Right now our room has one room with a little air conditioner. At night when I lay down, I take off the top sheet, and lay down on the mattress and fall asleep. There's no sheet, no blanket, nothing. We turn on the air conditioning, and everything goes black. I fall right to sleep.
In past apartments, or when I go on exchanges with other missionaries, most apartments just have fans. It's pretty much the same thing. I have a degree thing on my clock, and right now it says 96 degrees. It doesn't feel hot like 96 degrees did at home, it just seems normal. If there is a little fan, or something that makes air move, even a little bit, it feels fine. My body seems to think it's just normal. I'm a little worried that when I get home I may be a big baby about the cold.
This week Harold, the one who got baptized last week, has been going out with us a lot. We took him out all day long, to several visits, and met a lot of people. He decided, all on his own, to go 'pass by people' on Sunday morning, (meaning he went and reminded them to come to church). It was pretty cool. He's getting really excited about the work, and really wants to go on a mission. We're going to keep working with him, and help prepare him, so he can go serve the Lord on a full time mission. He gets the priesthood this next week, after his interview. We're super excited about that.
This week, on the church website, they came out with a new video about depression and mental health.
Watch it here: Here. I thought it was really cool to hear the testimony of Elder Holland. It says that 1 in 4 people suffer from a mental disease. That is a lot. But I believe it. We see it everywhere here. It seems like life used to be simpler--you work, you sleep, you eat, you play. But today, there are so many distractions. There are too many opinions, and a lot of pressure from social priority--because of social media. It all plays a role in how people view themselves, and compare themselves to others. We have to be really careful and aware of this. There are a lot of people struggling with this.
I was reading a talk today called 'Mental toughness' -or something else in English, that's just my translation, it was by Elder M. Russell Ballard. It talks a lot about how we need to be mentally strong. When we enter this world, we have our mind and our spirit. When we die, the body stays here. I feel like there must be a connection between the mind and the spirit that must be stronger than the body. Maybe that's our job, to master our minds, because they so closely affect our spirit. If you put your mind to anything--You Can Do It.
There is not a thing in this world you can't do if you have the mental determination to do it. It has a lot to do with our attitude, our habits, and our abilities. God gave everyone talents. And he's given us all desires. If we combine our desires with our talents, we can strengthen our mind and it can overcome whatever challenges come our way. One of the biggest stumbling blocks we might face, is the temptation to excuse ourself or to complain. Excuses, complaints, pride, not taking responsibility, are things that will hold us back from meeting our true potential.
We have to work on it. Just like our muscles have to work at being stronger, our minds have to be strengthened too. I know a lot of people suffer from mental diseases. We have met a lot of people here. I know what they are like. Hopefully we can all learn to have compassion, and suffer with those people, and look for a way to overcome these problems. The best way to do that is to stay busy with good things, and do all we can to understand the gospel--meaning God's Plan for you, the Atonement, and all that Jesus Christ has done for us.
The video is called "Like a Broken Vessel" and can be found on Mormon.org. Watch it. If you broke your finger, you would go to the doctor for a splint to fix it. If your mind is broken, you need to do the same thing--Seek out professional help. It won't be as simple as a splint, but you can work at it, and there are people who can help. Look for others you can help. I know God has all power and can do all things. I trust in Him. I know he will bless us, and I know he has the power to help us overcome hard things. Be happy! There is so much good in the world. Don't complain, don't make excuses. Pray to God who has promised he will "Come unto you."
I love you guys. I hope you're doing good!
Elder Mason Burk