I feel like my letter was so short this week but in actuality it probably was a nice break to not have a novel to read from me like you usually do. I just can't ever seem to get everything in that happened if I don't write a lot. I feel bad that I left that email on a depressing not. so, I'll just pick up where that left off to try and have things end up happier.
That guy Paul, who braids his goatee? Remember him? Well, we went back and when we knocked on the door his wife looked through the window and started pointing angrily at him. He came outside and found The Book of Mormon on the porch (he couldn't keep it inside) and handed it back to us and said he didn't like the book because it didn't say what the Bible says. he said he believes in Mary and Jesus and we didn't. I told him the Book of Mormon talks about Mary and I also asked it he had read from The Book of Mormon. He said he flipped through it but that it didn't say what the Bible says. I told him the Book of Mormon WASN'T the Bible so it wouldn't have the same writings but that they both taught ABOUT Jesus and teach the same things. He said his wife didn't like it and said we should leave but before we turned to leave, he said, "But you should know I DO believe int he Lord." I said, "That's great. so do we. Have a nice day." Then, we started down the porch. Just at this time, Paul's wife (who had been talking to Paul so she BLASTED some Christian Gospel music (the hillbilly kind with banjo-pickers, not the black-choir-in-graduation-gowns kind). I can't do justice to how LOUD the music was. She was inside and we got down the lawn to the road and it still sounded like ear buds were in my ears on full blast. I guess she saw us as the devil and figured since the devil wouldn't leave she'd make him leave by forcing him to listen to old, white people twang about "the rapture." I don't know. It was so blatant and so obscenely loud that when we got in the car. I asked Sister Hunt if we'd just been banished by gospel music. She confirmed my suspicions. We laughed the whole way home. It was hilarious.
Another hilarious thing. The Vonnahme's were telling us about a missionary who served in Salem years ago. I don't remember his name so we'll call him 'Elder Nevada.' Elder Nevada got a greenie to train and we'll call him 'Elder Nebraska.' Well, Elder Nevada liked to get in the car and lock out Elder Nebraska. The only way E. Nevada would unlock the car doors was if E. Nebraska would kneel on the ground and put his hands together in a pleading posture and say, "Oh, wonderful Senior Companion, please unlock the door and let me in." Unrighteous dominion? Maybe. But, probably no so unrighteous that it can't be fixed with a little repentance... so, that night when Sis. Hunt and i were filling up the car at the gas station. I got in the car and locked it and got out the camera and didn't let Sis. Hunt int he car till she knelt down and asked her gracious Senior Companion to let her in. Don't worry. She was laughing the whole time. And don't worry: I recorded it.
The Hermana that got to the mission field with me is going home before next Zone Conference. So, the departing missionaries always bear their testimonies at their last Zone Conference. Hermana Gardener said she's tried to live her mission everyday putting her tag over her heart to remind her to ask herself in every situation, what would Jesus do in this situation? What would He say to this person? how would He act?" It's not just that people who take on His name through baptism or missionary work represent Him, it's that we are His hands and His feet. It's made me realize how much more improvement. I need. It's not a matter of "would Christ approve of me saying (or doing) this?" It's "would Christ Himself say (or do) this?" It's like Elder Oaks's point of how there's good, better and best. I might do good tings. But if I do what Christ would do, I'm doing the BEST thing.
We visited Bro. Hobson's mom in the nursing home this week. Her name's Rowena (Ravenclaw) and she has Alzheimer's. It was really hot in her room and I got out a Plan of Salvation pamphlet to fan myself with. I got out another one and gave it to Rowena so she could fan herself. On the front of the pamphlet is the picture by Del Parson called "He is Risen" with Christ coming out of the tomb. Instead of fanning herself, she stared at the picture. She's not a member so she's never seen the picture before. She stared at it and finally smiled and kissed it. She'd fan herself with it and every few minutes she'd re-notice what she was using to fan herself with. Every time she'd stare at it and once she recognized Christ she'd get a big smile on her face and say how much she loved Him. It was very sweet to see her recognize Him over and over again like that and see how happy He made her every time. Last week we were with her and were listening to a man sing Amazing Grace. She grabbed both my hands with hers and said, We'll always be together no matter what, won't we?" I told her we would. I'm so excited for her to learn the gospel on the other side. I know she'll accept it right away/ We're hoping the spend some of the 4th with her and Bro. Hobson. You know I"m excited for the 4th (as all Nelsons are, I'm sure). Isn't it neat to realize that George Washington and Benjamin Franklin weren't this land's first patriots? The Stars & Stripes wasn't this land's first flag. There were people like Alma and Benjamin and Moroni and Gideon and Nephi and Teancum and Mormon who loved this land and prayed for it and fought for it. There were groups of people that hoisted Titles of Liberty across the land and people who rent their coats in token of their dedication to protecting the Promised Land and its consecration to the Lord. Alma 61:15 tells us that "the Spirit of God . . . also the Spirit of Freedom." No wonder our patriotism is so sacred to us. We're blessed to live in the land of promise. We're blessed to have the responsibility to take care of this country and fight for all kinds of true freedom like those who have gone before us! We're too, too blessed.
I love you all. I love being a missionary. I feel unworthy to have such great blessings and such a great responsibility to act for the Lord in this part of His vineyard. thank you for your prayers in my behalf and in behalf of the people here. The Church is TRUE! Share it!!