Thursday, May 30, 2013

Preaching to Pastors

So this week was so much better. I mean I guess the work was about the same. After ward council last week we came and Brother Durst bore his testimony about the importance of fellowshipping during missionary work. It was incredible. He is my favorite member ever! During Priesthood they were talking about what parents do to help their kids aim high. So being the youngest there they called on me to talk for a second. I started telling them about how the saying in our house as we leave is "Remember who you are and what He stands for." I just broke down crying. Because that is the key isn't it? Confidence is instilled in us as we truely come to realize who we are. Children of a loving heavenly father who cares about us! He does! I truely have come to know that with every fiber of my being. I am not out here alone. We are surrounded by angels that are guiding us to do what is right and to guide us back to Him. I am working on writing something that I call Eternal Homesickness.. It's kinda a cool idea. I will keep ya updated maybe! But really. We just miss our Heavenly Father and as we are obedient to the commandments that he gave us for this life we begin to realize the same commandments that we have now are in place were in place before we came. As we obey we begin to remember the same feelings that we had when we were with our Pre Mortal Family.

We had a couple of Less Actives come to church this Sunday. They haven't been to church in a really long time so that was a miracle! It was awesome! So that was one of the rewards of hard work this week. It was really neat to be able to apart of that.

We had a training meeting that we had to go down to in San Antonio this week on Thursday. It was way awesome because I got to see President and a ton of my missionary friends. I have gotten to meet quite a few of the Elders in the mission now. It is so fun to be friends with them. I even got to see Elder Steggell. Man I miss him. He got transferred down to South San Antonio. When President was training the 75 missionaries he started to talk about the baptisimal invitation, and he looks and says "Does somebody want to volunteer to give me the baptisimal invitation before I call on Elder Funk?" Everybody laughed so I stood up and said "President Jones. Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the Priesthood Authorty of God?" The spirit just flew in. It was incredible. He even said Yes! It was a neat experience. Then he and Sister Jones sat in a couple of my role plays that we did. It was really neat! I loved it! Hope I did alright though...

We knocked alot of doors again and we ran into a couple of pastors which was pretty fun I guess! I love to talk to people that have an idea of what they are saying.. It is so fun because we can have a conversation where it is kinda a give and take kinda thing. It is neat to learn from them their ideas. We also sat down with my friend Les again on Friday. He argued a few more points after watching some YouTube videos and googling some more stuff. I called him out on it. So yeah we talked alot more especially about the Plan. It was neat because I can really see his heart beginning to soften. He has a ways to go before he will accept everything buy one day he will!

We taught the Sermon on the Mount once again this week and that was fun because we got into details and they love all the stories that I tell from home. Especially the camping ones that I tell. I really am loving the work here. It is hard but I know that it is worth it. The harder I work the more my reward will be. I know that is the truth. It's frustrating because sometimes in life we don't always see the momentary rewards, but they are just going to come in the future. As long as I am obedient and work really hard I know they will.

I have the most sure witness that Jesus is in fact the Christ. It is an amazing fact that The Son of God loved us so very much that he came down to die for us in a supernal act of love. If I knew nothing else I know that he will come back to this earth. I know that by the power of the Holy Ghost. He truly does testify of truth. We had a lesson this week with a man named David, he is in his 60's and had a stroke not to long ago and has been struggling with the death of his really good friend. We were going to teach him a restoration lesson but when it got down to it I felt like I should teach him the plan. I taught him about earth life and for some reason told him about temples. He was stunned. It just started crying saying that he loved that. As we left the spirit was telling him that what we had told him was the truth. I do know that it was. Of that I bear witness. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Remember who you are and what He stands for!
Elder Paul Robert Funk

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hailstones and Clam Chowder

Howdy ya'll.
Alright so this week has been crazy! So i don't remember if I mentioned but last friday we spent the whole day doing a roof and fixing it for the storm. There was a TON of damage. The hailstones in some areas were like baseball size. It was crazy. We walked through some of the rich part of town and it is horrible what happened but I don't think anyone got hurt at all. We have like 3 people that have roofs that have to be replaced so on Sunday the Elder's Quorum President stood up and said that we have to get on that to fix them all because "Elder Funk used to work construction and we can use him!" Basically like 5 people stood up and talked about service that I had done for them. Elder Low laughs everytime, he says the members have a competition to who can compliment me more. I hate it. I guess that is a good thing though.

So we taught a crazy lesson last Monday. I made Elder Low bike and we flew around town. It has been in the 90's and pretty dang humid the last few days but I worked harder this week then I ever have before.  Anyway we taught this guy after he invited us into his garage. He started telling us about how we were going to a "lickifier" I was like " What the heck is a lickifier? He said no. "Lake of Fire!" so he cursed us for like 45 minutes telling us to drop this mormon thing for one day. I just told him no. After we taught him for a bit I felt like he needed to be baptized. So I did. He looked at me said "yeah" then he stood up and I was " Oh shoot, this guy thinks he is going to get baptized right now." and then he said " I have to go to the bathroom." He came back out 10 minutes later with a beer. Yeah... He was drunk... He grabbed our heads and started yelling "Fire!" and then had like a freak out moment. Safe to say... We got out of there.

So then the next day we had a miracle. We walked up to this lady smoking and she was sitting there and we started to tell us about her life, and asked were we were from I said Utah! She then told us that we were her guardian angels because it was the first day that she was going to be in town and that it was a miracle. It was so neat. Then we went back a couple days later and she told us to get the heck out of dodge.... Then we looked over and her friend was smoking a doobie. It was uncool.

We also had an exchange with my DL this week. That was pretty cool he came with me and we tore it up. It was crazy to be able to teach so smoothly because he has been out for 22 months. It was just a bit different. We also got to have clam chowder with the B's because the week before I started telling the about the clam chowder in oregon and they were like "Moe's??" I was like heck to the yes! They lived up there and so they made me a giant pot of it. It was fantastic so that's what I ate all week... I didn't share any of it... Probably kinda rude... but hey. When do you get decent Clam Chowder in Texas??

So along with this working hard I basically run from door to door. So we ran across this guy and I just said "Hey what are you doin' Sunday man? He was like.. IDK. I said "Well looks like you can come to church!" And that he did!! It was so cool! But then during Sacrament they started to talk about the temple and baptizing the dead... I was like.. Great here it comes! So he took me out in the hall and asked me about it, So I taught him and he was like Oh my gosh. That is so cool. I am coming back. I'll be here on Wednesday night! It was neat. He is a cool man!

So Sunday.. I have a rough time going to Church. When I show up to Ward Council it drives me nuts. So this week they gave us 5 minutes to talk. I was mad. So there was a YW activity this week and a couple of Investigators showed up, but No one took the chance to talk to them. And we didn't get there until late. So the first thing I said "Who fellowshipped the K's?" I was met with 12 blank stares. I said " So no one took the chance to talk to them..?" and then they started in with all these excuses and I just said "No. That doesn't cut it." Then they started telling me that it was my job to do that, Man that flipped my switch. I told them that it was all their jobs that it was the Savior's call to all of us! I went on to say "I am no idiot. You know that. I know that yall have full time jobs, yall have a familly. I have nothing. I come here and 24/7 I spend trying to help these people. It's different. I don't expect you to do missionary work all the time. It's not what the Lord expects! But guess what... It takes 5 minutes to be a missionary. 5 Minutes. Can we give that to the Lord?" Yeah... Silence. Then they went in to "Elder Funk you have done so much, so and so have come back and look at all the seed that you planted!" and "I know President Jones and your DL put alot of pressure on you for numbers" I turned and said "I do not care. The numbers don't matter. The people do. There is more work to do. I have more work to do." They had no idea what to say... So yeah.... Man so next week should be fun! It was actually a really neat experience. I just wish that people would do things the Lord's way. That's what he asks. Is "Preach My Gospel, by the spirit." It truly should be His Word, His Way, Forever. How great a call.

The gospel is so true. It burns within my soul. I finished the Book of Mormon this week and I found 5,032 references to My Jesus Christ in it. It is another testament of Jesus Christ. That cannot be refuted. It is the truth. It is Jesus Christ and this is my life. God bless. Thank you for the prayers, the thoughts, and may you be provided missionary opportunites this week. That is my hope. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Remember who you are and what He stands for!
Elder Paul Robert Funk

Monday, May 13, 2013

First Tornado and a call home

It was so rough going to church after the phone call. We showed up to PEC and I started talking about some less actives that I wanted to work with and started handing out assignments to the group in there so we can make it all happen and they were not down with that. They basically told me we have done it all before and blah blah blah... It was frustrating. Really frustrating. I just finally stopped and said well I guess that's that. Then they said that before we came in they had already said the closing prayer. That was nice of them... Not.

After that in sacrament meeting I just cried the whole entire time. I hate having feelings sometimes. I was sitting next to A and she leaned over and grabbed my shoulder and said "You Home sick?" I said Yes ma'am and she grabbed my shoulder and told me it would be ok. She really has become like another mom to me or something. I love it. She is going to the temple on Saturday too!! That is another great thing!

Like I said in the phone call a tornado hit. It hit the rich part of town and destroyed a ton of stuff with hail and everything. Which.. hopefully opens some more doors for us or something. Luckily I don't think anyone was hurt but alot of damage has been done to all the cars and stuff in the area. We spent all of Friday helping a member fix up his house. Throwing tarps on a damaged roof and sheeting all the windows with some ply wood. Man I cannot thank Ryan Hoth enough for giving me that job. It has made the world of difference in the 5 months that I have been here. It was one of the best blessings that I could ever ask for. Anyway.. So I was holding one of the tarps on the ground and up on the roof there were tiles holding down the tarps and one of them like a 2 ft square piece flew off and smacked me. I guess it hit my back and broke part of it. Sister M was freaking out, but I didn't even feel it!.. That day... I guess the Lord knew I needed to work that day but it has been sore for the last couple of days.

Once again we had dinner with L, and once again he came to bash. It was horrible. Although I know that I am right and I always pull up points in the bible to confound what he is saying it never makes me feel good.. It just doesn't have the spirit as strongly with it. So that is not really great. We talked alot about Baptizing the dead and we brought up Corinthians 15 29 which proved my point.. He didn't have a response to that.  But I don't think he is going to come back to dinner which makes me really sad.

We also went and gave a blessing to a Sister in the Hospital this week and stayed with her for like an hour to comfort her. It was really great, except I hate hospitals. I just don't feel good when I go there. Which is not really all that fun. It was alright though. Turns out she only had a hernia and not cancer like we had thought.

Oh something else funny that happened. We went to wash the car last P DAy and Elder Low stood on the other side while I was rinsing the soap off the car and completlely soaked him. It was HILARIOUS. Then later in the week we accidently mistimed DM so we went to Boerne an Hour early and so we decided to go to a donut shop and eat a bit. Well we challenged Elder Low to eat a dozen. And he did!!

This whole week and probably for like the last month I have started to notice how much I feel like I don't like being here.. It has been really hard and there are so few moments that seem to make it worth it.. But it will be. It was great I was reading Grandma Steels Email and she said something about Joseph Smith in Carthage Jail. I thought the same thing this week Grandma.. "If thou wilt but bear thine afflictions well.. Then thou shalt be exalted on High." I am starting to think about the end result more. Even though I know I have to focus on the results right now. We need some baptisms but I don't think it is my fault. I am doing what I can.

Last P Day Elder Kertamus called me and talked to me for a bit. Man I miss him... I actually grew to love him more then I ever knew before. It was so great to talk to my "Pops" He really encouraged me to be able to get through this week. It was a week for sure of Tender Mercies. I did the study of the Book of Mormon for the first bit of my mission where I would mark all the references to Christ and got all the way to the beginning of Mormon. and stopped for some reason. I know why now. In Chapter three he talks about how his army is unrighteous and even though he led them into battle so many times, he prayed for them constantly they still didn't make it. It was so comforting to know that even he couldn't save people that wanted to be saved. He says that he "Prayed without Faith" for there could be no hope for the people if they did not have the faith in God themselves. Although I will always strive to pray for the people I just have to accept failure sometimes and Trust that everything will be done as He will. As long as I do my best.

I do know the Church is true. It stands as a beacon of light to me in a world that is so messed up. It's crazy to see people that are choosing to follow the way of the world and devastating to know that they don't want to have what I choose to follow. I pray that we may all have an opportunity this week to have someone come up to us, an opportunity to serve another, and an opportunity to let go of the past. To love one so unseen. This is my pray, my hope, and His work. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Elder Paul Robert Funk

Monday, May 6, 2013

Getting Roasted

So this week in the life of Elder Funk..

It was crazy. We did teach 6 first lessons to people and go return appointments with all of them. So that was really exciting! It was really nice. We got teach a man named F and found out that he has a 10 year old daughter in Utah that is pushing him to make the change because she is a member. I think that he will be able to change it is really just a matter of time with him. So that will be nice! We are really so blessed to have another person to start working with. We just have to keep praying that he will read and pray and do the things that he needs to do to progress in the gospel!

A. F. is Cancer Free!! So the symptoms are still all there but they figured it out and now she just has to go in and do a one day procedure and it will all be solved they think! It really is a miracle but I have no doubt it is because she put the Lord first and decided to baptized. It really is the truth. There is no other explanation to it. She was healed based on her faith that whatever happened would be ok if she was just baptized and is trying to remain faithful for the rest of her life!

So in all honesty.. The rest of the week was pretty dumb. We started out on Monday going to have FHE with a family and they have been having some problems.. The wife has starting drinking and stuff so that has caused stress. Anyway we went over there and it was so bad.. The lesson tanked. We left feeling awful because the kids were wild and the parents argued with each other... Great preface for the week!

So we had our scripture study class and I told the 7 people that came that I had a goal to baptize every one that I see. Meaning every single person in Fredericksberg. I don't doubt at all that one day that will happen. It's all just a matter of time. So when I said that most of the people in there thought it was great and they believed it to. Then our Branch Mission Leader says "No, that could never happen, people all have their agency and they won't choose to be baptized. I wish I could have the faith but I know it won't happen." That was comforting coming from the person we are supposed to be working with... So anyway I blew it off but we went out in the hall and he starts talking to one of the other members and says "Yeah if Elder Funk has his way there will be no fuel for the fire at the second coming! We have to have fuel don't we Elder!" It was so rude... They both just laughed at me.. So that got me down alot. They are just so blind! They can't see the potential that all the people have around them. So that was Wednesday and it just didn't get a whole lot better then that.

So we got a referral from some other missionaries and someone they were teaching which was sweet! So I called the guy up and talked to him for like a half hour on the phone and he just wouldn't let up. He talked about aliens and the Book of Mormon and how he was a Satan worshiper and if he converted the Army of God would never accept him. It was A LONG conversation. So I invited him to be baptized on the phone and he paused and thought about it... And he is still thinking about it. He won't let us go over to his house for some reason because he doesn't want us to see him.. We will see what happens there.

So then the next day we went to a different City and were working which was really nice but we didn't find anyone willing to drive 15 miles to check out the church, which was to bad.. So we went back to Fredericksberg and for 3 hours no one talked to us. It was pretty frustrating, I just wish they would at least give us 1 minute sometimes but it was ok haha!

So then Sunday came around. Yesterday. and I despise going to this meeting in the morning. We bring all these people up and they just trash everything that we bring up. Telling us that these people have been taught before or that they can't change. I hate it. I even rebuked them when Elder Kertamus was here one time but they went right back to their ways.. So I was kinda like whatever and walked out of it and one the members Brother Kuhlmann came up to me and told me that he feels the same way and so does Brother Weirich and he wants to get released so bad. But we just ranted for like a half hour before church. It was nice. I love that guy soooo much. But it was so frustrating. I think he is going to take us tomorrow to go do some service in Mason which is like 45 minutes away so we will have more of a chance to talk and see how we are going to change that. But anyway...

So then to make the day better! We have a member who is a little older and so I went over there to talk to him. Now this being Fast Sunday everyone gets to bear their testimony, so in March he started off about how he went to HEB (like Walmart) and saw them having a Shrimp boil and said that they have been "Destroying the creations of God for years!" Not knowing that the one who is in charge of it all, 19 year old Z C is the one working the stand. So just as he finished Z walks in and I looked at his mom and we both just about died laughing. I had to call him "Shrimpy" for about a week... hahaha ANYWAY so back to what happened. So I went up to him and "Said how are you doing Brother!" He said "Are you a teacher?" I said a little stunned "Well Yes, I suppose I am." He then asked me who got the 10 commandments. I answered well Moses of course! He then said "Well where did he get them??" I said "On the mountain." He said "No.. Where did he get them??" I said... "Well I guess I don't know exactly where like on the map..? I could find that out if you want though I guess?" So he said. "No. It was Mount Sinai." I said "Well yeah I know that and..." Then he cut me off and said that if I want to be a teacher I should know what I am teaching first. I was just like... What the...?? So I let it go.. Or.. So I thought. He gets up and gives a giant testimonies about how he was talking to a "teacher" who thought he could teach and how he didn't even know where the 10 commandments were given.. For like 5 minutes he basically roasted me from the pulpit. It was basically awful.. I could only laugh.. but yeah. That was a bit rough.

 So all in all. I am happier today then I have been in a while! I don't know if it was just such a bad week that it can't get worse, or if I overall and just happier. Either way I feel better!

Regardless of all the crap that happens, I do know this is true. There are moments when I do feel so inadequate I wish I were home, but I suppose that that is the moments that I learn that the Atonement is the most real in my life. This is God's truth. I know it so very well.. I am truely starting to experience the Atonement. I love my Jesus.
God Bless.
Love y'all and can't wait to talk to you!
Elder Paul Robert Funk
Remember Who you are and what He stands for!!