North Carolina Charlotte Mission

Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are your brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee. -Alma 31:35

Monday, September 10, 2012

They WANT you to eat the rolls! 8/28/12

Week 4

It has come to my knowledge that I mispelled the word "tobakka" in my last email. The proper spelling is "tuhbakka". I wish to apologize for this error.

And now, hello from North Carolina!

The members here have been feeding us EXTREMELY well. No, really. They've fed us really, really, really well. It seems like this area was specifically designed to give missionaries exactly the kind of food that they would like. And make them extremely fat. I've been taking it easy - and taking Zach's advice about what to eat for breakfast and lunch - but not too much at dinner, since it seems like a crime not to take seconds from these people. Or thirds. Or fourths.

Another thing about North Carolinians: they love canning stuff. I heard it said that they eat what they can, and can what they can't. It's entirely true.

NOW, as for the work. A couple of fun stories and thoughts.

We have an Elder Schauerhammer in our mission. Guess it IS a real name. I've resisted the urge to quote John Bytheway.  (in one of his comedy routines, john bytheway - who gets teased alot about his name - makes fun of a guy named schauerhammer)

Lena, the old black lady we taught on Saturday, is really progressing. Her faith is so strong. She has read a lot of the Book of Mormon (she was at Mosiah 13 last we checked) and we got her to say the prayer at the end of our second discussion. And boy, was it a beautiful prayer. We've taught her three times, calling in to check on her often, and we've set a date for September 22nd which she seems determined to keep. Awesome!

We also taught a discussion to Cole, a 13-year old boy living with his member aunt. We taught him the first discussion and gave him the Book of Mormon, and asked him to read and pray about it. He tried to pull a Baptist on us: "You know, I sure appreciate what you all do, but I'm a Baptist, and I go to [insert church here] and I'm happy with what I believe." Elder Molina and I almost laughed; we've gotten that one from experts, so we kind of just brushed past it and kept teaching.

We asked him to say the closing prayer. He fought us on it, but we bore testimony and let him sit there. He was fighting it, but we could FEEL him coming round. We could FEEL it. And then:
"Would it help if I said it?" said Sister Aguilar.
My head whipped around, and Elder Molina slowly emerged from behind the chair. Our combined gaze nearly nailed her to the chair, and she fidgeted uncomfortably for a moment before saying, "Am I not supposed to do that?"
I said, "No, it's fine. Go ahead."
Shoot. We'd almost had him, lady.

Cole came to church this Sunday, though, so that's good.

On Thursday, we bumped into a hardcore Baptist at the door. He had Mormon friends, and a bit of what we believed. He said that the Bible was pure truth, pure inspiration, and that he didn't need anymore. I asked, "What about the Song of Solomon?"
Man, THAT one made him think.
Anyway, he said his main problem with our church was our belief in prophets. "After all," he said, "Joseph Smith was a very disreputable man."
Oooh, that did it. Couldn't let him get away with that. I said, "NO. He was not. He saw God. In his own words, 'I knew it, I knew God knew it, and I could not deny it.' He was persecuted and hunted and ultimately died because he would not deny. He did not get a penny out of it."
We didn't get in the door, but at least he heard my testimony.

A lot of our investigators this week were found due to the Spirit. I'm sure of it. We met George, an older man, because we showed up at a spot to tract on Wednesday, didn't like it, and went somewhere else. Then, we picked a place to stop - again, not planned beforehand - and then went up a long driveway. A LONG driveway. Two roads split in a road, and we picked the one less traveled by, and that made all the difference. It started raining, and we got drenched, but at the very end of the road, we met George sitting under his porch out of the rain, and he offered us some shelter. The rain allowed us to teach him without him running away, and cleared up once we were done so that we could spend the rest of the day dry. We even bumped into a group of college guys who asked us to come back Saturday, because I was prompted to take a shortcut. I definitely feel that we're getting helped out here.

I got both your package and your letter, Mom, and you are right. Getting letters IS like Christmas. I get so happy getting stuff in the mail. I'll try and send something to you soon - including the farewell thank-you's. Since we don't have a way of downloading photos onto a computer, I'm going to be mailing my first photo card thingy to you soon. It's about time you saw all the stuff I've been doing.
I just think it's so fun to hear about Robby's wedding (yay Robby!). I LOVED the picture of Nathan you sent me! That boy is so cute! I was really stunned to see him with shorter-length hair. Almost didn't recognize him at first.
Adam is amazing. You didn't see ME coming up with quadruple alliterations when I was six! (I would have remembered doing that.) I love that kid so much. He is just so smart and clever, but with his parents, I'm not surprised.
So happy to hear about David and Amy coming up to Utah. The due day's just about here, isn't it? And Joy! AAH! Another baby boy! I think that is so wonderful to hear! I want you all to know that I pray for you MANY times a day.
And, in response to your letter, Mom. I thought the same thing about my email - I had that very same image of Clark Kent waving the smoke away from his computer. I love how we're so similar. I want you to know that I had the theme song stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

Mom, to answer your questions:
1. We do have a car for our companionship, since our area is huge, but we had to swap it off to the Mount Airy Elders, so we get to ride our bikes this week :)
2. My shoes fit great. No worries there!
3. The weather is wonderful here. A bit humid, but not too bad, and Utah is hotter. There are more trees here, too. Apparently I missed all the heat by a week or so.
4. I don't think I need a blanket yet, I've been using just a sheet every night
5. Our branch has a small phase 1 chapel to meet in - you know, like the kind you get everywhere in the world. Branch/ward size is determined by sacrament meeting attendance, as you know, and I think we need 150 people coming to sacrament meeting to be classified as a ward.
6. This is what my standard day looks like:
I wake up at 6:30 each morning. I get a couple of minutes to lift weights. We have two 55 pound dumbells, so at least my biceps will survive my mission. We get an hour of personal study at 8, and two hours of companion study at 9 (since I'm in training right now.) After lunch, we head out to go finding or appointments. If all goes well, we have dinner at a member's at 6, then head back into the fray until around 9. We plan out the next day for the next half hour, then write in our journal and get ready for bed at 10:30. Pretty busy!
7. All the daily life activities are going okay. Elder Molina is much cleaner than my college roommates. The one problem is that he doesn't use the dishwasher, and yet he doesn't wash the dishes by hand I have to run the dishwasher more the once a week, which *irks* me. (danny has favorite words - he had fun working that one in, i'm sure!)
8. We do get the Ensign. We get it with our media orders (where we refill our supply of pamphlets, Book of Mormon copies, etc.)
9. I'm doing good at the moment as far as cravings are concerned :)
I'm so glad to be out here serving the Lord. I pray that you're doing well too. Thank you so much for everything.

Augh! I have so much more to say, but I'm running out of time. I'll write more next week. I sure love you all. The Church is true. That's why I'm here. Stay strong!

Elder Fisher

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