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