Monday, March 12, 2012

Becoming a failure.

Dear Mom,
It's been a pretty rough week. I'm just glad it's all over for now. Mapayapa lost it's meaning to me this past week, the good times had to end sometime I guess.

Last week was full of trials. Lots and lots of trials.

Everything started out not too bad. I played a prank on the other leaders in the house and put baby powder on their white seats while they were away, and when I came home that night, they thought it was hilarious that the stood up and both had completely white butts on their black pants. 

I repented a few minutes later.

I've made the comment that baby powder is like the Atonement and humidity is like the effects of the Fall of Adam. Baby powder corrects the effects of humidity. 

When we walked into our room last night, we found out that that prank was a bad idea. Our whole room was covered in baby powder.

You couldn't really see the extent of the effects on the camera, but it was pretty good. They took two huge containers of baby powder, turned on our electric fans, and let the good times roll. I wanted to be mad, but it was a good job.

After that, trials came in every direction possible. I felt like I was in the middle of a tornado, getting hit with trials and situations in every direction. It was time to make it through another storm.

I felt like I was failing at everything. Failing my leaders, failing my companion, failing my area, failing my family, failing my friends, failing myself. The world is sad and gloomy when it seems like you try your best to help, but can't do anything right. But instead of choosing to be the emo-teenager I probably would have chosen to be a few years back, I decided to study it out, and figure out what exactly is failure and what I could do to battle it.

Failure happens to everyone. Most dictionaries define it as the opposite of "success." Sometimes failure happens because of imperfections, or what we assume to be imperfections, and sometimes failure happens because the outcome is just not meant to be.

What I've learned though, is failure is all in your head. There is no concrete definition of what constitutes failure, it's all about how you look at things. For example, if my goal in life were to be a drug-addict or an iron-chef - I am clearly failing right now serving a mission.

Our aspirations and dreams usually determine whether or not we are failing or succeeding in life. For me, my biggest goal in life is to be able to raise a good, righteous family, and I believe serving a mission helps me to prepare for that. Ultimately, I'd like to see my family reach forever. So when the steps I take aren't efficient steps to get me there, frustration often follows.

In battling failure, I've found that we can confide in two things that I've found in the scriptures. The scriptures tell us that temporal things, even a man's own strength and heart, will fail him. But eternal things, things of heaven,  will never fail us. If we cling to those things when it seems like all is lost, then we can be assured that as long as we take steps in the right direction, there will be Someone reaching out to help us through.

After all was said and done - probably the best thing this week that happened is that I could shine a little doing one of things I loved the most in conducting the Mapayapa Ward Choir. Things couldn't have been better, and the stake leaders were very proud. And even if it was the only thing I didn't fail at this week, at least I had one.

The most important thing I've learned this week is that to say that something or someone is a failure, it means it's finished. An ending product. When we label ourselves as such, we throw in the towel and give up.

On some accounts I have failed this week, but on more accounts I'd like to think I've succeeded. I believe that Satan, the father of lies, would like us all to think that we are all failures and point us to see our mistakes and let us define ourselves by them. But as Pope John Paul II said, God does not look at us or define us as a sum of our mistakes and failures - so neither should we. Remember: God's children are not failures.

Elder Corpuz