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

We searched HIGH... and LOW... over FIELDS... and STREAMS... 9/4/12

Wow. What an amazing week! I've learned a lot of big lessons and had some amazing experiences. I'm sorry that this is getting out a day late, but the library was closed on Labor Day.

I want to thank you, Mom and Dad, for your awesome letters, and thanks for the CD. Joy and Joey, thank you so much for you great letters. I think it's so cool that you got to do TRC! Who in your family was there? And Adam, that was an AWESOME picture! I am so impressed with your drawing! And Justin, your letter made my day. I'll write to you all soon!

Mom, I've sent one to you, so hopefully it will get there soon. I hope one stamp will be enough...I've included one of my camera's memory cards, along with some picture descriptions, so enjoy!

First off, the Baptist's "What To Say When the Mormons Come Knocking" course:

1) You woke up my little one, I'm sorry
2) I'm headed off to work right now, sorry
3) Oh, I have something on the stove, gotta go
4) I'm naked right now. (This last one works a TON better if the Mormons can't actually see your shirt while you say it.)

Elder Molina and I actually think it's tons of fun to see what they come up with next. It's only the Baptists who do it, too.
But it's also fun to see the clever signs that they have in front of their churches (and there are a LOT of churches here:)
1. "Ch__ch: What's missing?"
2. "A bad day at work is better than a good day in Hell"
3. "If you find yourself farther away from God, guess who moved?"

Anyway, I've got some fun stuff for you this week.

I've never read the Doctrine and Covenants all the way through, so I've been doing that in my personal study time. For all you readers out there, look up D&C 38:28. It will blow your mind out through your ears. I'll let you figure out why it blew mine...

The Bike Miracle

This last week we had to give up the car to the Mount Airy Elders; we'll be getting it back tomorrow. Last Tuesday we went to go finding on bikes. I go to look at my bike, and lo! the same front tire had gone flat. Those punks at the bike store evidently didn't fix it. I was severely irked. Mom, you might want to tell them that they didn't solve the problem. Man, I am so fed up with that bike; it's a tribute to how much I love biking to have been willing to put up with that thing for four years.

Well, we had to go walking instead, which completely changed the area we went to. As we were knocking on one of the last doors on one particular street, it opened up and an older lady was there. She said, "Oh! Come on in! We love you people! My husband used to be a member of your church!" We thus met the Houff couple, John and Donna. Donna is a Baptist, but John is a former member - he joined the church after about 10 years of investigating as a young man, and baptized his kids; Donna's his second wife - and we never would have met them had I not had a flat. We've met with them twice already. They LOVE missionaries, and apparently John still has a testimony of the church...bit of a mystery there, but we're visiting them tomorrow with the Branch President. If we can get him to read the Book of Mormon, we're golden.

But here's the amazing thing. When I first got my bike four years ago, it had some front tire problems. For years, I've been taking it to different bike stores to get that front tire fixed: they've patched it up, put in sealant, gotten new tubes, new tires, everything. Nothing worked. Before my mission, we took it to yet another bike store to get it fixed up before it got shipped to North Carolina, and the employees there said they'd find the problem and solve it. Yet, here I went to ride it and the same tire had gone flat. Because it was flat, we went finding close by, and found the Houffs.

I just think it's so incredible to see just how much in control of things Heavenly Father is. How could I have know, when I got my bike four years ago, that its front tire would be cursed and always go flat? How could I have known that, because nobody could ever fix it, that that front tire would lead us to the Houffs? It's so amazing that this meeting with a man who needs the gospel was set in motion four years in advance. Heavenly Father is amazing.


We were out tracting on Thursday, and we'd gone all the way up and down a massive street. We were on our way home, and there were two more houses on the side that we had missed. Elder Molina had wanted to keep going, but I said, "No, let's go see." the first house was an older lady, and she wasn't interested. But BEHIND the house, we saw a trailer, with a man sitting in front of it.

That man was Donny, the most profane, disgusting, and Satan-grasped man I have ever seen. He was just sitting on his porch, drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and marijuana, and watching the world go by. He drank at least two while we were there, smoked two cigarettes and one joint; he nicely offered us some marijuana, but we had to decline. But once he finished one thing, he'd move on to another. He had the most terrible language I'd ever seen. Basically, Donny said that this life was hell, that God was screwing with us, and specifically him. He said that God had taken all his family members - his dad, mom, brothers, aunts, nephews - and all on his birthday, too. (What a coincidence.)

I have never met a man so confused. He was literally so confused, and so high, that he could not even answer the question "Do you want to be happy?" He couldn't even say yes or no. He told us that God had told him often to shape up and take care of his grandkids, but he'd ignored Him. He's just perfectly happy to sit on his porch and be high, all day long. We essentially cried repentance to this man, using the most powerful language we could, and told him that he needed to shape up. He's 42, and at this rate, he's not going to make it past 43. He was just so stoned/high/drunk/everything that he could not listen to anything.

I do not think it was an accident that we met Donny. Apparently Heavenly Father has tried talking to him, and he won't listen, so we were led to him. I was hit with the same conclusion that Mr. Krueger reached: "You love him just as much as you love me." Donny is one of His children; Heavenly Father wants him to be happy, and boy oh boy, Donny is NOT happy. It's important for me to realize that everyone I meet is a Child of God, a precious soul.

We've got a couple of new investigators, like Adrian, a guy who looks and sounds a bit like Will Smith who we've taught twice, and Greg, a young man who approached US on the street and taught to us about the church's stance on homosexuality. Interesting, but we're going to go teach him tomorrow, and we'll see what happens.

Sunday I experienced my first North Carolina storm. It was a big one, and quite the experience. I've never seen rain so thick I couldn't see. It was a lot of fun!

Anyway, the work goes on. I love you all. The Gospel is true. I can see Heavenly Father's hand everywhere I go. Joseph Smith was a prophet, called to restore Christ's church. thomas S. Monson is our prophet today. The Book of Mormon is true.

Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Fisher

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