Wednesday, February 4, 2015

You're special. You know that?!

"...Some  people are only good in exchange for something, but you, you're good for nothing!"

Well, gee, thanks, ***! *** is a super awesome inactive member of the church here in Morrilton. He's a war veteran, loves knives, and trying really hard to both stop smoking and come up with, well, whatever that thing up there is called ^^^.  He's pretty good about it too. ("You ever hear about the dyslexic atheist? He doesn't believe in dog.") We go over there a few times per week to visit with him and just check up on how he is doing.

So this past week was really slow and a lot of our plans fell through, but it was still really awesome. WE were able to see the *** family, a part-member family struggling with their faith a little bit. The kids are all baptized, but not the parents, mostly because they aren't married. They wanted to be baptized, but they couldn't afford getting married. Now, about a year after their kids joined the church, the parents have stopped reading, praying, and coming to church. And now she is wondering how it is that her testimony had gone away and it is really confusing to her. It is frustrating sometimes because, as a missionary, I see things from a different perspective. I know how it is that when you do what is right in God's eyes you get blessed, and it is frustrating to me when others think that they can break the commandments and then expect the same blessings. Sorry folks, it don't work like that. The Lord has told us that when we do what he says he has to give us blessings, but when we don't keep his commandments we have no promise. At times I just want to grab the world by the lapels, shake them a little bit, tell them to be good and then actually have them do it. But it, just like blessings in exchange for sin, doesn't work like that. We have to teach by example, not by words. (I kinda know how you felt now for 20+ years, Mom. Thanks.)

I was able to have a bit of fun at a very old investigator's home last Friday. It was the first time I'd met him, and after sitting down in his home he asked me to introduce myself. Totally on a whim and for the thrill of it I introduced myself in as strong a Scottish accent as I could pull off. I'm not sure what took him by surprise more, the fact that there was a "Scottish boy" sitting in his home, or said 'boy' didn't have a trace of red hair anywhere. I kept the charade up for about two minutes and then told him, in a completely normal voice that I was just from northern Utah. Watching him about jump out of his skin was super fun though, and I will probably do it again. Just not to the same guy. 'Cause that's just silly.

On Monday I went paint-balling with a bunch of other missionaries. There were 15 of us there. Check out the pics:

The whole crew. 

Inline image 1
Ooh, don't I look scary? (Hah! right...)

Sadly I didn't get any pictures or video of everyone when they were in action, but Elder Petty got some, and I will try and get them from him in a bit. It was a lot of fun, and something I will probably invest in when I get home. As Elder Daley, one of the AP's, said, "If you don't get bruises you didn't have fun." Ladies and gents, I had a blast!

Just to wrap things up, just a general shout-out to everyone: keep on going! You may be doing things you really don't like or are proud of, but you can change your course and get out of them. Or if it is something good and you still don't like doing it, keep doing it, because the end result will always be worth it.

Don't do anything you wouldn't do!

~Elder Jayden Barker


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