Monday, February 25, 2013

February 25, 2013

Hey Family!
So to answer some of your questions yes I am getting all of the letters that Dad is sending they are awesome! I am trying to write people back but we don't have alot of time to do everything we want on Pday so sometimes I can't get around to it. So tell everyone that I'm not trying to pick favorites I'm just trying to do my best!

(Have you been shot at yet?)

I haven't really been shot at yet. Well not even threatened. I was kinda hoping that we would be more but I guess we will just have to see over time!

(Are there any restaurants that give missionaries free food?)

We were starting to teach this guy named at Subway so we could go in their occasionally and get a free sub. He kinda got busy though so he dropped us off of his schedule. Frustrating. Another member has a tab at this gas station so we can go there and occasionally get a sausage or something which is really nice!

<The young man getting ready to go on a mission> is starting to lose some weight I believe. He went and did some of the Scottish games this last weekend, which was really neat. I guess that he did well. We are probably going to go and work out with him tommorrow, which is exciting. He does have a ways to go but he is making baby steps!

(Do you like cheesecake?)

Yes I do love cheescake. I would peobably say that I love just the plain kind or rasberry. Blueberry would also be acceptable. Man someone should make a huckleberry one in August that would be sweet!

(Does your companion like the viola?) 

Yes Elder Kertamus and I are actually going to be performing a musical number in a few weeks for sacrament meeting! I am pretty excited. I may try and get a video of us practicing it so then I will send that home eventually when I get some more pictures and things.

<One of the ladies we are working with> is doing alright. She is getting frustrated that she hasn't been baptized yet and is kinda taking it out on us. She stopped talking to us this week. Her friend  is this giant german man and has been on us about getting her baptized and all of that. She has to be interviewed by President Jones so we called and made an appointment with him but now she just doesn't want to talk with us so I guess we will see what happens.

I hope that answered all of your questions!

So as for my week. It was a really good one! We were knocking doors and found this family. It is a mother, father, and daughter. They are so sweet! When we knocked the first thing they said was "yeah we heard about the trial..." we were like "Oh no..." but then she said "no that actually made me more interested! So we starting teaching them and invited them to be baptized and they said yes! They have a date set for the 17th of March! The mother actually came to church yesterday and absolutely loved it! It was so exciting. The branch president was astonished at us. He didn't really believe that we had someone that was excited to know about the gospel! It's been awhile since anyone has been able to be baptized here and it kinda has dropped the faith of the branch but yesterday was like an awakening for all of them. There was such a different spirit there.

<A young man in the branch> was also given the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday and he was sooo excited to be able to be apart of it! I got to stand in on the circle with the President Smith and his uncle that gave him the Priesthood. It was a really neat experience and probably the highlight of my mission so far. He really did progress such a long way and really has the desire to share this gospel with everyone that he meets which is something that we all need to do!

It was really an amazing day. The work here in Fredericksberg is starting to move forward.  It is alot harder to do I believe then to just knock doors everyday but it is really starting to show results. The work is hastening. I believe that soon the Savior will come again. I wish that it was sooner rather than later but I know the time will come. He will come. I love the work. I love my savior. He is my rock.
Elder Paul Robert Funk
 Remember who you are and what He stands for!

Love y'all and have a great week!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February 18, 2013

Yeah thanks so much for all of the letters that ya'll sent me this week! It has been really great to be able to get so much stuff from y'all.

(What is most different about Texas?)

The thing that is most different about Texas is probably not having any mountains. DEFINETLY took those for granted when I was back home. I basically have no idea what is north and south while I have been here I have just kinda memorized all the streets and things. I got to start driving also this week because Elder Kertamus is going home on the 20th of March so he can't drive for his last transfer.

(Do you like being 'on your own'?)

 I do like being out on my own. It is really fun but still so structured. I am probably a lot neater being on my own and having to take care of all of mine own stuff. My room is basically spotless from all of my stuff Elder Kertamus' is a little trashed though! It's cool though.

(What do you like receiving in the mail?)

I like just about anything in the mail. I really don't have a ton of time to write back to many people this week so just tell everyone thank you so much for the letters and that I really do appreciate everyone that writes me.

I think that some of the things that I wish I would have done before my mission is definelty to study the scriptures more and just basically love people. I was really judgemental before I came out here but I have really been trying to work on that as I have been out here serving all the people.

Hope that answers a bit!
As for my week I would have to say that it was the hardest out of all of them. We didn't really get to teach any lessons this last week. That makes for a long week! We did have a scripture study class last week and it's sorta a funny story. So we talked about 2 Nephi 2 and studying the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We read in verse 11 about opposition in all things. So I decided to tell the story of Oscar Pistoris. Keep in mind that this was on Wednesday night. So we talked about him for like 5 minutes and everyone really sorta knew about him but anyway.. It was a good example for then. THEN he shoots his Girlfriend the next day? Really? I got phone calls from a bunch of people in the branch telling me that my role model just shoot his Girlfriend. Dang it. It was just insane. Of all the people that I could have picked to talk about I chose that one. Man... Heavenly Father has a sense of humor sometimes I believe.

On Saturday we went knocking some doors and EVERYONE that we talked to basically told us we were going to hell and that we needed to read the bible. Awesome people. Sometimes people try and bible bash with us but there was a man and he wanted to really badly. We talked to him about the Premortal existence. He told us that not everyone was a child of God. What?... So we told him that they were and it was interesting to watch him struggle trying to defend his case as we bore our testimonies of the gospel. He talked about the God head and was saying something about them being one. I bore my testimony of them being three distinct individuals and told him. "You cannot dare to deny the truth of the distiniction between Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. You cannot say that they are one. The feelings in your heart right now is God telling you that I am here telling you the truth. You cannot deny that." He could not. He said that I was right. It was really neat. The spirit is so incredible.

Last night we came home and there was like a bunch of cops outside our apartment talking to our neighbors. I guess that there was a giant fight going on and one guy got sent to the hospital. Man.. talk about awkward! We have a picture of Christ hanging on our door and so we said hi and walked right on in. We scare our neighbors. It's kinda fun because they are all the same age but we are on so far of a different track.

Well I pray that this will be a better week for lessons. I really believe that it will. This is the Truth. This is God's Truth.

Remember who you are and what He stands for.

February 11, 2013

Yes I am in Fredericksberg for a least another 5 weeks. My guess is that I will be here til maybe May or June. Elder Kertamus thinks that I will be training once he leaves in March. I kinda hope so. It would be a neat opportunity especially so early on in the mission. I think that I may get to drive this next transfer and we have a truck which makes it all the more sweet! I got your packages today! That was sooo sweet! Thanks I'm super excited to get to play it eventually. **Elder Funk received permission to have his viola sent to him.  That is one of the packages he is referring to.** I will probably write back next week, we are going to go to Kerrville today and probably hang out with them because one of the Elders is getting transferred to somewhere else. If anyone is wondering what to send me.. I think ties would probably be fine:) I don't really have a need for too much. I budget really well and I don't think I will ever overspend my budget. You know me! I think that should about answer all of the questons but if not ask me more on next Monday! I love them!

As for my week.. It was a hard one. We had alot of people not like us. Like at all. We had one lady cuss us out for being there and told us that we weren't christians we told her that we were and she responded by like telling us that she was going to pray against us. Interesting.... Elder Kertamus and I joke sometimes at the judgement, they are going to be asked "You said what to the missionaries??" It always makes the doors a little funner and easier to get though!

The first time that I almost broke the Word of Wisdom was on my mission! Crazy! Our branch Mission leader called us up and invited us over to dinner at his house. We had some incredible Chili and after he asked us if we wanted some Ice Cream. Of course we said yes! He told us that it was his wife's favorite and that they only make it in January. It was "Almond Fudge Mocha" being sheltered in Utah I thought that the Mocha was just like a flavoring. Elder Kertamus took a bit and asked does this have coffee in it? We went through the Ingredients and sure enough second to last.. Coffee!! I didn't even swallow but it was pretty good. The mission leader was like.. Well it's near the bottom and so that doesn't really count but we didn't eat anymore. Kinda a funny story I guess!

We held our scripture study class this week and did it on Mosiah 18 Living that Baptisimal Covenant. It was a super powerful lesson. We invited some of the members to bear their testimonies about it which made it all the more better. There is one member in there that has a hard time getting along with alot of people. He is a little different and just kinda calls everyone out when he teaches Elders Quorum. He and his wife kinda exclude themselves because they are a little different, but we let him share what his thoughts are and I could just tell that it meant the world to him to have someone ask him to do something. It was really a neat experience. 

There is another young man in the branch. He is getting ready to go on his mission like I have probably said before. The problem is though that he has to lose like 50 pounds before he can go out there. We are actually going to start working out with him tomorrow morning which is a whole different story... Anyway we had a lesson with him which was super powerful. It's interesting because sometimes it's like I just step aside out of my body and watch the spirit take over and fill my mouth with words that are not mine. I remember that I said "Somebody needs you. There are your brothers and sisters that have been waiting since the premortal existence to have their best friend come and tell them the wonderful message of the restored gospel. Somebody needs you." I watched his face light up what an amazing experience to have. 

Other then that the work is progressing slowely but surely! I am having a good time here and can't wait to get to see someone get baptized and change thier lives around! 

Remember who y'all are and what He stands for!

Elder Paul R Funk 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

February 4, 2013

I actually asked Paul some questions in my email to him so I'll add the questions to his answers.  It will make his letter seem less random :)

 (What is your ward like?) 

Yeah so i'm actually in a branch! It's super small there are probably like 70 or so people that attend it every week which is a little different from back home. They are really interesting... Most of them are pretty cool and there are a few that are really supportive of our missionary efforts but whenever we have branch council it seems like alot of them really don't have a ton of faith in us. Which is to bad but I believe that this will change really soon!

(Do you attend one ward all three meetings or go to different ones?)

We do just attend the same branch in one area. It is really small here, the church is I mean, so we do our best to help all of the members go and just have some people there. The town of Fredericksberg is kinda like a vacation destination for like honeymooners. There are SO many old people here too. It's pretty nuts. So yeah we have some visitors like every week but they are usually from way out of town or something.

(What is your apartment like?  How many people live there?)

In our apartment it is just Elder Kertamus and I. The closest missionaries to us are still like 25 miles away. We cover like 60 miles north of us and just alot of area. It's really hard because we can only drive 1300 miles a month. Which seems like alot but really it's not enough sometimes! We had to ride our bikes quite a bit in January so that we could stay under the mile count.

(Have you been playing the piano at all?)

I haven't had to play piano because everyone in the branch does. It's so incredible. Literally every single one of the do. Mostly because they have a piano that has all of the hymns recorded on it, but there isn't a ward that has this many piano players in the entire church like here in Fredericksberg!

(Do you cook very much? )

Yeah we get to cook quite a bit here. Mostly it's Raisen Bran or sometimes I make some nachos or something. For the first few weeks the members fed us really well but this week we don't really have anyone to feed us. Sad, but it'll be awesome!

(What is your favorite thing to do on P-Day?)

Well for P day basically we just go around town. We usually go to this place called Rustlin' Rob's which is place with tons and tons of different hot sauces and things. Last week I tried one that had 6 million scoville units or something. Yeah. It was Hot. Another thing that we did was that we had a chocolate covered pickle. Yes I mean a pickle. It was the single worst thing that I have ever had to eat in my entire life. It was AWFUL. That is probably the worst decision that I have made out here, but hey anything is worth a try at least once right?

As for our Investigators we are working with a young man. He is depressed all the time and really doesn't think he has a purpose in life. He is trying to quit smoking his Pot but has a ways to go. His friend is trying to help him get back into church because he knows that it will help him and we are trying to get both of the to come to church just in general. We have a lesson with him tomorrow and hopefully that will go really well!

The other lady we have been working with is so solid! She came to church yesterday and brought her boys with her! She really really wants to change her life and is excited to come and to do all the things that the branch has to offer. She will probably get baptized the end of this month or maybe even March. We get to teach her the Law of Chastity this week and I can't wait! ;)

The other one that we have been working with  is a referral that we got from one of the members of the branch. He just seems to get it! He is reading in the Book of Mormon and seems to find it really interesting. We just went and had lunch with him and he told us that it is just really powerful. We were so excited to see him have that good of an experience with it! We have a lesson with him tonight so hopefully all goes well there!!

As for crazy stuff that happened this week.

Frodo was in Fredericksberg. We heard a rumor going around that Patrick actually got to have his picture with him! I will for sure keep you updated on that situation.

We also met Goliath. I have no doubt that the Lord protects His servants. We went to knock this neighborhood that was sort of out of town. When we got there we knocked on a door and a man answered, he wasn't very interested, so we asked him if any of his neighbors needed a message from God. He told us his neighbor was having a rough day but that he was not the friendly sort of fellow and that we probably shouldn't go over there. We however felt that we should. There was a long dirt road that led up to this house. As we walked I felt something different. I turned to Elder Kertamus and said "The powers of Good and Evil are about to met." We kept walking and saw a confederate flag flying on the barn as we stepped onto the door step. I knocked on the door and out came a 6'6" man that was a solid built 275 at least. He said "You Mormons?" I said "Yes sir! We are from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!" He said "well you can leave." tossing in a few obscenites along with it. "Well sir is there anything that we can do to help you?" I said. "No I'm catholic and you better get off this porch before I make you" He then threatened me telling me that he would hurt us and told me to get away. This entire time I did not break I contact with him and it terrified him. Eventually we walked away and as we did insults to me rained down on me. Elder Kertamus didn't really say anything to the man the entire time. So he was shouting curses littered with the F word at me as we walked down the long dusty driveway. It was a sad sight to see. But I was not afraid of the man because I knew something that he did not. I know that I am a Disciple of Jesus Christ, The Son of God. I have been called of Him to Declare His word among His People. I know that, that man could not hurt me. I would take anything that he had to give because I am not just a man. I am a Disciple of Jesus Christ. I know that He Loves me and will protect me.

Love You All!
Elder Paul Funk
Remember Who You Are and What He Stands For! 

January 28, 2013

I am so glad about missing all of the snow, although the lessons that we had were we just went outside were the best ones! I love doing service. It's the best. I wish that more people around here would let us help them but being in this  town everyone is pretty hard headed and has to do things their own way.

Yeah so for my week! It was actually fairly normal compared to the other weeks I think! We are still working with this lady and she is starting to come around. She has to work on Sunday alot so she can't really come but hopefully this next week or two she will change that and by the end of the month or so she will probably be able to get baptized!

The other guy that we are working with  has some issues with some of things he is dealing with from the past. It's sad to see and he just needs to let the Atonement into his life and he will be able to let it all go. I can't even imagine how hard it is though for him. We are going to teach him tomorrow though and I'm totally excited!

We did while we were tracting run across a lady that told us that she was kinda a demon fighter. She talked about how she ran across this possessed clown in her friends house and she had to fight it off. She blesses the house I guess? I don't know, she is really a pretty good person she has had such a rough life. I guess she was abused and now runs a program to help battered women. It's crazy to hear the stuff people have had to go through in their lives to get where they are now.

Another story I guess is with the a family. They are less active but their son has his girlfriend living there who is a non member. We are hoping to be able to start to teach her soon! She has another daughter however that is 11 years old. She has epilepsy which is so sad. We had the prompting to go over there one day and when we showed up she had been having seizures every 5 minutes. We were able to give her a blessing and everything turned out alright for now. I don't know exactly how she is dealing with it or to what extent the damage is so far but all we can do is pray for her and her family.

I think I told you about another man we are working with. We ran into him and he snatched the Book of Mormon right out of our hands. He came up to us again this week and told us that he believed that more then 145,000 people were going to be saved. We responded well... So do we! He was like what?... I guess that he has been having the Jehovah's Witnesses or someone else come over and he just doesn't want to deal with it. He said that he read the Book of Mormon and that the stories are true, he just wants the bible for now. We talked to him but he seemed very nervous and jumpy for some reason. I think that the seed has been planted it may just take time to grow.

Overall this has been a great week and a wonderful week to grow! I can't believe that January has alreadly almost come and gone! It's nuts! Days are starting to to turn into weeks and weeks into days! Everything is going so fast.

Anyway y'all have a good week and know that I am praying hard for y'all and working even harder out here in the field. I know that He lives and I Know that I will see him again.

Elder Paul Funk