Well another week has already come and gone. It started off well. We were able to go to the mexican flee market and I got a couple of ponchos for like 12 bucks each. So sweet. I wear them basically anywhere that I can. So that is pretty cool. I also bought a ring that says TSAM and has the texas long horns on it. Next week I may try and send home my SD card so that yall can see.
I learned an important lesson this week. Keep ahold of your map. When we were out tracting in the farthest part of our area last week I dropped our map. It was gone. I'm pretty sure that is was in cahootz with the 116 pages because it just vanished. So yeah.. We made the long trip home and that was that. We checked a whole bunch of gas stations and no one had a map. So i was just like.. For real? Whatever and just let it go sorta. So I decided that I would just pack around the big map we have that is like the official church one that is all fancy and has been hanging on the wall longer than adam was in the garden. Well.. That lasted all of about 2 hours before somehow, someway I managed to lose that one too... Whatever. So now not only did we not have a map to tract we had no map to plan. So we just kinda went with the flow. And of course there is no way that I am going to call the office couples haha I can't tell them I lost the map..
So the next morning we woke up, still no map, and no one knew where we could get one, so I texted the WML Brother Davis and he was able to print off about 10 sections of our area on google maps. It was cool except we had to overlap and piece together this monstrosity that took like a whole hour of our time. Then we realized that we were still missing like a third of it. So I was like whatever. I think Elder Dayton is just like what the heck... But it was just nuts. So we went down to action bikes, because I had to get my bike lock cut off of my bicycle because once again... I had lost my keys. So after drilling that off we went to work. We biked up to schertz and just took street after street til I finally saw a stop sign that we could park our bikes on. We locked up and knocked. One door, and a young man let us in. He told us that he needed us to help him out because he was struggling with prayer. It was a sweet lesson. I told him how one time I had prayed for a sign. For it to rain and it didn't and how I felt after that. He told me that he had done the exact same thing and that it had been the same result. Nothing. We were able to connect on such a personal level. We are going to start teaching him this week and I can't wait. But it was such a great lesson to me that 1. Everything happens for a reason. and 2. Just endure.
We also taught a couple of Hindu people! They live in our apartment complex and are like some of our best friends. They are sweet. They invited us over to hang out but we taught them a lesson. They had like a million questions about America and just the culture in general. I actually explained dating to them and just like off the wall stuff. They are a culture that is SO based on respect. We gave them Books of Mormons, but they told us they couldn't read them. We were both like.. Well.. Yes you can.. But then he showed us his Temple. In the bottom of his closet there lay his holy book along with the two pass-a-long cards that we had left in their doors the other times we had tried to visit. He told us that anything with his gods, someone elses God's was something so sacred and that if it was ever given to them He placed it in his temple. What else was neat is that before they can read it they must bathe. They have so much respect for there books and there religion that they want to be completely clean before they even lay hands on it. What a concept. It was so beautiful.
Yesterday was another great experience. After Church got over we were just walking the streets and I was ranting about school and we were talking about how GPA's don't really matter and blah, blah... But I wasn't really paying attention then all the sudden I like woke up of a sort and we were at an apartment complex. Something that we had no plan to do. So we went over to one building and started to knock. We knocked on a few doors and then finally we ran into a 19 yr old named Ian. We started talking to him on the door and the spirit hit me strong and basically said "Just shut up, and get in the door." I told him that we needed to come in, so we sat down and I started talking to him and told Him that I had a friend pass away in March. He told me that he had a friend die 2 days before and that he was having a hard time. Of course I was able at that point to tell Jake's story. I told him how hard it was to see him in the hospital and I don't even like going to hospitals to this day, I told him what a great athlete Jake is. He just was so great at being himself. We talked about our fears, we talked about the pre-mortal life and the existence after this, but most of all I was able to testify of the resurrection. I really don't know why, Jake has been such a big part of my mission. He must have known how much I needed him to help me get through it. It's crazy because even at home we didn't hang out all the time or anything, but we were friends, but out here we have such a deeper spiritual connection. He is here. He helps me. He laughs at me. (That one probably more than anything else.) But I am so blessed to have been able to know him. When I told Ian his story we both just went somber and he knew how much he needed that. I knew how much I needed that and we both knew that God had sent us there. I don't think Ian is going to get baptized, or become a Mormon next week, but I know that God loves all his children and so do I. I get to help others come unto Christ. Sometimes it's as simple as saying "I love you".
The single most important principle in the Plan, and I would dare-say the gospel, is that of the resurrection. Without that we have no hope, no belief, and no reason to be here. When life gets hard we can look at the atonement, know that He felt what I felt, what I am feeling and cares so much about me. We can look at the end result. He made it through. He had to endure a life time of questioning, persecution, and hard ships so that we could have the hope of eternal life. I finished Jesus the Christ, this last week and have come to realize how much more important the Savior is in my life than anything else. The insights into his life. The way that he masterfully answered the questions of not only the Scribes and Pharisees, but even down until the apostles was something that I can only hope to one day obtain. He does live. I really do know that. I was pondering on Peter this morning. I think Peter was for sure Jesus' favorite, and I always picture him as just a loyal goof-ball. Although he made some mistakes, he loved Christ. I can't wait to watch the video of Christ along the shore and Peter swimming out to get to land first. He love was something unimaginable. I wish to obtain that. To be a loyal, faithful, maybe a bit of a goof ball. But a special witness of Jesus the Christ.
Remember who you are and what He stands for!
Elder Paul Robert Funk