Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Praise to the Man!

Well what a week it has been. I loved, loved loved this week! Remember how I was talking about every week having a theme to it? Well this week was for sure, Joseph Smith.

We had a hard time once again teaching this week. It was spring break and everyone that we talked to was basically sick, or we didn't talk to them because the were gone somewhere better then Seguin. I don't blame them, but it sure makes missionary work hard to do when you don't have anyone to talk too! Dang it all.

We went over to Micheal's house, he is the most solid man that we are teaching right now. What is he up to you ask? Well he is improving his life and moving to Austin! Dangnabbit. It will be really good for him. When we went over there to talk to him, he told us so many times about how we have helped save his life and that we are his best friends and that he was so grateful that we knocked on his door, and that day saved his life. He was even more grateful that he had God in his life and that we had reintroduced him to the God. Over and over again I kept saying well that is God! It isn't us that is doing it. We responded with, "God is like a head coach on a football team. Yes, he runs the game and in the end everything is going to go the way that he wants to go, but he still needs the players. That is you guys." It was a great reminder of being on the Lord's team and what that really means. (It is so great to be taught with an analogy instead of teaching with one!)

The Kyle Stake here organized a camp basically the same as APIA but they call it Camp Helaman. This year there was about 80 or so youth that went up to camp and the man that was in charge asked the mission President if all the missionarys in the stake could go up there and teach them for a day. It was one of the best days of my mission. We went out into the boonies and saw all of the guys in white shirts and ties. I got paired with two young men named Tanner Monson (Yes, he is a distant cousin) and Jordan Villanueva. Both were 17 I believe. I spent about 3 hours answering their questions and teaching them about Preach My Gospel. Then we went out to work at 6! We got to go and knock a whole bunch of doors, they were so incredibly nervous and so I showed them how to do it a few times and then let them go for it. They got to do the doorstep said how are you doing today sir? and turned around to just stare at me. I said "You got it! Go for it!" The did so great.

Did I tell you Elder Dayton is in my zone? So we had one set appointment to go teach and it was one of his investigators. I went and asked about this guy and Elder Dayton just laughed and laughed, and said dang! You will be so good for him! I had no idea what that meant. But anyway we showed up to the lesson and the man was a total basher! Dang it. I don't get mad in lessons very much, but I was so heartbroken at first that this was the experience. After I know that it was the right experience for these young men. We taught about the Restoration, and it got to Joseph Smith. The kids bore there testimonies, and the guy turned to me and said' "So does one have to believe in Joseph Smith to get to Heaven?" I said, "No you don't have to believe in Joseph Smith to get to Heaven, however everyone in heaven will believe in Joseph Smith." I know that to be true with my whole heart! That there is nothing Joseph Smith as a person can do to save us. We can't be baptized in his name or anything, his martyred blood doesn't forgive our sins. If one intends however to be in the Kingdom of God we will accept all of the doctines that Joseph taught! I love the man, I praise the man! We walked out of there and the kids were just beaming! They were so, so excited and I just looked and smiled at them. I remember my first lesson just like that too. Every lesson is so special.
When we got back it was already late, about 9 or 9:30 and we said a closing prayer and all of us missionaries got up to leave and we walked out the back door and just as we did, two boys ran out of the group and came up to me and grabbed me and gave me a big hug. I love those two boys with my whole entire heart! I wish that I could spend more time with them. It was a great day.

I also got to play in sacrament meeting this week again. It went amazingly well. The congregation was in tears. I got to play with that 13 year old deacon named David. I think I mentioned him last week. Boy is he good. Just love to be able to share my talents like that. I am going to play again in a couple of weeks and I think they are trying to put a quartet together so that they can have me play again. I love to praise my Savior with Music! The other thing, this is one of those "doctrines of Paul" that I have, but ALWAYS sing all the verses to the song. It boggles my mind that we don't sing all the verses. Even if there are seven of them. Would you ever not say In the name of Jesus Christ amen in a prayer? Same principle if you don't sing the 7th verse it's almost as forgetting a sentence in a prayer!
In Primary this week I got asked to play the part of Joseph Smith, I was to testify of the Resurrection and the divinty of the Savior. It was a moment were once again I felt of the divine calling of the Prophet of God. He is the man. I told the Primary kids the first vision and as I did, something that hasn't happened in a long time happened. I just teared up. I had a hard time getting through it. That moment, that sacred, sacred experience has become so real to me I can testify of it as though I was there too. I never would have had that knowledge had I not come onto a mission. Joseph Smith did more for mankind than any man that has walked this Earth! He has done more then any man that will ever walk this earth. I can have Faith in Christ because through the Prophet I know who Christ is. I can repent because I know what the guidelines and commandments are! I can be baptized because the Authority was restored to the Man. I can receive the Holy Ghost because it was given back to the Boy who knelt in the Grove. I can be saved because I know the doctrine of Salvation.
I know that The son of God lives! I love him, so much! I cannot wait to be able to hand my mission over to him as one contribution to my life's work and ministry. I haven't always been perfect, but I have always done the right thing. There is no greater thing that one can do then to gain a testimony of the Son of God and there is no more perfect understanding of Him then that of what we gain through the Prophet Joseph Smith testimony and work. Praise to the Man!
Remember who you are and what He stands for! This week it might be appropriate to say, Remember who you are and what a Boy Prophet lived and died for!

Getting ready for Primary

Elder Paul Funk

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