Monday, December 29, 2014

The Lesson of One More

Hello all,

This week was hard. One of the hardest here on my mission, but still nothing compared to some of the first few in the field. What made it hard was the sicknesses (home and physical) and obviously Christmas. But Christmas really wasn’t that bad because like I said it wasn’t really Christmas: it was a Thursday that I got to talk to my family. 

Talking was good. Actually it was fun. Too short, but cool to see everyone. It was extremely strange to be on the other side of the camera especially when talking with Chloe because we just switched sides since Mother’s Day. It was hard at the end to say goodbye, but overall good. 

Harder was the next day. Due to the fact that my companion was sick with a stomach infection, I was confined in my room all day to drown in thoughts of home: of the Arizona game (but seriously so mad I missed that Arizona game) of iPhones and of everything I miss. It sucked. It was worse for Elder Thatcher, but terrible for me.

Moving on though, it gave me time to read. I read all of the talks I have. I also reread the letter you sent to me, Mom. Such an awesome letter thanks again. 

Afterwards I was thinking about basketball though. Then, about Jonas. And about a practice we had.

It was a Friday night JV practice in the Aux Gym sophomore year. This practice we had to run all day. We did agility defensive slides. Then a minute of H-e-double hockey sticks and then more agility and defensive slides. We had done all of this, and then did 10 suicides in 10 minutes. After this everyone was dying on the line exhausted, panting, and lying on the ground, grateful practice was over. I remember clearly Jonas standing up and walking over to us. I was bitter and mad because I didn't understand why it was necessary for us to have had to run so much that practice. 

Then, Jonas in his quiet, calm, and annoying at the same time voice that pierces into your soul asked the team, "Can you do one more? Do you got one more in you?" 

There was a low grumbling from the team and silence. He repeated the question. We replied, "Yes Coach,” quietly. He asked again, and then we screamed, “Yes Coach! We ran another sprint. 

We finished. Even more dead tired and Jonas asked us again if we could do one more. And we did. He asked and we proceeded to do about 5 more sprints. People were falling over. Muscles were cramping. After another sprint he asked again, "Can you do one more?" 

"Yes Coach." we replied. Then Jonas smiled and said that we were done for the day and to shoot free-throws. 

I thought of this story that day after Christmas while sitting alone and missing home. It is a life skill I will always have. And I realized how I have used this experience throughout my mission and how I continue to use it. Even when I’m dead tired, throwing up in the bushes. I can always go one more. One more door. One more street. One more lesson. One more week. One more transfer. One more year. It’s important for every missionary to learn that lesson—the lesson of one more. 

Have a great week. I love you all.

Elder Walker

PS I still didn't get my Christmas package :(

My Christmas present from President and Sister Henderson.