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

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

6/10/13 "If I had a million dollars"

Tuesday of this week was a car fast day, which meant that we had to use our bikes in a full-car area. It was an experience not to be missed; we biked about 28 miles that day. On the way home, as we biked up a hill with me in front, a truck slowed down and pulled beside us. A man handed me and Elder Collinwood some cash and then drove off.

At first I felt bad, since missionaries aren't supposed to accept money, but then with delight I realized that, behold, this man had handed me none other than a MILLION DOLLAR BILL!

As I turned it over, however, I saw that the back of this million-dollar bill had a large section of writing, flanking of picture of Washington crossing the Delaware:
"Here's a million-dollar question: have you been saved?"

I got a good laugh out of this as I biked the five miles or so home. At first I had thought the man was being nice, then I thought he was being funny, then I realized that he was actually trying to anti us. The million-dollar bill now occupies a place of honor on my desk.

It's been a quite entertaining week. We saw a man riding his lawnmower to the supermarket the other day. We also went to go find a less-active in a literal trailer park, the sort of trailers that you pull behind your regular truck. You know, the one that people take on camping trips. It was the most ghetto place I've ever been in my whole mission.

This Saturday we devoted a few hours to help a member and his friend build a shed on his property. We leveled the ground, built a foundation, and made a floor on top of it. It was good, satisfying work, and we were going to start on the walls, too, but unfortunately we had to go teach an appointment. We'll probably work on it a little bit later. I have to say, it was a pretty good looking piece of shed.

We have been teaching the nonmember son of a recently activated sister. His name is L_____, and he's set to join the Church on the 29th of this month. The Young Men's leader had invited L_____ last Sunday to teach the lesson in Young Men's, so we came by a few times this week to help him out.

For those of you who've been paying attention to this sort of thing, the lesson this last Sunday was on the difference between priesthood power and priesthood authority. As L____ is not a member and his dad is out of the picture, he's never even heard of this stuff before. We had a very entertaining lesson with him, when we were having him read D&C 121:37 and explain all the things that turned off priesthood power. We had a little lightbulb on a stick with us to illustrate this point. His 13-year old mind was having difficulty understanding a lot of the concepts in there, so I was desperately searching for anything that I could use to get him to understand.

A transcript of the lesson would go somewhat like this:

"Okay, L_____, so as we read through this, I want you to write down a list of all the things that turn offthe Priesthood. Alright? Okay. Start reading."
" 'That they may be conferred upon us, it is true--' " 
"Okay, pause. What does that mean, 'that they may be conferred upon us, it is true?' "
"It means that somebody might give you the Priesthood, but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll have anypower." (turns lightbulb on and off for emphasis.)
"Oh. Okay."
"We're good? Alright, keep going." 
" '--but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride--' "
"Ooh! There it is. Write that down. So what does it mean, L_____, to 'gratify your pride?' "
"Uh, I dunno."
"Do you know what 'gratify' means?"
"Do you know what 'pride' is?"
"Well, if someone has pride, they're really stuck up. They're arrogant. They're full of themselves. They're a stuck-up jerk."
"Oh!, so they're like Vegeta."
"...Yes, L_____, exactly. They're exactly like Vegeta. He is the perfect example of pride. Real stuck-up jerk." (draws picture of Vegeta next to 'Gratify our pride.') "Whenever you think of pride, just remember Vegeta. Keep reading."
"Okay. Uh...'to gratify our pride, our vain ambition--' "
"There's another one. What was it?"
"Vain ambition?"
"Yes. Write that down."
"But what does that even mean, Elder Fisher?"
(Mind races desperately.) "Well, have you ever seen Star Wars?"
"What? You've never ever seen Star Wars?
"Only, like, two of them."
"Wow." Shoot. "Well, how about The Lion King?"
"Once, when I was very little. I don't remember much."
Darn. "Well, how about The Emperor's New Groove?"
"Yeah, I've seen that."
"You know Yzma, right?"
"What did she want to be?"
"She wanted to be the queen, or whatever."
"Right. That's what we'd call vain ambition."

I could go on and on with this, but suffice it to say, it was an interesting lesson. I have to say, I never ever ever thought I that I'd ever see Dragon Ball Z used in a gospel setting. Anyway, all things considered L______ did a pretty good job when he gave the lesson himself on Sunday.

Life is good. Elder Collinwood and I are getting along great. The Church is still true. I love my mission and everything about it. Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Fisher

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