Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Spiritual Protection

 I hope you are staying warm.  I love to hear things about the family no matter what it is.

This week has been crazy.  We haven't had a lot of time to proselyte.  Monday was P-day (preparation day), then Tuesday was exchanges in Ventura (2 1/2 hours away), Wednesday was normal, Thursday we had District Meeting, Friday we had the District Leader Training (DLT) meeting in Oxnard (which took all day) and weekly planning (3 hours) on Saturday with a flat tire.  Busy, busy, busy.

The DLT meeting in Oxnard was really good.  The focus was on becoming a consecrated missionary (consecrated missionary comes from an amazing talk by Tad R. Callister). (I couldn't find the talk Hyrum mentioned, but I found another great talk by Elder D. Todd Christofferson)  A consecrated missionary lays everything he or she has on the sacrificial altar.  Elder Walker and I accepted the challenge to become one.  The assistants to the Mission President (the assistants are other missionaries) actually are going to come up to Paso Robles and go on exchanges with us! It won't be easy (to be a consecrated missionary); that's for sure, but that is what God asks of me and He gives no commandment that I can't obey 1 Nephi 3:7.  So that's my goal.

So, I want to tell you of an experience that happened on a Monday (not this Monday, but a Monday ago).  It was the day before transfers, so the whole district was together behind the church in the church courtyard slack lining (walking on a strap that is tied between two trees).  A creepy guy who was about  5'4'' tall in his 50s/60s came by and was mocking those who were trying to balance.  He had a set of scriptures in his right hand.  The Hermanas (Spanish-speaking sisters) said that they had talked with this man before and he wasn't like this.  The Elders in the district (me included) decided to escort him out.  He was saying some personal/philosophical things that were rhetorical fallacies (thank you Mrs. Blaney) that made everyone uncomfortable.  His name was Steve and he was bipolar.  He would laugh one moment and the next he was in someone's face throwing every bad word in the book.  At one point he claimed to be Joseph Smith's scribe.  We walked him slowly to his white creeper van and he wouldn't get in for the longest time.  We threatened to call the police.  He talked about demons and that tomorrow he would die of the brain tumor he had.  Finally, we got him to go in this car and drive away (very slowly).  I think any one of us Elders were about ready to put our arms to the square and command the evil spirits to leave him and command to leave the church property.  Never did I feel in danger.  I was ready to defend myself and the other Elders, but I was not afraid.  Elder Parkinson said that when Steve got right up in his face that he felt there was an angelic barrier between them.  All is well, but I thought you might want to know.  Maybe your prayer that day helped soften Steve's heart so that he wouldn't hurt us.  Anyway, that is what is new for me.

 Let me know how the Buffalo Elders are doing.  I was happy to hear that they came and did service with you.  Elders are always looking for opportunities to do service.

It's not snowy here, but people are already decorating and listening to Christmasy things.  Don't worry, I'm not homesick yet (or ever).  I love you and pray for you.  Have a good week and may the spirit be with you.

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