This has been quite the eventful week. On Monday afternoon Elder Pugmire went to the hospital to give a blessing and on the drive home President called to tell us that we were getting a third companion on Thursday and that he was bringing his car.
On Tuesday after Elder Pugmire got some bloodwork done we helped Jerimy drain his huge fish tank. We arrived at 3 and Jerimy realized with some surprise that he had completely forgotten about his 3:30 appointment with the Fishers sisters. He still hasn't managed to meet up with them yet. We had dinner with Bishop and Sister Petersen that evening and had a good discussion about the work in this area and about the less active members here.
On Thursday morning we got a ride to the airport where we aquired Elder Johnathon Murri. He had been serving in Decatur and his companion went home a couple months early so he could go to this upcoming semester of college. Elder Murri is from Lehi Utah and brought with him a large number of puzzles and workout equipment. We had an amusing navigational failure that afternoon. We needed to go buy more food for the week, and there were some things we needed that we couldn't just get at Kroger so we decided to go to the Walmart in the southern part of our area. Elder Pugmire opened google maps, selected the Walmart and gave me directions. We went south for quite a while and then made a few turns and I thought we were going West. After quite a few more minutes of going in that direction than I thought reasonable I expressed some confusion about why we were going so far West. As we were double checking that we were where Google maps wanted us to be we passed the hospital and I burst out laughing as we entered Eagle Creek and everything started looking familiar. Turns out Elder Pugmire had selected the wrong Walmart. I guess that's what we get for trusting our phones without regularly doing a common sense check.
That evening we grabbed a teacher named Ben Speck and went to teach a guy named Heath. Heath and Ben go to Carmel High and recognized each other which is remarkable because Carmel High has 5 or 6 thousand students. Heath has read the Bible a couple times and has almost finished the Book of Mormon. He is very knowlegable and has a lot of energy. We were only able to meet with him for 30 minutes, but we're looking forward to working with him a lot more. After that we went to the Specks and did a practice lesson with them. Brother Speck had an insight into the gift of the Holy Ghost that I found meaningful. He said that of all the aspects or effects of the Holy Ghost, the one that has been prevelant and appreciated in his life has been confidence. When we are living worthy of the guidance of the Holy Ghost and are diligent in doing what the Lord would have us do we can access the spiritual gift of confidence in ourselves and our righteous actions. I need to think about this more, but it seems to me that the times when I feel I have delivered powerful testimony have been preceded by consistent diligent effort either at properly planning and teaching or at tracting for long stretches of time and motivated by empathy for those who I am speaking to without referrence to how well I know the person. On the other hand, testimonies that I have given that felt flat to me tend to be in situations when I felt less than fully motivated or empathetic towards those listening, and I find that I care more when I work and pray harder and not the other way around. As President Ezra Taft Benson said: “One of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work. If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people; and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. That’s the secret—work, work, work. There is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.”
On Friday we did exchanges. Elder Tolman Elder Murri and I drove around down south and went about tracting a little around each person we tried to contact.
On Saturday we helped Hind move some furnature, talked a lot with Fred and had dinner with Dale and Renee Chamberlain and their parents. Renee's parents aren't members and we got talking about church history. Dale will lend his father in law his copy of Saints.
Renee's parents came to church on Sunday and so did Jerimy. Elder Murri was trained in Keystone last year so he had a good time saying hello to all the members he remembers.
Sadly, Elder Murri is going back to Decatur today. A missionary is coming back to the mission so Elder Murri is only here for a total of 5 days.
Well, those are the big things this week. Elder Pugmire has to do a liver flush tomorrow and Elder Tolman is going to do it with him for fun so I'll be on exchange with Elder Dransfield tomorrow, and then I'll go on exchanges with Elder Erikson on Wednesday, and by Thursday Elder Pugmire should theoretically be feeling quite a bit better, so it should be a nice full week for me again.