One of the things that I believe in very firmly is that a missionary’s potential doesn’t truly come out until after his trainer leaves him. In a sense, your trainer is a sort of crutch that you lean on as you learn the ropes. Once the crutch is gone, you either fall down completely or you rise to the challenge and just take off. It’s been an interesting experience to see how Elder Dat has been doing with me gone. With his new companion, suddenly the results from their work have grown exponentially in the Thao Dien area. On the one hand, I’m extremely proud of him and the good work he’s been doing. On the other, I’ve also become more conscious of my own self as a missionary as I’ve reflected on that principle of being a trainer.
Let me tell ya, it’s not a good feeling to be a “crutch”, not so much because someone is leaning on you, but because when you finally leave your trainee and the work takes off, you find yourself wondering “Why didn’t we have that sort of success during the training period? Did I somehow play a role in restricting our success as a trainer?” It’s a little self-criticizing, but it’s really made me reflect on my own work-ethic and see what I can and need to do to be sure that even during the training period of 12 weeks, we still work our hardest and try our best to get results, crutch or no crutch. It’s getting harder and harder to motivate ourselves to get out there with the heat levels rising, but we do it! Hopefully the Lord will see our efforts and bless us with something to work with in the next coming weeks. Until then, I’ll settle for looking and feeling like a brown sugar/cinnamon Pop-Tart that just came out of the toaster.
PS: For Vietnamese people who live in HCMC, you are invited to come to LDS church on every Sunday at 9AM at Địa điểm: 16A Phan Tôn, phường Đa Kao, quận 1, tp HCM. All are welcome.