Monday, September 7, 2015

The guy with the red pants and sick dreads

Let me share a little life lesson from the guy with the red pants and sick dreads I met before my mission.
Dominic Balli
A couple weeks before I left for Colombia, I went to a concert with a friend.  While we were there, this lady spilled her beer all over the floor right behind us.  She apparently was incapable of cleaning it up, so we wiped it up with some paper towels.  Afterwards, I went to the bathroom to wash my hands (so my parents didn't ask why I smelled like beer).  While I was in the bathroom, I saw a guy with some sweet bright red pants, and probably the sickest hairdoo I've every seen.  He had a big healthy mess of dreads.  I told him I liked his doo and then I left back into the audience to watch the show.

Well, about 15 minutes later, after the first pre-show, the same guy walked out on stage.  He had his red pants, a sick mess of dreads, and a sweet Taylor guitar.  His show was just him with his guitar, and his friend on a mini drum set.  As he talked between songs, he told us about how he started up in Brazil.  He's really well known in Brazil, and usually does lots of tours there, but this year he had  tours through the US.  All of his songs were super upbeat and uplifting.  The main message of his songs was to find the good in everything and everyone.

He related several stories of times when he talked to people that might be homeless, or jobless, or have problems with drugs, or who knows what.  He talked about how we as humans have a first instinct to either reject people or try to help them because we have something that they don't.  But how often do we ask ourselves, "What knowledge does this person have that I don't?" or  "What is it that I could learn from this person?"

I've found this question to be really important in my mission.  As members of the church, we try to help people as much as we can.  We can see easily see the weaknesses of others, but often times we forget to look for their strengths.  The message of this artist was that every single person out there, every single child of God, has something to teach you.  Every person you see on the street has some light, some knowledge to share with you.  Not one of us is perfect, and not one of us is useless.
God doesn't make worthless children.

I've found this to be so true in the mission.  When I go into a house of an investigator, or a companionship exchange, with a set mind of what I am going to teach them, I learn absolutely nothing.  And I may or may not help them at all.  But the times when I go in just to listen, two things happen:
1) The spirit is able to teach them.
2)  I learn something, either from the spirit or from the other person.

We have to listen, we have to look.  Truths of the gospel are everywhere.

If you're having trouble loving someone, look for their strengths.  Figure out why God put them in your life.  Find the lesson that they are here to teach you.  Whether it's a big lesson or a small one, I promise it's there.  Every person you meet, see or talk to has something to teach you.
Those that don't seek will not find.

Today I went to the zone leaders house to get the packages you sent.  I got all 4 today.  I think they have been at the office for awhile.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!  The zone leaders said they have never seen a package so big.  Elder Cavero loves all the stuff you sent!  The music is awesome!  We haven't listened to it all yet, but believe me, we will!

I decided to send a written page of a thought that has been on my mind this week.

Thank you so much again for the packages.  It was super cool.  You are the best Mom ever!  Are there specific pictures you want?  We can't use our cameras while we are proselyting, so we can only use it on p-days, at baptisms or at family home evenings.
Love you lots, Elder Mason Danger

Spencer, Here is a map of our apartment:

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