Well Howdy once again. I know yall were expecting a short email, or something because you were sitting on the edge of your seats, wanting to know how my encounter with the Bunny harvesting went. Well it didn't. It got postponed for another week to do work. Dangnabbitrabbit.
Well last week we went up to San Marcos to play some soccer for P day. I think I hate soccer in Texas. Number one it is already hot here, and two, it just really isn't that great. A person that doesn't play basketball is way better at starting that then the same with Soccer. So we all just looked like a a bunch of posers. Great. Oh and the AP, who plays football challenged me on a header. With his elbow to my face. Yes I scored, and yes my face hurt too. We ended up winning though, which is not the most important thing, as I found out last week. No competition in heaven...
With Investigators this week we got meet with Megan again. Sometimes I don't know what it is, but the lesson just fails miserably. She wanted to know how she could shape her being to help her have God in her life all the time. I tried a parable, a few scriptures, eventually we just resorted to the song, "If the Savior stood beside me." However, that was all that really needed to be said. We didn't really leave after the 3 second sermon, and tried to keep teaching what we had initially planned which was the Proclamation to the family. I can't even express in words how weird the lesson was. Eventually I decided to cut the losses and end with. "Megan, anyway... re-read this Proclamation, and when you go to get married, you should really consider marrying a LDS man." She just laughed, then she basically told me that she thinks I'm going "go back to Utah, find a girl and get married in 6 months." So that has been like the theme of my week. "6 Months."
I have been losing weight by eating only clif bars for lunch and exercising at night, then taking a cold shower. I really actually enjoy my schedule alot on that one. Basically if anything is tough or something I just tell myself "6 Months" and realize for her it will be worth it. ;)
We had a District meeting this week and talked alot about being sincere, I don't know if it is a good thing or a bad thing, but I am pretty real when it comes to meetings. I don't try to give the watered down missionary answers. So we were talking about it, and it is amazing how you can know when the spirit is speaking through you because you teach yourself with the things you say. You have to be true to who you are and be able to acknowledge exactly where you are at in life. If the moment is terrible, acknowledge and be upset for a time, then when that moment passes, the emotion should too. I learned all about that in Tuesday's with Morrie. Yall should read that book.
We had a couple of lessons this week with some of "Seguin's most interesting." The first was a former that we were trying to contact, we drove into the country a few miles then took an abandoned dirt road for a ways, (I think at least once every week we have a moment where I turn to Elder Van Oene and say, "If we were ever going to get shot and have our bodies hid, it would be here) it was pretty sketchy needless to say. Then a guy was coming out in his truck so he looked at us and told us that the man had moved into town and gave us "Redbud" directions on how to find him. Luckily we have been here a while and we know where "the old house that burned down" and "that one old chicken coop" are at. So with our redneck liahona we started off. It was already 8 by that time and when we got to the house, the man told us that he was a prophet. I was happy to hear it! We are all prophets and finally someone realized it in all honesty. However he doesn't understand the principle of keys in the kingdom and was "Out to do my Father's buisness, by calling all the people to repent and change, because my Father is not pleased with how his world is being treated." Still Golden! Then he lost it and told us how UFO's are God's angels coming to check on how things are going here. Great... Then he told us that how he became a prophet was that he was dropped from a spaceship to earth, after he had gotten high. I don't get Seguin.
Then we have a man that is trying to convert us to be Muslims, while we are trying to convince him to be a Mormon. One day we will win, but as for now, he and his house serve Muhammad.
I got to play in the sand this week with salt water and fish it was so great. The breeze was nice, the sun was hot, no shoes and just a little bit of heaven. All while standing next to a dumpster behind a strip mall. One of the member's owns an aquarium business that he decided to shut down and so he asked us to go help him spray out all of the tanks and transport them to his house. I spent like 3 hours, spraying fish matter off the bottom of fish tanks and getting completely soaked from head to too because of the water pressure on the hose. It was a fantastic service project. I totally want a fish tank now. I am pretty pumped, except they are soo expensive. Oh and Uncle Brandon, I told him about your fish cemetery, I mean pond, he said that you probably need to do some more filtering out of the water and putting oxygen in it. I said that you probably already knew all of that, anyway. Thought I'd at least let ya know.
Church was pretty decent. We have been having the hardest time getting people to come to church for the last couple of months. Seriously like no one will come, I don't get it. We can't force them too, but I am getting pretty decent with the lasso, so I should be able to use that soon... An awesome couple gave a couple of talks and I basically remember that they were really good. Then for the second hour we got nominated to teach, in part because Brother Winters had a heck of week, and his daughter gave birth to a baby. Only Brother Felix showed up so I made the executive decision and cancelled the class. One of the Ward missionary's showed up late and we ended up talking about being a pilot. It was neat because he had never opened up before, until yesterday and now we are buds. No one cares how much you know til they know how much you care. Then we headed off into High Priests. Honestly I know why I don't go there, they spent an hour talking about how dumb young people are and about how we should get married faster and just jump into it. We were the youngest there and basically got burned at the stake in front of everyone in place of the entire population of young people. 6 months. That's all I gotta say.
We had a relatively good week, we are doing our best to try and keep the work always moving forward.
Being a missionary is the greatest thing in the entire world, I studied alot about sacrificing this week. I studied about the practices in the Old testament and learned alot. I think sometimes we get this idea that they Lord will make up the things that we left behind to us. I know I have thought that before, like somehow we will get through school faster, or we can somehow make up the time that we left behind. I believe that sacrifice is the prerequisite to receiving blessings, and that blessings do not reconcile the sacrifice. I believe that they are independent, but that they are inseparably connected. We have to be willing to give the things the Lord asks of us, but the Lord does not give us blessings to replace what we gave up.
I love to be able to be taught by the spirit, I can't wait to continue that one on for the rest of my life. Alex Samuelu asked me what I enjoined most about my mission. It is the relationship that I have gained between myself and the Godhead. I have learned about Heavenly Father and what he does for us, I am learned the purpose of Christ and repenting, and I am taught by the spirit and led by him. I am so grateful to be a missionary. I love to be able to do His work, in His way.
Remember who you are and what He stands for!
Elder Paul Funk
This is from President's Email this week, no I wasn't "That" Elder:
In zone conference we discussed the relationship between good judgment and the Spirit. We emphasized that the Lord expects us to use both (D&C 62:8; 63:44). Good judgment comes from the light within each of us; the greater the light we attain, the greater our judgment (D&C 50:24).
By way of example of how this principle works, this weekend two elders, in two different areas, were bitten by snakes and rushed off to the hospital. One snake was a Copperhead; the other was later determined to be nonvenomous (Elders, you know I love you, and I hope you do not mind that I use you as examples, so that others may learn.) These snake bites occurred because these very curious elders, decided to reach down and pick the snake up. One may ask, "Why didn’t the Spirit warn the Elders not to pick up the snake?" So here is the principle: the Spirit will not interfere with good judgment.
Another will ask, "What about the promise that snakes cannot hurt the Lord’s servants?" It was to the meridian Seventy, not to the latter-day missionaries, that the Lord gave this instruction: "I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you" ( Luke 10:19). Notice that the Lord is referring to accidental encounters with snakes; he was not inviting the Seventy to pick the snakes up and play with them. Many modern churches have misinterpreted this passage and have used snakes in their worship services. Recently a pastor of one of those churches was bitten and died. The Lord has bestowed in each of us his light; we are expected to use that light.
Now you may laugh, but there are many things every day that you may feel to do that are contrary to good judgment. Many service projects, for example, that you accept "out of the goodness of your heart" may place your health at risk and your mission in jeopardy. Many back and knee injuries come from poorly chosen service projects. Doing tricks on your bike, showing off on the basketball court, misusing exercise equipment–all these can abruptly interrupt your mission. Driving church vehicles is another area where good judgment is always required. Most accidents, even when "it was not your fault," could have been avoided with good judgment and defensive thinking.
Elder and Sisters, enjoy your missions. Be careful. Use good judgment. We love you.