Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Week 86: Thoughts about having expectations and striving to be more conscious

Hello everyone!

Another excellent excellent week in the Hermosillo Mexico mission. We decided to do something exicting in the ward here, and we planned a movie night in the church for all to attend. We made popcorn and all kinds of other snacks and then watched the movie Meet the Mormons. Over 100 people showed up! It was an awesome turn out! The only said part was that we didn't make enough popcorn and it all ran out... I was one of the unlucky few....... But it really was a great time. If you haven't already, you have to see the movie. It is a great film about who the "Mormons" really are and it clears up a lot of the confusion about what we believe. And its honestly really exciting. I think my favorite clip is of the aviator.

Being here in Mexico, I learned something about people, something very beautiful to me, that has changed much of the way that I interact with others. Often times as human beings, we very easily become impatient with others who do not live up to our own expectations. We became frustrated with those who may not be as smart, as talented, as gifted, or simply not at the level that we are at. It is very easy to lose patience thinking this way, because the reality is that we are all at different levels, different stages of life, and if we walk around judging everyone based on where we are and what is happening to us right now, we are seeing the world in a very ignorant and naive way, through our own microscope, and setting ourselves up for disappointment. And not to mention discouragement toward others.

Now, we often here the quote that "ignorance is bliss," that by living without an understanding, we thereby avoid punishment. So we use that as a reason to just let people keep doing what they are doing, and we try to deal with it. But I have found that ignorance is not bliss, because ignorance hinders growth, it prevents you from progression. Rather, In it is innocence that is bliss, not ignorance. Maybe I am speaking blindly, but to me there is a big difference. Innocence is like that of a young child, who makes a mistake simply because he does not know and has not been taught, whereas ignorance may sometimes imply a refusal to learn after repeated opportunities to do so.

My point in saying all of this is that many times, when we as human beings make a mistake, it is often because we simply don't know. Therefore, it would be very unwise to scold and get mad at someone for simply not knowing. That would be equivalent to screaming at an infant for spilling the coolaid on your white shirt. That kind of critique does not build or promote growth, it damages and discourages. As we go about our dealings with our fellow men, we should be more conscience of the conditions of others when they do not live up to "our expectations" or when they dont do what we think should be done (when in reality, who are we to put expectations on others?). When we feel the urge to get impatient or frustrated with another's because they are not meeting our level of expectation, we should ask ourselves, "Do they know what is right? Was it just an honest mistake? Can I use this is an opportunity to teach rather than to scold? In my experience, more times than not I find that these moments are moments of innocence, blissful innocence, and that realization keeps me patient and with the right perspective. This kind of attitude will help us be more understanding, more patient, more loving , and more willing to help others in a way that uplifts.

That's all for this week. Make sure you all write Izzy!! A few words of encouragement can be very very helpful in the first few days of the mission! I can still remember the very first letter I read from home. It was from Brent Tsang, and he wrote me the very day after I had left. And he just wanted to make sure everything was ok. And almost two years later, I haven't forgotten it. So write Izzy! I mean, Hermana Bernal!

Elder Bernal

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