Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Letter from July 2, 2012

We have a new president here in the MJM, President McDonough. I haven't met him yet, but I'm sure he's just fantastic. Even though I only had a month with him, I love President Tucker and will miss him - he has been a great help to me. Also, I'm feeling much better, which is good in light of the crazy heat wave.
This week has been interesting, because we have been back to work trying to find more investigators. We have been working so hard for so long in so much heat that I have lost 6 pounds this week. Crazy. It has been very frustrating for us because despite our best efforts to find, we are meeting no success. We tracted an entire street and didn't teach a single lesson. But regardless, we keep trying our very best with the knowledge that the Lord will direct us where we need to go. 
One example of a strange but awesome lesson was this past week at the Library. We were there to attempt to contact a referral via email, but because it was so darn hot outside and it's a three mile bike ride to the library in the heat, we were sweating a ton and stopped in the bathroom to make ourselves presentable. While we were washing our hands, a guy came in and we started talking. When he found out we were the "mormons" we told us that he had family that were members, and that he had talked to missionaries once before. Also, he was a door-to-door salesman, so he asked us to share our "presentation" with him, so we ended up sitting down in the middle of the quiet zone and teaching the Restoration. It was the most bizarre thing ever. But, he had a lot of questions and committed to read the Book of Mormon. Then, he dropped the bomb that he actually lives in Iowa, so we have to give them the referral. Hopefully it is in my good friend Elder Timmy Bates's area. That would be too cool.
And, a funny story from yesterday. We went to contact some less actives in our apartment complex and they didn't answer, so I looked over at my companion and we decided to go talk to all of the guys that were standing outside the next unit. As we did talk to them, we found out half of them only spoke spanish, and so I started talking to them in Spanish and they were surprised. Well, one of them was on the phone and didn't know I could speak Spanish, so he started going off about how everyone was talking to "mormones" and started saying some derogatory things about us, when his friend leaned back and said in Spanish "Hey moron, this kid speaks Spanish." The guy turned bright red and walked away, and I just started laughing. We ended up teaching them the first lesson (kinda) and they just wanted to argue so we just left because it was going nowhere, but still, it was so funny. I suppose you had to have been there.
Lastly, in light of the 4th of July, a quote from the great Alexis de Tocqueville:
“I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors, in her fertile fields and boundless forests, in her rich minds and vast commerce, in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic congress and in her matchless Constitution, but not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and her power. America is great because America is good. And if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
Amen. At this great season of patriotism, may we always remember those who have selflessly sacrificed on our behalf. They deserve the utmost respect and honor for what they have done. But let us also consider within ourselves our own level of patriotism, both to our country and to the Gospel. The Book of Mormon contains many great examples of patriots to the Lord's cause. Their example gives us great opportunity to reflect upon our own lives and to ask ourselves: "What would I be willing to do for this gospel?" As we strive to become more like Nephi, Captain Moroni, King Benjamin, the prophet Alma, and the other patriots of scripture, we can become truly free from the cares of the world. That freedom, combined with that provided by this great nation, is where true joy is born, and where true happiness can be experienced! God bless America!
Y'all be safe and don't have too much fun with them fireworks.
Elder Thomas

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