Well I'm happy to report that I am still alive! The bronchitis didn't kill me, though it came very close a few times. There were moments where the Spirit World sounded more comforting than coughing up a lung, but I figured you all would be very disappointed if I gave up that easy! So this week I am feeling much, much better. Last Monday I went to the doctor and they made me put on this silly mask and treated me like I had the plague. They told me I should wear the mask all the time (see attached picture). Notice the enthusiasm in my eyes! Do you think I wore that mask the whole week? Let just say that mask "accidentally" found its way into the trash can after not too long......
Well since the doctors orders were to stay inside and get lots of rest, that about sums up this week. There's not a lot to report because for 4 days straight I slept, coughed, and repeated. I had to get better last week because this week we are going down to Peoria to do exchanges with sisters until Thursday. And there's no way I could be sick going down there. That would send me to the spirit world for sure! And Sister Jennings was a good Mother for me. She was very strict in making me stay inside so that I would get better. And thanks to her and lots of medicine and inhalers, I'm better!! See, miracles do happen:) And the ward members were so wonderful! We had meals brought to us, treats, and more medicine. No offense Mom, but I was taken better care of here than at home! And by that I mean that I didn't have somebody *cough *cough (Dad!) waking me up and making me do chores! So there's no need to worry about me:)
It was extremely frustrating staying inside and not being able to work. Especially when you can count on one hand the number of weeks you have to be a full time servant of the Lord.... But when we were able to work, we saw miracles! We taught a lot of lessons on the phone and Facebook.
We did have one funny thing that happened.... We went to stop by a long time, slowly progressing investigator named Becky. When we pulled up she was outside with her dog. This dog was big, black and menacing. It was probably a mix between a boxer and a pit bull. Scary right? It was dusk when we stopped by and so the dog looked even scarier and I could have sworn I saw blood dipping from the dogs teeth... But we swallowed our fear and decided building up the kingdom of God was worth any risk and so we apprehensively started to approach Becky. When all of a sudden the dog decided to get protective of Becky and charge us! At that moment I remembered the 1st rule of missionary work: "You don't have to outrun the dog, you just have to outrun your companion." And so I did! I turned and booked it as fast as I could to the car! I haven't ran that fast since the races at the park for the 4th of July! But this time I won:) It wasn't until I was sitting safely in the car that I heard Sister Jennings blood curtailing scream... She was just as scared as I was but apparently no one taught her the first rule of missionary work. She took a few steps to the car but then stood in a petrified stance, half on the hood of the car, half on the ground, screaming all the while. Some day when you all meet Sister Jennings, you'll understand why I was at this point rolling over laughing as I sat safely in the car. I know, I know, bad companion moment, but there wasn't much I could do for her! I was sure half of my companions leg would be gone by the sound of her screams, but by the mercy of God, she escaped without a scratch. The whole time this was going on, Becky was yelling "Don't worry, he doesn't bite!" Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've heard that phrase before. And you know what?! I got bit!! So I don't trust dogs. I don't like dogs. And I'll never own a dog. End of story.
Well that was definitely the high point of the week, but we also had some other exciting moments! Joe came to church for the 3rd time and he is now on date for the 15 of November! That's just going to be a great day with Bennies endowments, Joe's baptism, and it's my Moms 29th birthday! Right Mom?:) So Joe, is pretty much awesome. He's this little Hispanic guy that is so short that when he sits in a chair, his feet dangle above the floor. He has big brown eyes that are magnified by his large glasses, and he talks with everyone. He even finds himself his own ride to church each Sunday! Who even does that? Only the elect of God:) Every time we meet with Joe he tells us all about what he read for the first 15 minutes of the lesson. This week he called us really concerned because had read 2 Nephi 31 about baptism and realized that baptism was a big commitment and he wanted to be sure about this. He's been attending a Catholic Church and really likes it but also loves coming to our church. It was so neat seeing the light bulb go on in his head of how important it is to find out if the Book of Mormon is true. Until investigators understand the magnitude of that, they won't seek for an answer. But Joe is so prepared by God to accept this message and he is truly seeking.
There is this one member family, the Heckels, whom we have gotten really close to. They are moving to St. George in a few weeks and so we've gone over to their house for dinner several times. And last week Brother Heckel taught us some important principles. He served his mission in the Philippines and they did not yet teach Tagalog in the MTC and so he was simply there to learn to be a missionary and then he would have to learn the language in the field. Well right before he was about to leave the MTC, he was obviously frightened so he was talking to his teacher. And his teacher told him to just remember the 4 C's and he'd be fine. So here are the wisest and greatest 4 C's ever invented:
1. Don't Compare.
-meaning don't compare yourself to others, don't compare your family members, friends etc...
2. Don't condemn
-don't talk negatively or gossip about those around you
3. Don't criticize
-nobody is perfect
4. Don't complain
-keep moving forward and have a positive attitude.
Yesterday in church Sister Heckel spoke and she talked about adding a 5th C which would be
5. Make and keep covenants.
This week I have seen how wise this council is. When I really studied what it means to not complain, condemn, criticize, or compare I discovered that it really is just being Christlike. None of us are perfect and we probably do at least one of these often. The Lord does not command us to be perfect today, but He does command us to try. We are to progress through this life and constantly become better. I know that as we live by these 4 C's that we will become more Christlike. We will draw closer to Heavenly Father and we will be able to feel his unconditional love for us so much more. So read back over these and ponder which one you could work on. Then pray for the help in overcoming that weakness. Repent when you slip up. And be determined to become a better man or woman than you were yesterday. I've put this to the test and it works and I'm happier because of it.
I pray that you all have a safe and dog-free week! I will be praying for the same thing for myself:) Since it's going to be Halloween we have to be in by 7:00 pm. So no, I will not be doing anything fun besides planning. But that can be fun if you want it to be! I love you all and I'm so grateful for you wonderful emails! Love ya!"