Well... I will definitely try to include more day to day stuff and see if I can balance that with spiritual insights so you can tell how I am doing both temporally and spiritually
Okay so as a missionary you go for the simple, a few days ago I decided to make easy mix pancakes... (I do not like these kind I am afraid dad spoiled me with his from scratch pancakes so I just added a lot of butter) the problem was I was not thinking and put a bunch of water in first and then applied the desired dosage of pancake mix, as soon as I started mixing I found out that I had just made pancake flavored water... so I had to add a ton more of pancake mix and kept adding and adding until it was good enough to cook... so I have had pancakes for breakfast lunch and dinner all week and there is still some left... learned a valuable lesson about measurement and that woul always apply the liquid to the powder not the other way around...
I have also learned what my response is when a rabid dog is running at me, I crouch down and hold A copy of The Book of Mormon out for it to chomp on... not the best picture for a missionary in regards to a sacred book of scripture... so here is the story...
I was on exchanges with Elder Johnson my district leaders companion and we were knocking home to home, when we reached a fenced off yard, the standard approach is to whistle to see if there is a Dog and then if nothing comes its safe so we usually go in and knock the door and share our message, it was no different here, we whistled and no dog came so we opened the gate and closed it behind us and proceeded to walk to the door, which was about 40 feet away, as when we got about halfway we heard the neighbors dog barking only... it wasn't the neighbor's this huge dog came barreling around the corner barking like all hell was loose. Elder Johnson turned and I looked behind me and there was no way we could make it to the gate in time, so I panicked and did the first thing that came into my mind, first put an object in the way of me and the dog (The Book of Mormon) second crouch down... (Get my face closer to the dogs jaws... smart) and slowly back up, it was a mangy beast with hair disheveled and it just looked like a demon dog I was about ready to meet my maker when it got to us... and what did it do? it jumped at me and... started sniffing away and wagging it tail and we found out that it was a nice dog and we just pet it and it threw itself against my leg to petted more and be scratched by the ear, so we went a knocked the door.
At the next house we whistled a bit louder to make sure there was no dog, nothing happened so we entered the gate and had a bit of difficulty in closing it but finally did so when again we heard barking, just about as fast as we could we wiggled the latch and pried it open getting out just in time to see this little dog waddle out and run up to us, by this time we were so shaken up we nearly had to sit down.
Life often presents itself in such a way as these, when scary things come at us, we must stand strong and most of the time it will turn out for our good, and those things that seemed so hard when they were coming up just turned out to be a happy moment. I remember when I was preparing for the GED as it came up I was nervous and the closer it got the less and less i wanted to face it, but in it and after I felt fine and it was relatively easy. God teaches through trials and we have to be willing to face them, as Paul said to the Hebrews "We are not of them who turn back" so whenever a hard time comes your way remember that to face the challenge with steadfast and immovableness is better then to bend and to brake under the shafts in the whirlwinds, but in order to be steadfast we must first have a foundation on which to build and that is Jesus Christ, as long as you put your trust in him you will never go astray, I think it was Nephi that said if you don't believe in The Book of Mormon, then believe in Christ, because if you believe in Christ then you will believe in what comes of his hand and his fingerprints and presence are found all over the Book of Mormon and this Church. I know that it is true.
Pics and Movie:
Dad and Josh Conversation:
Hi Josh, Sorry I didn't get a letter off to you! We sat down and wrote hand written letters to you yesterday so in my mind I'd already written to you!
Happy almost a year! I'll send some more but didn't know if you'll still be around to get it.
There is something about hand written letters that is magical, did you only have hand written when you were on your mission?
Ya. Only hand written! So we always got week old news or more! I like both. It is fun to give you the latest updates.
How does it feel to be almost at the year mark? Does your mission have any crazy traditions at 6 mo. and 1 year marks?
Well... I burned a tie at six months and for a year mark you are supposed to burn a shirt, but we aren't allowed fires so I will have to start something... it feels weird almost being a year out because it feels like a blip and everyone says the second year goes by faster, if this is so I will be walking off the plane in no time, so i have to dedicate as much as I can in this short time I have.
Did you have any traditions for your mission?
Not really, actually. Not like they do in the Edmonton mission. One quick story. On Sunday, Sis Neitz came back to our ward and shared some of her experience serving a family history mission in SLC. There, they wear their tag on the right side vs. the left where you mostly wear yours. Its because they are doing missionary work for people "on the other side". Thought that was kind of fun.
haha that is fun. I miss you guys and can't wait to call you on christmas sunday.
Ditto, Josh. Love you lots. Keep up the great work and let us know about when we can plan the call.