This week was, well, American in so many different ways.
Firstly, my mission is no longer the Oklahoma Tulsa Mission. Those days, while so long ago, seem like a not-so-distant memory. Fast-forward to now. Welcome to the one, the only, Arkansas Bentonville Mission. This last week was a week of breaking records across the board. Quite literally every area in our entire mission set a new record because never before has our mission existed ;P It was fantastic.
Some highlights of the week include:
DOUBLING THE STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE: Our companionship taught 40 lessons this past week, which was stressful, but definitely manageable. We quickly learned that lessons did not equal progression, however, because a lot of those lessons provided very few results.
FUTBOL: We had the largest turnout yet at our Futbol activity on Tuesday, with 5 teams organized. We might have to talk the Stake into building another gym so we can play ;P It was great and we are meeting with a number of players that come on a weekly basis. We began our league for Fridays, but our first time wasn't quite as we had hoped. We had about 9 or 10 people show up, which was alright, but we soon found out why. An otherwise average Arkansas day turned to an artificial night, with black clouds creeping over the fields. Then the wind picked up. Like a lot. This storm was moving really fast, and you could see the wall of rain quickly approaching. Before we knew what was happening, buckets of cats and dogs (isn't that how rain works) were falling faster than a flea jumps off of a hot grill in Texas on a midsummer day. we. were. drenched. It was too late by the time we had realized what had happened, and we had parked about a quarter of a mile away. This rain was something else. It was beginning to sting, the wind was so fast. About 3 minutes in to this tormenta del diablo, the field was soaked and there was a patch of particularly slippery mud that was taking everybody out. We persevered. The game HAD to go on. Anyway, the result was that a bunch of huerros won the game and that we went home soaked. Our car still smells terrible and our clothes are still drying 3 days later.
CICI'S: There is a certain eatery called Cici's. It includes a buffet of Pizza and Salads with Pasta, and is extremely unhealthy. It is delicious and we have been taken by different members there 5 times in the past week. YUM.
NEW PRESIDENT AND WIFE: Just this last week we got a new Mission President and wife and they are spectacular. They are very motivated, ready to go, and love us very much. President Loveland came and spoke to us the other day, and there was actually a bag of potatoes present in the room (by accident). It looks like his Idaho roots are still strong. This is where I insert another funny joke about double standards because in the last week we both achieved the double standard and now have new sets of rules so double standard ha. ha. ha. funny.
GIFT OF TONGUES: So real. Struggles with the language often come, but this last week when my father/trainer/companion (Elder Brown) left me to go on exchanges with a different missionary that didn't speak Spanish, I thought that my goose was cooked. Right when I was going to the oven to retrieve the aforementioned goose, the Lord stepped in and blessed me with the ability to speak to people in a different language. It was awesome. We had a lot of success that day.
CONFEDERACY LIVES STRONG: This week we saw numerous Confederate flags, almost outnumbering Old Glory. It was quite a different scene, although not too surprising. When the news makes as big of a deal over a flag as it has, people make excuses to fly it everywhere. Somewhere in their patriotic senses, it got mixed up with the Fourth of July, and the result was the confederacy in full force. Now, don't get me wrong, I actually know nothing about what is happening in the news with this, I just know that everybody is mad and that flags are everywhere so don't hate me, just the messenger hahaha
4th of JULY: Consisted of games of Phase 10 with members, watching firework shows, ribs & burgers, hot dogs, Coca Cola, apple pie, an outdoor festival and many more things. This Fourth was very different. It included playing drum beats with pool noodles on exercise balls in public CLICK HERE among other things. It was pretty ridiculous. It was a ton of fun, and we got to share the gospel with many at the fair. The local ward had set up Goldfish Races in raingutters, which was super fun for kids. With each goldfish, they gave out seminary scripture cards attached to the bag. It was pretty great. I got to fulfill my dream of being a carney at a fair and embarrassing myself in public separately.
Anyway, that was my week. It was pretty marvellous, and had some good stuff.
Spiritual thought for this week:
So, reading Jesus the Christ by James Talmage and thought that this part was interesting. I will paraphrase so that it is actually understandable:
So Jesus was born in the manger. He was a boy and grew up. The next recorded incident of the Savior is when He was in the temple speaking with the priests and doctors. This was not uncommon, as every boy in that time went through a similar experience, but what was unusual was the look on the faces of the doctors, scribes and priests. They regarded the young Boy with respect and awe and feasted on his every word. The author indicates also that Jesus was just like every one of us, He was born into the world the same way (with the exception of his Heavenly Father), He could feel temptation, and He had a veil placed over his mind. He could not remember the things that occurred before this life, just as we cannot, but came to know through developing His relationship with His Father in Heaven. It even is stated by the author that He did not know His true nature until after He had been baptized by John the Baptist.
So I thought that was interesting, for what it's worth. I know that He is my Savior and loves us all very much.
Stay classy, my peers, homies, and fellow amigos
Elder Matthew Busi