Monday, March 28, 2011
Never in a million years did I think I would eat that!!
Duck Tongue.. coming out of the wrapper... :/ Yikes.. Yup.. I ate that whole thing. An AWESOME sun set right outside our house/apartment (our place is the one with the pointy temple looking thing) lol Hej Familj!!! Yay! It is P-day again! And guess what?!? I am in Skövde and will be staying here all day! Woo! Get ready for a great e-mail full of things you have been asking for, but I have not had time to answer.. To start off, let me explain my subject line for this e-mail. Now, we ALL know that before my mission there was a certain someone who was a very picky eater.. However, a mission changed a lot of things about that certain someone.. one of which was brilliantly displayed yesterday while visiting a Chinese investigator. We were sitting in his room watching and listening to a conference talk in Chinese when he decided to "treat" us to a little taste of home... We had lunch with this man a couple of days before and the Chinese food he made was incredible, so I was excited for what was to come. He got into a paper back that was by his closet and pulled out three red packets, one for each of us. When I looked at the packet I had no idea what it was. So, naturally, I asked this man what it was. His answer made my stomach curl... His reply was, "duck"... It was then I realised that the little red packet contained duck.. but not just duck, duck tongue... My word. The Chinese man opened the packet and ate it like it was nothing. I almost vomited. I will be sure to attach some pictures for you all to "enjoy".. The real miracle was that I ate it. Yup, the whole thing.. After a few minutes of preparation and deep contemplation I took the first bite.. rather, I tried.. Because when I bit into it, the texture startled me. It was chewy and full of little bone type things.. Yup, I ate the WHOLE THING... Sorry if this doesn't sound like a big deal to some, but for me it was quite the experience. Anyway!! To Dad... I am sooo sorry that you had to eat the things they would serve you in Japan.. I can only imagine.. lol :) Okay! Well, this week has been really great! We had lots and lots of teaches and two people accept the challenge to be baptised! I will keep you up to date on how they are doing! We had another freak snow storm, but luckily today we have bright sunshine and the snow is gone.. again.. haha What a cycle! Lets see... OH! This past Saturday we had the opportunity to travel down to Jönköping and be in attendance at a baptism for two of their investigators. Abraham and Sun Lee. It was really great because we were able to have two of our own investigators there with us! Woo! The Spirit was so strong and it was great to be able to see it happen. :) So, lets get to the e-mail for this week! First off we have Dad! I love you Dad! I owe you a good e-mail this week.. You asked a couple of questions.. The first was how my testimony was doing. Dad, if I could be completely and totally honest with you right now I would tell you that my heart is burning within me. I have never been this...happy. I had no idea that the Gospel could do so much for me. Sure, at times throughout my life I was able to feel the Spirit and catch glimpses of what this all was, but I never wised up and took hold of the blessings. I let life... money.. girls.. friends and a lot of other things take precedent. I wish I could have noticed this earlier... However, now, I have found Jesus Christ... I have found the Book of Mormon... I have found love. I know you can't see me right now, but I am crying my eyes out.. lol, I cry so much! My call letter did not lie when it said, "greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you..." I love this feeling!!!!!!!!!!!! :) Did that answer your question?!?! haha, I sure hope so Dad! Okay, your second question was asking how our investigators are doing. They are doing well! haha We are trying our hardest to help them along the way. One of our investigators is having a tough time progressing because it is hard for her to feel the Spirit.. She feels that she can not trust herself.. We are trying to help her distinguish between the influence of the Spirit and her own thoughts.. Which is really hard considering the fact that the Spirit speaks to everyone differently. It is a struggle, but we are trying! Another one of our investigators is moving along like a rocket ship! haha He is a stud and I love him! He is fun to teach, and just plain fun to be around! :) Anyway, I will be sure to let you know on any big updates with our investigators here in the beautiful land of Skövde, Sweden! :) I love you so much Dad! You are always right here by my side and I am so thankful for it! Just one question... Why on earth did you decide to abandon me when I had to eat a duck's tongue?!?! haha I am just kidding! I love you!! Okay, now next up is Matt! You are getting more comfortable with the idea of a move to Utah huh? Well, that is good I guess! I don't know what is going on with that, but I would like to.... haha ;) It would be cool to have the family down in Utah close to everyone! lol So, I must agree with you, it is crazy that I have been out over a year now... I get soooo many mixed feelings when I think about it! Thats why I try not to! haha Denial is not necessarily a bad thing! :) Lets see... I am pretty sure I took AP Stats or maybe it is called Honors Stats now.. It was a really good class, quite challenging. lol I am not entirely sure what I took though.. Choir, Band, Jazz Band, Senior Project English.. etc... So, you would like to become a pharmacist huh? Sounds like a worthy goal! You just need to work as hard as you can and prioritize! You can do anything!! haha :) Well, I love you bro! You sound more trunky than the missionaries that are heading home in a few weeks!! All in good time bro, all in good time! (and it will be good times!) :) Okay, now on to Mom! I love you Mom! First off, be sure and tell Elder Houston hello for me and give him a big.. hand shake.. lol :) Get the scoop on how things are going for him and how much he is LOVING his mission! Fill him up with your delicious food and make him feel at home! Ahh, what am I saying.. you will do an amazing job at that! :) You always do! :) Anyway, yes, I am also glad that my VISA is done and I don't have to worry about it anymore! Yay! Wow... BYU LOST?!? What?!! I am crushed.. haha, no, not really.. I am glad that they were able to do as well as they did and put up a fight. There is always next year, and the year after that.. :) As for the Skype call... sorry, but our mission President won't allow Skype calls home.. Not to mention, I would not want to do it... haha I want to see you live when I can give you all hugs! :) A phone call works for now! GENERAL CONFERENCE!! I am soooo excited! You remember the e-mail after the last general conference.. I can't wait for this one! It really is just like Christmas for us missionaries. I look forward to the talks and MUSIC and the answers to my questions! Conference is truly an amazing thing and we are blessed to be able to see it and to take part! :) Well, I love you Mom! Thank you for all you do! You are amazing! :) :) But now, I must move on to a very overdue Spiritual Thought! Okay lets start things off in the Book of Mormon.. If we turn to the Book of Ether chapter six verse four we read about the Jaredites. In this verse they have prepared all things necessary for their travel to the promised land. I would like to focus on the last part of the verse.. it reads, "..and it came to pass that when they had done all these things they got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God." That last part... commending themselves unto the Lord their God.. is what I would like to delve into. There is a quote I have come upon during my mission by C. S. Lewis which says, "Christ says: "Give me All. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don't want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down... Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked-the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours." I love this quote because I believe it echos the thoughts I have about Ether 6:4. We must come unto Christ with all of our heart.. We must trust in him in all that we do.. in all decisions that come our way.. We MUST "COMMEND" ourselves unto the Lord, unto our Savior. Being a missionary I feel it only natural to use a missionary example of this.. During his work as a missionary along with his brethren, Ammon becomes an "instrument" in the hands of the Lord. (Alma 26:15) Now, having the love of music that I do, I know that an instrument must fully submit itself unto the "master" in order to function properly. A trumpet with a sticky valve wont come to produce the beautiful sound that the master is fully capable to play. The principle and all that it entails can be applied to us as individuals. If we only partially come unto Christ, or withhold any of our selfish desires He will not be able to use us as "instruments". And likewise, we will not be able to take hold upon the blessings promised.. "Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever... Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." This promise, found in Alma 26:16, has quickly become one of my favorite scriptures. Ammon and his brethren committed themselves unto the Lord and because of that, the Lord blessed them with joy overflowing! It is my testimony that I know this is true. The Lord is mighty. He has power to help us through all trials if we but trust in him with all that we have and come unto him. The Jaredites were guided by the Lord during their time upon the water. On their journey they were blessed because of their faith. Our "journey" is a great one. We must access this power found in Christ if we are going to make it. WE must have faith. Sure, the Lord will continually try us, but if we just call upon Him, he will help us. "And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them... therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the water." (Ether 6:7) I hope my thoughts have helped you in some way today, and that they at least made sense. I am so thankful for the promises of the Lord to me. He has helped me in miraculous ways during my time on my mission. As we prepare for our journey, let us remember to come unto Christ.. Lets not forget that we don't have to go at it alone.. no, never alone! Well, my time has run away from me! This was long and I am sorry for that! haha I hope this week finds you well and that you can feel of my love for each and every one of you! It's a great day! Lets make it greater!! :) Trogen och Stadig, Är Jag Redo!!!!! Faithful and Steady, I AM Ready!!!!! Äldste Kundis :) :) :)