Monday, October 1, 2012


Why? Why did I say that last week was one of the longest week of my life? Don't I know by now how ironic the Lord loves to be with me? I've learned my lesson. Last week: long. This week: LONGER. Next week? Who knows.

True or False: Sister Missionaries are responsible for planning weddings. If your only other option is two 19-year-old farm boys the answer is TRUE. Sister Mickelsen and I helped with/planned a wedding this week. No, it wasn't for our investigators; it was for the Elders'. But when the young bride approached us and asked us for help with desperation in her voice and tears in her eyes, all I had to do was imagine the horrifying results of having no choice but to leave 6'5", burly Elder Forsgren arranging the bouquet and tender, lanky Elder Frye coordinating Brides' Maids dresses and I couldn't bring myself to say no. Of course we had to help her. 

It's misleading to say that a wedding can be simple. It was simpler than most weddings, but no wedding is simple. The word "wedding" is composed of "web" (just with a backwards "b") signifying details, details, details that suck you in and then "ding" signifying noise, signifying chaos. In reality "wedding" means chaos, details and no way out. Hence the LONG week. Thankfully we had two members that stepped in and took a majority of the load from us after a few days. But it was still a lot. The wedding was on Friday and the couple got baptized on Saturday and were confirmed on Sunday. If I ever have to deal with a wedding-baptism again I won't do them that close together. There wasn't enough time to focus on the beauty of each event individually so I think both ended up losing the spotlight they each deserved. But, we weren't in charge, we were just asked to help. And they are now married and members of the church which are two very good things.

Aside from the wedding, we had drama with our own area this week. Maelyn is having a hard time with the fact that Adam is getting baptized. She's mad that she was the one who first started meeting with missionaries and now he's met us and wants to be baptized and because of it he's moving out and she'll lose her roommate/boyfriend/person she "can't live without". She feels like the Church has ruined her life. She has gone from trying to motivate Adam to quit smoking to buying him cigarettes just to make it harder for him to get baptized. She is no longer friendly towards us unless Adam is there because he gets mad if she's mean to us and she doesn't want to make him mad. She went from calling us every day to no longer answering our phone calls or texts. She's stopped reading the Book of Mormon. She has stopped coming to church. She has turned cold. It's heartbreaking. 

Add to the loss of Maelyn the fact that Adam is going to have to lose his mother as well and it's no wonder that Adam can't kick his cravings. He's under so much stress and anxiety and turmoil. We're trying to show him that he doesn't need the nicotine to calm down. He can use prayer and the scriptures and gum and music but it's hard. He's going to lose his home, his girlfriend, his family, his addiction. He's going to lose everything. And when he's talking to us we can't say we know how he feels. We don't. All we can do is encourage him and pray for him and point him towards the Savior. I wouldn't blame him if he didn't go through with it. But I'd be so sad that he missed out on the blessings the Lord is offering him. That's the consolation. I know that he'll have heartache from this, but the Lord will more than compensate. The Atonement makes it possible for all our losses to be made up. This will try but hopefully strengthen his faith. It is definitely doing so for my faith. Adam has told me, and I agree, that I was brought to Berea for him. We connect. I don't know what it feels like to lose everything for what I believe, but I do feel his pain. Please pray for him.Last week in the library we met a guy named Hezekiah. He looks like Neil Patrick Harris but he talks and acts just like Matthew McConaughey. He has this light about him (no, it's not because he's attractive, it's a different kind of light). He's Atheist but lives a pretty Christlike life. He tried to say no to meeting with us but for some reason (I hardly ever persist if people say no) we wouldn't give up with him. The Spirit wouldn't let us. He finally agreed to meet with us the next day. 

We got talking to Adam the next morning before our lesson with Ki and I was looking up all the places in the Bible where Hezekiah is mentioned and Adam was like, "That's weird. I have a good friend named Hezekiah." I was like, "No you don't!" "Yes, I do!" Hezekiah and Adam are really good friends! So, when we showed up for our lesson that night, Ki was shocked to see Adam with us. I think he was even more shocked to see how Adam has changed since he's been meeting with us. We had a really good lesson with Ki and we saw him again on Friday and after that lesson he was like, "If I believed in God, your church's doctrine would make the most sense." We committed him to coming to a session of general conference and to read one verse a day from the Book of Mormon. He's the first person I've taught out here that isn't Christian. We have to take a completely different approach to everything we teach. It's neat though because we don't have to Bible bash. We can focus on the Book of Mormon without people getting upset and needing the cross-references to the Bible. 
Every time I'm around Brother Brown I come away with comedic gems. He's the guy who used to be the High Counselor for the Corbin Ward who gives us "roadkill possum jerky" and who says the temple is the place where the almost dead do work for the dead. Remember him? Well, he's now a counselor in the Bishopric here in Berea. At Ward Council on Wednesday people were complaining about how so many people don't go to their 2nd hour class but stand in the halls and visit. Brother Brown piped up and said, "Don't you know that the classrooms have the Gospel Essentials class and in the hallway is Gossip Essentials?" We were rolling.

Monday night we were led, completely by the Spirit, to a neighborhood to tract. The very first door we knocked we met a man with a wife and kids. He sat down with us and right off the bat asked two questions: "Why are there so many churches that fight about Christ?" and "What happens to people who never get a chance to learn about God?" I started laughing because I thought this guy must have been playing a trick on us. I figured he must know the church's doctrine real well or be a less-active member or something. But he wasn't playing a trick. We sat down and answered his PERFECT questions (questions that I actually use in my tracting approaches) and then set up a time that would work for us to come teach his whole family. He's black and his wife is white and they have two boys with rich, brown skin and gorgeous eyes like Miles'. We're so excited about them!
We also started teaching a girl this week that we met at the Spoon Bread Festival who I would have bet money was already LDS. She's not though. She met with us at the church and pulled out a notebook and took notes the entire time and then told us how much she loves the Lord and how all she wants to do as she goes from church to church is find one that can help her know Him better. She's a doll. She couldn't come to church this week because she attends two other churches every Sunday but we're really hoping to get her to General Conference. She was so sad she couldn't come to the RS Broadcast because she had to work. We LOVE her. We found out while we were teaching her that she actually lives in the Zone Leaders' area so we're bummed about that but this week we're meeting with her again and the Elders are coming and we'll kind of hand her off to them. I'm sure we'll be attending her baptism in the next couple weeks.
We took a lady on a teaching appointment with us to Phoebe (George Washington hair, we thought she was on drugs, that Phoebe). Phoebe is having a hard time because she feels like the church might be true but she has attended her church her entire life (she's 70) and she doesn't want to have to leave it. She always says, "I wish I could go to both churches but they meet at the same time!" 

Well, we took a 70 year-old lady with us who makes us call her by her first name which is Bobbi. She joined the church 12 years ago. She was raised Catholic and then converted to the Baptist church when she got married. She was in her Baptist church for like 35 years or something. She had the church's credit card, keys to every door and the church's fellowship hall was named after her and her husband! She did NOT want to leave her church. But when she gained a testimony and knew it was true she had a long struggle with the Lord over it and once she found out it was where He wanted her, she handed in the credit card and the keys and was baptized. After two years of being a member she was called to be RS President and when I met her I would have thought she was a "Lifer" because she's so knowledgeable about it all. She is currently the 2nd counselor in the RS and a temple worker and the stake's adult singles' coordinator. She's a power house. 

She bore her testimony to Phoebe and then gave a really cool analogy. She said that leaving a church isn't betraying, it's building. She compared the three churches she has been a member of to the Three Little Pigs. She said the Catholic church was her straw house. It sheltered her and helped her and took her as far as it could take her, but when the winds came huffing and puffing she had to move to the Baptist church which was sturdier and made of wood. This house took her even farther and helped her even more. But when the winds came again and again and again it finally fell. When she came across the LDS church, she knew she had found her brick home. She was finally in a church that can take her all the way home. The winds can't destroy it. She's safe here. She doesn't feel like she betrayed her other churches. She's grateful to them for the protection and the time she had with them. But she feels like those churches could only take her so far. Now, she has found a church that has it all and that is complete and that she won't have to move ever again. That really helped Phoebe and it really touched me. 

Extra Blessings: Mom, Paige
Quote of the Week: "If I've ever offended you, I forgive you."

I simply CANNOT WAIT for General Conference. I need conference. RS Broadcast was perfect! I love the new presidency! Remember Fievel: even though we're far apart, somewhere out there we're underneath the same bright projector screen watching conference at the exact same time! We'll be united for 8 hours this weekend! The WHOLE family no matter where they are will be together! Huzzah!

The Church is TRUE! Share it!

Love Yuns,


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