Sunday, February 17, 2013

February 12, 2013

Dear Mom,

Thank you for the email and happy birthday to Jackson! Rocio Rochel up in Laguna Niguel got baptized on his birthday, so that was wonderful, even though I couldn't go.

This week has been very administrative. We planned, prepared and presented a zone training meeting about planning and had a member of the stake presidency come speak to us. President Cook says a lot of great things, but in this context (missionary work) he says that "Planning is disciplined questioning about our purpose under the influence of the holy ghost." So we made bookmarks that had a reminder to get a spiritual P.U.I. (planning under the influence) and it had a scout song that dad used to sing to me before I went to bed about being prepared. I sang it in the meeting and realized how much more comfortable I am performing behind the barrier of a piano then in front of people that can see me and I can see them. It was not a big deal though. 

I have never cared so much about being organized as I do now. I honestly didn't care much before my mission about being organized, but now I go on cleaning sprees in the morning to make sure everything is either in its place or has a place where it is being utilized effectively. This organization enables me to do exactly what I am expected to do; no more, no less. At the end of last transfer things were rolling and we had our system down, but Elder Hammar knew the area and was the boss man of the organization, but now I know the area and have to keep things organized. The mission (and I dare say life) is a cyclical process (ex. pride cycle in the Book of Mormon, the setting and breaking of New Year's resolutions each year, etc...) and in my words we start with fundamentals, like planning, studying, teaching and finding and then we build on that by following-up effectively on invitations that have been extended. Faith is the last part of the cycle: after we have done our best we need to trust that God can do the rest. All that to say I am starting with the fundamentals again and going around the circle to strengthen my conversion and ability to be an effective emissary of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

The gospel was likened unto a garden of our lives. We need to week out the bad and plant good in our lives, like repenting and reading the scriptures. I thought of it more this week while I was organizing and feel like it is also similar to cleaning a house. The house must be free of spot and stain, but things also all need to have a place, like stopping bad habits and spending your time doing good things. So that was my thought of the week, thanks for listening.

Last Tuesday I ate a huge and juicy and delicious pastrami burger. Then we went home and finished preparing zone training meeting and went to bed. Then I woke up at three in the morning and threw up the huge, juicy and delicious pastrami burger. During the day I drank coke-cola. I feel better now, but watch out for huge, juicy delicious pastrami burgers from sleazy corner restaurants.

Fun experience last night, we stopped by an investigator who just returned from Hawaii a yesterday to see how they were doing and set up a return appointment. On the way back to the car there was a garage door open, so we went to go talk to whoever might be in there. (By the way, God commands us to talk to literally everyone. It is a divine directive to open our mouths. So the reason for CrazyRadar is to hold myself accountable to God by sharing some of the more memorable encounters brought about by obeying the direction of God) Anyways we walked around the corner and this guy was sitting in this chair staring straight ahead and we said "Hey, How are you doing?" Then he jumped out of the chair and ran over to us and said that we must be the Mormons. Yes sir, we are. He said "always respect, hoorah, always respect" We asked what he was up to and his name and if he had ever talked to missionaries and typical questions we ask people when we first meet them. Following is a brief representation of a few of his answers:
"How tall do they stack you, boy?"
"Always respect, hoorah, always respect"
"Sorry about the long hair, I know I am out of date."
"See that light... 2000 meters away? I could hit it with this broom."
"Group hug!"
"Do you know what a marine is?"
"Always respect, hoorah, always respect"
"I gotta clean this glass up"
"Don't tell my neighbors that I am working for him. He gave me a job for four days."
"That guy down there could put you in a trash can."
"I used to raid my own house for valuables"
"Always respect, hoorah, always respect"
I could go on and on about what he said, but that is probably enough to give a glimpse of who he was. My favorite part was that when he talked to us he grabbed my arm and got really close to my face. He would have done the same to Elder George, but my companion was smart enough to take a step back. 

We had a wonderful zone conference yesterday. President Cook really is so inspired and such a good example. He taught us the gospel and taught us how to teach and ask questions. Then he taught us:

"We are not teaching what we know, we are teaching who we are." 

I cannot think of a better way to put it. We are children of God. He knows us, He loves us and He wants us to be happy. If there is anyone who is reading this and does not know that or does not believe that, come talk to me. If you are a family member or friend then you can't come talk to me, but write me a letter:
Elder Chandler
451 W. Bobier Dr.
Vista, CA 92083

Looking forward to next week!
-Elder Chandler

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