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, September 24, 2013

9/23/13 "And the Lord said: Go to work."

"And the Lord said: Go to work."
--Ether 2:16

Here in North Carolina the weather has turned to autumn. I first felt this last Saturday when I stepped out to go run and could feel Fall in the air. The temperature is still lovely and the trees have not changed color, but I can feel it, just the same. We've had a couple of gray days this last week, where the sky was literally gray the whole day and we could not see the sun. Quite interesting.

It was on one such gray day that we went to go out and find people to teach -- "find people to teach" being a purpose-driven way of saying "knock doors." I refuse to use the word "tract." Anyhoo, after a little while of fruitless searching, we went to return to our bikes in preparation of making the 5-mile journey home. Upon reaching the bikes, however, a cursory examination of my back tire revealed it to be dead. It had given up the ghost sometime during our finding.

So we called up a member for a ride and went to go sit on a nearby park bench to wait, taking pictures of ourselves to pass the time as slowly the sky darkened. As evening fell, a group of kids came to the park to throw a football around. In the dim light, I could make out the figure of a small boy in a wheelchair sitting at the edge of the road, watching them. After a few minutes I got up and walked over to the small, frail boy in his wheelchair and asked his name and how old he was (six) and spoke with him for a moment, and I said to him: "I want you to know that you can do anything you put your mind to."

And then the member came and took us away. But I will remember that little exchange I had with the boy. I felt terribly sorry for him, sitting there on the sidelines watching the other kids play.

But it's true, isn't it? We really can do anything we put our mind to. Like overcome a physical handicap. Or becoming like God. The wonderful promise we have been given is that because of the Savior, weak legs will walk someday and sinful souls will become saintly.

This last Saturday, September 21st, was the 190th anniversary of Moroni's visit to Joseph Smith. Take a moment and ponder on that.

I recently read the last real talk Gordon B. Hinckley's ever gave in General Conference, "The Stone Cut Out of the Mountain." One of the many great and profound things the President spoke about in there was the Book of Mormon and how critics have tried to attack it for years or disprove it. Theories have been spawned, conspiracies have been drawn up, conjectures have been made, but in the end, the one with the angel still remains by far the most believable.

People try to wave away the Book of Mormon, but it doesn't work. Something like that can't just be passed off as unimportant. It is something that demands attention. 

It has stood out to me that it is so crucial to be open to accepting additional revelation. The people I meet who say that they don't possibly need to learn or pray about additional truth from God are making the same mistake as the Pharisees who sent the Son of God to die on the cross for blasphemy.

I could go on quite the warpath about that, but I won't. I simply repeat: it is so important to be willing to test things for truth. All things. When something comes up, you can either say: "There's no possible way that can be true, so there's no need to pray about it," which is an extremely prideful response. Or, there is the Master's invitations to "Ask, and ye shall receive," "come and see," "by their fruits ye shall know them." If we refuse to at least try, we will not find.

It has been my blessing and privilege here in Lakefield to see the results of when people are willing to ask. We had a family of six come to church this last Sunday for the second time, all because they have actually been open to praying about what we've taught them.

The Gospel is so wonderful. Probably because it's true! I love being a missionary and I love my mission. I thank the Lord that I get to be here at this time. Hurrah for Israel!

Love you,

Elder Fisher

9/9/13 Fishers of Men

"And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
And they straightway left their nets, and followed him."

On Friday I went on exchange with the Zone Leaders, which included my good MTC buddy Elder Poulson. That evening we chose a park to go and find people to teach, eventually coming to meet a man named Eddie who was fishing in the nearby lake there. As the Zone Leaders talked to him, I turned to speak to his companion Harry, and we got a nice conversation going when all of a sudden Eddie says, "I got something!"

As Eddie begins to eagerly reel in the line, we turn and look and there, like something out of a horror movie, we see a trail of bubbles moving towards our location on the shoreline, and a black mass just underneath the surface of the water. Emerging out from underneath a clump of slimy lake weeds, stirring the water around it like an deranged egg-beater, gripping the hooked worm in its terrible jaws, its black body dripping water like Godzilla freshly rising from the sea and advancing towards Tokyo, is a snapping turtle!

Eddie quickly pulled it onto the shore. "We've got to get the hook out!" he said, as apparently he couldn't replace the hook. He flipped it onto its back and then proceeded to perform oral surgery on the snapping turtle using a pair of sticks, with myself serving as assistant terrapin-orthodontist by placing my foot on the creature's tummy and pinning it to the ground. It hissed and snapped and -- believe it or not -- jumped a few times but eventually we got the hook out and Eddie pushed it into the water using his fishing pole, where it quickly submerged and disappeared from view.

I managed to get this entire episode on camera, having handed mine to Elder Stone right as things started happening. I will send it to the family shortly...

Believe it or not, this was not the only weird encounter we had with animals this week. In a lesson with another investigator, I was sitting down on the couch and her cat decided to sit next to me. A minute or so later the lady's chihuahua walks into the room and stands there, doing that little full-body shiver that is the natural state of every chihuahua. All of a sudden the cat leaps from the couch, landing on the chihuahua's back and biting it in the spine, knocking it over entirely. The cat proceeded to maul the chihuahua and then chased it about the house when its prey managed to momentarily escape. 

At the end of the lesson, when the dog dared to re-enter the room, the cat pounced on it again, but this time, the chihuahua attempted to lift its rear-leg in a crude but feeble form of self-defense. The cat was too quick for it, however, swiftly grabbing the leg with both paws, biting it, and slamming the chihuahua to the ground. Elder Richardson and I were dying of laughter the whole time. Considering how badly I despise chihuahuas, it was quite satisfying to see one get utterly owned by a cat.

Another first for this week was that this was the first time I've ever heard the infamous "Unknown Tongue." We were teaching a young man named Eric in his garage, and when he went to say the closing prayer, he finished off with a stream of nonsense sounds before saying "Amen." It was very interesting. 

We have been blessed this week with a lot of people to teach and a lot of good experiences. We had a solid first lesson with a man named Gar'day (pronounced "Gar-D-A") from Liberia, who had come to the United States years ago in order to escape the ravages of their civil wars. We were simply asking him about his background when all of a sudden he just starting saying, "I've just been wondering a lot about what my purpose is here on earth. Why am I even here? I know God put me here for a reason, butwhat? I ask my pastor and he can't tell me."

Oh ho ho, have we got an answer there for you, buddy.

Gar'day told us that the only response he got from his pastor as to what our purpose was here on earth was that we are here to "glorify God." I am grateful that we, as members of the Church, have had it revealed to us that our Father's work and His glory is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life. Heavenly Father wants us to become like Him! Our purpose here is to learn Godhood. It's a scary prospect but one that is entirely possible due to the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I sure love being a missionary. Do you understand just how awesome it is to be able to tell people about this stuff all day, every day? Words cannot describe it.

I love the Lord, I love my companion, I love my area, and I love my mission. The things we have been taught about the Plan of Salvation are true. Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Fisher

9/3/13 "I have learned for myself..."

"Joseph, what's the matter?"
"Never mind, all is well -- I am well enough off...I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true."
-- Joseph Smith's first words after an encounter with the God of all creation

This last week has been incredible. We had interviews with President on Wednesday, and I just want to say that I know that my Mission President is called of God. He is, without a doubt, one of the best men I know, and it was extremely refreshing for me to get to talk to him one-on-one. 

This particular interview was an interesting occasion for me, since I have passed my year-mark now. I still remember the very first time I sat in an interview with him, a nervous missionary on my very first day in the field. I have changed so much since then. Him, not so much, except his hair has a lot more gray in it now.

Elder Richardson and I worked very very hard this week. It felt wonderful. I am very glad that he's so willing to work, and I am also glad that he's so big and tough, since I don't have to worry about getting mugged with him around.

The story of this last week has been us going out and talking to people all day long, every day. That's been the routine thus far: we go out and talk to as many people as we can while the sun shines. In the evenings, we generally go to bed once the spiders start coming out. Oh heavens, the spiders.

We were out finding people to teach one afternoon and a dog rushed across its lawn to attack me. I backhanded it in the face with the Word of God. I know that's not how we've been trained to use the Book of Mormon, but it was certainly effective.

The apartment here in Lakefield has a small whiteboard that is small enough to fit inside a backpack. It has come in handy while teaching. I illustrated 1 Nephi 13 for a person we were teaching, and the other day drew out Jacob 5 when a recent convert asked us to explain it to her. (That was an interesting lesson!)

On Friday the Spanish elders ran into a recent convert family from Pohnpei, who had moved from Brigham City a few months ago and was supposedly looking for the Church here. We got to go and teach them a few times and got them to Church. Saturday evening we watched The Restoration with them and their accumulated friends and neighbors, a total audience of 18 people. True to Murphy's Law, there was a disturbance during the First Vision scene -- something always happens when it gets to the First Vision -- but thankfully it wasn't too distracting.

As I've been on my mission, The Restoration has come to mean a lot more to me. I know that it's just a movie, and that the real First Vision must have been unimaginably more beautiful than how it's portrayed in that film, but that scene still brings tears to my eyes. Simply because it stands for something so wonderful.

There was a time earlier in my mission when I was bearing my testimony of the Restoration to a person. This person interrupted me, dismissing my testimony by saying that "well, the devil is able to appear as an angel of light."

Well, if something like the First Vision -- which stirs something inside my soul every time I hear, watch, recite, or think about it -- comes from the devil, then we are all hosed, since that means Satan can mimic the Holy Ghost to the point that we can't even tell the difference. If the First Vision is a fraud and the feelings it brings to us are false, then there is no hope for us ever getting back to Heavenly Father, since Satan's counterfeits are far too convincing if that's the case.

Thankfully, though, the First Vision is true. Nothing like that could possibly be a lie and still have that kind of spiritual power.

Elder Richardson and I have been discussing Joseph Smith. In a way, people who believe Joseph was a liar have a much higher opinion of him than we do as members of the Church. Nonbelievers see Joseph as a genius with nerves of steel, able to pump out close to 1000 pages of scripture and put up with constant persecution for 24 years. Whereas we, as members of the Church, don't attach any sort of extraordinary intelligence to him and believe he probably endured all that persecution because he was far too scared of what would happen to him if he dared to go back on his testimony.

I think the Prophet put it best: "I had seen a vision. I knew it, and I knew God knew it, and I could not deny it."

I testify that the First Vision is true. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live, and love us. We are a part of the Savior's church in the Latter-Days, led by a living prophet. The Book of Mormon is true. I love my companion, I love my area, and I love my mission. Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Fisher 

8/26/13 "Bring yo kids, bring yo wife"

"Wellst, obviously we have some...elders, here in Lakefield Park. They're knocking on yo front doors, they're preaching yo people up, tryin' to save 'em so y'all need to bring yo kids, bring yo wife and bring yo husband 'cuz they baptizin' evrybody out here."

paula's note:  that was Elder Fisher's Antoine Dobson imitation  :-)

I have been transferred to the Lakefield area in the High Point Stake. My new companion is Elder Richardson, who's just come out of training. He's basically Gary Bertier from Remember the Titans. He has a great desire to work, so we've been working very hard the last week, and it feels awesome.

Lakefield is a suburb of Greensboro, which is the second largest city in North Carolina. It is also the most hood area I've yet been in. We walked out of an appointment Thursday night into a crime scene with a bunch of police officers, cop cars and craziness. We politely asked the nearest officer if we could get in our car and leave and, once he said yes, booked the heck out of there.

Another fun thing about Lakefield is that there are hordes of jaywalkers here. We average about 1.6 a minute while we're in the car.

We share the Lakefield Ward with a set of sister missionaries, which is generally nice. However, these two facts exist: where there are a set of elders and a set of sisters in a ward, the members will always love the sisters more regardless of what theelders do. It is an eternal principle.

I honestly love it here, though. Elder Richardson and I went running one morning, and I realized just how beautiful North Carolina mornings are. This is one of many things I will miss about North Carolina when I finally return home.

As I was sitting in the rather crowded public library a few days ago, this thought process ran through my head:
1) The Second Coming will be ushered in when the Gospel is spread over all the earth.
2) Missionaries spread the Gospel.
3) Missionaries now use Facebook to spread the Gospel.
4) Therefore, Facebook ushers in the Second Coming.

Facebook has come in handy. You can communicate with people you couldn't contact otherwise. This last Sunday we managed to scramble together a ride and get an investigator family to church in time for the sacrament. It was all a bit of a hassle since the dad had to take his 14-month old daughter around from class to class, which made her understandably unhappy, but eventually we figured out a way to keep her occupied so that the dad could actually listen to the lessons.

I was just extremely happy that we got somebody to Church. This is the first time I've gotten a real investigator to sacrament meeting since May.


In John, chapter 6, we read that when Jesus fed the five thousand, the multitudes saw this miracle as definite evidence that Jesus was the promised Messiah that they had been awaiting for centuries, and they tried to make Him their King by force. Their desire to do this did not come from faith on Jesus or belief in His teachings, but from their popular conception of what the Messiah was supposed to do. Over the years the Jews had misunderstood the prophets, and now the people's expectations had become corrupted so that they saw the Messiah as one who would give them physical nourishment and deliver them from bondage, just as Moses had.

In response to the crowd's demands for more miracles as proof that He was the Messiah, the Savior told them some of the greatest truths about Himself and what He had been sent to do. He had not come to set up a kingdom on the earth; He had come to provide spiritual nourishment and spiritual freedom in a spiritual kingdom. Those who had followed Him in hope of receiving material wealth or glory were to be disappointed, since that was not His mission.

At this sermon there was a parting of ways between those who held to the popular expectations of the Christ and those who truly believed on Him. The public, in general, turned against the Savior; never again would crowds follow Him in such huge numbers; never again would they try to make Him king. The opposition would only increase from then on, until the day the angry mobs would take His life. At this sermon, many of the Savior's disciples left Him, never to return.

Watching all this, the Savior turned to His Apostles and asked the forlorn question, "Will ye also go away?"

And then Peter responded, "Lord, to whom would we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life." Then he continued, "And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God."

I find this story important, since it shows us two different tests of faith.

All of us, at some point in our life, will come to a time where our personal wants split away from the truth we spiritually need. We will stand at a crossroads between what we know to be true and what we think we want, and we will have to choose which path to follow. The Jews chose to walk a different path than the Savior, while the Apostles stayed. So, too, all of us will have to come to terms with the fact that the Savior's path is not the road to fame, power, and wealth.

The second lesson I find here is seen in Peter's exchange with the Savior: "Lord, to whom shall we go?"

The time will come in the life of every believer that they will pause and wonder if what they believe is true. It is inevitable that this will happen. When all is said and done, is the Gospel really true?

It is at this moment of doubt that the question arises in our minds: Well, if it is not true, where else can we possibly go? Where can we turn for peace, if not to the Savior?

And then there comes the realization that there is no other way. There is no other path that can give us the safety and the answers that we're looking for. And then we remember the joy and the peace we felt when we first heard the words of Christ and believed on them. That memory alone reminds us that Jesus truly is the Son of God and that His words are true and that families really can be together forever. 

This faith is able to carry us forward, even though our knowledge might not be perfect at this moment. We will get the rest of the answers, in time. It was only after Peter proclaimed his faith in the Savior that he got to see Him transfigured on the mountain, or resurrected on the shores of Galilee.

It has been firmly implanted in my mind during my mission that if the Gospel is not true, then nothing is. This work has to be of God. There is no other way, if not the Restored Gospel. I know that Jesus is the Savior, and I know that Joseph Smith was called to be His prophet. I know that we have prophets today and that the Book of Mormon is true. I know all of these things for myself, without having to rely on someone else's testimony.

I love my mission, I love my companion, and I love my area. I love you all, as well. Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Fisher

8/19/13 "Certainty of death"

"Certainty of death...small chance of success... ...what are we waiting for?"

NOTE: This email contains many of my random thoughts over the last week. Some are not so serious, others are, and I had a lot more that I decided not to put in for the sake of your attention span. Still, I hope you'll bear with me as I unload the rest -- considering, of course, that you actually read the entirety of my fatty emails...

Well, it happened again.

We got a call from President Craven this last Saturday, telling me that he had talked with the stake president and the bishop, and, after those two conversations, the decision had been made that the Monroe elders were going to be pulled out this transfer and be replaced with sister missionaries. This is the fourth time in my mission that this has happened to me: first Dobson, then Pineville, then Huntersville, now Monroe. Or, to put it another way, 4 out of the 5 areas where I have served, I have been in the last elder companionship in that area before it was given to the sisters.

This really was a good time for sister missionaries to come into the area, since the lease on our apartment expired and our Ward Mission Leader had found us a new one in the nearby town of Indian Trail, which is much higher class and has not seen missionaries for years. The sisters will be able to move into a new apartment in a area that is probably a lot safer for them than the sometimes sketchy Monroe. I know they will have lots of success here, and that makes me feel happy. I feel bad in that, despite Elder Schauerhamer and I's best efforts this entire transfer, we never got even a single investigator, so the sisters will be coming in with no one to teach and will have to start from scratch.

Regardless, I am being transferred from Monroe. Where to, I do not know.

This development with transfers has only been one of the many interesting events which have occurred this last week, not the least of which being Elder Schauerhamer having to make an emergency trip up to Charlotte for a doctor's appointment this morning, which is why this email got off so late. It's been an interesting transfer, all things considered. I have learned a lot and grown a lot more. 


A) Those of you who look on my Facebook page will note I liked all the Brethren. It's interesting to see how many likes each of them got. The current leaders are:
1) President Monson: over 100,000
2) President Uchtdorf: over 60,000
3) President Eyring: over 40,000
4) Elder Holland: around 36,000
5) Elder Bednar: around 32,000
All the other members of the Quorum of the Twelve are under 30,000. I think Elder Hales has the fewest, poor guy. 

B) One of the CDs my trainer Elder Molina liked to listen to was called "The Work," about missionaries. One of the songs on there was actually called "Work," a real gung-ho song about...working. One of the lines in this song mentions "rockin' on, knockin' on a billion doors."

I got a little clicker thingy in February to keep track of the number of houses I've visited blind on my mission. It occurred to me, after I passed the 1,000 mark, that if I knocked a thousand doors a thousand more times, I would only be a thousandth of my way to that billion-door mark. Crazy.

C) When I made my page, I looked at the profiles on the side of the page and, lo and behold, there was my cousin-in-law (?) April McMurray. That was a real day-brightener!

D) I returned back to Pineville on exchange with the Zone Leaders this last week. That was definitely a lot of fun for me. The apartment's a mess now that I've left it, though.

More serious...

Perhaps it was the fact that we haven't had anyone to teach the last six weeks, but I have been thinking a lot about how to really measure success on a mission. How to really be a good missionary, when you get right down to it. Anyway, I think I found an answer when I read an email from Aaron Machen, an El Paso friend currently serving his mission in Mexico, and he repeated the same conclusion I came to:

We are good missionaries if we forget ourselves.

-- Forgetting yourself is only using 10 minutes of your lunch hour so you can go out and work longer.
-- Forgetting yourself is working right until 9:00 PM even when you run out of stuff to do at 8:25.
-- Forgetting yourself is wearing missionary clothes even when you don't necessarily have to.
-- Forgetting yourself is not owning a large stuffed Spiderman ball or a Marvel notebook or a Lord of the Rings calendar or other childish things, even though those aren't specifically mentioned in the Missionary Handbook.
-- Forgetting yourself is listening to spiritual music all the time, even though none of your missionary leaders would have a problem with hearing something a bit heavier.
-- Forgetting yourself is talking about the Gospel when it's just you and your companion and you have nothing to prove by doing so.
-- Forgetting yourself is working out of a desire to serve the Lord -- not to get numbers.

It occurred to me that all the missionaries I admire most did all of these things above. Therefore, I have tried to do those things. Still, despite all this, there is so much more work to be done on forgetting myself and becoming like Christ. 

For example, I never knew what sort of person I really was at heart until the time Elder Schauerhamer asked me if I could please sleep without my fan from now on, since it was keeping him awake at night. At that moment I learned very quickly who the realElder Fisher was.

It's ironic: when we were born into this world, we forgot who we were before: the Person of Christ who knew exactly what was right and wrong. The whole point of this earth life is that we will forget our natural selves -- who we are familiar with -- and remember the Person of Christ that is deep inside all of us. The Atonement is the power that allows this process to happen.

There is so much more I want to say, and I have no more time to write. I guess I'll have to write more next week in my new area, with my new companion. I love you all, and I love my mission. Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Fisher

8/12/13 "Use your charm!"

"Use your charm!"
"Charm...charm..." (*trips lady*)

(I laugh because Elder Schauerhamer would probably do something similar if he was put in the same situation.)

This last Friday a special training meeting was called, where we received instruction on how to use an exciting and mysterious new missionary tool known as "Facebook." We missionaries are to use Facebook each day to keep in contact with members, investigators, less-actives, and recent converts, set up appointments, teach lessons, share spiritual thoughts, and all that goodness. The next day Elder Schauerhamer and I embarked to the local public library to start the process of editing our Facebook accounts, which included:

A) eliminating embarrassing pictures. (Oh, the embarassing pictures.)
B) hiding pre-mission friends and family from our newsfeed
C) hiding pre-mission posts

Essentially, hiding or deleting anything that you would not want a complete stranger to see, especially since you want them to recognize you as a representative of Jesus Christ and our Facebook pages must reflect that. 

I must say, my missionary self was mortified at a lot of the things my pre-missionary self did. Truth be told, I still feel like I'm being disobedient every time I get on Facebook -- that strange moment when obedience (not using Facebook) becomes disobedience and disobedience (using Facebook) becomes obedience. I guess that will pass, in time.

I find this situation ironic in several ways. My last post on Facebook before my mission was: "This is Elder Fisher, signing off. See you in two years, everybody."

And, well, actually, it turns out that I'll see you all in just one year after all, since the Church changed the policy. 

We are allotted an hour of time to use Facebook throughout the day. This is also ironic, since it means that I will be using Facebook more during my mission that I did before my mission. Who knew.

At this moment in time, the Facebook thing is so new that they haven't really ironed out the rules on usage. The general guideline is: "Do not let Facebook distract you from your work." I interpret this to mean that we shouldn't be able to see what our family and friends back home are doing.

The Facebook thing is nice, since it allows all of you who are interested to hop on every once and a while and see what I'm up to, but I must request that, if you live outside of North Carolina, you please refrain from messaging me or posting things on my wall in order to help me stayed focused on my work.

Other than Facebook, not much has happened this week. Elder Schauerhamer and I got blasted by rain earlier this week, though, which has led me to label North Carolina as "The Land of the Surprise 10-Minute Thunderstorm."

Additionally, a rather long and convoluted conversation between Elder Schauerhamer and myself this week eventually led me to discover, quite by accident, that he honestly couldn't tell me a single thing about who George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, or Hitler were. No, really; he wasn't joking or playing stupid; he had slept through History class during his high school years and literally didn't know. History lessons every night after planning have since commenced, and Elder Schauerhamer is now able to intelligently tell me that Abraham Lincoln was not actually president during World War I, which occurred in the 1600s shortly after the Thirteen Colonies were formed. Thank goodness.

Well, I'm caught in that dilemma of really wanting to share a particular spiritual thought, but not really having the time to do it justice. I guess I will just have to put it off yet another week.

I am thoroughly enjoying my time here in Monroe and my companionship with Elder Schauerhamer. We love each other and are learning a lot. We will see if we are still companions for the next transfer this upcoming Saturday. I love my mission and I love you all. Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Fisher

7/29/13 "The same thing we do every night"

"What're we doin' tonight, Brain?"
"The same thing we do every night, Pinky: TRY TO CONVERT THE WORLD!!!"

The above exchange is essentially the conversation Elder Schauerhamer and I have had every day of this week. At the moment we don't have any investigators to teach, which means we must go and find them, which means that we have to knock doors much of the time.

As we were going about one day, Elder Schauerhamer all of a sudden stopped on a doorstep and said, with the tone of someone who's just had an enormous epiphany: "You know, Elder, door contacting is a lot like street contacting. Except there's a door in the way. And the people own the street."

And I turned and looked at him, and he turned and looked at me, and we both looked at each other for a moment, and then we kept walking.

A few other events of interest which occurred this week:

1) I had my first beer can thrown at me -- a man in a car tossed it at me as we were biking home one evening. It passed safely in front of my face by about five inches. I was so ecstatic that it finally happened

2) After we had finished our weekly Book of Mormon class, which we hold at the Church on Wednesdays for any investigators who will come, one of the members who had attended asked me to play "something cool" on the piano for her, since apparently she had heard that I could play. I mentally reviewed the songs I can play on the piano. I eventually decided upon "Saturday's Warrior" after a long and hard struggle choosing that song over "Orc Theme 1 from Warcraft 2." (As you might guess by its title, I favor that second piece for its spiritual and reverent nature.)

I played and sang Saturday's Warrior for Sister Johnson and the other members present. Well, apparently Sister Johnson recorded the whole performance on her phone and promptly posted it on Facebook without telling me, where a lot of other ward members have since watched it. At first I was mortified that someone would post a video of me, a missionary, playing something, but I am resigned to the fact now. And, I guess, if any of you wanted to look up her Facebook page you could probably find the video on there, if you really want to see it. I hope it hasn't hit YouTube.    (Paula's note - I've been trying to find this . . . but do you know how many Johnsons are on Facebook - even in Monroe, NC?)

3) We were teaching a lesson after dinner with the Cranes, a member family with 7 young children. We were talking about the importance of opposition, how we need to have bad to help us appreciate the good, so we talked about how Heavenly Father and Jesus and the Holy Ghost are all the good things. At this point, Brother Crane says to one of his younger sons, "So if Heavenly Father is the good, who's the opposition?"

And his 7-year old son immediately responds: "Lakeview Baptist!"


Well, I'd had this long spiritual thought planned out to share, but it doesn't feel the right time to do so. I'll save it for later.

I instead want to take a moment and mention my dear friend Elder Stephen Ward. I do not have much time to write out all a want to say about him, but I do want to shout out about his great character. While I dodged beer cans this week, he was surviving the terrible train crash in Spain. (Really puts things in perspective, doesn't it?) I am so glad that he was protected and in good condition. He is a person of incredible faith and testimony, and he will work wonders on his mission. I admire him and am so glad that I know him. Everyone, please keep him in your prayers.

I am so grateful to be here on my mission. I love my companion, and I love you all. Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Fisher