this week was pretty good. It's always hard to sum up what has happened in a week. so...
what did I enjoy? we had an awesome dinner appointment with our bishop's family this week. They are just amazing examples to me. Bishop freeman is a convert of probably 15 or so years, has six kids and an amazing wife. Sister freeman and he both went on missions, and they both grew up in maryland. they are pretty much always happy, they hardly ever raise their voices, andshe homeschools all six kids, and it gets better, without them being weird! the best thing about our dinner appointment was that most of our time was talking to their kids, they carry on conversations without being shy or weird, and we answered riddles the whole time. they were just normal active kids! maybe shouldn't be a huge surprise to me, but let's just say, it was. I've met lots of families who are good families, but have a lot of behavior issues, and mostly i find just because the influence of our world is poisonous. It doesn't always have to do with parenting, but the things that are freely shown on our tv's as "cartoons" teach against moral values, and provide meaningless quick pleasure highs that kids and adults seem to think must be how their life should be. shows that are mildly funny, but illustrate dysfunctional communication and little diligence and patience set kids up for a life full of dissatisfaction and intolerance. no wonder our schools are unmanageable, (along with a lot of other things) their environments are increasingly chaotic and foundation-less, from what they view to what they teach each other. anyway, rant over.
So we had a really good dinner appointment in which we talked about entertaining and educational riddles, and then tried to rationalize why kids need to eat more sugar, which was actually very well defended, and easily led into why kids are so good at sharing the Restored Gospel. basically I like Sister Monahan wanna be like sister freeman when I grow up.
we are the salt of the world, if the salt looseth it's savor, wherewith shall the earth be salted? definitely extends beyond church walls.
other things I liked...hmm can't really remember much about the week.
we found an awesome girl named LaShonda, who we met tracting. we were out in a neighborhood I'd spent little time in, mostly because people told me not to go there, but during the day time in summer it's not so bad. lots of humble people, let's say that. LaShonda had been living in jersey and just has had a harder time with life, her mom got sick when she was 8, passed away at 14, and she pretty much fended for herself after that. when we asked her on her doorstep why she was in Maine, she said, "so my son can live past 17." she moved up here three years ago, first to Houlton and then to presque Isle. no family, no support, just her and her little man. she is an inspiration of perseverance and hope, as she has carved out of the rocks of life a place for herself and her growing family. but much more impressive was the spirit that was there, and the testimony she gave of her savior. those words of love will always be remembered in my heart. "he is our savior, because he put us before himself, so that we could be individuals. so that we could live."
the last thing I wanted to write about, was that it's really awesome to be able to see the progression when people stick to the Gospel. I think that has been the greatest blessing of being able to serve in one place so long. Remember Sie? He's the guy who was baptized last December, who moved from Texas, and went from having less of a belief in God than he did in Santa Clause, to a powerful witness and testimony of fasting and prayer, so that he like Alma can say "Do ye not suppose that I know these things of myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know these things whereof I have spoken are true. And how do ye suppose I know of their surety? Behold I say unto you, they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself, and now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me." (Alma 5:45-46.) Yesterday Sie was able to bless the sacrament for the first time. there is something incredible and amazing about seeing someone have such a huge change of heart, and about seeing him in a white shirt and tie.
'till next week.