Today Elder Schenk is doing really well. He continues to try new foods and his physical therapy is going well. We know he has a long way to go, but we know he is making great strides every day.
We would like to share an email that Elder Schenk sent to our family a few months ago. It just goes to show what kind of a man he has become while serving the lord and the people of Brazil.
My companion and I were really bummed out cause we had been working so hard and good these last three weeks, especially this week, and then everything fell through. Last night as we were lying down at home, I was really thinking about this. Why would all of this happen, almost everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong, even though we are being so obedient and working hard. As I was thinking, I realized why.
Even though in our lives, when it seems we´re doing so good, and working so hard, and being so righteous, there are challenges. Because as we are doing what is right, yes, we are doing good. But there is no way to continually get better. There have to be challenges and trials in our lives, to make us rise just a little higher, do just a little better. It is those challenges and trials that shape who we are, and depending on how we react to them, we can become even better and stronger and more prepared.
Just like in swimming. I learned a lot of things from my swim coach, but one of them that I will always remember that she taught is about this subject. She taught, "You can swim really good, and have a great technique, but if you don´t feel pain or push yourself to above what you can handle, you won´t get any better. Yes, you will still be a good swimmer with good technique, but unless you push yourself above the limits and make yourself feel pain, you can´t become better, and therefore you can´t be the best you can be."
There is a famous quote that says this: "Just as a gem cannot be polished without friction, and man cannot be perfected without trials."
Challenges and trials are a part of this life. We agreed that they would be a part when we accepted Christ´s plan. I don´t believe that God makes those things happen to us, but He allows them to happen because He knows that it is through those challenges and trials that we will become better, and that we can become the best we can.
And the same thing applies here in my mission. It seems like this area is one of these huge challenges and trials. But because of them I´m becoming a better missionary and I´m more prepared for life after.
Love you so much!