"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
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