Monday, March 24, 2014

Frank Grabbed Our Hands With His Massive Paws

Wanna hear about the best week of my mission? This was it!! It was such a busy week it feels like it was twice as long as normal! I learned some pretty big lessons this week too which makes it seem like it couldn't have only been one week.

We started teaching this guy I'm going to call Frank. He looks like his name should be Frank anyways. On first impressions Frank looks like a wild cave man. He has a unkempt beard and wild hair that looks kind of like what Einstein's hair would look like if there was more of it and was blonde. He's as tall as I am but outweighs me by about 75 pounds. He's a construction worker and looks pretty tough. He's also 54. What you wouldn't guess is that Frank has the softest heart of anyone I've yet met. He's as humble as a child. After 15 minutes of first meeting Frank, you will have a loyal friend to the day you die. You can also expect lots of high fives, fist bumps, crushing hugs, and smashes on the back (it feels like he uses his hand like he uses a sledge hammer). Frank has tried to become Mormon two times previously and has been unsuccessful due to habits he can't quite kick. He is fired up and ready to break his habits this time because he wants to feel the peace he sees in all the Mormon's he's ever know. (WOW. Weird things always happen at this public library I'm at right now. My companion just sneezed and the lady sitting at the computer across from him said, "God bless you. Literally.") Back to Frank. My first 15 minutes with Frank was how I described it earlier. I received many fist bumps and high fives and a huge hug. Frank is also a big gardener. He took us to his back yard and showed us all the things he's growing. I can only recall him showing us his tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce, and beats. There was more that I can't remember. As we sat amongst the vegetables in his garden, we talked about who God is and how he can learn to trust in Jesus Christ. It was very powerful. At the end of the lesson Elder Jolley said the closing prayer and Frank grabbed our hands with his massive paws. As Elder Jolley spoke words of faith and encouragement, Frank would increase the crushing power in his hands depending on what Elder Jolley spoke. Needless to say, Elder Jolley didn't make that prayer a lengthy one. My hand didn't quite feel right until hours later.

I learned a very important lesson this week. In church I was with an investigator in Priest's quorum. Our bishop was teaching and he told us a story of a priest quorum he once visited. When the boys came in they were all talking about a movie that had recently come out. It was PG-13 and everyone had seen it. As they talked about the movie, the bishop sat quietly and listened. When they quieted down and class started, the bishop asked them if they could feel the spirit while they watched that movie. Immediately one of the boys raised his hand and said that the movie was rated PG-13 and so it was O.K. The bishop asked the question again and they were all silent. Even though we may be able to justify what we watch or listen to, if it is not conducive to the spirit then we shouldn't participate. I've heard this before but it really hit me how important the Gift of the Holy Ghost is and should be to us. My sister Emily was privileged to give a talk at my cousin Esther's baptism about the Holy Ghost and I'm sure she talked about how important it's influence is in our lives. It is a special gift and we show our appreciation for it by living our lives in a way to receive it.

The work is moving forward at a faster pace! People are interested in why Mormon's they know seem to have such a strong relationship with God. They are interested in why Mormon's they know have peace while going through challenging times. Today is a great day to share your testimony with someone who may need an extra boost. Reach out to someone you haven't talked to in a while but who's been on your mind. Ministering to the one is how the savior served.

Love Elder Janis

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