Friday, November 13, 2015

November 9, 2015

This week was pretty awesome. We taught 21 lessons which is pretty darn good for the area. The standard of excellence for the mission is 20 lessons a week. We will hopefully commit somebody to baptism tonight. We found out today that our zone is leading the mission in stats. Numbers are everything haha just kidding. We lost an investigator yesterday. She said she doesn't want us to come back, but she will come around eventually. When she doesn't have two slaves to come do service every week and doesn't have two guys for her to wine and cry to. We went to a fireside last night where Jim bean spoke. He was the guy in charge of securing and choosing the spot for the temple. He has met personally every prophet that was alive when he was. He does a lot of the legal work for the church properties. He remembers everything. It's crazy. Yesterday we visited the guy who takes care of his granddaughter because they weren't at church. She and her grandma were sick. Marley is the little girls name. She is the one who is special needs because her mom did heroine. She was sick and kept on touching Elder Smith. And then she asked if he was sick and he said not yet. Then she asked me if I was sick and I said I don't think so, but she didn't touch me. So brother rice (the grandpa) said "well we know who the Angels are looking out for. Did you notice she didn't touch Elder Garfield". It was super funny. Last pday we went to downtown Portland and went to voodoo donuts and what not. We went to the Scientology church and talked to them. We took their personality test and they told us all about how Scientology could help us. It was super funny. They basically have you take a personality test, alter the results to make you feel bad about yourself, and then tell you how Scientology can help your nonexistent problems. They tried to sell us their dianetics book haha. They were like "Scientology can help you be a better missionary". So that was basically my downtown experience hahaha.

Spiritual thought for the week
By elder holland

       May I refer to a modern “last days” testimony? When Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum started for Carthage to face what they knew would be an imminent martyrdom, Hyrum read these words to comfort the heart of his brother:

     “Thou hast been faithful; wherefore … thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.

     “And now I, Moroni, bid farewell … until we shall meet before the judgment-seat of Christ.”

       A few short verses from the 12th chapter of Ether in the Book of Mormon. Before closing the book, Hyrum turned down the corner of the page from which he had read, marking it as part of the everlasting testimony for which these two brothers were about to die. I hold in my hand that book, the very copy from which Hyrum read, the same corner of the page turned down, still visible. Later, when actually incarcerated in the jail, Joseph the Prophet turned to the guards who held him captive and bore a powerful testimony of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Shortly thereafter pistol and ball would take the lives of these two testators.

     As one of a thousand elements of my own testimony of the divinity of the Book of Mormon, I submit this as yet one more evidence of its truthfulness. In this their greatest--and last--hour of need, I ask you: would these men blaspheme before God by continuing to fix their lives, their honor, and their own search for eternal salvation on a book (and by implication a church and a ministry) they had
fictitiously created out of whole cloth?

     Never mind that their wives are about to be widows and their children fatherless. Never mind that their little band of followers will yet be “houseless, friendless and homeless” and that their
children will leave footprints of blood across frozen rivers and an untamed prairie floor. Never mind that legions will die and other legions live declaring in the four quarters of this earth that they
know the Book of Mormon and the Church which espouses it to be true. Disregard all of that, and tell me whether in this hour of death these two men would enter the presence of their Eternal Judge quoting from and finding solace in a book which, if not the very word of God, would brand them as imposters and charlatans until the end of time? They would not do that! They were willing to die rather than deny the divine origin and the eternal truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

     For 179 years this book has been examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart like perhaps no other book in modern religious history--perhaps like no other book in any
religious history. And still it stands. Failed theories about its origins have been born and parroted and have died--from Ethan Smith to Solomon Spaulding to deranged paranoid to cunning genius. None of
these frankly pathetic answers for this book has ever withstood examination because there is no other answer than the one Joseph gave as its young unlearned translator. In this I stand with my own great-grandfather, who said simply enough, “No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.”

Make sure you anchor your faith in the divinity of the Book of Mormon. As you do that your testimony of every other aspect of the gospel will grow. Don't anchor your faith in church policy, church leaders, or friends/parents in the church. The only way to remain a faithful unwavering servant of the Lord is to gain a testimony for yourself of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

Love you,
Elder Garfield

Monday, November 2, 2015

Fun Stories

A little girl who's dad/grandpa we teach was trying to give us some pennies so we were trying to explain that we can't accept money or presents. Her dad said you can only give the God squad presents on their birthday or Christmas. She pointed to our tags and said “this means you don't get monies?". Yep basically haha. Or ladies for that matter. She was a drug baby so she has special needs(visually impaired and anxiety that leads to seizures) and that's why her grandpa takes care of her. Elder smith gave her one of his tags and she ran around and was yelling "now I'm in the God squad". So cute.

We did service for this older gentleman this week. We moved boxes and stuff around in his garage trying to help him organize. He was a borderline hoarder. We were with the elders from the other ward. Elder Itufia and Casey. The guy was nice, but had so much random stuff. He had 3 boxes full of old mail. He had soooo many "collectible” books and some pictures of Elvis that he said were worth $20,000, but they were in the bottom of a random box so I'm not so convinced. Elder Itufia and I were going through one of his boxes and there were playboy books in there. So we quickly put them in a bag and Elder Itufia told me to go ask him where he wants them. I said,  “Heck no!" haha and so we just threw them in a random box. Then we were laughing about it and we were wondering if those were collectible too haha.

We did a blitz in the sisters area so we traded companions and all tracted in their area for 2 hours. I was with elder Casey. We went to where the sisters wanted us to go and knocked doors for 2 hours. We got straight up rejected at every door we went to. A couple people just opened the door and slammed it so we would walk away and say "okay telestial kingdom" haha. Then someone would open the door and say "in revelations it says you can't add to the bible" well sir did you know that revelations wasn't the last book written chronologically, so technically they added to the bible. It also says that in the Old Testament, but then the New Testament came along. All we are asking you to do is read and pray about the Book of Mormon. "No! I know it is a lie". Oh really. Have you ever read it? "No”. Interesting. Have a nice day. Is there anything we can do for you? "No!" Door slams deadbolt locks. "Maybe terrestrial kingdom" haha. Then we saw this car pull up to the mailboxes and this young attractive girl gets out of the passenger seat to get the mail. So we decided that she for sure needs the gospel. We went and talked to her about the Book of Mormon and stuff and she was trying to get her mail as fast as possible. And her mom rolled down the window of the car to see what we were telling her daughter. It was way awkward haha.

I heard that my letter was too short last week so sorry about that. I always forget what happened during the week right as I start my letter. I haven't really talked much about the people we teach so here ya go. We have 6 progressing investigators. Progressing meaning they are keeping commitments like "will you read the intro to the Book of Mormon this week". Two of them have baptismal dates. They hopefully quit smoking, but we will find out tonight. If they did quit we will baptize them this Saturday. We have two other investigators meaning that they are not keeping commitments. So we are doing pretty well. We are still trying to find new investigators, but it's always a challenge.

Let me know how you are all doing and if you have any questions.

Spiritual thought for the week:

    "Some time ago while visiting Australia, I traveled to a beautiful horseshoe bay renowned for its surfing. As I walked along the beach, I was enthralled by the magnificence of the large crashing waves breaking just outside the bay and the smaller waves rolling in closer to shore.

            As I continued my stroll, I encountered a group of American surfers. They were obviously upset about something, talking loudly and gesturing toward the sea. When I asked them what was wrong, they pointed to just outside the bay where the big waves were breaking.

            “Look out there,” one of them angrily told me. “Can you see the barrier?” Looking more closely now, I could indeed see a barrier stretching across the entire mouth of the bay, right where the large, enticing waves were breaking. The barrier appeared to be made of a heavy mesh and was supported by floats on top of the water. According to the surfers, it dropped all the way down to the ocean floor.

            The American surfer continued, “We are here on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to surf these big waves. We can surf the smaller ones breaking within the bay itself, but the barrier makes it impossible for us to surf the big ones. We have no idea why the barrier is there. All we know is that it has totally spoiled our trip.”

            As the American surfers became more animated, my attention was drawn to another nearby surfer--an older man and obviously a local. He seemed to be growing impatient as he listened to the ever-increasing complaints about the barrier.

            Finally he rose and walked over to the group. Without saying anything, he pulled a pair of binoculars from his backpack and handed them to one of the surfers, pointing out toward the barrier. Each of the surfers looked through the binoculars. When my turn came, with the help of magnification, I could see something that I had not been able to see before: dorsal fins—large sharks feeding near the reef on the other side of the barrier.

            The group quickly became subdued. The old surfer retrieved his binoculars and turned to walk away. As he did, he said words I will never forget: “Don’t be too critical of the barrier,” he said. “It’s the only thing that’s keeping you from being devoured.”

Remember the commandments keep us safe even when they seem to be keeping us from having a good time.