Lot's of random stuff in this E-Mail. Shotgun approach. Go.
This week (well maybe last) we got a nail in our tire in the truck. Luckily our Branch President is a car mechanic so he took care of it for us. He was nice enough to save the nail for us though so I put it in the envelope with our mileage log and receipts and sent it to our Car Czar with a little letter attached. So I'm really hoping he thinks it's funny and is happy we saved the church some money from getting the tire fixed. At the same time he might not think it's too funny so pray for me :)
I've been trying to run every morning for exercise since we have a high school track a quarter mile away from our house. I am super proud of myself this week because I got a 5:48 mile. Much better than the 6:48 which was the fastest I ever got in high school. I guess the mission and the extra weight I put on hasn't slowed me down too much :) Speaking of weight, I think I have eaten more in this area than any other area but I have still lost 10 lbs here. I'm all the way back down to 160... I used to be at 172 :/
I think I told you a few week/months ago about making a knife out of a railroad spike at one of our members homes. Well we went to eat dinner at their house this week and we finally finished making it :) I think it's a pretty dang sweet knife + project. Also, while we were there, we ate something I've never tried before in my entire life and never really planned on trying. Angus shot a squirrel for us, so naturally, we cleaned and cooked that sucker and ate him. So now I know that squirrel tastes better than rabbit and deer :) I guess you just have to get past the fact that you are basically eating a rat. Mom always told me that serving in Missouri would be like serving in a foreign country. I guess she's right ;)
We have a member who is getting a little old and needed some help painting his garage. So we helped him with that on the condition that he would let us clean/fry/eat the bass that he caught. So we had a super good bass fry and I learned how to clean fish for the first time in my life. Serving in the Boonies really helps you do a lot of "firsts" haha.
So, I got called to train again. The first time wasn't a super enjoyable experience for me so hopefully this time will be a lot better. There are 4 spanish speaking elders coming in and there were 4 of us spanish speaking elders at the training meeting so I'm praying that that means I will at least be training a Spanish elder. We'll see.
Anyways, we had to go down to Independence for the trainers meeting and we found a ride there but no ride back (it's about a 90+ mile drive). We were planning on having one of the couples that worked at the temple pick us up on their way back but we didn't have time to confirm because we found out we had to go just the night before. Unfortunately for us, the Temple was closed for cleaning so we had no ride back because the couples we planned on coming back with never came down. So we got stuck in Liberty for pretty much the whole day. Luckily our Branch Mission Leader came down to watch a movie with his wife so they brought us back up :) In the end it turned out to be great though because I got to see a bunch of the families from the Shoal Creek Valley ward that I served in a year ago. And The Bakers even agreed to feed us dinner :) I love the members of the church.
On a spiritual note, this week I read a quote that I really love, from a general conference talk. "There are dozens of rules for success, but none of them work unless you do". Another quote said "The word 'can't' is false doctrine in the Mormon church". For me, these quotes are directly related to faith. Faith is a principle of action, it is an action word. If we have faith that God will bless us for obeying His commandments then what do we do? Obviously we will keep His commandments and as a result will see the blessings that come from doing so. Often times we forget, however, that blessings don't always come immediately or in the time frame we want them. Faith = ABC, Action, Belief, Confidence. As James 2: 20,22 states "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? ...Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" We cannot expect God to bless us if we do not put in the work necessary to receive His blessing. At the same time, I know that as we do put in the necessary work, that God will bless us without measure and that through His son Jesus Christ, we can return to live with Him one day. As the apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me".
I think that just about covers the whole week. With summer here, most of the families that we have been teaching have been on vacations and stuff so missionary work is going pretty slow. We have been spending lots of time doing service though, for members and non-members, so we are still staying busy and doing useful stuff.
Well I love you all. Make it a great week!