out they're from the same village in Nigeria! It was super cool. We're also teaching 4 Sri Lankan refugees. They got baptized last week. They might have to go back to Sri Lanka next week. But we'll see. We're doing zone conferences next week so its pretty much going to be one big road trip. I have to admit it's been a little overwhelming for me and I'm sure my companion as well. There are many times when I feel completely inadequate for this calling. I'm companions with one of the better Khmer speakers. The Standards are pretty high. I usually speak really slow so that people can understand. But now all the sudden I have to learn to focus on what people are saying and then translate quickly and its been super hard for me. I have faith in the Lord and that He wouldn't call me to this unless I was ready, but at the same time there's so many things that I'm simply not very good at. Its a blur every day. There's much more qualified elders that are older than me that could probably do a much better job. It's a struggle, but it will be good for me. I just need to rely on the Lord, and everything will be all right. I love you guys so much. Read your scriptures and stay safe. Elder Nelson.