Great to hear from you guys, as always. You all sound like you are doing well. This week has been pretty fantastic. Lots of stuff happening.
Monday is always cool because we usually drop in on some family home evenings. Two of the coolest family home evenings. One family are youngish with five kids. They always have great discussions and the kids are very involved. They really seem to try to focus on building family unity and doing member missionary work. This last week we followed up with each of the kids about missionary experiences they were challenged to seek out. Their stories were fun to hear. We then talked about ways in which we could all leave Babylon behind. I remember their young kids coming up with some pretty entertaining answers but I have forgotten all of them. The other family are an older family. They have six teenage boys in their family. Some returned from mission and some preparing. We went to their house. We opened with a hymn and then a prayer, the dad shared a message and then we shared a message and had some group discussion. We finished up with another hymn and prayer and then had treats. It was fun. One of our investigators was there also. She is good friends with all of their boys, who are very missionary minded. Flirt to convert right? haha I am repeatedly impressed though by how these families use Monday night to build their family and gospel foundation. I am glad that you guys can read my letters on Monday nights. Out here where there are less members, I think kids and families in general value the time spent in family home-evening much more. It seemed refreshing for them to talk about the gospel. It seemed like a chance they had to get away from the pressures of the world a little bit and I think that family home evening is a great opportunity to provide this refuge and bring families closer together.
President Packer said in the missionary conference thing. In bearing his testimony he said, "I know that Jesus is the living Christ" and then he said "I Know him." There is definitely a difference between knowing about something and knowing something. I would say that I know about tennis. I know about various aspects of the game and I could work with what I know. Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal - they know tennis. They know the ins and outs. They are so familiar with every part of the game that they can do incredible things. Likewise, I think that the idea for each of us is to come to know Jesus Christ, just as President Packer said. To know him as we know each other. I thought about this for a while. Maybe a good five minutes. haha Just playin’, it was longer than that. But it just really sunk in that through reading the scriptures we read about who God is, how he acts and how he feels. That’s pretty cool. When we read we can really come to know him as a person. Then we can pray and have personal experiences with him, one on one. Prayer and scripture study is pretty neat. - That is the understatement of the week.
Ooh! So on Thursday we were given the task of moving a trampoline from one house to another about a mile apart. We started rolling it on its side like a giant wheel. That was pretty fun. Then we tried just carrying it down the road. Then our arms got tired so four of us walked underneath with the trampoline on our heads. We quickly realized that was stupid when the trampoline began bouncing up and down. Then we got a brilliant idea. Our bishop was driving a honda accord behind us as we walked. It was only a matter of time before we directed him to drive beneath the trampoline. We then rested the tramp on top of the car and finished our journey. I’d say that the people who passed by us had a good laugh.
Friday, I went on exchanges and took over the area for the day again. We visited the neighbors of a member. The neighbors, had invited us over for dinner. Because I was on exchanges, we were on bikes and we got lost. Luckily, we left about thirty minutes early because I read my watch wrong. I know... you may pause and laugh here... not my finest few moments. But when we arrived- on time I might add- we were well rewarded. Mrs. had made a delicious feast for us. It was good. But even cooler was the husband's unique collection. Judge is a sign collector. Yes, I had dinner with a judge. That was new. This guy had rooms full of signs. Signs from the 1920’s until now: mostly older stuff, lots of neon, lots of gas pump globes. The rooms we would walk into were unreal! It is my biggest regret of my mission so far that I did not have my camera with me. The good news is that it gives me an excuse to go back haha. But seriously it was too cool. I’m not sure you can really understand what his collection was like without seeing it for yourself. I will have to get a picture for you.
Saturday, we painted an office area and after finishing invited the owner to church. She said she would come this coming week. Then we did yard work for our bishop. Apparently, I have a great talent for arbory, the taking care of trees. We were all surprised, but I am quite sure I have many hidden talents that are yet to be found so I didn’t let the adulation of the bishop and his wife go to my head at all.
So... my dear companion, Elder Hibbard, is leaving me. He has been transferred. Not sure if he is more excited to go east or to be done with our brutally consistent morning trips to the gym.... anyway… I pick up my new companion on Wednesday. Hopefully, he will be as good as Elder Hibbard. Sad to see him go but now I get to take over the area. Should be cool. More work more fun. It will be cool. I have heard good things about Elder Hansen- my new companion. Good, but vague... I’ll let you know more about that next week. Maybe ill send a picture or two.
I have recently started a new habit in my personal study time. As it says in D&C, I study things out in my mind. I make a lesson plan for the person I am studying for. Then, I pray and ask if it is right. If it is not then I redo it. If it is then I am content to move on to study for someone else. It provides a daily challenge to recognize those quiet answers from the spirit. I look forward to the opportunity each morning.
Ooh! Good news about the investigators. Kelly is doing well. She was once reluctant to listen and talk but now she has accepted a baptismal date. It is a soft date. She still doesn’t know, but it gives here a goal to work toward. Very, very, good.
One guy has said that he sees himself getting baptized in the near future but he still wants to learn more about our church. When we taught the plan of salvation he made what I thought was a pretty cool comment. Another guy is a great guy and he talked about how learning about God's plan for him really makes him want to step up and be a better person. It is very nice to know God's overarching plan for us. I can only imagine finding out about it for the first time. It must be crazy.
I think it is important to recognize that all blessings, both temporal and spiritual, come by faith. Only when you realize this can you really know where to begin when trying to accomplish something.
I am happy to be staying in Frederick. We have a great ward helping us out and that makes it pretty fun. We can work with a lot of members and it is neat to have that opportunity. From what I hear, some places are not as cooperative. Oh well..
When I took over the area this last week we rode bikes all day. It was pretty fun. I did get the bike's handlebars fixed. Wow was I nervous riding it before. haha Now it is so much better. Finally found an allen wrench. It is nice to know that when your handle bars turn your wheel will turn with them. So, I’m good now.
So I also like the point of the lectures on faith is to tell us three things that we should do.
1. know and accept that God exists.
2. know His correct character, attributes and perfections
3. know that the course of life we are pursuing is according to God's will.
Working hard, having fun still. It’s never going to end!! haha Catch you later.
Love you guys,