Stock are off trying to sell our van to some guy from Las Vegas. Hopefully they
don’t get ripped off. At least Stock should intimidate them some. They sound
like a nice family. They said they had ten kids, but there’s not as many at
home so they need to downsize to a van. That’s funny because we’re downsizing
to a sedan for similar reasons.
reunion was fun. We went to a big house like cabin at Schofield Reservoir. Drew
played with Maggie and Linus for much of the time which was surprising. Matt
rented paddle boards and kayaks and we rowed all over the lake.
Stock and I if we wanted to go fishing with him and Cooper below the dam.
Cooper is quite the fisherman. I didn’t know that. We had to drive several
miles on a dirt road, but it was really pretty when we got there. Cory caught
an 8 inch brown trout. Nobody else caught anything, but it was fun.
me of the time we went fishing at that pond with Travis Wilkinson. You caught
that fish and Travis had you clean it and eat it. It was good, but I think your
animal loving nature took away from your desire to catch them. We ate Cory’s
trout and it was delicious.
looks better than ever. It’s funny when we saw him in the hospital after
dropping you off at the MTC, I thought he didn’t have much time left. He looks
like he could live another 70 years, well maybe 20.
station gave away a theatre full of tickets for the new Star Trek movie. It was
good, but I think I’m getting old and curmudgeony, cause it seemed like more of
the same. It was fun though and the price was right.
people read my book, they really like when Succubus torches his teacher and
then they kind of stop reading for awhile. I’m thinking of splitting it into
two books and ending the first one at that point. I would then add a chapter
where Solomon sees and learns about demons walking the human world. And I would
add a chapter where Succubus sees other volunteering for the final tests. What
do you think of that?
going to Dallas for his work this week so keep your eye out if he drives by.
Make him buy you lunch.
organizing all the letters that were sent to me on my mission and it reminds me
how much I loved it and how grateful I am for you.
July 25, 2016
the reunion was fun. I didn't even know that was coming up soon. I hope you got
the van sold; it sounds kind of fun all these changes that are happening. I'm
glad grandpa is doing well too. I was worried about him. I'm like a celebrity
now that people have found out that he wrote follow the prophet haha. About
your book, I found it just fine. A lot of people don't really read books like
they use to. So as a book reader I thought it was awesome, granted the version
I read wasn't what it is now so I'm sure it is awesome. I say keep it where it
was. I'm sure it will be just fine because I really enjoyed it. See what stock
has been awesome. Me and my companion worked out some stuff and as soon as we
did the spirit flowed so well. This week we set 4 baptismal dates and it was so
so cool. Only nine of them showed up to church!! So irritating but we know why
each didn't and it was rough. But we are so blessed lately.
Kind of cool
too, a guy we had dinner with yesterday, brother Howard, we were talking to him
and his family and he served in the same mission you did. He's younger than you
but it was fun to talk to him about it. He told us about how he went to pick up
two missionaries that went to Mexico in a mission vehicle; he had some fun
that nothing much more I have to tell ya specifically. I'll be writing my big
letter soon so stay tuned.
So this week has been really hot, because it's been tracting city. Mostly because I went on two exchanges this week. One normal one where I was with a new companion all day and the second was because my companion elder Matheson went to the temple and I couldn't go because we can only go every 6 months. So I barely know the area and that exchange I had to lead doesn't know the area at all, and it was great! The blind leading the blind.
So we seem to find people but never for us, they are always referrals for the Spanish elders or something. But it is the Lord's work none the less. There isn't much to report on though. The one thing that comes to mind is this bike lock we found. I found a bike lock in a closet and asked my companion if he had the code, he didn't. So I was carrying it around with me and would always try to just find it out of luck by guessing. We had a dinner appointment with a family that the kids and the parents are pretty much geniuses. So I said, "I bet you can't crack this code for me," and the kids faces lit up and snatched it out of my hands. The thing was useless so I figured I'd never see it again. On Saturday we get a text from the family, "code cracked! Come by whenever to get it!" So we ride over there and low and behold I have a bike lock for free now! I asked how they figured it out and they literally started at 0000 and went through the possible combinations in order until they reached 1916. That's some dedication.
The spiritual thoughts I've had this week are on repentance. How important and liberating is repentance? Sometimes that word is scary, mainly because change is scary and that's what it is. A change from doing the bad to following Christ. But the thing I discovered is the importance of PROPER repentance. One of Satan's lies is that when we do something wrong, we can work our way out of it. We fall into the trap that essentially we can work our way to heaven. WHY DO SUCH A THING?!? Our Savior said this, "for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." The Savior provided a way to relieve our sins and not work ourselves into the dust! When we take upon us His Atonement and allow it in our lives, it becomes easy, and our burden is made light. It will take some work and faith unto repentance, but this work is not to be a burden, but when we take His yoke upon us Alma says, "there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy." We are not in this life to suffer, men are that they might have joy. God loves us and has provided this for us. Utilize it in meekness and lowliness of heart. Christ did this FOR YOU. Repent! How great is His joy in the soul that repenteth! We all need to and the sooner we do, the sooner the blessings can flow, who wouldn't want to feel such exquisite and sweet joy daily? Just repent.
I love you all and hope all goes well.
Drew is a lucky duck man! And awesome about the purse! Courtney's gotten a ton of stuff from there, they're pretty awesome. Everyone seems to have gone to concerts this week. I'm jealous. Have fun at the family reunion and give everyone my best! I love you!
This week was a HOT one. I am beginning to understand what Nephi means when he talks about how he is bound and it is through the strength of the Lord he breaks them. When we don't have strength for a task, the Lord can give us strength to overcome it, that does not mean that he breaks the bands for you or he does the work for you. He gives us the strength we wouldn't have to keep pushing and keep working and in Him we can continue past what we normally couldn't. This is shown in Alma 31, "38 And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith." As we do our best for the Lord he blesses us immensely.
I gave my first blessing this week as well. I was nervous but it was an amazing experience. It is so important to be worthy when the Lord calls.
So the Dallas Daze this week (hopefully y'all are liking the name) is when we were tracting a neighborhood. We got there and locked our bikes up and up trots this little kitten. It then proceeded for two hours to follow us from house to house as we went. When it lost sight of us it would start pretty much the equivalent of screaming until it found us again. It got some people to talk to us and so it was pretty handy. I don't know what it was about us but the cat was along for the work for a bit.
One cool thing that happened was my temporary bike was starting to fall apart. The shaft that holds the pedal on kept falling off so we were wondering what we were gonna do when a roofer stopped and through broken English offered us some help. We loaded up our bikes and he took us home and accepted a Spanish copy of the Book of Mormon as well as a DVD on the restoration. So we got home and were wondering how we would fix the bike. We tried calling the whole ward and finally a less active we have been trying to contact answered and came over immediately to help. He proceeded to fix the bike good as new as well as talk to us about how he wants to get to the temple and that that is his goal from here on out. We were so excited for him and he showed up to church yesterday too! It was a very unconventional day but it was extremely successful.
Our president asked us to come up with a vision of how we can use the Book of Mormon more effectively in our mission and our lives. So as I thought I thought of Dan Jones. What does the picture of him depict? He isn't standing and declaring the word with a pamphlet in his hand, or a video, no, it is the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion and as I thought it can be the keystone of the mission and my life. By reading it we truly come closer to Christ and can have personal revelation daily. So I tried instead of having pass along cards and pamphlets in hand to rather have the Book of Mormon in hand and what a difference it has made. Don't get me wrong, we still hand out all the other stuff and use them to help but the most powerful tool in conversion is the Book of Mormon. We must ask ourselves, are we converted? Could we become more so? The Book of Mormon is the start and as we study it we come closer to Christ and begin to see how we can make changes in our life to be happier and attains eternal life. Read with real intent. Real intent means reading with the willingness to change our lives according to what we learn from God and the doctrine of Christ. As we do so the Lord will open up what he has in store for you. I invite all to give it a try and to keep doing so. "20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen." Faith, repentance, baptism, and enduring to the end. Learn, live it, love it, it is the way of happiness in this life and the way to eternal happiness in the next. I love you all and will talk to you again in a week.
So we had these shakes at a restaurant, called sCRUMBtious, a member in the ward owns. He shakes are called Pie Shakes. They blend up a piece of pie into a shake and HOLY COW IT IS BOMB. Everyone thinks I'm really weird eating fry sauce as well. It's pretty hilarious. Food is just ridiculously good here. If you could send me the recipe for baked pancakes that'd be awesome too. We need good cheap breakfast.
So fun fact, I am not in McKinney hahahaha I am in Mesquite Texas and on a biking area! We bike about 15 miles a day almost. It's a work out but it's awesome. We drink like 10 bottles of water a day too. I am not in shape for it but the power of prayer is real. When my strength fails, Christ gives me the strength I need to keep going and it is truly a blessing.
So the first week has been intense. We bike in 100 degree weather with high humidity and it is awesome. So many people, even when they reject us, give us water and are so nice. Everyday when we start getting discouraged I swear the Lord puts his children in our path and as long as we open our mouths to everyone we will find them. It's beyond cool.
One scripture I've come to set my goal to is alma 31:36-38. It's amazing how the Lord blesses us when we seek to do his will. The field is white already to harvest.
I don't have a ton to report on but we did have a funny moment yesterday that was lovely.
We were tracting and we knock on this door waiting. A woman opens the door and gets this "oh boy your gonna get it" look on her face, leans back and says, "honey there is some boys here to see you!" So out walks this smiling man, invites us in, and gets this smug look on his face. He then proceeds to get up and says, "let me get my Bible." So I kinda sit quiet because I didn't wanna bash but my companion, Elder Matheson, and this guy start goin at it about whether there is a pre-earth life and it wasn't heated but the man definitely expressed how he knows we are wrong and told us to be aware of false prophets. It was lovely. So that wasn't the funny part because it was really a good conversation that stayed mellow but didn't go anywhere. The funny part was, and here is the first DALLAS DAZE, so my companion is giving the closing prayer and the baptist guy stops him mid prayer and says, " I'll take it from here," and then prays for us to basically stop being blinded by false prophets and to find the truth. Elder Matheson and I were like dying when we got out. It was so weird. But it was good because that was an hour we didn't have to be on our bikes and got to clarify our beliefs even though he didn't believe us.
One thing for mission prep group. What they need to do is every time they get together, Jesus Christ HAS to be the center. Teaching goes unheard when Christ is not the center of every point. The spirit manifests so strong when everything you talk about is centered around Christ and how His gospel can meet their needs. So crucial. Same with role playing. It seems silly but role playing is one of the best learning opportunities. So long as you treat it realistic. And lastly, don't shy away from reading the Book of Mormon. It matters not what they think of it, if you are in and teaching a lesson and you read the Book of Mormon with an investigator or better yet have them read it, the spirit testifies so strong. The Book of Mormon is powerful and needs to be used. Don't talk about scriptures, if one comes to mind READ IT. Summaries are great but the Book of Mormon says it best and holds great power because it is the word of God.
The gospel is true and I love it here. It's hard hard work but it is lightened when you turn it all to God. Just go forward in faith and open your mouths.
I love you all and I hope all is well in the family. Sorry about my room hahaha and I hope that the whole car thing goes well. Lemme know about the bike thing, I have a temporary one but it isn't actually mine. I love you all and keep living the gospel, it is the source of joy we can have in this life. The strength Christ gives is unmatched and He is the light of this world.
The food is ridiculously good, we had home made ribs last night and WOW.....WOW and here are some pictures.