So to avoid having YET another just Highlights email I'm going to try to be EXHAUSTIVELY detailed
So starting with Tuesday:
We began our Tuesday morning much as we always do, We woke to the beeping of my watch alarm and rose to pray. After our morning conversations I began exercising while my companion began snoring, you know the usual.
After doing many crunches and Push-ups as well as these devilish things called Bur-pees. (like they DESTROY your body) I hopped in the shower. Proceeding the showering I had a wonderfully healthy Breakfast of an apple and Peanut butter (still the celestial food) with some strawberry yogurt studies commenced at 8 on the dot so we buckled down and started to read our scriptures, Personally I read the amazing account of the Faith of the people of Alma, Even when the whole world seemed against them they held the True to the Faith that they had from the words of Abinadi. How crazy would it to be to only have one edition of the General Conference Ensign that someone wrote from memory and as a result brought hundreds to repentance and when they were taken captive they still would not renounce the faith they had in the words of Abinadi. I also studied the Talk by Elder Gong on remembering, He has many good things to say about Remembering , and how we can live our lives in remembrance of Him
one of the quotes from that talk that has really got me thinking is this one
"The Lord’s hand in our lives is often clearest in hindsight. As Christian philosopher Søren Kierkegaard put it: “Life must be understood backward. But … it must be lived forward.” "
I pondered on this quote many times this week, How does one live life forward but still understand it backward
I think it largely has to do with understanding the two beautifully unique doctrines of our church, That this right now isn't the beginning of our existence and when we die it is no where near the peak of our life
President Packer best explained it as he related it to a three act play, First act we don't remember since the curtain closed, the second act is here and now and it is filled with Trials, Temptations. difficulties and death; the words "happily ever after" aren't found in the second act but rather in the Third act where the solutions are found and eternal happiness is possible.
I broke my careful pondering as studies came to a close marking carefully my impressions and leaving the page open to review and reconsider tomorrow those things I had read, We then reconvened in companionship study reviewing our locations to find and how we will approach these children we are called to careful watch-care over.
Some streets chosen and some places selected we headed out, Some doors opened most didn't. we talked to many that answered to hopefully spark that Pre-mortal spirit and awaken the light of Christ in there soul but not so today it seemed.
Lunch was a simple sandwich and some chips before heading to a kind member of our ward, Brother Bartoes, we helped him with his preparation for a Book of Mormon class, after a nice respite from the consistent rejection that is tracting, we went back to it, similar results followed. Missionary work can be hard but it isn't too bad when you remember why you do it
we ended the day with a gracious meal from a member who gave us Cafe Rio style burritos
it was bomb
(this is gonna be A LOOOOOONG letter)
Woke up and did more exercising, this time some planks and crunches (gotta keep that core in swimming shape for when I get home)
Breakfast was pretty much the same except the yogurt was Mountain berry this time
studies immersed me once again this time right into the conflict of a corrupt High priest of (former) King Noah, and his personal Vendetta against Alma for, in his mind, stiring up the Status Quo by listening to Abinadi's sermon. as a result he took it out on Alma's people but still there faith prevailed and "after the trial of their faith" did the Lord deliver his people and how joyful must have been the reunion of Alma, Limhi, and Mosiah!
I continued to ponder Elder Gong's address this time the quote that stood out to me was this
"Have you ever thought of yourself as your own living book of remembrance—reflecting what and how you choose to remember?"
I reflected much of my past, I have learned more from it than I once allowed myself to, I was never perfect and I shouldn't expect a past unblemished but I have learned because of those scars how to avoid the dangerous Pitfalls the devil has arranged to ensnare those not watching every step they make.
I have indeed chosen to remember my past differently and I am sure from now I will remember it with ever increasing amounts of perspective.
We continued on the quest to open a door, still no success with it. but we are both getting better at staying up beat
Dinner was BOMB Because a member of the YSA's that thinks we are cool took us to Texas Roadhouse for dinner, Elder Kitchens and I got so stuffed on the yummy Cinnamon Butter and light fluffy Rolls
Have I mentioned I love this ward?
Cuz I do
They are the Best
Back to morning Bur-pees
(for those that don't know basically you jump up, drop to the ground and let you belly hit the floor and then bounce up, doesn't sound to exhausting but to 10 of them and then call me yeah they HURT but in like a good excising way)
Breakfast was more of the same, Gala apples are good to eat, especially with Peanut Butter
strawberry yogurt for the grand total of no one that bothered to ask that question
The final close of the timeline of Zeniff now complete we hear of the wayward son of Alma the High Priest, His Son as well as the Sons of Mosiah had cause such havoc and from the fervent prayers of faithful fathers was given direction and a new path to follow. we are all sometimes like Alma the younger though, all needing the occasional spiritual re-direction. I pondered on how My life was Re-directed by many "Angels" that taught me the better way to think on what I really wanted and to establish once again a Firm Foundation.
We finished studies and began our Weekly planning which didn't take long as we don't have many people to plan for at the moment but we know they will come with time and love and prayer.
but we also must put forth our efforts to find those the Lord has prepared which means
I'm SLOWLY getting better at approaches, But you know Practice makes perfect
We had dinner yet again this time Courtesy of the Patterson Family (they bought us Chipotle, seriously I love these people)
Slacked a bit on exercises as I only did my Crunch sets
We had Zone Training meeting in Chardon. It went well as we learned how to better Utilize Family History and teach people about the joy of the family, also the Zone leaders spoke about how well the Zone is doing on Key Indicators, Elder Kitchens and I haven'y been able to contribute much to them but things are apparently going well for the rest of the Zone. Durring the Meeting some of the sisters sang a Beautiful rendition of Nearer my God to thee, while I was listening I pondered on the words and how they speak of two things to me our Personal trials and suffering as well as the trials of our Savior How he was raised on a Cross and Slept in the Stone Tomb to awake in the Glorious Sunday of Easter. I am so glad to have had my Eyes opened to the wonders and simple beauty in so much
Lunch was with the zone, we brought subway, my sub I assure you would have suprised all of you back home that know what I used to eat (and not eat) missions change people
After that meeting we met with Craig a veteran after 21 years of service, He is struggling to stay afloat as he holds personally the guilt of the death of those he killed in Combat. we hope he is sincere in his desire to come closer to Christ but some evidence suggests otherwise, we will keep you up to date on that.
Dinner this night was a humble meal of Top ramen, but it was ok because some don't even have that
I think I tweaked my shoulder doing Pushups, my bad. we spent the day after some rather distracted studying we went to help a family in need raise some money by hosting a garadge sale
we pretty much did a bunch of heavy lifting
bad day to have a bad shoulder but I lived though it
That evening we spent the night finding with a very recently returned missionary, He taught us some more of how to contact and love those we meet instantly, so we can desire even more that "salvation should be declared to every creature" as did the stalwart sons of Mosiah
Sunday was intresting as we got Craig to come to church but mid way though testimony meeting he got up and left, later we found he WALKED 7 and a half miles, like dude church isn't THAT bad.
the evening went well as we had a great dinner with the Heiner Family.
Love you all and have an awesome Fourth of July today!