Monday, May 26, 2014

Doing Exchanges

Well another week.
I just pounded down a whole ton of bacon and eggs. Gall I love to eat sometimes. I don't have forever to email today but we should be able to make it work.
Well with being with the ZL and me being the DL do you know what that translates too? Well we havent actually been translated yet, but we are doing well and going on a TON of exchanges. I only had to go on one the last few days, but I have already been on three and we are only into the transfer a week and a half. Crazyiness. I think I have like 9 more planned this transfer or something crazy like that. They are so much fun but they are so draining.

I went with Elder Savas on Tuesday a brand new elder straight from the MTC and then me who has never been to the West Side of San Antonio. Safe to say we got lost quite a few times trying to find our way around his area. But we made it to all the 5 lessons that we had planned. I did find some time to take him out to ice cream. I think that is the single most important part of an exchange anyway.
Friday we had a zone meeting. I tried to be supportive but they had us role play about 2 or 3 hours of the same thing over and over again. I'm not going to lie if it had gone on any longer I probably would have incited a rebellion or something. So long. We are teaching with the pamphlets now and showing people the pictures and asking them what they see in them. Sort of like the blot images that people use to sort out child serial killers and rapists. Luckily we are using it to sort out the elect or something of the sort now. Chalk one up for the righteous people.

However I met a sister that is from Mink Creek up by Preston! Remember where I almost drowned in the cow manure? People actually do live up there. Great stuff. She is seriously the I think that she is going to come and play some basketball. She is really great. Probably the one thing that made Zone meeting bareable this time around. Oh and I made faces at Staker which was pretty funny. Random inappropriate laughter is the best medicine to a meeting that has gone on for too long.
I got to have my interview with Pres. Basically this sums it up. I asked him how I get over being so burned out and being sick of missionary work all the time. (I think that is exactly how I said it to him) and he told me that I have to find my pace and that I work a little bit too hard sometimes and it causes people to burn out, so it is all about finding the right constant speed. Seriously since I have been doing that, it has been a way better week then last week was. He also told me that he put me with the ZL so that I could see what a ZL does because all the leadership in the mission goes home within the next two transfers. Great!

Steggell and I have been working really hard to find people to teach, we found a lady that has gone to church 40 some odd times and is all ready to get baptized, we just taught her the word of wisdom and for the first time ever she is completely ready to drop it all. Miracle. It was so great for reals.
I forgot to tell you I live with other missionaries and it is the best thing ever. I love, love, love it. One of them is Elder Snow and he was in my last District before he got transferred to a new area for one transfer then here. We have so much fun. The apartment is great we have two stories and a garage. nobody uses the garage for a car in Texas so we just happen to have a ping pong table in there. Works great! Love it lots. I am livin the high life right now. I wonder what is next though sometimes, just gotta enjoy it for now!

I studied Elder Eyring's talk again today and wrote down all of my priesthood heroes that I had growing up. There was so many. I wrote down all the qualities that I liked in them and noticed that the two qualities that they had in common was that they gave me time and they taught me to serve. I realize more and more they way that I act and the way that I want to be. I am just so grateful for all the examples that I had when I grew up to shape me the way that I am.
Oh. I shaved my armpits and legs. Just FYI.

Hmm... Well I guess about the only other thing that I have is that I am getting really good at basketball. I can grab the back iron piece now. Mostly just when the sisters show up. I do play infinetly better when they show up, I think it is really just human nature, I am not trying to impress them at all, it just happens. Just watch next time a bunch of dudes are doing something it's all cool until girls show up, then everyone goes all ham on everything. (Ham means all out).
OH! best thing ever. I met a Recent Convert that plays and conducts a youth orchestra, who is playing a musical number on June 8th? That is right, Elder Funk is playing in a quartet. Bo yeah. He is hooking me up with a viola too. I am soooooooooo pumped for it. I am living the dream.
Other then that, I can't really think of to much that is going on. Hope yall have a good week! Happy Birthday Becca!

Remember who you are and what He stands for!
Elder Funk

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Childless and Cheerio-less: San Antonio Single Ward Edition

Well Transfers came! Here is the new address.

Elder lil' dawg Funk
6298 Lockhill
San Antonio, Tx

I got the nickname lil dawg before I left from our neighbors in Seguin. It was a whole bunch of Black guys so I figure it's legit or something like that. 
Hmm... Well I guess to sum up everything that transpired. I am in the Alamo 2nd ward, which  covers the college UTSA with Elder Steggell who was my MTC companion. It has been pretty crazy. I had never ever been to a single's ward before so this was kinda weird. I don't know if I will every go to a single's ward when I get home. I think I like having cheerios and random kids crying in the middle of sacrament it seriously makes it somehow better. Plus my favorite line in Preach My Gospel says, "there are many honorable ways to find people to teach." Clearly that must also have reference to "There are many honorable ways to find people to date." Don't worry about my future!
I can't say I was really sad to leave Seguin, I think it may just be more of a burn out of missionary work in total as compared to a hatred of Seguin. Every once in a while I just get so totally burned out of doing this mission that it's crazy. It usually goes away in a few weeks or something. Ya just have to grit your teeth and bare it til that point comes. 
Elder Van Oene is doing good, I am still convinced I am going to talk and his wedding and sing at his funeral, he didn't seem so sure, but I know I will. I miss that kid. It was nice to be able to have a normal conversation with him. Loved it. 
I think more and more I realize how nice it is going to be when I get home and just have some alone time, because I get pretty annoyed sometimes and I always feel bad when I get on my companion for something or other. I think the last 7 and half months have really been a bunch of turning points in my life. I am pretty sarcastic and like to joke alot. I really think in missionary work it is SO essential to be yourself along with teaching the gospel. I think that a church built robot would teach the gospel a hecka lot better then I would so.. There has to be some validity to that. 
Also another thing. I decided this week that when I get home, I am going on a religious Sabbatical. That means no Mo tab for at least the next 3 years. I mean it. If I hear mo tab in the car ride home I am jumping head long from the car into the first snow bank I see. Just one of those things. Just ranting I guess. 
Hmm... I also got to go to the temple this week with Jonesy! Elder Jones had a convert go through the temple an I volunteered to drive so we hit up Rudy's BBQ for some tacos and then went on down through to the temple. It was like High School all over agian. 6 Dudin' it in the truck with Elder Jones in the girlfriend seat. It was such a glorious sight. 
I was also pretty bummed, Elder Swonson went home this week. He was my DL and finished his mission on Wednesday. Probably one of the 10 most influential people of my mission. I really had soo so so so much fun with him. I loved it all. He is great. He is now in the promised land. God bless him.
We don't really have a ton of investigators that are progressing right now. Actually that number is more like 0. Alot of kids went home for the summer and stuff, so we will see what happens with all of that. I went on Exchanges with another Elder the 2nd day here and covered our area, good golly talk about epic failure. Just not a good day. I have no idea who is who and we cover the entire stake of single's. Sometimes I wonder if I get set up for failure in my life... Pretty sure I am. On a more sarcastic note, I get to try it again 3 more times next week. Gotta love havin' a Zl and a DL together. 
I can't really think of a ton of positive stuff from this week. It really wasn't all to great. We did play one game of pros ball after I convinced Steggell to play. I totally went street ball on one of the guys and went in between his legs. So sweet. Steggell doesn't think we should wager lessons for games, I think it's great because I know we will win! 
It really is weird to talk to people about the gospel that are our same age, I find myself slipping in the language a bit and wanting to be like "Dude Man Bro, wanna come chill out and here some talks about Jesus?" but I refrain and usually just do what I am doing. Most people just think we are weird or they respect what we do. 
Another thing, Idk if other missionaries in the world have this happen, but when you go on a mission it isn't like girls just become unattractive all the sudden (actually it kinda goes the opposite way) but when a really attractive girl opens the door I think I flip into totally Funk Flop mode and fail miserable. I am going to work on that, I feel like I have a few modes, Funny Funk, Dorky Funk, Elder Funk and Flirty Funk. That's pretty much the 4 stages of Funk. I really don't have control over when they come on either. Maybe it's multi personality disorder, or it might just be that God made me that way. Either way, it is what it is. But if you ever hear someone say "I just feel like I'm in a Funk" that really could me a whole assortment of things. 
I did finish the Book of Mormon for the 5th time this morning. It is really great. I'm fixin to start it again tomorrow so we will see how that one goes. Well. I love yall and hope you had a great week! If after reading this you feel spiritual un nourished, there is a great link called that can help yall out. I'll do better next week! 
Remember who you are and what He stands for! 
Elder Funk

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Call to District Leader

 We were able to Skype with Elder Funk on Mother's Day.  It was so fun to see him all grown up!

It was so great to talk to yall! I loved it. Seriously like the best thing ever. Yeah, I guess I kinda look like a man, working on acting like one still.
Well I suppose pretty much most of this email is going to be a repeat of everything I told you but since my journal writing failed this week it is quite essential that I fill the entirety of this email block. How was that for flowery language?

While we were talking with him the Mission President called to tell him that he is being transferred and called as a District Leader.
I'm pretty sure that the new District that I am going to has no idea what is going to hit them. It's all going to be crazy. I figure I am just going to shoot for working hard and having fun. that is pretty much all that really matters anyway.
I am sort of sad to leave Seguin. Nah that was a lie. I really am not sad at all. I am pretty pumped to leave actually. It was all just drama and crazyiness.
Well I guess this week was just pretty terrible. Some less active lady that we have been working since we got here, really hit on me this week. I ran like the dickens. Literally. She is crazy. I am super over being in Seguin so I'm glad to get transferred! Love the members though, they are the bomb.
Betty got baptized this week. Which was super great, always love to see that. She texted us and told us all about it. That makes 2 people that Elder Van Oene and I passed off to get baptized while we were here in Seguin and 0 that we actually baptized here. It all works though.
I really don't have to much else to say. I literally feel like I am just repeating all that I said yesterday.
Tuesday night we had another sleepover at the DL's house and drove to San Marcos, we just 6 dude it in the truck. It's tight but at least it isn't a stick shift. So that was a solid hour or something of a drive then we had to drive home an hour after zone meeting. Gall. so long. New Braunfel's car blew a tire and then they had me drive them to Yorktown about an hour and a half away to do a baptismal interview. When we got there it was already 6 or so and we went over there. The dad is not a member of the 30 year old guy getting baptized and has 0 intrest in the church. I tried really hard to talk to him and everything, but he wasn't having it because he was watching NCIS so during a commercial I said, "Ya got TNT on this thing?" We flipped it over to the Pacer game and got to watch pretty much the entire first half, The other Elder's told me that I was going to Hell, but actually the guy talked way more to me after that and we had some really good conversations about the gospel because it opened him up. I have people tell me all the time that I am going to Hell for doing something or saying something. My response is always just that "That is for sure not the thing that is going to send me to hell." However, I think sometimes if there was a Ryan Funk dedicated score keeper keeping Track of my life, I am in outer darkness.
After the baptismal interview which was 2 hours it was already 9pm and I didn't want to drive 2 hours home. However since Yorktown lives in a trailer and had no room for us, we did the only logical thing that we could think of which was to sleep on the roof. God Bless Texas, but man when it gets windy, it gets windy. Totally destroyed the awning on the trailer and none of us could sleep. Yorktown opted to sleep in the trailer and leave us completely destitute on top of a shaken not stirred trailer. We got off the roof about 1 am and tried to sleep in the cars. That was about as fun as finding a rattlesnake in your boot. 1:30 we decided to peace out and go home. That was probably the longest night of my life. We got home about 3 am and started off the day we some breakfast Tacos. Oh and wherever we go has Sportscenter. so I got to see the highlights. Utahns really don't understand what the playoffs are like, or to have a good basketball team, but man people love the spurs, that is about all that they talk about. 1. Jesus is number one, followed closely by Spurs basketball, then in third place, "How much Obama is ruining the country" not my words, they are theirs. Just to give you an accurate description.
Well I suppose that was the best adventure of the week. The church is true! Love ya!
Remember who you are and what He stands for!
Elder Funk

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cinco Day Miracle Whip

Here we are once again. It is so crazy how fast the weeks go. They just go and go and go and then they are gone. Kinda like Mr. Sterling's ownership of the Clippers. Ha. Too bad. 
For P day last week we went back up to San Marcos, that area is basically like Logan except none of the girls really seem to wear any clothing and it's hot all the time, but essentially a college town. We played some basketball with the Zone. I really have been trying to work on not being as competitive, I realized I had a problem a few weeks ago when I got ticked because Elder Van Oene won 5 games of connect 4 in a row and now the score is tied at 90 games a piece. I didn't really get mad, but..... "I wannnnna wiiiin". After P day we went to dinner at a member's house and had some nice pancakes. It was great. Honest to goodness I don't know if the missionary's throughout the world feel the same way about everything as I do, but I really think that just feeding the missionary's normal food is the best thing. Don't go all out for them every time. Every once in awhile is nice.  

Tuesday we did some exchanging of the companion's. I got to go up to New Braunfels and be with Elder Swonson. He is a dying man. I believe he has about 140 hours left or so. That is including sleep time. He goes home next week, and is pretty trunked out of his mind. Not going to lie though we had one of the best exchanges of my life. I had soo much fun. 
He loves sports so basically the entire time we could talk about that, but we got into deep conversations about life and the future, about marriage and mostly our Moms. We spent like 2 hours talking about how much we miss our moms. We have a ton of chemistry. Love that kid to death. I think before in my mission I haven't understood how powerful it is to have chemistry, and the role that it plays in conversion. With Elder Dayton I think that is why we had so much success. President gave a shout out to East zone because they had the highest baptisms in a zone since he has been here I think last month. It was nice to feel like I was a part of that, even though I am in Seguin. 
Back to Tuesday. We had a powerful, powerful lesson and were able to pick up one of the most golden investigator's that I have ever seen. She had gone to church for awhile, just got married to a member and is living in a member's home. Talk about ready. She is going to get baptized in a few weeks and I got to be there for the first lesson! 
After we did that, it was starting to get to the dead part of the night around 7:30 or 8, Elder Swonson used to go over and play some pross ball with a whole bunch of non members at a park when had a companion that would play. But he doesn't have a comp that is good, and Van oene doesn't really play so it seemed like a good plan. When we went over there was like 30 people lined up to play, you have to get picked by the captains to play so some nights you can go a whole night and not play. We had to build up some rep, so we asked an 11 year old kid if we could be on his team. Needless to say, I played center in that game and we did not do that well... So we waited for about another hour to play again, talking to people about the church and things. We even found a sweet new investigator for them. She lived in Utah for a year and said "It is the only church I believe in." Once again the promise that there "are many honorable ways to find people to teach" comes through in the clutch. Well the 9 oclock hour came and we are supposed to head home, "unless teaching a lesson", so we decided that the next game we decided that we had to play really well and teach them a lesson. 
When we lined up to play we once again got stuck on kinda a group of.... average players. The other team looked at us and laughed because we had the guys in the suits. Well. Elder Swonson and I went off on them. We were throwing the ball around like crazy! I ran down and hit a couple of three pointers, and he got a few lay ups and before we knew it we were up like 7 to 1 on them. All the other 30 people were going crazy that the guys in the suits were tearing up this team. SO great. eventually they caught up just a bit and then changed the score and said we didn't hit the shot to win that we did, then the went down and hit a 3 pointer to "win". Supposedly 14 to 15. That's garbage, we won. One of the guys thought it was pretty messed up what they did, and the crowd was just amazed by the "guys in suits". Just saying, if you see Lebron come out in a suit next game... He might have seen the highlights. Best game of basketball I have played in 2 years. 

We also went to the temple this week. It was so great! Afterwards Brother Felix took us out a steak house. That's right! A steak house not a stake house, It's nice where you can go to a nice restaurant and fit in when you have on a shirt and tie. That hasn't happened in a really long time. I ate some really good food that day... I'm just having a hay day remembering right now. YUM. 
Megan is moving away back to San Antonio, so we won't be able to meet with her anymore. Gall it is just frustrating. I'm glad though, I think it will help her progress if she has some family support and they can all read and pray and not go to the non nondenominational church together. I think that if you are going to go to a church, at least pick one that has a doctrine behind it beside "God is good" I love churches, but have gained a more deep respect for established faith's like Catholism and Lutheranism. They may not have all the truth's as I believe it, but they are making an effort to uncover the truth and gain a doctrine that will fill their needs. I respect that alot. 
That brings us to the investigator named Jay. He is an Islamic man. He is trying to convert us over to his religion in the Battle of "Mormon v Muslim" it is tied right now I think. He is a good guy, love him to death. This week it got heated though. He asked us if we had seen a certain movie and I said I had never heard of it, he said "Well you just live in a bubble, everything that you do is just led by your cult and you don't get to see what the real world has." I took that a little bad, but said "Well I don't really WANT anything the world has." Then he pulled up the movie trailer on Youtube and showed us. The first thing was a big ole, R.
"Jay! That is why I don't watch it. It's rated R. I don't watch those." I said to him. 
He said, "Man see what I am saying, just a bubble boy! Apparently your faith isn't strong enough if you can't watch a movie and be strong enough to get the message from it!"
Then the Trailor showed a very inappropriate scene. I think one of the greatest gifts that I have been given since the beginning of my mission is that I am able to speak my mind. I totally went off on him. I said, "Jay turn it off, now. If you definition of faith is to be able to walk through sin purposefully,and not be affected by it, and be 'strong' enough to be able to be in it and not apart of it, then I have the weakest faith! My faith is that I don't do those things, because I know that I will fall. My faith is that I believe in not doing those things. I want to do what is right all the time, and I can't do that if I am in the sin."

He just sat there for a second then kept telling me more and more about how weak I was for not being able to be in sin and not do it. The next day I took a long time to study David and Bethsheba, If we are surrounded by sins that we seek out, we will almost always fall. The world has so much garbage, that I don't really have to go looking for, I don't know why anyone would go and look for more. 
Faith isn't the ability to withstand the trials that we get ourselves into. It is being able to withstand the trials that life gives us and avoiding the pitfalls that we could fall into. I think everyone falls into one or two at one time or another, but getting out and then looking back into the pit is silly. I am excited to get out of the mission and be able to prove the things that I have learned and apply them to my understanding. If nothing else, a mission is the greatest time to just stop and realize what path I was on, and realize that I can do better. 
I am nearly done with the Book of Mormon for the 5th time. I am learning soooo much. I am excited to get started on it for a 6th time pretty soon. Probably the beginning of next transfer, which is next week. 5 left! That's the same amount of time I was in UC! I may be heading into my last area, whenever I leave here. IF I ever leave here. 
Everything else is going fairly well. We studied President Eyering's talk from General Conference. this last week in Sunday School. I am so grateful for the Hero's and the Role Models that I had. I hope I can be like them, the list is sooo big for real. Love them and am grateful, every life is so important, and everything you do can have purpose and meaning, you never know where you make a difference! I love you!
Remember who you are and what He stands for!

Elder Paul Funk