This week was so quick but felt like one of the longest ones that I have had yet! It just goes by so quick but there was a lot of things that happened.
Monday we didn't really do a whole lot. We went and ate subs at this place called firehouse subs. It really is pretty fantastic but kinda drained on the wallet a bit! haha. Elder Hughes and I just kinda sat around for the rest of the day. We don't really have a ton of stuff to do when you don't want to bike miles to do something fun! Today was better though because we went and played some B-ball at 7 with the Funk kids. It's crazy! We just assume that we are cousins, but no joke, everybody has asked if we are related. I figure it's kinda fun to see what different answers I can come up with so I started to tell people that I was the 10th kid of theirs and that they left me in Utah on a family vacation. Most people laugh, but I had one think I was serious... I had to fix that.. It was funny. Their 16 year old son looks alot like Ryan and acts like what I remember too so it's fun to hang around for a bit, or at church or whatever.
Tuesday was were the week just kinda went down hill... Elder Hughes and I were trying to bike to an appointment after he found out that he was getting transferred, the appointment was like a 40 minute bike ride away so naturally being on missionary time we had 30 minutes to get there and when went to get his bike it had a flat. So we filled it up with air and pedaled as fast as we could to the bike shop. Howard the bike guy was way cool and changed it faster than superman into his cape, and we got back out the door. Not even kidding we left the parking lot and as we were turning onto the busy rode Elder Hughes got hit by a car. I avoided it but It smacked the back of his bike, angels I believe had to have been there because he didn't even fall to the ground. He just took off. He probably would have given the roadrunner a run for his money! So I tried to get the car to stop during the 4:45 traffic and then the car just took off. I'm not sure if he assumed he was ok or what but he just drove off. I yelled at Elder Hughes to come back and then we were like.. Well.. That's a bummer so we walked back into the bike shop. We walked in and Howard was like "Are you kidding? It went flat again??" I was like.. "Well I suppose you could say that, but it was because he got hit by a car.." He was kinda freaking out so we just gave him the bike and called our appointment and they gave us a ride. We had to talk to the cops a bit later, luckily this one didn't give us a ticket or anything and was super nice.
Wednesday was a sit in day again... Elder Hughes back hurt so we couldn't do anything. Oh. Except go and pay the seatbelt tickets, we had to go do that. Man that makes for a long day when they only thing that you have to look forward to is talking to the lady behind a desk who is taking your money. Hahaha. But lesson learned. Now I know how important it is to be listening to the spirit and obedient regardless of circumstance and situation.
Thursday was transfers! I got to see a whole bunch of friends. It was awesome. Elder Low got transferred to a new area and they have a whole bunch of investigators ready for baptism! I was so excited that he gets to be apart of that. It is weird, now we are like best friends. I like the kid. It made me more happy to see him get to have a lot of success then when I do! It's nice to know that he is getting blessed with success in that way, while I get blessed in my own way. I got a new companion who is from Rexburg Idaho, his name is Elder Dayton. He has OCD. Like monk or something. He likes to clean everything and does some different things, but hey I just let him do his thing and if he has to do all the dishes to sleep at night, that's his thing! Haha but I help out. He wants to rearrange all the furniture today so we will have to see how I can avoid that... We have two Hide a bed couches.. I don't know why, but I do not want to move those things. It just sounds awful. He has a good testimony. It is kinda neat to see again, the spark and the believe that every person that we will see is the next golden investigator. It's good to have that faith. We ran into a couple of people that we got into arguements with because Elder Dayton did not want to wait til they were a little more prepared.. But overall He is good! He kinda has the attitude of I know it, I got it. He even told me he is pretty stubborn but he has a good heart and will learn alot!
Friday we had a training meeting with President. It was all about safety, and he talked about a couple of Elders who recently got seat belt tickets, I was feeling a bit rebuked, but then he clarified that one had their seat belt on, so right as I thought it was going to go well for my case he through it back down and said stuff about how we are responsible for safety of all in the car and especially our companions. Dang... So close, but I deserved it! It's like the gift that keeps on giving sort of.. We worked the rest of the day, we don't really have that many solid investigators... Or any.. But it'll change soon! It's alot of faith. I think we will do well. We teach really well, he talks alot when we are out talking to people, but when it is like time to be his real self, he is really quiet. He is going through alot of the adjusting that I had to, finding yourself and things like that. I hopefully can help to make it easier. He is a good kid, but you can tell the maturity difference that only a few months of mission work does! He just graduated from High School too. So this is like the first real world for him! It is going to be fun.
Saturday, was another good work day, we biked up to the top of our area which is like an hour away and didn't find the people home we wanted too, so we knocked, met some nice people but nothing overly exciting. We did get to go to the Pioneer day activity at the stake center and we had member drive us. He talked up his chili the entire time and it ended up winning.. It was funny because we were the judges, the Funk's Chili was a solid second. Everybody thought I was biased. But hey if you wanna win don't bring bad chili. However... Karma was bad, I told people about our chili cook off and how we put the hot sauce in it and a couple bites that I ate burned my mouth both temperature and spice so bad that I haven't been able to taste anything for a couple of days. So.. I guess I had that one coming! haha
Sunday was a good day we didn't have anybody come to church again, but that is alright.. We talked a lot about the importance of obedience to the gospel. Brother Sherril taught Elder's Quorum and shared the story of the burning of President Monson's field. It was a great lesson but there is really so much to that parable that he gave. Which reads.
One of my best friends during those carefree days in the canyon was Danny Larsen, whose family also owned a cabin at Vivian Park. Each day he and I roamed this boy’s paradise, fishing in the stream and the river, collecting rocks and other treasures, hiking, climbing, and simply enjoying each minute of each hour of each day.
One morning Danny and I decided we wanted to have a campfire that evening with all our canyon friends. We just needed to clear an area in a nearby field where we could all gather. The June grass which covered the field had become dry and prickly, making the field unsuitable for our purposes. We began to pull at the tall grass, planning to clear a large, circular area. We tugged and yanked with all our might, but all we could get were small handfuls of the stubborn weeds. We knew this task would take the entire day, and already our energy and enthusiasm were waning.
And then what I thought was the perfect solution came into my eight-year-old mind. I said to Danny, “All we need is to set these weeds on fire. We’ll just burn a circle in the weeds!” He readily agreed, and I ran to our cabin to get a few matches.
Lest any of you think that at the tender age of eight we were permitted to use matches, I want to make it clear that both Danny and I were forbidden to use them without adult supervision. Both of us had been warned repeatedly of the dangers of fire. However, I knew where my family kept the matches, and we needed to clear that field. Without so much as a second thought, I ran to our cabin and grabbed a few matchsticks, making certain no one was watching. I hid them quickly in one of my pockets.
Back to Danny I ran, excited that in my pocket I had the solution to our problem. I recall thinking that the fire would burn only as far as we wanted and then would somehow magically extinguish itself.
I struck a match on a rock and set the parched June grass ablaze. It ignited as though it had been drenched in gasoline. At first Danny and I were thrilled as we watched the weeds disappear, but it soon became apparent that the fire was not about to go out on its own. We panicked as we realized there was nothing we could do to stop it. The menacing flames began to follow the wild grass up the mountainside, endangering the pine trees and everything else in their path.
Finally we had no option but to run for help. Soon all available men and women at Vivian Park were dashing back and forth with wet burlap bags, beating at the flames in an attempt to extinguish them. After several hours the last remaining embers were smothered. The ages-old pine trees had been saved, as were the homes the flames would eventually have reached.
Danny and I learned several difficult but important lessons that day—not the least of which was the importance of obedience.
There is many important things that I have learned from the story and really do believe that every single word was placed exactly where it needed to complete the parable. The first point that really stuck out me this time was that he knew initially that what he was doing was wrong and that he was trying to hide it. Justify it. Many times we do the exact same thing. Try to make it alright. Maybe it won't hurt just this one time. At that point though he hadn't thought of the end consequences, hadn't considered how this might really effect the pine trees at the end of the field. I thought how interesting it was that he didn't mention the pine trees in the beginning of the parable but rather right at the very end. Very much like our salvation. When we see the moment often times we don't recognize the trees at the end. If those trees had burned down it would have done much more then devastate the young President Monson, it would have made the whole town sorrowful! That is why when the moment came that ALL available town people went to help. Not some, not one, but all. I think of how often I have gotten myself into a situation where it really was all my fault and that I was the one that had to fix it, or rather should have been the one to fix it. I remember Brother Durst in Fredericksburg telling me. "Well if my right hand can't do it, then both hands can do it. If both hands can't do it, well... then it is impossible!" It was a joke but oftentimes seems so true. But all available came to the rescue. In life we all have matches, all have choices to make, we probably will start a few fields on fire. But it will never reach the trees if we look to others to strengthen our fight against the fire! Well Someone has just started their field on fire. Everyone has an opportunity to help the fight it! I hope that we can find someone to help in their fight this week. I know I will be looking.
I testify that missionary work is more than just the most talked about topic in the church! It is the Work of Salvation. It's easy right now to say, I'm a missionary, because that's my life, my job, my everything right now, but quickly it is becoming more than that. It is becoming who I am. Who I want to become and who I need to be. I know that we are sons and daughters of a Father that loves us. I love y'all and hope that you may have a great week! In the name of Jesus Christ amen.
Remember who you are and what He stands for!
Elder Paul Robert Funk