Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 59 in the Field: Agency and Horseshoes

Hi everyone!  Hope you had a great week!

So last Monday it was super hot so we stayed at the branch building for Pday. That's pretty much all we did, honestly. The heat was really awful last week and this week, and it will trend for the next few weeks or so.

Jam Session (I was on bass). Loads of fun.

Tuesday we went over to a part-member home and had a jam session with one of the kids. He knew mostly metal, but we were able to follow along for the most part. We then went over to a shut-in's house.  Her aide told us that Eldorado had been suffering a string of break-ins on one street. After that we went over to Eldorado to meet with our recent convert family who are doing well. During the time there we got a text from our investigator in Galatia who alerted us that he wasn't doing too well mentally. So we rushed over and escorted him to the hospital in Harrisburg, where he could get help. After that we went to the church, and we were able to watch President Packer’s funeral.

Wednesday after district meeting in Eldorado, I went on exchanges with Elder Parkinson to Foxcroft. We first went to this city called West Frankfort, where we went out on exchanges with one of their members to go see two less active families. The first was struggling with their faith after their son got cancer, but we encouraged them to hold on. It was actually a miracle because now they are able to get in touch with them over there. We then went to go see their investigator who will be getting baptized hopefully this week. She is a little well seasoned so this will be an interesting baptism. We ended the night at a member's home where they fed us chicken enchiladas and we talked about BYU-I, the Disney internship program, and some deep doctrine. It was a blast!

Thursday we met back and Elder Steed and I went to go check on the Galatia investigator who is doing much better. He appreciated us stopping by to check on him, and we started talking about WWE which I used to be into. It was fun connecting with him.

Messing with hermit crabs.

In the evening, almost as if Eldorado was saying "Oh yeah? We can do that, too, Foxcroft!” the branch president came out with us and we were able to see two different families. I appreciated one event in particular: When we went over to the second family's home, while Elder Steed held a hermit crab, they watched the Mormon Message, "You Never Know," which honestly has been the story of my mission thus far. It was also cool when the branch president likened the message to us as missionaries in this branch. That was actually super cool.

Here is the short  but powerful video, "You Never Know."  Please watch it.

Friday we didn't do too much other than go over to the BML house and where we ate these things called "horseshoes" which I'll describe. First you take a piece of toast, then you put a type of meat on top of it (steak, chicken, etc.), then you put on peppers or other vegetables, top it with fries, and then put cheese sauce all over it. Yes, it isn't the healthiest thing in the world, but it tastes amazing. I had two.

Saturday we spent time with our investigator in Galatia again and had fun with him. A lot of other plans fell through so we went over to see our former member who is returning and talked with her about how she's doing while she's going through Isaiah. We also showed her where Isaiah talks about the Restoration of the gospel which was cool.

Sunday we were very busy. I started realizing that this may be my last week in Eldorado, so I went from member to member setting up dinner appointments so that I could see them again before transfer calls this upcoming Saturday. I also taught a lesson in Gospel Principles on the topic of agency, which is basically the freedom to choose. Essentially there are 4 things you need to know in order to exercise agency:

1. The power to choose - If your only choice was to do good, how could you do anything else? Same thing works if flipped. If we didn't have any choices in is life, we couldn't learn or progress in the knowledge and skills we need to gain here.

2. Opposition - Everything needs to exist in opposites, wickedness and righteousness, happiness and misery, hate and love, "...Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one..." (2nd Nephi 2:11). If we don't know what bad is, how can we know what good is?

3. Laws - If God didn't have any laws, could you obey them? Could you disobey them? So then how could you follow Christ, if He doesn't have the "right way?" God's laws provide us a path that if followed, leads to happiness. When we choose to disobey God's laws, we are taking ourselves off the path that leads to happiness. So how can you know what's right vs. wrong?

4. The Knowledge of Good and Evil - Yep, you may hear this and think of the fruit that Adam took in the Garden of Eden that exposed them to all of the world. But in fact, what it did was give us everything you see above this. Sources of knowledge include our parents, the scriptures, prophets and apostles, and more. With this knowledge, we have the right and wrong choices laid before us. But it's up to us to make the right decision.

So why do so many people mess up? It's because Satan disguises wrong choices by enticements or weakness or things that get us to choose that thing—such as parties, events, or things that on the outside may seem normal, but are actual traps. It's up to us to gain all the knowledge we can so that we can know what to choose correctly.

That's essentially what I talked about.

Later that day we caught up with some less actives and then had dinner at a recent convert's home just outside of Equality. We had fun chatting with them about various things. We ended the night at the former member's place and set up an FHE with her and her son at the BML's house.

Other than that not much else happened this week. Tomorrow marks 14 months in the mission which is cool. It also is the start of what could be my last week here. Not looking forward to that honestly. It's been fun, and I am grateful for all the experiences I have had here. Even the bad ones. I'm looking forward to at least one more week here.

Elder Peery

Cool cave and ruins of a house near Herod

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