What a great week it was in the TSAM! I loved, loved, loved conference. There is no doubt in my mind that at least a couple of the speakers were speaking straight up to me. I really hope that everyone got as much as I did out of it. I love and support the Prophet with all of my heart. I am so grateful for the chance that I got to sustain him and all of the Quorum of the Twelve while sitting on a couch in good ole' Schertz Texas. I will never forget this conference. I feel so much different.
The week started off terrible. I just had some rotten news and stuff so I did the only thing I knew what to do. Go to the refiner's fire. Or rather the BBQ pit at the ZL's apartment. It was great! Paper makes great fuel and just as Elder Dube of the 70 said "We must never look behind, only at what is to be done! It was an awesome day. A letting go of the past and having a brighter future. I am grateful for that. It was tough but hey, It wasn't all supposed to be easy. I also tried to BBQ some chicken.. I don't know how to cook... So I didn't cook the chicken quite long enough but everyone still ate it until one of them realized that it was kinda slimmy.. Whoops. Reminds me of another story that I heard this week and I think it applys perfectly to all Missionaries that are getting ready to enter the field! Ryan included... haha.
So there was a couple of sister missionaries that are in the mission that one Sunday morning realized that they had forgotten to fill up the car with Gasoline. Whoops. So as to not break the Sabbath they decided that they would resort to Faith. They went to the nearest hose from a house, turned it on and stuck it into the Gas tank! Cheapest fill up ever right? Not even Gas prices that are at $3.09 right now could beat that! Of course the Sisters knew that water could not make the car run. So they offered up a prayer to Heavenly Father, in faith, and asked that the water be turned into Gasoline. Off to church they went! Of course they got part way there and the car ran out of gas, and completely destroyed the engine on the car. I have no doubt that their faith wasn't lacking, it was probably much like Peter's when he walked on water, but no matter the faith that you have Substitution can never take the place of Preparation.
Tuesday was another day! We didn't teach a soul. Nope not one. I think that everything that could fall through did. It was tough. So to get to part of our area we have to cross this creek bed, which in itself is a terrible task. But whateve's, so it has rained alot and the creek was mostly full so we had to huddle along the bank. We reached a point that a lady who was walking past us deemed "Impassible." We got through before, but this time was a bit different. I had to leap like a gazelle and managed to make it most of the way before boom. Yep there I was in a big pile of mud. It was sorta gross and terrible. I was frustrated. So we walked back out and then Brother Sherrill called us and asked us to help with a move! Yes. That was inspired. I had to be careful not to get mud all over his truck but it was awesome. Oh and at the move I met Brother Nielsen's Sister!!! yeah. His Nephew is our ward! Marty Evans. I love them so much!! I couldn't believe it. Trunky moment. Yeah that was awesome.
Wednesday we had some sweet District Meeting, President Slaughter has encouraged us to listen not with our eyes but with "Our whole Soul" and I have really started to see a difference in myself. I love it.
Thursday I don't think like anything exciting happened. I was to pumped for General Conference. Oh wait. I lied... We were going to go to this lesson with Jordan, like my BFF here, and he wanted to bring his friend Nathan, the kid we taught at Taco Cabana, I think that possible could have been my first Non-member present ever, but the lesson fell through. So I forgot to mention when I first got to the house I just looked at Nathan and said "When are you going to get baptized? You have to do it before Jordan leaves!" The spirit hit him and now we are teaching him and setting him with a date tonight! Back to the story. So we went back to Jordan's house where his mom and dad had us stuffing some envelopes full of quicinera (15th Birthday for a mexican girl) invitations. I think I got high because I licked at least 100 envelopes. It was a good day.. I really love that family. Jordan took us home and whenever we get into the car we blast some good country music. Nothing quite like listening to country driving down the freeway with the windows down and looking up at the giant Texas sky. That is my guilty pleasure for the week.. Well one of them. Other than that I do good about being obedient.
Friday was just the day for prep before conference, we invited tons of people to come with us to conference and yeah. That was basically the extent of the day!
Saturday was one of the best days of my mission. I loved it. Ate it all up! I truly listened with my whole soul and was rewarded with some of the most exquisite feelings of peace that I have ever had! I loved it! I loved D. Todd Christofferson's talk on Womanhood. That is exactly what I feel and think about it! I couldn't believe how spiritual the entire conference was. I didn't miss a single breathe. I loved it. We got the Magana family to come with us to conference and the listened to Pres. Uchtdorf's why is anyone a member talk. I think that they really enjoyed it! I can't wait to have another lesson with them this week. I loved it all so much. Priesthood session was amazing. President Monson gave such a great talk. I just can't express how much love that I have for them!
Sunday was the crowning jewel of the week. We watched conference at Bro. Tiemann's house with his friend from the Air Force. He is a sweet member, his name is Andreais. We all just loved it. Elder Dayton only fell asleep once too on his couch. I can't believe what an amazing weekend that it was. These were truly some of the best days of my whole entire mission. I needed them so badly.
I love this work and I just want to finish with one miracle that happened to me a couple of weeks ago and the importance of once again following the spirit.
Last month was honestly the hardest month of my entire life. I just felt a constant grind. I don't know why. My mental state was just terrible. It was all so hard. I just wanted it all to go away and stop but it was relentless. There were just events after events that happened and nothing ever seemed to pull through.
Our fridge even went out! I may have mentioned that before. All the food in our fridge had to be thrown away and since we had no car, we really had no way to get anymore food! We didn't starve we had enough stuff to get us through the weekend and onto P-day. But it was the end of the month and we had literally no money between us on our cards. Our office Elder had promised to put on some money so that we could replace all that was in the fridge which was a welcome relief. When we arrived at the store we started to shop, assuming that we had money all the cards based on what the office Elder had said. We decided however that we needed to go and double check before we went to check out because it would be awful embarrassing to have no money to pay for our groceries.
When we went to check we realized that we had no money. The transaction had not yet gone through.. I was beyond frustrated. It really was just like the last straw. We had no investigators, it was hot, I was so tired, I was dealing with just a ton of stuff, it seemed like my world and life, quite frankly just sucked. So what did we do? We put our stuff back and wandered around the store aimlessly. I'm sure I did not have a good look on my face, none of that Happy smile that Dr. Perry fixes up for me, so I just stood there kinda day dreaming, Elder Dayton was off down the eisle looking at something when a lady all of the sudden came up to me.
"Are you a missionary?" She asked.
"Yes Ma'am, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." I said.
Just then she grabbed my hand in both of hers and said "Well. I feel like I need to give this to you." She pulled her hands away and to my surprise she left a 20 dollar bill in my hand. Of course I was a little shocked, I had no idea what to say, The only thing I could say was "How did you know?.." She shrugged and said "God bless you." and walked away. I knew that she wasn't a member of our faith, she had no knowledge of what I had been going through but she acted on a prompting from the Holy Ghost.
I ran over to Elder Dayton and held out the 20 dollar bill in my hands and explained what had just happened. We looked and looked for the Lady and her Husband but they were no where to be found.
That day was great! We got food for the next couple of days, and a few days later a member brought us over a ton of food that we are still eating. It wasn't until a couple of nights ago when I was up reading in the scriptures that I realized something much more inspiring had happened. That 20 dollars wasn't about giving me food to get by, it was God telling me that I was in His hands, that He has a purpose for me and that I'll be ok, I only have to believe.
That sweet lady has no idea the impression that she left on a 19 year old kid from Utah, and likely in this life won't ever. Man I feel like a fool, I'm just bawling in the middle of this library. But I won't ever forget that moment for as long as I live. I am filled with the Love of the Savior whenever I think about it.
That has been the greatest lesson that I have learned on my mission. To follow the spirit wherever you are, and whatever needs to be done. You may never know what you do, and may not even receive the blessings for it here, but once again I say, Please listen to the Spirit. Follow every single prompting. I hope that I can do that. If it seems like a good idea just do it. It may change the life of someone that needs the Saviors love.
This has been the best couple days of my entire mission. My eyes are alot clearer and I know that another storm probably is going to come but I love every second of it. Just enjoy the journey and find peace in the Savior.
And as Always,
Remember who you are and what He stands for!
Elder Paul Funk