So Dad those fries on that picture by the way were really good. They had this butter garlic sauce on them with what I think was a little bit of oregano. Anyways it was good haha. I also took your advice about the french bread pizza sandwich and Elder Bennett and I have been experimenting with it all week. We have had some pretty good ones so far, but still a work in progress. I think this week to I am going to try to make Jambalaya from scratch. I got the basic things and I am just going to go for it.
Hey Taylor I have a challenge for ya. Get one of those 2 dollar book of mormons, read it and just mark that thing up, write notes in it and use it to death. I have started doing that, I am looking for instances where people are strengthened by the Atonement and since I can always get another book I can use that one specifically to study that one subject. That way I can mark it up, write in it and use all that space to really learn. All of you can do that too, it is actually a lot of fun.
I feel pretty cool that Emma shared all about me in beehives. I really love being a missionary and doing service is one of the best parts about it.Emma if you ever need any stories, just let me know and I will be happy to share them.
More than anything this has just been a funny week. Maybe I will start with a few funny stories and end on a more spiritual note haha.
So this week we helped an investigator, who is 15, get ready for his homecoming date. His family is struggling a little bit financially and so me and Elder Bennett temporarily donated a belt, shirt and tie and helped him get prepared for the date. We showed him a couple dance moves too, it turns out Elder Bennett and I have a similar love for dancing haha. But it felt good to help him out and I am happy that he had so much fun.
So this next story I have to let you know that this lady is awesome she has some mental disabilities and she is super enthusiastic about the gospel and loves everything about it. But it was also a very funny and memorable experience. So as we were coming back from an investigators house we got a call from the office saying that a lady visiting Thibodaux really wants a blessing. She told us her name and I knew who it was cause she had called us before with refferals. So we called her and we told her that we were the missionaries she then exclaimed "MISSIONARIES, MISSIONARIES, MY HIP JUST WENT OUT AND I AM IN A LOT OF PAIN. I NEED A BLESSING, OKAY SEE YA, BYE." Luckily I knew where we were going. When we got there she was really excited to see us and immediately she wanted to sing some songs. So we practiced "I am trying to be like Jesus" and other hymns. We finally were able to give her the blessing and she went to get her husband. She stood up and with this amazed look on her face said "John, I can walk...John, I can RUN!!" As she hobbled through the hallway. I really admire her faith and she definitely acts on it. Also that day we went to the next door neighbors and she conducted both Elder Bennett and I in "I am trying to be like Jesus" in a very dramatic and powerful way. We are going back today to bring some cookies to the lady that we sang to. But that finished that day. This Saturday thought the sisters called us to let us know that R. had spent the whole day with them and they needed help finding her house. So we had them follow us to her house. When we got there the Sisters got out of the car and R. said " Look how beautiful they are Elders." and then immediately she said "Stop looking you are missionaries for goodness sake!" When went into the house, sang some songs to her Sister in law and then she asked me to give her sister in law a blessing and this was an awkward experience created by Elder Soper. Her Sister in law has a lot of knick-knacks and a lot of toys. So she was laying down in the bed and there was a pile of stuffed animals on the side so I couldn't really reach her head. So I tried to straddle the pile of toys and she said frantically "Don't step on my baby" it was a stuffed baby doll. So it was this awkward 30 seconds as I was struggling to position myself and not step on anything haha The sister missionaries were just laughing and I was starting to chuckle myself. So I ended up just stretching my arms and body over it all and so during the whole blessing she was just breathing right into my face. I know I am kind of joking about the whole situation, but I am not trying to make light of the blessing, but my own mistakes. We then went outside to say good bye and R. wanted to take pictures with us. She then proceeded to put her arms around us ( I forgot to mention she is in her late 50's or early 60's) and we said "R. you know that we are missionaries." Implying that she shouldn't do that and she replied "Don't you think I know that?! Shut up." haha and during the picture she started to tickle us.....eek! The sisters have a picture of it and Elder Bennett and I are just crying laughing. The last thing as we were leaving I was standing by the car and R. said "You remind me of Elder something, always finding a pose and looking dead sexy." She then exclaimed "Ahh oops! Get thee hence Satan!" Haha I know I went pretty into detail with this story but I thought you guys would appreciate it and get a good laugh. But I did learn a valuable lesson from her. She is so uninhibited when sharing the gospel because she knows how important it is. She has no fear and nothing holding her back to let people know what she really believes. I found myself after meeting her talking to more people and being more bold in sharing the gospel. So I am really thankful for that. But I hope you guys enjoy that and I will try to get that picture.
So there is a man in our ward named Bro. Holloway and he is probably the most humble and meek person that I know. He loves this gospel, he knows that it is true and he shares it through his gentle and ever present example. I really look up to him and he shared this cool example with us. It says in the scriptures that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and if that is how God is, we should strive to be the same. I never thought of it that way. God is always the same, no matter what and so we should be the same in every situation that we are in. We should be ourselves wherever we are and as we live the gospel, that will become who we are. I thought that was pretty cool.
Maybe to end I will share an expert from my Presidents letter:
I am going through the Book of Mormon again but this time taking Elder Bednar's challenge. I don't think I have any specific passage, but I really noticed the phrase this week "they humbled themselves before the Lord." Humility is an essential Christ-like attribute to become an instrument in the hands of the Lord. But every time they used that phrase it was after a tough or trying experience. I realized that humility cannot be pulled out of thin air, I guess you could say some are blessed with more humility, but we still all have pride. Also in each of those trying experiences they relied on the Lord in someway to help them through. So the Lord helped them to become humble. This goes with any of the Christ-like attributes, the Lord will help us and we must be strengthened by the atonement to develop them. It reminds me of the talk by Elder Bednar where he says in effect, "Sometimes we feel that we need to make the journey to "become a saint" [or developing Christ-like attributes] by gritting our teeth and doing it alone." Christ's grace gets us through it all. Experience alone makes it possible for us to become more like our Savior, but his grace, relying on the atonement, will get us though the experience and will push us even farther. We need Him at all times, in all places, in everything that we do.
I love being a missionary, and I am grateful that I have such a good companion. Thank you for everything and I hope you have a good week.
Prayers and thoughts always
Elder Devin Soper