Well this week was good. Lot’s of cool stuff happened and this has probably been my favorite week of the transfer.
So on Monday we did usual P-Day things but this time us and the ZL’s went up to hang out with the Sandhill’s elders because we have been feeling bad for them. They never get to do anything with any other missionaries on P-Day so we gave them a break I guess. We just played board games and stuff. Nothing too crazy though.
On Tuesday we had DDM as usual. It was pretty good and I trained on how we can be more motivated as missionaries, which seems to be a bit of an issue in this District. This was an interesting training coming from me because my biggest struggle (in life, not just missionary work) is being a motivated person. I am just not blessed with the natural ability to motivate myself easily. I think it turned out ok though. Maybe I’ll talk a bit about it at the end of this email.
After DDM we did usual missionary work. Nothing too crazy happened I guess because I can hardly remember what we did.
On Wednesday we had SBP, which is always a lot of fun. We were putting the finishing touches on one of the houses we have been working on for some time now. We did a lot of painting and priming. It’s pretty cool to see how far the house has come since it was flooded. They will be reopening the house to the owners this Friday and so we get to be a part of the reopening ceremony that they do for all of their houses. Should be cool.
After SBP we went home and started cleansing our apartment because it was filthy and we had housing inspections on Thursday. Let me just say that I do not think Elder C. knows how to clean. It requires a lot of patience on my part, and yes, dad, there is someone messier than me out there.
On Thursday we had housing inspections in the morning which we passed surprisingly. After those we went to do service for PAALS like usual and that was fun. We got to walk the dogs for the first time and they are awesome animals. They actually listen to you when you tell them to do stuff, unlike certain dogs I know…
After PAALS we had dinner with our investigator H. He wanted to meet us at Outback Steakhouse, which I absolutely could not afford, so I was just planning on getting a cheap entre or something like that. Well it turns out that he wanted to pay for us, so I ended up getting a steak dinner which was really good. We had a very interesting discussion. I kinda saw it coming too, because he seemed too eager to meet with us and he is Baptist. As we talked he little by little started to express his concern over Joseph Smith. Eventually he pretty much straight up said that Joseph Smith was a false prophet. And so my suspicions were confirmed, we were his investigators. On the bright side, however, we got a free steak dinner out of it, and let me just say that Outback’s clam chowder is way good.
Elder C. pretty much told H. that unless he read the Book of Mormon he could not say that Joseph Smith was a false prophet. Clearly the guy had just been reading books on how to stump Mormons because all the stuff he brought up was the same stuff I always hear. Anyway, we told him that there was really no reason to meet with him anymore if he wasn’t going to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, so he agreed he would do that.
Like I said though, we still got steaks.
On Friday we had a cool experience. We went to go see a bible referral, which we usually don’t get too excited for because they are always just ghetto people wanting their free handout. This time it was different though. The man who requested the bible asked for it to be in large print, so we already weren’t too excited about it. But, to our surprise, when we got there he was very excited to see us and he warmly invited us in. He told us that he had met with missionaries in the past after a member in his family had died, and they taught him the Plan of Salvation and it really brought peace into his heart. He was interested in meeting with missionaries again after he gets out of a surgery in a week, so we are pretty excited for that.
On Saturday we had a pretty normal day. In the evening we had the adult session of Stake Conference which was really good. Elder Alba of the Seventy was presiding over the meeting and he is a really awesome guy. Stake Conference was also cool because I got to see all the missionaries in the Zone and found out that Elder B., my last companion, is training, which made me really happy because he is an awesome missionary.
On Sunday we had the actual session of Stake Conference. I got to go to the early morning Spanish session with the Zone Leaders which was really cool because I got to talk to Elder Alba one on one and he gave me a hug. I found out that his wife grew up in Antelope, which is really cool as well.
After Stake Conference we went to the W.’s house like we usually do on Sunday’s. W.W.’s mom was there this time and let me just say that she is CRAZY. She apparently had a head injury years back and so she always seems drunk. Imagine Jack Sparrow even more drunk than usual, and in woman form. Anyway, we were talking to W. and then she started going on a rant about how she is the “greatest cook in the world,” and that she cooked for George Bush and that he blew a kiss to her or something crazy like that. W. started messing with her a bit and said “Mom, you are not a good cook. You burnt the fried chicken the other day.” She went off on him about how the chicken wasn’t burnt but it was brown because of the “pappa-rick-a” (paprika). She said “Pappa-rick-a is da secret to all da good. It be more dan a spice, itsa flavor.” It was SOOOO funny, but maybe you just had to be there. Then I started trying to talk to W. about the gospel but his mom started singing gospel music really loudly, staring at me the entire time. She was CRAZY. When we left, she walked us out the door and to our bikes, singing gospel music the entire way. The funny part was that she was actually pretty good.
Anyhow, that was the week basically.
So this week I did a lot of thinking on motivation and how we can get ourselves motivated to do good. I realized that the strongest motivator that a missionary or really anyone can have is to be motivated by the gospel. The issue is, it isn’t easy to make the gospel one of your motivating factors. I read a talk by President Uchtdorf called “The Power of a Personal Testimony.” It was a really cool because it talked about how we can make our personal testimony one of the greatest motivators of all. If you really think about it, all of the most courageous acts, or hardest work seems to be done by people motivated by their testimony to do good. So, if you are struggling with being motivated, especially in doing good, consider what your testimony is like, and see if you can find a way to make it more of a motivator in your life.
Well, I think that is about it. I hope you guys have a good week.
Elder Jeremiah Brown
Elder H. at his finest
The Columbia Zone (Elder Brown is just off center to the left in the second row)
Elder C. and I