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Sunday, June 25, 2017

6/20/2017: Week 36 There's Always a Bigger Fish ...

Or at least a bigger weekly. Seems like every time I miss a week...the less motivated I am to fix it the next week... so this is gonna be massive because I've finally decided to stop procrastinating and get all caught up again. So first.... a bunch of excuses!

First of all... I truly love frisbee. On a level most people have trouble understanding. So for the last several weeks I've been with a companion who actually plays and appreciates frisbee, if not quite as much as I do. Therefore distraction. Also my mom informed me that she was an email behind in posting a week or two ago... which meant I was off the hook right cuz no one wants two posts in one week.... then this week we went to the temple, and thanks to a new worldwide missionary policy change we can only attend the temple on Pdays. And since most temples are closed on mondays... that means tuesday pday. This morning I definitely had more excuses... but I forgot what they were. Oh well.

Next point... those of you who thought I was dead... you're all just silly. And don't know me at all. I am clearly invincible in regular life, and even more so as a missionary, literally nothing can kill me. So there. In addition, I refuse to die before getting married, and before the Millennium comes so thats another reason to stuff it... and on top of all of THAT, I have way too many adventures left in my life to die now. Besides the obvious reason that I have yet to play Breath of the Wild and until that happens the Millennium is straight up not allowed to come. That might be blasphemous... but oh well.

So there ya go... as for the last few weeks. No I have not been smashed by any cows lately. I haven't even gotten to wrestle any cows in weeks. We have done some herding but thats it. In other news I caught my first fish today... in like 9 years or something like that... and I was the only one to catch one I might add... so ha. Also went to the Manti Temple today which is always good... oh I hate catching up when I fall behind... you'd think I would just keep up but no... I haven't learned my lesson yet. Haha I just hope you all realize how lucky you are, I get emails from some missionaries, and my companions send theirs.... sometimes. I'm more consistent than all of them, and I write way more :P ok I'm done complaining... back to work...

Well maybe not that massive. I think I'm just gonna write a bunch of cool things that have happened and not even gonna try to make them in order or anything like that.So first.... my new companion that nobody knows about. So transfers happened and Elder Baker headed to Provo. I know have Elder Bayless, and I swear I'm gonna kill him by the end of the transfer. Literally. He's going home this transfer and I'm his last companion. Its been fun. A little about him, he’’s from North Carolina, wants to get jacked, loves music and frisbee, and is super chill. Its good stuff. To be fair... he is kind of trunky, so sometimes it’s hard to stay focused, but that’s just about the only problem we ever have. Unless I do something dumb, which as you all know, happens more frequently than any of us would like. Any who, we get along great and it’s been really good for both of us I think. We've gotten to play lots of frisbee, do some duets, and now instead of just me, we are both taking voice lessons once a week together. Also been really good for both of us. Can't remember if I told you about this, the Bishops daughter in Emery and her husband and family just moved in a little while back, he got called as ward missionary, and she’s a pro voice teacher so... yeah, the stars aligned. Its been a ton of fun, and I've learned so much. I thought I knew an awful lot... but shoot. I don't know anything. And I've been doing things wrong for so long... theres a lot of relearning going on as well. And now I don’t even have to feel bad for dragging my companion to these things... cuz he does it too!

Any who... miracles, let them begin. J finally decided to take the lessons and get baptized, we got a self referral for a 21 year old who wants to be baptized and apparently some other family members want to as well. Then we got a referral from a less active in one of our wards for a lady who has actually already quit smoking and got a book of Mormon before we ever met her. Needless to say, all three of them are now on date for baptism, and for sure two of them will make it on the first try, and the other probably will as well. So that was pretty amazing to say the least. Looks like we can finally start working with some others that we've been waiting on for some time. Don't get me wrong, there was bad stuff too. We got chewed out by a random lady, some people yelled at us to go away, several sets of kids we can't teach because of their stinky annoying parents who have something against the gospel for no real reason.

Oh also so Fathers Day didn’t really happen... we had an emergency stake conference because our stake president is moving away... so that was fun. And now, somehow, we are singing in Emery with the Bishops family next week for it. We also got asked 3 days before zone conference to prepare a special musical number... so we did. And then my mic died halfway through and I was behind the piano playing... luckily I'm apparently obnoxiously loud so every one could hear anyway ;P Other things from zone conference... we were renamed the Canyon Land Zone instead of the Price Zone... that only lasted a few days though... everyone couldnt stop saying Candy Land instead. So now we're the Red Rock Zone which is so much better. 

In the past several weeks I've gotten to give several blessings to people and I feel like its really blessed my life. We go to the Nursing home every Wednesday morning to sing and have some music time and we were able to give a dear old lady a blessing for the chronic pain she'd been having. We also were able to have a meeting with the activities director and her family, her grandkids are staying with her for the summer and their parents are less active so we were able to have some music time their as well and teach them about the Plan of Salvation. It was a nice break from the norm. We also did service for like 6 hours putting in fence stays in someone fence. It was a lot of fun, then we installed some custom parts on a side by side after that. Again, a nice break from the same old same old. We were gonna go help with some more branding, but then they branded a cow which then laid down and died so instead we just herded them and put them out to pasture anyway.

It was pretty cool we just decided to stop by someone who we have awesome fellowshippers for, we just figured that they would be ok, and the fellowshippers were doing everything they could. But we hadn't been able to meet with them in sometime so we stopped by just to invite them to church and we had a really good discussion and set a lesson. Which fell through because of cows, and then a double ear infection, but it was cool to see how their eyes lit up from that personal contact, and the progress we instantly made. Their fellowshippers really are fantastic, but they also fear going too far just as we all do. If I had any advice for you people out there, its just do it. If they tell you to shove off, then give them some space. But until you do something for them and at least invite them, give them the opportunity to learn, you're accountable in some degree in the judgement for not reaching out. Does that mean that you'll be cast off just because you didn't tell one person you were a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints? Of course not, but when those people, especially your friend and neighbors and family members, find the truth, dont you think they'll ask why you didn't ever tell them. They may not have accepted it right then, but ask yourself this... Do you love them enough to offer them the peace and joy you've found in your faith? Do you love them enough to offer them Eternal Life and Glory with their families and with God? Or another thought... do you hate them so much you would keep those things from them? I've been saying for a long time I have a lot of regrets from before my mission, people I should've and could've reached out to, people who wanted to know, and I didn't. People that I loved and cared about, some of my closest and oldest friends. But apparently I never cared enough to give them eternal life and happiness. Or maybe I didn't believe as much as I thought I did, maybe my testimony wasn't strong enough. But I know now, and I've decided to do something about it. I know that by opening my mouth I can change the lives, even the eternal destinies of the people I love. I know that by small and simple things; by building our faith through prayer, scripture study, and church attendance; really simple things, we can be happier, we can have fuller more rich experiences, we can love deeper, and be loved, we have eternal support in every trial we face, we can one day receive the great blessings of the temple, we can be sealed to our families for eternity, we can have a fulness of joy and live with God again. I know that the church is true, I know that the Book of Mormon, and the principles contained in it, are true. I know that following the principles of the gospel will lead to joy and happiness and all it takes is a bold invitation backed with love. Do it and your joy will be full as well. Don't do it, and that becomes your problem in the end.

Have a great day, have a great week, have a great life.

Elder DeFord

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