Hey family! It's good to hear that you had such a fun Thanksgiving. Do you know that Elder G and I spend our Thanksgiving stuffing ourselves. Course the stuffing was not as good as your's dad but it was good. We had three back to back to back dinners, I slept really really good that night.
This week has been a week of miracles. We found a lot of really cool and interesting people. A Russian kissed me four times on the cheek. I know it's his culture but I still felt really weird. My companion Elder G felt the same way. I feel like all my stories I can't relate very well over email. And I get exhausted when I think about trying haha. I know I am a wimp....
Lately I have been thinking what it really means to be a good person. A lot of this thought was brought on by Stan our Russian friend. His Mother was a prostitute and he was born in the slums of Communist Russia. He described to us the absolutely evil things that happened to him growing up. Later on in his life He defected from the Red army in the 80s, came to America and found Christ. He is an amazing humble man who just by looking at him you can tell he is filled with love and compassion. He is not the most intelligent, talented, or funny guy, but good radiates from him.
I want to be a good man. There is nothing in this world that matters more than developing attributes of Christ. In these last few months my desires have changed. My whole mission I have wanted to become the best missionary possible for good and also bad reasons. The bad being for self recognition, and to make myself and my family proud. Now I view my mission as preparation for the rest of my life. I don't want to come home and be like a lot of other return missionaries I have met out here who rest on those two years as the single most important thing they have ever done and will tell you stories on stories about how great they were and they were Ap and zone leaders and will council you on how to be better, but when push comes to shove they won't even go out of their way to say hi to someone who it's their first time coming to church especially when it is blatantly obvious that that is the case.
To me all the bold words, finding and teaching skills you develop don't mean a single thing If you can't apply them to real life situations without the badge and without the expectation to baptize that month. I know I am ranting right now and I need to calm down, but I have been noticing that a lot of missionaries hearts including mine are not in the right place.
I have been most impressed on my mission by good humble people whose only desire is to better the world through the gospel. These people are not loud about it. They show it by where and how they spend their time. These people don't have to be Bishops or Elders Quorum Presidents. These people are the ones that call us and ask in what way can they help. That don't have to be poked and prodded to share the Gospel or to sign up for cleaning the church. They do it inherently because they have a testimony of what the gospel has done for them and most importantly have not forgotten about it.
I desperately want to be that person and it has taken 22 months for this thought process I have been having to come full circle. I am glad that I am starting to figure this out before I come home haha.
Sorry again for the rant take from it what you will! I love you all so much and look forward to hearing from you. Love Elder Wagner.