I will try soon to write the list down for you. It might be easier to make a copy of it. But it's pretty cool. I need to go back and look through it. I'm sure now things have finally settled down. I like your view of having it help me with being ok with God. Lately that's all I've been wanting, but from past experiences people just make it seem like I'm not worth God's love or anything. And so I've been working on that. I know I'm nowhere near perfect and I continue to mess up from time to time, and I've been working on being ok through all of that. I do try though. It's been a fun little experience and I'm trying to pin point exactly what God wanted to teach me, then again, He might have used something so big to teach multiple lessons. Who knows? As I've been reflecting over the past few weeks or so and also looking back at the beginning of my mission, I go back to thinking about dad's drawing of his mountain. We are all on this climb back to live with our Father in Heaven and we are all on a different part of this "climb." As I look back through all the trials I've had and the parts where I get stuck on some part of the mountain, It's interesting to see that in those parts of our lives are the times where we are pushed beyond what we can even think we can do. It's like rock climbing only to find yourself under a ledge with few places to latch on to. But in this fight for our lives essentially, when we know falling is not an option. We push ourselves. God pushes us. Life Pushes us. Sometimes to our limits, and when we are so close to breaking is when we succeed. That's when God comes in and helps us get to that ledge. But the funny thing about this is that this climb is full of those ledges. And even though we have times where we feel we can't continue on, it's absolutely amazing to look down the mountain and see what we've already conquered. There have been plenty of times where I have just felt defeated, on all aspects of who I am. Spiritually, Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, and sometimes Socially. I have felt defeated through the past few weeks, where things just keep happening even when I'm trying to be better. Satan might feed on that and make it worse sure. But deep down I know quitting is something that I've never done. Even though along the way I might get frustrated or irritated or defeated, Somehow there is something that keeps me going. It's like the Grand Canyon in 08 where we got snowed on. In those weak moments of our lives it's so important to not stop walking. Or even crawl if that's all we can give. In this last battle between good and evil it's important to keep trying, To not quit. To not give up, or give in. It's so easy to go and live a life of the world. But I've learned that crap hits the fan and then it blows over. Why do somethings happen? I dunno. But I know that one day when crap seems to blow up I can look back over these experiences and learn to handle it just fine. People always say to us as missionaries, like "you're so lucky to learn all these things here" "You're going to inherit all these great blessings" just stuff like that. And I feel like crap, it goes back to feeling defeated. Cause I do try and I feel like I'm not learning what these people are saying. Or I won't be blessed by my mission cause I screwed up or something and It's hard at times. I just hope and pray that God forgives and understands. I hope I can still be blessed for my efforts and that goes back to making sure my efforts are ok with God and me instead of other's opinions. But at times it's hard to see that when people are already throwing God's "judgements" at you. So the times where I do try, I feel isn't enough for God and I don't know how to muster up any more energy to work harder. Study harder, Pray harder, I feel like not much progression is happening cause I'm working on getting back up again. I guess I do have the rest of my life to figure things out. I gotta stop worrying too much but life is an interesting thing. And somewhere out there God is there. He's helping me out, even though at times I can't tell if he is or not. He is. I just gotta keep reminding myself of that.
So this last week was pretty good. We had a couple sweet events happen. First off I wanna say I swear everytime I'm around E. Monahan something bad happens. Even if we're not doing anything bad something just happens... Like this last Tuesday I had to go up with him and his comp cause my comps had Mission Leader Council. So we were out working and went to go get pics before I went back. And somehow E. Monahan loses his phone... In tall weeds of this open field we were taking pics in... I don't know how, or why. But after everything that happened that was the last thing I needed in my life.. Luckily after much searching and talking to old ladies who came down to see if we were robbers or not (they're on neighborhood watch and saw three dudes in dark clothes head off to the fields) So we almost got the cops called cause of that. and then we lost the phone and had to go back and find it. We were praying to just find the stupid phone. We had used the old lady's phone to call the other elders to keep calling our phone. And the phone beeped once and then vibrated. So it wasn't some loud thing at all. Long story short we found the phone and were ok.. It was just nuts... Through the day though we went and saw a couple of people. One of the area's recent converts lives in an old hospital that was converted to apartments. The rooms are so trashy and small and there is just a horrible feeling there. It was kinda sketch.
Thursday was another eventful day. We were crazy busy and were running around trying to move a family around and then go teach lessons. We had to deep clean our apartment then get a call from a referral we had from a member but we haven't contacted the guy yet. So he actually called us and we went over. His name is Jacob but we asked him if he'd come see the church, So we gave him a tour of the building and he liked it a lot and committed to baptism. It was pretty cool. Then we scheduled an appt. for Saturday and that fell through so that night we went and stopped by and his parents were there just drunk as crap. His mom was just plastered stupid and I thought her button up shirt was going to explode off... and his dad was just dumb telling us he believes in God etc etc. Then he's like "I have a question" and I think to myself... "Great... Here comes the bashing.." He asked a question I've never heard come from someone... He asked. "Where in the bible...Does it talk about the dinosaurs?" then he goes off for about 15 minutes repeating himself about that. we just left. haha it was pretty dumb. And Thursday night Mike came down and brought us stromboli. It was soo good to see him. I've seriously missed that guy a ton. So it helped relieve some stress when he came down. He was funny as always. He didn't give me as much crap as he usually does but I think since he was meeting my comps for the first time he was testing the water. haha He did bring me my "favorite drink" that I've been dying to have cause I've missed the taste. Hahaha.. I'll just leave that there. :P
So Not much else has gone on. There were some sweet/funny experiences we had. One we had a Jehovah's Witness knock on our door. I had the priveledge of answering that one :) He saw my badge and had the "Son of a B." look. It was funny he ran through his ordeal through a pamphlet in my hand and said "I'm sure you have your own opinion about this since I can tell you're a religious man" so that was a funny thing. Then yesterday we had a sweet lesson with Robert. We introduced the 15 Steps to stop smoking and we got him to crush all his cigs. He had 6 packs and crushed em all to commit to stop smoking. I felt bad for pushing it cause I didn't know how he'd take it. But it was pretty sweet to see. Also We had a cool dinner/bonfire with the Cindric family yesterday. I love that family. They do a ton for us and it's just like home there sometimes. We had a couple sweet lessons and we're working with some cool people. The only challenge is figuring out what it is they need. :) But it'll come :) I love you guys a ton! Thanks for the love and the support! I'm doing great!!
Elder Derrek Bowler.
The pics are from events that happened two weeks ago and such. Cuttin wood. Exchanges. Then there's the weird black thing in the middle of the field we lost the phone in. So yeah. Good times :)