Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"Almost Christian Soldiers"?

Hey there!  Can you believe I've already been out 3 months?!  I sure can't.  It's going by way too fast.  I keep having dreams about the day I come home in 2 years.  If any of them are even close to what's going to happen in reality, I'm going to be a super awkward RM.  I hope you're ready for that in 21ish months.  
This week the work has been pretty slow.  Almost every single appointment we had cancelled on us.  Luckily none of our food appointments cancelled on us so we're still getting fed really well (and my weight may be starting to show that...) 

This week the weather took a turn for the weird.  One day it was perfect.  Sunny, warm, and calm... and the next day we had Hurricane speed winds of 65+ mph and blinding snow.   Lucky enough for us, we didn't have a car that day!  We walked roughly 84 blocks in this weather (we counted so we could brag later :)) knocking doors, trying Potentials, and freezing.  It definitely helped having a little goofy, Guatemalan companion with me the whole time.  He kept pretending to be a weather man, singing songs, and cracking jokes as we trudged through the hurricane.  He's so weird but I love the guy.  One time I was listening to him sing and I was a little confused by what he was saying so I asked what in the world he was singing.  
"My favorite hymn!"
"Which is...?"
"Almost Christian Soldiers!  Duh!"
I just about died.  I was laughing so hard and ended up sucking it a lot of the falling snow.  It took him a while to figure out it was "Onward Christian Soldiers" and not "Almost."    Elder Harrison says we're going to make a band called "Almost Christian Soldiers" two years from now :)
Also the members think its so funny how white I am.  Everytime its cold my cheeks and nose turn bright red so now instead of asking each other if its cold outside they just ask if Elder Paddock is red.  The answer is always yes and then they bust up.  I love hispanics :)

Two other things happened this week that were noteworthy.  
1) I gave my first Spanish Priesthood Blessing.  A lady in our ward was sick and so we offered her a blessing of healing and comfort which she gladly accepted.  Apparently she didn't really understand the Priesthood though because when we asked her who she wanted to do it, she pointed at the Sister Missionaries.... After we explained that only the men in the church hold the priesthood, Elder Cabezas and I were her second choice.  I was scared out of my butt.  (Is that a term in Utah?)  I've only given a few blessings in English so giving one in Spanish was a little intimidating.  The Spirit was guiding my thoughts and words though.  Everything just seemed to flow.  It was really a cool experience.  The next day she told us she was feeling 10X better!   I love the Priesthood.  I happy I live worthy to hold such an awesome power.
2nd experience)  I got attacked for the first time.  Not physically but mentally, don't worry.  We were teaching one of our investigators about Baptism and he started asking us at what age we were baptized.  Elder Juan's only been a member for 4 years so he was baptized when he was 17 (in some river near Manti!  Cool right?).  When I told him I was baptized when I was 8, he flipped.  He started telling me about how wrong that was.  How its a promise with God and I was just forced into it by my parents without knowing what I was doing.   I'll admit I got a little frustrated. Usually when people attack us, they're really just attacking the church, but this was a little different.   I'm glad I was baptized when I was.  I'm glad that I've grown up in the true church, with the true doctrine.  Nothing, not even a confused and angry man, can tear me away from my testimony of this Gospel.  The only thing that our investigator really needs to figure out for himself is if Joseph Smith really was, in reality, a prophet of God.  If he was, then he did, in reality, receive revelation and that 8 years of age is the age when we start becoming accountable for ourselves.   It was an interesting night.  I'm really excited to visit him this week and talk with him some more.

Thanks for everything you do for me.  I love you more than you can know.

Lots of Love,
Elder Zack  

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