Monday, December 19, 2016

Week #74--December 19, 2016

Hello! Happy Hanukkah everybody! Hope you have great plans involving Menorah's and other fun holiday festivities!

This week was a lot of fun! 

We have some pretty funny stories, but IDK if I can remember them all. One took place with our investigator Robert. He's awesome. He's only like 70-80% crazy, which is about 20-30% less crazy than the average Barstow resident. 

During our lesson we asked why it was important to read the Book of Mormon and he said "So I can learn the mormon way! Like stocking up on canned goods in the garage." we had no idea where that came from, so we started to suppress laughter and he pointed at me and said "BROWN KNOWS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!" I honestly didn't, but that's besides the point. 

We also helped him dig a mine shaft in his back yard this week


You read that right. 

A mine shaft. 

He asked us to come help with some yard work, so we showed up and he directed us to this area where some trees had created a little shack, and it kind of looked like the entrance to a mine shaft. So he wants to dig a ten foot hole with stairs. 

Just for fun. 

This is the same investigator who when we were watching the Restoration movie in the quiet of his home and feeling the spirit asked OUT OF NOWHERE "You guys ever seen eggs in a basket?" to which we said "Yes" and he just went back to watching the movie. 

I love barstow. 

Spiritual moment: Paul got baptized! That was a super cool experience. He has a lot of members in his extended family and they all came down for it. Also last week he went up to Utah for his nephews farewell and his family took him to temple square for his first time and Paul told us he just couldn't describe how strongly he felt the spirit there. 
Then right after the confirmation when he was shaking hands and hugging everyone, when he got to me we hugged so hard that it made a resounding clap sound throughout the chapel and an old lady said "that was loud" and everyone laughed.
We also found 3 new investigators this week! One of them was a guy named Omar who is at a low point and wants to turn his life around. His mother in law is a member, so he was accepting and then he came to church and really enjoyed it! So that was super cool.

Also, to shift focus on the investigators who have a date (now that Paul is baptized) Edmund is a 13 year old in a PM family who comes super consistently and due to some complications was waiting for his mom to get baptized, but asked if he could baptized sooner. So he's on date for January 14th! Then we have Granny Barbara, a 78 year old Black Lady who really wants to get baptized on January 21st and Robert (mine shaft guy) is planning on getting baptized January 28th! So if all goes well, that'll be three baptisms 3 weeks in a row! It'll feel like Santa Fe all over again. 

Well, as a spiritual Thought I've been reading from President Kimball and he talks about how our thoughts play a significant role in who we become. He quotes the scripture from Proverbs "For as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he". He then quotes James Allen:

"A man does not come to the almshouse or the jail by the tyranny of fate or circumstance, but by the pathway of grovelling thoughts and base desires. Nor does a pure-minded man fall suddenly into crime by stress of mere external force; the criminal thought had long been secretly fostered in the heart, and the hour of opportunity revealed its gathered power. Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself. No such conditions can exist as descending into vice and its attendant sufferings apart from vicious inclinations, or ascending into virtue and its pure happiness without the continued cultivation of virtuous aspirations, and man, therefore, as the lord and master of his thoughts is the maker of himself, the shaper and author of environment...

Let a man radically alter his thoughts and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his life. Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit and habit solidifies into circumstance... He who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty ideal in his heart, will one day realize it. Columbus cherished a vision of another world, and he discovered it; Copernicus fostered the vision of a multiplicity of worlds and a wider universe, and he revealed it; Buddha beheld the vision of a spiritual world of stainless beauty and perfect peace, and he entered into it."

I don't know if there's too much more to be said, but aim high! Don't allow poor thoughts to enter into your mind. Your mind is like an empty lot (as President Packer once said). If you leave it maintained, slowly trash and garbage will pile up until it's a junkyard. so do any necessary cleaning out right now and hang signs that say "No Dumping" and "No trespassing" and keep your thoughts clean and aspirations high!

I love you all! Church is true!

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