Thursday, June 3, 2010

I Saw the Duck

Pics - 4 of 5 missionaries from Washington serving in the Mission....Pic. Mission Councel...It was super cool this time because we have the goal in the mission of 30 baptisms a week. Last week we got it so we made some posters and bought chocalate for everyone. Pic. Elder holding a box of chocolate that we had modified (I did the design with words and paint)
I am super excited to get my birthday box, but I think my blog is broken. I am not getting many letters recently (except for the one from Makelle, thanks cuz!) O poor and lonesome me...I used to be the letter king on the mission! I guess that's what happens when you start getting close to the end and everyone will be home soon anyways. (PLEASE WRITE..., send a card, postcard...tell me what's happening out there in the US, I love any news from home)
Well, onnnnnnnnnn to the week.
This past week was pretty awesome. We had a couple of zone conferences with Elder Araujo of the Seventy. It was great! To tell the truth, we were kind of worried about the conference before hand because we had things that we thought the missionaries of the mission were really needing to learn and know, and we had no idea what Elder Araujo was going to talk about. However, God knows what he does. The conference was perfect! He hit every single topic that we wanted to hit...even in the minor details. He also taught everything in a way that was incredible, really, the best ways to teach obedience and missionary vision that I have ever heard. So yeah, it was sweeeeet.
The story of his that I liked best was about obedience and is called "Eu vi o pato" or "I saw the duck". Let me tell it.
So, two young children (you can imagine me and Kels when we were younger) were going to spend a couple of weeks out in the countryside with their Grandmother and Grandfather. It was going to be a splendid time. They got there and were greeted by the normal warm and welcoming arms of the Grandparents. Both Grandparents were especially excited to teach new skills to their future generation. On the first day, in the morning, Grandfather took his young grandson out to use a slingshot, while Grandmother taught her granddaughter how to make strawberry pie in the kitchen. Grandfather lined up a bunch of cans on a ledge and, showing his grandson the technique, shot each and every single one down. He then gave the slingshot to his grandson to try. But, try as he might, the grandson could not hit a single can. So his Grandfather encouraged him to keep on practicing until he got it right.
Throughout the entire morning her practice and, he got nothing. The afternoon, also nothing. Of course, the young child began to lose his patience and saw his grandmother's favorite duck waddling around and thought "I can't hit anything anyways", took aim, and BLAM! Hit the duck in the head, quickly killing it. The young child became petrified at the thought that he had killed his grandmother's favorite duck, so he quickly gathered it up and buried it under the nearby oak tree. At that moment, he heard everyone calling him for dinner, so, with sweaty palms, he took off and went to eat with everyone. It was a wonderful dinner, with everything that this younun like to eat. Hoever, in the middle of dinner, his grandma asked "has anyone seen my duck? I am quite worried and I haven't seen him for quite some time today."
Her grandson got nervous and said "Grandma, you know what ducks are like. They just start walking and walking and end up getting lost! That's probably what happened, he probably lost himself out in the fields. I bet he'll come back."
At that very moment, his little sister nudged him in the ribs and whispered into his ear "I saw the duck, and I know where it is now sleeping under the oak tree." You can just imagine the horror of the little boy at the thought of his loved grandmother finding out that he had killed her prized possession. They all quickly finished dinner and Grandfather said "Tonight, I will teach my grandson how to play chess."
Grandmother said "come help me wash the dishes my Granddaughter."
The little sister, with a gleam in her eye, said, "No, I want to play chess with Grandfather, my dear brother wants to wash the dishes." Her brother immediatly started to complain and then she whispered "I saw the duck." To his defeat, the brother dutifully went to wash dishes as his little sister went to play chess. This same event happend numerous times throughout the week as the little sister kept blackmailing her brother into doing stuff such as sweing, cleaning, etc.
Finally, at the end of the week, Grandfather was going to take the Grandson into town, when, again, the sister said "I saw the duck." However, the little boy was so sick of the week of blackmailing that he said "Enough! I don't care anymore! Grandma, I killed your duck. It was me! I was using the slingshot and I couldn't hit a single can. Then...first time, I killed your duck. Forgive me Grandma." His Grandmother replied, "Grandson, you know I love you much more than my duck. I know you killed him. I saw you kill him from the kitchen window and I watched as you buried him under the oak tree. I just wanted you to tell me and I wanted to see just how long you would let your little sister blackmail you throughout the week."

This happens in our own lives as we make mistakes, and naturally, we try to hide them right away. Satan, on the other hand, tries to take control of our lives by saying "I saw the duck" and blackmails us into doing his will. Heavenly Father, on the other hand, already knows and wants us to be free in our lives. Obedience is the first law in heaven. His commandments are not to restrict us, but to set us free. As we saw in the story, as soon as the boy confessed his mistake everything was forgiven, and he was able to have fun again.
Cool story huh? Obedience is something that I have really started to understand more as the mission went on and on....
We also did a division this past week in the Sao Paulo North Stake with Elder Pratt and Elder Viana. I stayed with Elder Pratt during the day and it was a lot of fun. We put our musical talents to use singing for people, playing the flute, etc. It brought some great spirit to our lessons and really helped us connect with people. However, the miracle of the day came at the end when we decided to get some acai (sound familiar?). There, I just started talking to the owner and his wife and things just went on from there. They were super impressed with the mission lifestyle and loved the message of the Restoration, even to the point of accepting baptismal dates! They are definitely an awesome couple.
After that, all our time was spent planning mission counsel. We had lots of material and we took a long time in our training. It actually ended up being awesome as all the zone leaders participated and spoke up and we got a great discussion going. We spent most of our time talking about finding people and how we need to open our mouths and speak to everyone, have faith to find, and work with the members. The coolest scripture that we shared was Doctrine & Covenants 35:12, which basically says that good people have been prepared by Heavenly Father to receive the "Fullness of (His) Gospel". It went super well. Everyone said it was the best ever. Even President Cooley gave us a congrats and said it was super good. There's nothing like a compliment from the President to make you feel good on the mission.
For some reason I have been singing a lot recently in my missionary work. It has really been working some miracles for us out here. You could even read Elder Parsons' blog (see link on my blog) for some of the other experiences. It's going great. The scar from last week is getting a lot better too. Now it is just to the level where you have to get pretty close to really see it. I'm thinking that I'm going to use it for dinner conversation during dates when I come home.

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