Monday, June 2, 2014

The Gardener

Me carrying my guitar up the hill to the church. The hill in the background is my area....yah it has its ups and downs.......teehee

Anddddddd.....another picture of Popo....
you knew it was gonna happen
 Sooo this week was....very eventful, much like the last, however the events which took place are not nearly as exciting. Sooo we'll see how this goes haha first my Dads questions - 1) I sang 4 songs at the baptism - "Because I have been given much", "My Redeemer Lives", and "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" and then I did a personal rendition of "I am a child of God"  2) I played guitar and sang...alone haha 3) The fruits here are completely different than in the US. I mean, you have the normal ones but then they all a tonnnn of wierd ones that are only in tropical areas like papaya, chamote, mangos, guayabana, liche, coconut (dont know if thats a fruit, but they sell it like it is, guayaba, and more. Its crazy. 4) Pools are actually very scarce here which is wierd. If there is one, its sketchy and far away haha but they do exist.

Super Tortas! 
       Okay, so for starters, last Monday, before going to internet to write home, Elder A, Elder D, my comp, and I went to eat these things called "Super Tortas" and they are like these hugeee sandwhich things with everything you can imagine on them. Well, I enjoyed fairly adequately my super torta....but as fate would have it, it didnt in any sense of the word, enjoy me. 9 oclock, we get back to our house and I am puking my guts out and i have diarrhea.....
They were pretty good...all things
....and having 16 months on the mission now I have been able to realize what is "normal puking"....and what is "the devil himself is in my stomach" puking. This was the latter of the 2. So I suffered though it for several hours as instructed to do in the manual, and then called President at about 1 oclock in the morning. I appologized for the hour and told him the situation, to which he replied "Well the mission doctor wont be up till 6:30...can you wait till then?" But of course, i didnt say that. I told him that i would support it as long as i could and see where it got me. An hour later i was calling him back, this time with a significantly LESS amount of patience and he instructed me to go to the hospital. So we called a member, they took me to the hospital, I was incoherant, puking everywhere, trying to control everything that came out of my mouth, and finally I was admitted to a hospital bed. They then instructed me to pull down my pants so that they could give me a shot in a very unpleasant location, which they then did. If you are wondering, yes. Yes, it hurt, but at that point i was passing in and out of conciousness as to hinder my ability to yell. My companion tells me that I said "ouch", but i assure you, the pain was much more deserving. They then instructed me to try and sleep to which I replied "Oh SLEEP?! You think...that you can.......just give me ONE SHOT..................and that.....................somehow...................................Ill just...........................................
magically..........................................................................................................................................................................zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. BOOM. That shot is MONEY. I was literally out cold without any nausea within 30 seconds. So long story....long, I stayed there for 2 days and then I left. Now i feel fine so no use pittying over me. Its over haha and on the brightside, a few of the RMs from the ward who are bros brought me dominos pizza the second day in the hospital.........which of course i didnt eat......right? ;) 
The CREWWW in the hospital!
So yah, that was Monday...Tuesday, and Wednesday. But thursday was uneventful. Friday we had a mission tour with Elder Valenzuela from the Area 70. It was alright. He kinda planched us, but im sure it was with love so hopefully well be improving on....everything! haha nah, it was good. Then saturday was boring too. But on Sunday we had a miracle!! I was obviously very weak the whole week so we didnt get out and do much teaching apart from the locations that arent extrenuous to reach, but in sacrament meeting we had 2 Investigators.....and 13 LESS ACTIVES!!!! It was seriously a miracle! We have been trying for weeks to get them to come to church with no success and the week that we cant go by and visit they ALLLL showed up! So that was a really nice way to finish off the week haha

       So the spiritual thought this week comes from the capacitation we had with Elder Valenzuela. If any of you know me, and many of you do, I am not the best at taking critisism. Its just a serious character flaw that I am striving to improve. But for a person like that, having a 70 come down to your mission and literally tell you that "God is not pleased with you" is not the easiest thing to stomach! So I started to think about that and WHY its so hard for me to take things like that and how i can improve, and wouldnt you know it, we were teaching a lesson and my companion put on a mormon message called "The Will of God". Im sure you have all seen it. In this Mormon Message, D. Todd Christofferson shares a story told by Hugh B. Brown of a current bush which he found growing on a newly purchased farm. Left untamed, the bush had grown very large, however, bore no fruit. In the story, the gardener trims back the current bush drastically so that all which remains are stumps. He relates that he saw a drop of running down one of the stumps as if the bush had been crying out "How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener" The gardener then responds, informing the bush that he IS the gardener there and he knows what he wants the bush to become. He then gives this insightful statement. "Thank you Mr. Gardener for loving me enough, to cut me down." That really sunk deep in me. I have such a hard time accepting when someone is correcting me on something Im doing wrong, but in reality corrections are for our benefit. Elder Christofferson also said that "If we are to meet with our Heavenly Fathers expectations we need to willingly accept and even seek corrections." I have been working on this aspect of my character, and i would encourage everyone to accept and even seek this type of correction, knowing that it is because our Heavenly Father, the gardener, loves us enough to cut us down sometimes in what we are, so that we may grow into what he wants us to become.

Elder Josh Hamm

Here is a link to the Mormon Message Elder Hamm references  "The Will of God" 

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