It's been another fun week in the mission field! A few quick highlights, as usual:
1) Walking into a member's house and having their 23-month old daughter exclaim, "Elder Fisher!" Thatdefinitely brightened up my day.
2) One of the members, Brother Sutton, asked us what we were in the mood for in regards to dinner. I told him Swedish pancakes, so he said he'd give it a try. Man, eating those things felt like a sin. One thing about Brother Sutton: his cooking is unmatched.
3) We were driving home one night, and our GPS, Isabel, led us off the pavement onto a dirt road, and then off the dirt road onto grass, and then into a dead end on said grass. In other words, she lived up to her namesake. As we navigated our way back to civilization, another car came down the dirt road and stopped beside us to ask what we were doing. Apparently this little track is so isolated that if these people ever see a car they don't know, they go and find out what's going on.
Now as for the week itself:
I got to go on exchanges this week with Elder Stringham, an elder who's in
, the town north of
us. The two of us went biking around town, which was loads of fun. Some people
may beat Elder Fisher going up hills, but nobody beats Elder Fisher
going downhill. He is the King of downhill biking. That's one nice thing
about being a stout person: once you get up the first hill, inertia takes
care of 70% of all the rest of them. Mount
It's fun to go finding with Elder Stringham. He's Canadian, so when people bring up Mitt Romney (which has started to get a bit annoying) he can just say, "Sir, I'm Canadian, so I could care less. I'm here forJesus Christ."
Which is, quite frankly, awesome. Maybe I should start telling people "Sir, I was born in
Germany. I'm here for Jesus
Christ." Technically true...
Anyway, Elder Stringham felt prompted to stop at certain places while we were finding, but after about four hours, we hadn't had any success. He felt a bit worried about whether or not he'd been following the Spirit or not, but I assured him that Heavenly Father knew what He was doing. Sure enough, about half an hour later we bumped into a man named Esther right before he left to go get dinner. Esther is a single father of two sons, who lost his wife a year ago. We got to teach all three of them the Plan of Salvation.
This all goes to show, yet again, that Heavenly Father is completely aware of everyone. He loves all of His children equally, and He knows which ones are prepared. If you get a prompting, follow it. That's essentially what President Monson's Sunday Afternoon talk was about. We don't know why the Lord wanted us to stop somewhere, but it's important we do. Maybe it's because we'll knock on someone's door. Maybe it's because we'll meet someone on the way there, or on the way back. Maybe it's because the Lord wants us to wait so that they can come to us. You never know. It's kind of fun, in a way; trying to guess what Heavenly Father is planning.
Anyway, later Elder Stringham and I got to teach the Relief Society how to make Mormon.org profiles. It was worth doing, if just for the bread. They had some light snacks beforehand, and man, they had thebest bread I've ever had. The best. Elder Stringham was laughing at how much of that stuff I gobbled up. I had to explain to him what a Chubby Wumpkins is.
Another highlight of the exchange was watching Elder Stringham go down the stairs of his apartment in a cardboard box. I managed to get this on camera, forever preserving it for posterity.
This week we taught Sister Harris, which was the lady who lost her 7-year old daughter 30 years ago and got comforted by the missionaries. We finally got her to understand why the Book of Mormon was important, and she asked us to sign her copy. We'll see how her reading goes. We also visited Lina, our baptismal date. Surgeries and operations are really slowing her down, but maybe that's the Lord's way of telling us that we still need to teach her some things. Lina's a pretty incredible woman, though.
And finally, my thought on the Sword of Laban:
I've often wondered why
Moroni included the Sword of Laban with the
Gold Plates. I can understand the Liahona and the Urim and Thummim, but I never
really understood why he'd put the sword in there too, besides it being really
cool to do so. After all, if you think about it, Laban was a wicked man. How
did his sword get to be so important?
And then it hit me. Why was Laban's sword important in the first place? Nephi slew Laban with it. And why did he do so? Because he realized just how important the Brass Plates were. His descendantsneeded those plates; without them, they would have dwindled and perished in unbelief. Those plates were needed for his people's benefit, and the Sword was used to get them.
Now think to
He carried the Gold Plates for twenty years, guarding them with his life. Think
about it for a moment. I'd guess that the one thing that kept
him sane for those twenty years, on the hard days where it was painfully
obvious to him that he was alone and hunted, was the knowledge that those
plates would endure and one day come forth. His dispensation failed, but
he knew that someday in the future a Dispensation would come which would never
fail, that would stick it through to the day the Savior returned.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, but the Book of Mormon is the best way to counter the Apostasy. Heavenly Father knew the Bible would get messed up, so he planned for another witness to come forth.
carried those plates alone so that we could get them. It was probably hard for
him to bury them up into the earth, after carrying them for so long; that was
all he had. But he completed his task, and buried the Sword with them. And
why did he bury it? He included the Sword of Laban with because it was
used to protect the truth.
Well, I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that
Moroni got to see his
precious charge get translated by another man, a fellow servant of the
Lord, who saw the same Christ, face to face, just like he did. I know
Joseph Smith was a prophet and did translate those plates, that he did see
God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son, and I know President Monson is the
prophet today. This is the last dispensation, of the fulness of times, that
will never fail.
The church is true. It's that simple.
I love you all. Hurrah for