Attitude is Everything: Transfer 2, Week 2‏

Me being a mannequin when we went to the mall.
Me being a mannequin when we went to the mall.
We saw this in West Linn and we died laughing.
We saw this in West Linn and we died laughing.
image3 (2)
This was on the van of the members that feed us the good southern meal. I appreciated the Monty Python reference.

Hello everybody. This week’s email is going to be short, but I promise
to send a super good one next week. I want to talk a little bit today
about attitude.

In life, you have your ups and your downs, which comes naturally. This
week was a little bit of a down week for me, but I learned a lot. This
week we did a lot of tracting and I’ll be the first to say I HATE
tracting. For us, we target lower income apartments and mobile home
parks because that’s generally what Hispanics can afford (not being
racist, I’m being honest. They don’t make a lot of money but they are
super humble). When we go to these apartments and mobile home parks,
we sometimes have an idea of if a Spanish speaker opens the door, but
most of the time anybody could be behind that door. Unless we seem
some very obvious signs of Spanish, we don’t know. That’s why I don’t
like tracting. More often than not, we’ll run into angry white people
that are in very bad circumstances and just mad at the world. And more
often than not, they like to take that anger out on the two, sharply
dressed, young men that have just knocked on their door. Sometimes I
feel like I have a target on my back, and I don’t like it. We’ve had
people try to Bible bash us , we’ve had countless doors slammed in our
face, and even offered beer, cigarettes and weed in a mocking way, and
this week was no different. We had a man who screamed at us to get off
of his expletive porch. As I’ve been studying this General Conference
we’ve just had, Elder Hugo Montoya’s talk about how we can lighten our
burdens and other burdens as we help others. One of the points he said
was to just smile. Before my mission, I read an article about how the
mind can trick the body into thinking things simply by acting a
certain way (if you want to feel more confident, act more confident.
If you want to feel happy, smile more. Etc.). In other words “Fake it
till ya make it”. As we were tracting this week, these thoughts came
to my mind and I forced myself to smile. It was uncomfortable at
first, and awkward, but it felt more natural as I kept making myself
do it. I didn’t realize it at first, but as the day went on, I felt
happy. This is not some news article online about how some scientists
in Europe tried an experiment where people felt happier as they smiled
more. Y’all, it seriously works. I hated tracting, but as I smiled
more, I realized that there’s no way to find people who might be
interested to teach if we don’t have the courage to knock on this door
and possibly face yelling and swearing. High risk, high reward. But
anyways, the point is that as I was more proactive and decided to
change my attitude about being happy, it wasn’t so bad anymore. The
best part of this story was after we got yelled at and sworn at. We
had been having a rough time, but I was forcing myself to smile and we
were walking though the last apartment complex and about to leave, but
we hear this LOUD Spanish music so we decide to go knock the door.
This sweet old Spanish lady answers and she basically called us angels
because we’re going around talking about God. She was awesome, and it
was almost like Heavenly Father knew that we were having a rough day
and He knew we were trying our hardest and our attitudes were good, so
He gave us her. She’s awesome.

The second part about attitude that I learned is about the people on
the other side of the door. There are two major types of people we
deal with as we tract in these low income areas, grumpy white people
and Hispanics. They both live in the same place, they both pay the
same price for their apartments and mobile homes, but their attitudes
are so vastly different. The Hispanics are so humble, hardworking and
happy. They work the jobs others aren’t willing to do, and more likely
than not, earn less pay. To them, they are so grateful for a home, for
the ability to have work, to be here in the greatest country on Earth.
To them, they have so many things to be happy about. The other people
however are generally grumpy older people. They choose to be mad at
the world for their circumstances, rather than grateful for what they
have. The two attitude are totally different.

I learned this week that our attitudes change everything. If we choose
to be happy, we will be. Instead of looking at the things we don’t
have, think about the things you are grateful for.

On a lighter note, we received three cakes and one pie this week,
which promptly inspired me to start to work out in the mornings
because I’ve been super slack about that. We taught a lot of lessons
to less actives and recent converts and we found one or two people
more to talk to, like Angela, the older Spanish lady I talked about
before.

Also, one of the families here offered to make us dinner so she asked
us what we liked. I told her I like cornbread, so she decided to make
a southern meal for me. They’re the best. We had steaks, cornbread,
collard greens and mashed taters. It was amazing. Members here love
the missionaries and I love that they love us. It was so kind of them
to make that for me.

Anyways, that was my week. I learned a lot, and hopefully I can pass
that on to y’all. Just remember this week to make yourself smile, and
every day think of things you are grateful for. It will not only make
you happier, but you will help lift others burdens too. I love y’all.
Have a good week.

Elder Davies

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