"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. " --- John 8:10

Friday, July 5, 2013

Feivel Goes South: A 'Murican Tale

Our God is a God of freedom. He is a God of mercy. He is a God who cares about all his children. And He is a God of miracles.


This week has been defined by one thing and one thing only:

The Fourth of July

I don't know if I've said 'Murica more times in my life combined, than I have in the past week. In that regard, it's a bit like my chocolate milk consumption. Holy patriotism.

The story is that not only do we have a rogue Australian that thought that Mexico and Canada were states in our midst, but the 4th actually merited a celebratory break courtesy of the MTC.

Leading up to yesterday, I made it my side mission (still, Jesus is important) to make sure that the kangaroo hiding amongst the eagles was enlightened as to the awesomeness of this great nation of ours. I wrote down the words to patriotic songs and the pledge of allegiance. I went into history teacher mode and gave her the Revolutionary War in three meal times, then a brief explanation of how Australia isn't part of Japan thanks to us (which I'm pretty sure is true, but can't prove...potential false doctrine).

Yesterday was great.  I haven't heard the MTC sing anything louder than we sang "God Bless America". Once we sang a few songs, we had a brief talk about our message being one of freedom, and the speaker shared a really cool experience that his son-in-law had as an pilot in the Air Force. One of his squad mates was killed when he was unable to bail out of his F-15. He was assigned to escort the remains home to the family of his comrade and best friend. Said family wasn't mormon or anything. When he recieved his friend's personal affects, his commanding officer gave him a ring that may or may not have belonged to him and advised him not to give it to his wife. You can imagine that it would be pretty hard to recover much of anything from a crashed fighter jet with any real certainty. Anyways, as he was flying back escorting his comrade, he was constantly praying to know what to do and what to say to the widow. When he got there, he said what he was prompted to say, then informed her that he wasn't sure if the ring was his or not, but that he was impressed to give it to her. In response, the widow informed him that she had been praying that if one thing from him could come back, it would be his wedding ring.

Our God is a God of freedom. He is a God of mercy. He is a God who cares about all his children. And he is a God of miracles.

Which actually isn't a half bad tie in for the next thing that happened. Go me.

After the speaker, we were informed that we were going to be watching "17 Miracles", which some of you may know is my favorite movie (he said as he mopped up the sarcasm that was dripping from his mouth). I at least contained my disappointment. I would rather have sung more songs or watched "The Patriot" or something, but I was able to distinguish myself from every 18 year-old boy in the MTC by not audibly groaning.

Maybe I should take a moment to address the fact that I am fully aware that I completely suck at having charity for my fellow missionaries. I know I'm in the wrong for this. It is my bad. I'm working on it. But here is my thing. I don't really care what other people do as long as it doesn't hurt other people. If you swear, cool beans. If you enjoy rated R movies, I still love you. Heck, if you are fully addicted to crack, I still love you, I just want to help you. Not so the missionaries. These are people who have signed up to, as I understand it, give everything that they have to bring people to Christ and to help them, including emulating his example. Now no one is perfect at this, and as long as I see growth, I genuinely don't judge at all. But when the missionaries are together en masse, I don't get the chance to see that growth. I just see kids that should still be dorking around in middle school that are prepping to go out and tell people to make changes in their lives, but are unwilling to do so in their own. All while wearing the name of my GOD on their chests.

Younger elders just coming out of high school. Come on a mission. But come ready. Commit yourself fully to the cause. Make those changes, or else you aren't a missionary. Over and over I hear my Korean trainers describe the difference between missionaries and guys with fancy name badges. There is a difference. And right now, my greatest fear is becoming one of them. Be a missionary, don't serve a mission.

Said the guy who clearly has issues of his own.

Moving forward.

We watched 17 Miracles, which was actually fairly enjoyable for me. I laughed. I didn't cry, but I felt the spirit and I laughed. This was during the Kelly Clarkson portion of Stadium of Fire, so the movie may also have been some sort of shield for us. Fair enough. Afterwards we went out to watch the fireworks. I loved them. They weren't quite as spectacular from a distance, but they were still pretty awesome. Oh, and to watch them, the presidency decided to allow us to stay out past the usual lights out time of 10:30, so I ended up going to bed at 10:30. New record?

Word for the week: Kanchanaiyo, which means something to the effect of "It's all good" or "No worries."

Also, some of the Spanish speaking sisters tried to teach me some Spanish today and I ended my sentance in full Korean. I think that means that I've split my brain into English and Not English chunks. I guess thats a start.

Daumay pehpgaysumnida, yaribun! (See you next time, ya'll!)

Whitlock out.

Me and my district. I'm the good looking one (Back, far right). 
My companion is third from the right and he also looks radiant, especially in this picture. 
Happy 4th ya'll.