Well it was a better week, with a better attitude. I think that is just the only thing that can really change is that. Alot of times circumstances are just pushed upon us and we just have to deal with it. It is hard and it really is something that is hard to manage but whatever we do there is always going to be opposition!
Really the only way to grow is first to be cut down. Even the Savior could not have gone through the agony on Golgotha if he had not first sufficiently humbled himself in the garden and was further beaten by the guards of the Roman Empire. We were discussing the long mission of Ammon and how many discouraging days he probably had before he had the chance to work for the king himself. Finally once he got that chance he was entrusted with the flocks who knows how long it was before the robbers came and he was able to prove himself a loyal servant. That probably doesn't happen every day that robbers go to your king's flocks. Everything takes time and if you only look in the moment that is where a lot of discouragement and depression comes in. It's interesting because a lot of days we spend talking about an experience that we had or what we would do if we were dads or what not, and it is always joyful, but I'm sure that in the future it will be just as hard as it is here. It always is. In the moment we get cut down, it is so hard but it really is only to make us a better person. Remolded of sorts.
We had a funny thing happen to us.. well me. on Tuesday. It was terrible. So we were getting ready to leave after or dinner appointment and a car drove past us honking like crazy and it was two really attractive girls! So of course we kinda ignore it. (This happens basically daily;) But they kept honking even after they had gone into the apartment complex. So naturally this is the thought I had. " Oh! They must be members! I should go talk to them and see if I can't get some referrals!!" Really and honestly that was my thought. Elder Dayton was still getting ready to go and so I jumped on one pedal and had my helmet hanging from the handle bars and went over on the other side of the fence and said "Hey! Were yall honking at us?" It didn't quite come out in the tone I had wished for... Sorta flirty. But then one of the said back "...Maybe..." With sorta a sly smile. Literally I freaked. I choked worse than Shaq on the free throw line. That was probably the only response I had no idea how to deal with. So what did I do? I said nothing. Waved and then ran like prisoner from alcatraz. I really don't get embarrassed but it was terrible. SO BAD. I flew past Elder Dayton who was still working on his bike and just said "Get out of here!" Really.. I pedaled so fast I looked back and he was gone after like a mile. Single most embarrassing moment of my life. He finally caught up and I told him what happened and he was crying he was laughing so hard. Really. I can't even talk to someone like a normal person anymore haha.
The rest of the week was pretty mundane. We taught one of our investigators about the first three points of the restoration and then Elder Dayton asked a question and somehow he got offended. I was like shoooot. But hey.. Stuff happens sometimes. It's crazy because I could tell how much it hurt him that he had said it and it was just that I was filled with so much love and was completely on his side, just to help him. It is so great the love that the Savior can really fill you with. I love it.
We have another Investigator named Jacob that is doing.. Interestingly. He came to church yesterday and stuff but he got a hold of a ton of anti and is super smart, he wants to get baptized but is concerned about the Aaronic Priesthood being legitimate because the knight's templar had a similar thing and.. I won't even get into it. Somehow I have picked up just enough knowledge about masonry and other things out here that I am allowed by the spirit to answer him. Heavenly Father through the holy ghost really does put into your minds what we need to see if we are just willing to say them. I am really grateful for that. We should be teaching him a couple more times this week so we should see how that happens.
I don't remember if I told you about this other family we are teaching. We have a member named Jesse who is awesome. He loves us and wants to do missionary work so bad. So bad that one day at his apartment complex this lady backed into his car and when he came around the corner instead of getting mad, he said "Well If you will come to church with me once and take 6 lessons from the missionaries, I will completely forget about this entire thing and we won't even have to go through the insurance." Once again.. Many ways to find people to teach! So we have met them and she is a football fanatic. Loves it. So for our daily contact with her on Sunday we find out the scores to the Eagles games and get updates on Peyton. Dang Chargers... Anyway back to the point. She didn't want to just take the lessons, she wants her entire family to hear it so we will be teaching them tomorrow night! Exciting!
Everyone else has kinda fallen off the map. We had one investigator named Marie. She is an eternagator, she told us about how someone broke into her house and her bird calendar was missing. We had just shared the story of Enos and the power of prayer. She told us she had never before had a prayer answered. I told her that if she prayed she would walk in the door and find it, and while we prayed I literally knew that the calendar was sitting on her night stand and I could see it. I told her where it was and she walked in to go get it, silently I prayed. She came out a couple of minutes later and said "I can't find it anywhere." I really have no doubt that it was where I said that it was but I believe that Heavenly Father is trying to teach maybe both of us a lesson.
Oh had a couple of follow up incidents with the bb guns. I had to talk to a police sergeant and tell him about the entire thing one day that was kinda cool. He sounded like the guy that tells perry the platypus his missions... Cool Disney channel reference.. But yeah. That is what he sounded like. Also. We found a legit metal bb in Elder Dayton's back pack. It was like a dang bullet. I am so grateful for the power of Obedience to the commandments so that we are protected. I know it probably is like.. Well they were only bb guns but dang. Those things were powerful. I think the possibly dented the car that we hid behind. That was one of those days you will remember for sure!
I got to give a training in zone meeting on how to get referrals. It was kinda cool because the promise in Ether really has come true that "weaknesses become strengths" because I went months without referrals and after I prayerful humbled myself before the Lord and asked for help he has helped it to become my greatest strength. We are actually leading the entire mission in them. I just realize what the Lord really can do with the weak things of the world. So in this training I basically gave what I do and said something to the extent of "Everyone knows someone. It's not a matter of if they have someone it really is a matter of who. You have to get them thinking about missionary opportunities and if they are continually cherishing up those thoughts they will have people come to their minds. When they come up with excuses that they don't know anyone, well.. That is really not true at all." At which point one of the senior couples took mild offense and raised his hand and said "Well Elder can I take offense at one thing you said?" I was like "Sure!" So he recounted it to me and then all the missionaries chimed in. It was interesting for a moment and he had a point, I was right and so was he. So the spirit resolved it all. Grateful for that. It was just interesting, I thought that alot of the ideas that I had come up with were just things everyone did, but they weren't and we saw a giant increase in referrals just in two days in the zone. I am so grateful to be apart of the work and we really do have something to offer.
This morning I was looking at some board games we had in the closet (that's what we resort to for fun on P day) and I saw this random paper and it was the story of "The other wise man" I remember this story from a long time ago. It is about a man named Artobaun that is going to find the savior. He sells at the he has and prepares for the journey with only 3 gems. A Ruby, a Sapphire, and a Pearl. It goes on to tell about how he blesses peoples lives with these items but they were for the Lord. I'm sure he probably felt like failure in the moment but at the end of it all he learned so many more important principles than he would have if he would have just given these to the Savior. He learned how to have compassion, he learned to love, serve, give, cherish, sacrifice, and above all he learned who the Savior really was. I don't know how that story got there. It shouldn't have been. I have looked in that spot a number of times and it was never there before. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father sends messages to us when we have tried to seek His will. It really is such a blessing. I hope that I can become not just one of the "Wize guys" like would call our guitar hero band, but I can become the "Other wise man". Looking in the moment, cherishing what I have accumulated and then learning to give it all to the Lord. I love the work, even if it is still 97 degrees and humid, even when I get honked at, yelled at or shot at. It really is such a privileged to serve. Not gonna lie. Most days still are hard. Discouragement is easy, courage is difficult. The best two years is really going by to quickly. I don't realize the lessons I am learning! I love yall. So much.
Elder Paul Funk
Remember who you are and what He stands for!