Beware of pride
I had begun to learn this lesson about 10 months into my mission. Like most young and eager missionaries I was excited to lose myself in the service of our lord and savior. I had made changes in my life to help myself more understand the people I was called to serve. While doing this I had created a riff, thinking I was only called to serve the Filipino people, not the American people. Obviously this was a huge mistake.
Up until this point I had gotten along great with my Filipino companions talking time to be patient with them and allow them to teach me. My American companions I had a hard time with. Like most I told myself it was them not me. I held my American companions to a higher standard. I told myself if I was taught this in Sunday school so were they and they should know better. I felt that if I could make the change to love being in a foreign land so should they. This was a few examples of how I felt. I had given my Filipino companions an easier time on this because most were not taught since birth about how to serve a mission.
Things did not change until I was placed in a area where my companion and I were living with another set of missionaries. I was paired with a Filipino companion and our roommates were an American and Filipino companionship as well. From the start everything the American elder would do just irritated me to no end. He would complain about always eating rice, he was good at the language but would refuse to speak anything but English while out teaching. I couldn’t understand why he was on a mission if he couldn’t love the people he was called to serve. I continued to let my emotions and anger build towards this elder. Thinking to myself that I was better than he because I loved the Filipino people more.
In October 2010 we had gathered together for the priesthood session of general conference. This was also the same time I was living with the elder I could not stand. In this session Elder Uchtdorf gave an amazing talk about pride in the priesthood. It had dawned on me in this session that it was my own pride that had caused this riff. I had allowed myself to think I was so great for making such a great sacrifice that I was more special than this Elder and any other American Elder.
Starting immediately I went about changing my out look on who I was called to serve. I was called to serve in the Philippines Bacolod mission. Not only the people of Filipino dissent but everyone within my mission boundary, Filipino, American, missionary alike. I was called to serve all. I ask that you see that all are God’s creation no one more special than the other.
Elder Hernandez served in the Philippines Bacolod Mission