Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Monday, October 14
This week’s been good of course. So I think I mentioned M and M, Native American / Polynesian couple. We got a hold of them the other day, and they invited us into to watch them feed their fish and stuff so that was good, and we got to know them well.
I had exchanges twice this week, once I went up to Beaverdam with Elder R, which was fun. They had a mouse too big for all their traps, but I rigged my own invention of a trap, and it caught their mouse so that was fun.
I don’t know if I mentioned but I’m the district leader. Thursday I got to go on exchanges in my area with Elder C who is from my MTC group. That was fun, we got to cut down some trees for a less active we met, and had a good talk about the Book of Mormon with an excommunicated guy. We got to see R and N again: she watched part of General Conference, just bought a table in the community art show, so she can put her modge-podged thrift shop puzzles, and glass art (rocks and flowers and stuff in a glass). So she’s staying busy. R is doing good, really loves and appreciates what we do, he always is able to grab us alone and tell us how we change N’s mood so much.
Sunday night we had a good talk with K and J. J’s foot is doing well, he’s still "struggling spiritually" and especially with having small habits of reading or praying, and he tells us this because he sees it as a problem. I love our visits with him. He had just seen a little show on Roddy Piper and his paranormal experience, and loves watching those things. They do him so much good too. He’s very particular to when he believes someone’s story, and I feel is pretty good at sniffing out the liars. And he also pays no heed to the "psychics" or whatever, and is good at realizing what’s going on there. So for him it really is just a testimony builder. So we talked about that stuff a little, and why we don’t get more abundant signs, and how real conversion doesn’t come from your head but heart. I love teaching him. I feel he understands my points so well in ways most can’t. So we have some good deep talks.
Sunday we had a speaker give probably the best sacrament meeting talk I’ve ever heard. His topic was "Christ centered lives" and he started out testifying of what the last speaker said, and then said he had no idea what he was going to say until that morning, it was manifest that reading the Book of Mormon was it. And he gave such a powerful spirit led talk with the greatest mission stories, and still all this "boldness" and uniqueness without at all appearing prideful or self righteous, everything he said was so spirit led. He told of how he began reading The Bible at age 3 and 4 and spent his whole youth learning to prove all things from The Bible, and spent the beginning of his mission just seeking pastors to Bible bash, and said he never even carried his Bible but just because he had so much memorized it was easier. Then he met the smartest one he had ever met, and was doing phenomenal answering his questions for an hour, then the spirit left him, he couldn’t remember or say anything because he got prideful in what he knew, and then was destroyed for 2 more hours, so a total of 3, where the second two he got destroyed. Then he left with a weak testimony of the Book or Mormon and challenge to read it. And from then on he spent his mission studying and teaching from the Book of Mormon. Nearly two years later at the very end of his mission, he ran into him again, the guy remembered him, and invited him in to bash. This time he simply asked if the man had read it, the man said yes, and that it was of the devil. Then Brother C saw lines and lines of scripture, from James, about asking things amiss, and he hadn’t even memorized those, but he just started reading it from the image of it he saw in his mind, and the man started trembling intensely and everything, just like Sherem. But it was just an awesome talk, and he told other stories like it, and just somehow with such a spirit that you wouldn’t think for a second he was boasting, which now in hindsight I can’t even picture.
And I’ve been studying the Bible a lot recently, and most of my mission, so I started reading in Jacob yesterday and it’s phenomenal. I had been studying in Samuel, and really learning a ton of great things, but the Book of Mormon was just different. Brother C was the old bishop, and was one of those ones that the whole ward just remembers and loves, as the "best they ever had" and he knows the ward better than anyone, and there’s many inactives that refuse contact from anyone but him. So that was just a neat experience.
Things with Elder F are all right. We’ve had some "heart to hearts" I guess recently. I also had a good talk about him being passionate about life, or wanting to change himself, because he was kind of stuck as a child, and not really making change, but I and the other missionaries have noticed big change in him. It’s been fun, getting his confidence up and desire and passion and all in the "harsh" manner, and I think it being fun makes it go well. He makes it up the huge hill to our house every time now, still slow, but for a long time, he couldn’t ever even get close, but he consistently makes it now. It takes beating him up there and yelling, but he does it. It’s all with a light mood too (you know me). It’s one of those things I wish I could talk with you about in person.
But speaking of that hill, I wrecked hard this AM. I was going down it, FAST, and talking on the phone, and riding on the sidewalk where at every intersection you have to turn to go up the elevated ramp that continues the sidewalk, and then immediately swerve again because of the light posts, and it's tricky, and I was talking on the phone, getting annoyed with the guy for one, and then couldn’t quite make one of the swerves fast enough with just my left hand, so I stuck my hand out to not wreck straight into the pool (pole?), then I went over my handle bars into a roll, right back onto my feet, didn’t let go of the phone with the other hand, hung up, straightened my seat, and got back on. I think I’ve got a bruise on each thigh were they hit the handle bars, and my left wrist hurts, so I’m way fortunate.
Basketball is still fun of course. Two p-days ago I had 5 total dunks in 4 on 4 games, definitely my best. One it was 10-9 we were up, and there was loose ball up above the arch, so everyone was up there, and then we got the ball I cut toward the hoop, as they threw a lob pass, I caught on the run, took a step and threw it down to win. Then for #2 I crossed my man at the top of the key and cut to the hoop as defenders from both sides tried to swarm in, and the guy on me was running by my side and I just threw it down, that was my favorite, the whole defense was collapsing on me, I beat ‘em all, jumped from far, and dunked hard. Then the next two were kind of similar, but without quite the same collapse, so a pretty open lane but still full defense, but not that cool. Then the last one I was being guarded by the 6'4” black girl that had a full ride scholarship to play for Utah State, and I was like 12 feet out from the hoop, I crossed her over so she literally fell, and dunked it, so that was kind of the coolest, but kind of the least cool. But it’s just my personal witness about women’s basketball though. I touched 11'3 for my first time the other day. (I just see the mark on my wrist and measure when I get home.) But I thought James would like that.
But that’s about it,
Love you all,
PS. Bishop S is hilarious, he had Elder F give a talk and teased him over the pulpit, nicely, and he was giving out callings from the pulpit, having new faces stand up and introduce themselves and everything, he started out sacrament meeting by saying "well, I’m 28 days clean from swearing... so girls, you better get to work, because I’m not helping you get to girls camp" (one of them had challenged him to quit swearing). But despite the beginning of the meeting being basically comedy hour, he said some really funny things with the introductions and callings and all, the spirit was definitely there, and people feel loved by him. I’d love to bring an investigator there. His wife was there so he didn’t wear jeans. We first met him the other day when we went to give a blessing to a new less active he never met, and he showed up paint and mud covered in boots, shorts and tee shirt. He said "I’m still just a convert so don’t let my Mormonism fool you". But when he was conducting priesthood meeting, he was joking just a much as anyone, but really said so much through the spirit, and was so bold. I haven’t felt the spirit so strong in the beginning of priesthood meeting before they split ever before, nor laughed so much, and I wasn’t like in a particular deep or spiritual mood to begin with where I would say that. He hits the perfect score of being himself, doing nothing for traditions sake, but really loving with real intent, and trusting the spirit.