Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Easter!!

Happy Easter everyone! What a great time of year it is to celebrate our Savior, His work and His message! A story from two weeks ago: Elders Candland, Christensen, Daly and I are driving to the local Wal-Mart, listening to our shallow canon of missionary tunes. Two flirtatious young girls begin to horse around, waving at us from another vehicle and dropping cans of soda out of their car. I disapprovingly keep quiet as our driver, Elder Candland waves back. Big mistake. The girls begin to follow us! Our car full of elders makes it all the way to the Wal-Mart parking lot and the grocery store with giggling girls in tow. I ignore it, but my companions are no help. We do not see them in the store again, but as we return to the car, all of us find these things:

Thankfully we learn after inviting them to attend church (not my idea) the girls are sixteen years old. Learning this extinguished all hopes of my companions, whatever those hopes may have been. But hey! We have some Kool-Aid now.

After preparation day last week, we attend the YSA FHE. We learn it is to be a self-defense class. This is very exciting news to me! I learn some Krav Maga and Shodokan. David Mortensen, the man teaching Shodokan to us has studied this art all his life because his father is a sensei for Shodokan. There are a ton of similarities to Aikido, so David and I have a great time throwing each other around from various holds.

I'm uncertain still how Elder Candland managed to convince a certain member of his ward to gift him a sword, but it has happened. Of course I couldn't resist getting a couple of pictures with it.

If you look closely, you can almost see the expression of the small child in me that so wants to be just like Darth Maul. Though I am not smiling, be assured this is the face of happiness.

We had a really great lesson with TJ Tesdahl this week in an underground pizzeria, teaching him about the nature of the third member of the Godhead: the Holy Ghost. Elder Daly and I testified deeply of the wonderful blessings which come from the constant companionship of the Spirit: protection, comfort, direction and guidance, and warning. TJ has taken an interest in keeping himself from certain ensnaring darknesses that roam this Earth, though he is yet unwilling to break his habit of smoking tobacco and drinking coffee. However we are seeing progress with TJ even if it remains slow.

Lesson with Katie and Austin

It will be our second contact with Katie Bussmann as Elder Daly and I sit in our seats at the Signs of Life bookstore. We pleasantly greet her and she surprises us by saying we will be joined by a friend of hers, Austin Anderson. Austin arrives at the very same time our assistant ward mission leader, Kenneth Wilson. The lesson to follow is immense! Fantastic questions Austins asks bring so much happiness to my heart. "Where do we go when we die?" and, "How can we know the Book of Mormon is true?" Clearly we switch gears into the Plan of Salvation. Austin keeps drinking it in and asks an increasingly numerous plethora of genuine questions. Forty-five minutes later, Kenneth announces he has ten minutes to be in class and we look at the time. Not one of us could believe just how long we sat learning more about that Great Plan of Happiness and Deliverance from Death! We shared how the Gospel has blessed our lives so immensely and took leave of them.

In a dinner the next day with the Steimle (s-time-lee) family we discussed how the Spirit can and will teach us something new, beyond bringing a certain idea to remembrance if it is necessary. Our conversation ventured to the lesson with Austin and Katie. I had taught, but did not know previously, we will receive further instruction in the Spirit World concerning our salvation. We will not receive all instruction in this mortal life. My mind simply never ventured to this idea before, but it came upon my lips in the moment it was needed. Brother Steimle encouraged me to find doctrine concerning this truth. The very next day in Gospel Principles, I read this from Joseph Smith: "When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel--you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil [died] before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave."

Aha! The church is true guys.

Elder Daly and I had a really great Easter dinner. The senior couple in Lawrence invited us as well as the sisters and the 2nd ward elders, Simonton and Bird. I will provide pictures perhaps next week.

Lawrence Senior Couple

My many thanks for all your hard work in supporting me and loving me through prayer, thought, and emails. I dearly love each of you and this church so very much. Where, oh where, would we be without our families and the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ? Love you all.

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