Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Transfer 12 week 5

I'm wrapping up in the last 2 weeks of my mission and it feels like I just started the first 2 weeks of my mission... definitely strange.

This week has had somewhat of a theme, and something I am so grateful to have experienced at this point in my mission. We had 4 companionships come to us after having gone to their district and zone leaders for help with no prevail. They were each having companionship unity problems that were very deeply rooted. As they were each explaining their "side of the story" to us, it amazed me how often we overlook our own ills, but so easily see others. President Uchtdorf explained it this way, "I'm not sure why we are able to diagnose and recommend remedies for others people's ills so well while we often have difficulty seeing our own." Too often do we immediate assume the conflict is because of another, when we are not willing to look to ourselves to see how we can fix the problem. The only control that we have over these situations are self-control, the things that wedecide. Even how we react is a decision that affects the situation. And as for these sisters, they were so stuck on what their companions were doing that they weren't willing to look at their own mistakes. But something that I have learned from President Poulsen is called 'Behavior Modification'. It simply is asking one sister "What is it that you are doing that irritates your companion?" and after she explains, you turn to her companion and ask "Is this correct?" and if she says no, then you know they have not communicated and ask them to come back tomorrowafter they've discussed it together. When they return and both are on the same page, you look forbehaviors that they are willing to change. Often times you'll hear a response such as "Well she just thinks that she knows better than me and doesn't trust my judgement!" But that is not a behavior. So then you ask, "What does she do that makes you think that?" Once you find a behavior, they are then able to work on behavior modification, where you change one behavior a week to satisfy the problem. We have found it to be very successful here in the Temple Square mission, and I presume it is because we are finally looking inward to solve the conflict. It was quite inspired this week that I studied a talk entitled "Lord, is it I?" by President Uchtdorf. I was able to use a story he shared with these sisters to help them recognize that they were focusing so much on what their companions were doing wrong and were missing everything that they were doing to harm their companionship.

Here is the story:
Once there was a man who enjoyed taking evening walks around his neighborhood. He particularly looked forward to walking past his neighbor’s house. This neighbor kept his lawn perfectly manicured, flowers always in bloom, the trees healthy and shady. It was obvious that the neighbor made every effort to have a beautiful lawn.But one day as the man was walking past his neighbor’s house, he noticed in the middle of this beautiful lawn a single, enormous, yellow dandelion weed.
It looked so out of place that it surprised him. Why didn’t his neighbor pull it out? Couldn’t he see it? Didn’t he know that the dandelion could cast seeds that could give root to dozens of additional weeds?
This solitary dandelion bothered him beyond description, and he wanted to do something about it. Should he just pluck it out? Or spray it with weed killer? Perhaps if he went under cover of night, he could remove it secretly.
These thoughts totally occupied his mind as he walked toward his own home. He entered his house without even glancing at his own front yard—which was blanketed with hundreds of yellow dandelions.
I have a personal testimony of how we can create the situations and relationships we desire. Yes, we must respect and allow personal agency. But we have control over the decisions we make, and the changes we decide to implement. "In these words, 'Lord, is it I?' lies the beginning of wisdom and personal conversion and lasting change." -President Uchtdorf. If we find ourselves in a pickle, we should ask ourselves this very question. It is the key to a happy and successful life. I know these things to be true, and I am so grateful to have these experiences this week, which I know will help and bless me the rest of my life.

I hope y'all have a wonderful week!

Sister Brock

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