Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Week 44

AREA: Central Tucson 
COMPANION: Elder Kapele 
Monday: Roy made us breakfast this morning which was nice. We then did our normal pday activities and after that we went over to Jason's for his final lesson before he is baptized this Saturday:) everything is set. The Nymeyers were awesome enough to come with us and after the lesson bring us to sonic for shakes. 

Tuesday: I hate pianos... This morning we moved a huge piano. It wasn't a baby grand or a grand piano, it was in between. We had no dolly or anything, it was the heaviest thing ever. Ended up taking 3 hours to move it from one house to another. We then went to Foodbank, Joe (recent convert) came with which was fun. Had a lesson with a less active named Nacho which was pretty good. Taught him the restoration and he seemed to really love it. He hasn't been active since the 80's and I feel like he doesn't remember a whole lot. 

Wednesday: This morning we had zone meeting which was super long and kinda boring. Got some stuff out of it but not as much as I have in the past. Had an appointment with a less active named Mike and had a blast getting to know him more. Roy came to the lesson with him and they got along great. Both Navy guys and are practically best friends already. After the lesson Roy invited him to dinner, he came, and then invited us all to drive up to the temple site. 

Thursday: Roy invited us over for breakfast this morning. Mike was there installing some ceiling fans for Roy to make a couple extra bucks. Had Foodbank again which was fun, tried stopping by some less actives, ended up stopping by Joe's house and had a very intense conversation about how he is not coming to church anymore and going back to meeting with the Jehovah Witnesses because of issues he is having with doctrine. That was very stressful and made things pretty difficult the rest of the day. Ended up having a lesson with an investigator named Carlos. The lesson went very well, we taught the restoration with Roy he had heard it before but he learned some new things. 

Friday: Pretty good day... Weekly planning. After weekly planning we went over to Jason's and finalized some things for the baptism. Jesse, (Jason's mom's boyfriend) was there and we had a really good discussion about the gospel. He is somewhat interested in taking the lessons. Felt like we should go over to Joes again, went over there and he talked about how he is sorry about yesterday. He knows that this is the true church and has since he heard the restoration lesson for the first time and felt the spirit overtake him. He is going to coming to church from now on, he has to work through some things but he is doing better. Hearing that relieved a bunch of stress. 

Saturday: started off a good day, turned into a horrible day, and then back to a perfect day. This morning we went to the church again to clean it. We had a lesson with a potential investigator Hannah and her less active mom Tina but Tina ended up having a seizure and being brought to the hospital. She has a bunch of medical issues so I guess it wasn't a big deal according to her. Roy was with us so we drove around with him trying to visit some less actives. He wanted to go to this tropical pet store to look at some birds he might buy and had a lot of fun. He brought us to lunch and then we get a text from Jason's mom that the baptism is off... There was a trifecta of horrible things that happened it wasn't going to happen. First thing we did was went over to their house and talked with her, calmed her down, and talked her into potentially doing the baptism still. Can't tell you exactly what the trifecta is but just know that it was pretty crazy bad... We gave her some time to think about it, went to the hospital to give her sister a blessing who had just been rushed into surgery for internal bleeding, and then we got the word that the baptism was on. One of the best baptisms I have ever been too, the spirit was so strong, summer was crying, we had a musical number preformed by an elder and sister in the mission who are amazingly talented and everything went perfect. With all the crap Satan tried pushing on Jason that day... He must be one special kid. 

Sunday:  Happy Fathers Day! Church was pretty good,  Jason came and got confirmed and received the Holy Ghost. Bishop Curtis did it which was pretty cool. A family at church has a 9 year old son that has not been baptized yet and wants us to teach him:) Nothing too exciting happened the rest of today other than it has been extremely hot. 

I want to talk about the Book of Mormon today. More of the logistics of the book and how it has to be true and the word of God. I was reading a book for studies and they have a challenge for us. If you can find someone that can do this without the help of God, let me know:)

1. You must be between 23 and 24 years of age.
2. You cannot be a college graduate; in fact, you can have only three years of formal schooling during the 1820s and yet be able to translate a language which is no longer part of any language on earth known or unknown.
3. Whatever you translate and record must be on the basis of what you now know; no research is permitted.
4. You must write a book with 239 chapters, 54 of them about wars, 21 about history, 55 about prophecy, 71 about doctrine, 17 about missionaries and 21 about the mission of Jesus Christ. Your record must be 522 pages with over 510 words per page, 266,220 words.
5. You must include in your writings the history of two distinct and separate nations, along with histories of different contemporary nations or groups of people of which no one ever knew existed. The main group of people is also divided into two groups and covered a period from 600 B.C. to 421 A.D. The second group covered a time 1000 years earlier yet lived in approximately the same place of which the latter group had the records of the former group and had translated their record into their language and included it in their history. And as if that is not complicated enough, there are also single and double overlapping flash backs included without breaking the congruency of the story line. All three nations will have artifacts and complete cities discovered by modern archeologists which will prove and will bear record of their existence down to the minutest detail.
6. Your writings must describe the religious, economic, social and political cultures, the manner of their written and spoken languages, types of buildings, geographic locations including their topographies, tools and materials used, the monetary system, which was a base 8 system of math completely unknown to the world in 1830, and many other facts completely unknown to the rest of the world in 1830, yet subsequently discovered.
7. You must include three independent dating systems that are all maintained accurately throughout over 800 years and are consistently accurate and include their various government types. The well known ancient Aztec calendar stone, found many years after this publication, is just one of the many discoveries which have proven these civilizations existed, of which Joseph wrote.
8. You must weave into your history the religion of Jesus Christ and the pattern of Christian living and not have it be in conflict with the Bible or within its own record.
9. When you start to produce this record, covering a period over 2000 years of these two groups of people, you must finish it in approximately 80 days. Of course it is known by man today that the bible was translated by a group of 52 scholars from a known language and it took them 16 years to complete the work and it has numerous contradictions.
10. When you have finished you must not make any changes in the text. The first edition must stand forever not withstanding punctuation or changes in modern day grammar and typos in type setting from 1830 to now.
11. After pauses for sleep and food, if you are dictating to a stenographer you must never ask to have the last paragraph or last sentence or even the last word read back to you because you are translating not creating. Without watching what your scribe is writing, you stop and correct his spelling of many of the new proper nouns and other mistakes that come up and still do not go back to read what was written by your scribe.
12. You must add 180 proper nouns to the English language. William Shakespeare added only 30. Some words and names are used in a way that is contrary to known applications at the time of translation. Time has proven them accurate. As an example, the proper name Alma has only been used as a female name throughout history, yet in this translation it is a mans name. Recent discoveries show that it was originally a man's name. How could Joseph Smith had known this? Also the use of many words and phrases in his translation were unknown in his time or anywhere in history outside of the time period of the record. Such is the case with the use of the word “precious” to describe a metal. The only other place in literature it is found is in the Bible about 600 B.C., the same time period it is used in “The Book of Mormon”, and the word valley being referred to as “steady and immovable”. Lehi, a prophet in the book, was referring, of course, to the sand deserts where sand dunes move but valleys stay the same. There is no way Joseph could have known these things. He had never even seen a sand dune.
13. You must announce that your "smooth narrative" is not fiction but true, yes, even that it is an ancient sacred record of history.
14. In fact, it must fulfill the Bible prophecies; even in the exact manner in which it shall come forth, to whom given, its purpose, and accomplishments, respectively--Psalms 85:10-11; Isa. 29:2-4; Isa, 29:11-14; Ezek. 37:18-21, etc. 
15. You must publish it to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, declaring it to be the Word of God at your own expense and persecution.
16. You must include, in the record itself, this marvelous promise recorded in the book by a prophet; "And when you shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, He will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."
17. Tens and hundreds of thousands must bear record to the world from then on that they know the record to be true, because they put the "promise" to the test and found it to be true, the truth manifested to them by the power of the Holy Ghost.
18. Thousands of great men, intellectual giants, and scholars must subscribe discipleship to the record and its movement even to the point of laying down their lives for it.
19. There can be no flaw whatsoever in the entire record. No contradictions or inconsistencies, yet you must not make any absurd or impossible statements.
20. Even so, many of the facts, ideas, and statements given us including where they lived, you must profess as true in your record and must be entirely inconsistent, even the direct opposite of the prevailing beliefs of the world where very little is claimed to be known about these civilizations and their 2,000 years of history.
21. You must invite the ablest scholars and experts to examine the test with care. You must strive diligently to see that your book gets into the hands of all those most eager to prove it a forgery and who are most competent to expose any flaw in it.
22. Thorough investigation, scientific evidence, and archaeological discoveries for the next 150 plus years must verify your claims and prove even the minutest details of your history to be perfectly true, even to the types of roads they built.
23. After years of extensive analysis, no claim or fact in the book is disproved, but all is vindicated. Many theories and ideas, as to its origin, rise and fall, leaving your claims as the only possible ones.
24. Internal and external prophecies must be confirmed and fulfilled from time to time.
25. Three honest, creditable witnesses must testify to the whole world that an angel from heaven appeared to them and showed to them the ancient records from which you claim your record is translated and the voice of the Redeemer declares to these three witnesses that your record is true and that it is their responsibility to bear their testimony of this truth. And they do it. Eight other well know public men must also testify that they have seen the gold plates from which this record was supposed to have been taken. They must handle and feel the engravings on the record as did the other three witnesses.
26. Shortly after the Church is organized, 12 Apostles are called along with the first presidency of the church and all of them testify that they saw the Father and the Son. This they do for the remainder of their lives.
27. The first three, the second eight, the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, and the First Presidency must all witnesses and bear their testimony not for profit or gain, but under great personal sacrifice and severe persecution, even to their death.
 28. You must find someone to finance the publishing of your book with the understanding that neither they nor you will ever receive any monetary remuneration from it. You must sell the book at cost or at less than its production value or cost.
29. You must tell the world that the written record from which you have translated was engraved on gold plates, even though at the time you make this claim, no one has ever found anywhere in the world of past history, any civilizations using gold as a method of keeping records, and not until about 100 years later were any similar engraved gold plates found thereby vindicating your claim.
30. Finally, after suffering persecution and revilement for 20 years after you finished the book, you must willingly give your own life for your testimony that the record is from God as a mob breaks into your jail and kills you and your brother.
Sorry it is so long but I love this challenge and after I read this it makes me laugh to think that people even question the authenticity of the Book of Mormon and wether or not Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God who was a tool in restoring the true church of Christ on the earth today. After you read this I want to invite you all to read the Book of Mormon daily, pray about it daily, and share your testimony with others about it as often as possible. I know the Book of Mormon is true because I have read and prayed about it and received a witness from the Holy Ghost that it is the word of God. 

Love you all!! Have a great week and happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there. Especially my Dad:) Love you so much and everything you have sacrificed for me. Really appreciate it all and love you to death. Thanks for everything:) 

Elder Smith

I put a bird on Kapele's head haha

Jason got baptized!

Look at the birds

From left to right: Sam (recent convert), Roy, and Mike

Temple site with Mike (less active)

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