Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Go BIG, or Go Home!

What a week! I am so thankful to be here and the opportunity I have to get to know the people of Chula Vista!! That doesn't mean that the hard times don't come, but it's just so much more enjoyable to grab a diet coke when your down :) I keep thinking about how all of this fell right into place...My mission, my area, my companion, I get to RUN and eat what I want...I get to do everything I love here in the mission field! I doubted for a second if I was really happy I came back out...it was difficult. But now that I see how fast time is passing, I've realized I need to do what Caleb always told me while running and rock climbing, "Go big or Go home!"

This morning we had the opportunity to go to the temple! And yes! I saw the new, NEW temple movie. It was awesome and kept me awake :) I think I like other new one better...but still, so good. You see pictures of the San Diego temple everywhere, but it was so much better in real life. It was overcast when we went in to the 10 o'clock session, but the SoCal Sun was shinning and the temple grounds looked beautiful as ever!

As I sat in the celestial room, I thought a lot about our temple covenant...the law of consecration...and how I could apply this law to becoming a consecrated missionary. It's pretty intense that we've promised to submit our will 100% to God's will. Always trusting in His plan and not ours. That was something I definitely had to learn while being so sick in Chile. I never understood why all those things were happening when I was trying to do HIS work. I wanted to give it my all, but physically couldn't. I'll never forget, a couple of days before I left to come back home, I really tried applying Matthew 26:39,
"And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."

King Benjamin said, "And now, if ye believe all these things, see that you do them." I believe that this is God's work and that I am only his servant. I know the things that I need to do and what I need to do in order to have success. When people ask my why I decided to serve a mission, I don't really know how to answer. But when people ask me why I decided to come back, I know it's because I now have a better understanding of the The Atonement. I feel like I truly not only understand the Lord's sacrifice for me, but I FEEL IT. I feel His love and mercy all the time. I decided to come back because this five month sacrifice is only but a small way I can show my love for him. It is insignificant for what he's done for me.

We are busy planning Bertha's baptism for Saturday! She passed her interview on Sunday and is really looking forward to making her first covenant! This lady is so sweet and has all the faith in the world. It's awesome to be her missionary and help her understand this gospel. She is a single mom and works like crazy to provide for her family. We are working with church to try and find her a better job. We found a two other potential investigators and trying to juggle 15 others! Haha, it's crazy busy, but totally awesome! We are definitely being blessed and watched over all the time!

All right, I love you all! 
Thanks for your love and support. 
You're beautiful.

P.S.  Dad - Hahaha, yesterday, while contacting, we were trying to decide on new and interesting converstaion question starters that we could ask people as we contacted them. We decided that we should just start asking people if they like donuts. The story you sent, Do You Want a Donut? will be perfect for us if that is the question we use!

Do You Want a Donut?
There was a boy by the name of Steve who was attending seminary in Utah. There, seminary classes are held during school hours. Brother Christianson taught seminary at this particular school and had an open-door policy. He would take in any student that had been thrown out of another class as long as they would abide by his rules.
Steve had been kicked out of his sixth period class and no other teacher wanted him, so he went into Brother Christianson’s seminary class. Steve was told that he could not be late, so he arrived just seconds before the bell rang and sat in the very back of the room. He was also be the first to leave after the class was over.

One day, Brother Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. Brother Christianson pulled Steve aside and said, ‘You think you’re pretty tough, don’t you?’

Steve’s answered, ‘Yeah, I do.’

Then Brother Christianson asked, ‘How many push-ups can you do?’
Steve said, ‘I do about 200 every night.’
’Two hundred? That’s pretty good, Steve. Do you think you could do 300?’
Steve replied, ‘I don’t know… I’ve never done 300 at a time.’
’Do you think you could?’ Brother Christianson asked again.
’Well, I can try,’ said Steve.
’Can you do 300 in sets of ten? I need you to do 300, in sets of ten, for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it,’ Brother Christianson asked.
Steve said, ‘Well… I think I can… yeah, I can do it.’
Brother Christianson nodded, ‘Good! I need you to do this for me on Friday.’

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, Brother Christianson pulled out a big box of donuts. Now these weren’t the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra-fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited. It was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend.

Bro. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked,
‘Cynthia, do you want a donut?’
Cynthia said, ‘Yes.’
Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, ‘Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?’
Steve said, ‘Sure,’ and jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten.
Then Steve again sat in his desk. Bro. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia’s desk.

Bro. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, ‘Joe do you want a donut?’
Joe said, ‘Yes.’
Bro. Christianson asked, ‘Steve would you do ten push- ups so Joe can have a donut?’
Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut; and so it went, down the first aisle. Steve did ten pushups for every person before they got their donut. Then down the second aisle, till Bro. Christianson came to Scott.

Scott was captain of the football team and center of the basketball team. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship.
Then Bro. Christianson asked, ‘Scott do you want a donut?’
Scott’s reply was, ‘Well, can I do my own pushups?’
Bro. Christianson said, ‘No, Steve has to do them.’
Then Scott said, ‘Well, I don’t want one then.’
Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, ‘Steve, would you do ten pushups so Scott can have a donut he doesn’t want?’
Steve started to do ten pushups.
Scott said, ‘HEY! I said I didn’t want one!’

Bro. Christianson said, ‘Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don’t want it.’ And he put a donut on Scott’s desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow. Bro. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry.

Bro. Christianson asked Jenny, ‘Jenny, do you want a donut?’
Jenny said, ‘No.’
Then Bro. Christianson asked Steve, ‘Steve, would you do ten pushups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn’t want?’
Steve did ten, Jenny got a donut.

By now, the students were beginning to say ‘No’ and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve was starting to struggle a bit. He had to put forth a lot of effort to do pushups for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort it required 
Bro. Christianson asked Robert to watch Steve to make sure he did ten pushups in each set because he couldn’t bear to watch all of Steve’s work for all of those uneaten donuts. So Robert began to watch Steve closely. Bro. Christianson started down the fourth row. 

During his class, however, some students had wandered in and sat on the heaters along the sides of the room. When Bro. Christianson realized this; he did a quick count and saw 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Bro. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Bro. Christianson, ‘Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?’
Bro. Christianson thought for a moment, ‘Well, they’re your pushups. You can do them any way that you want.’ Then Bro. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason came to the room and was about to enter when all the students yelled, ‘NO! Don’t come in! Stay out!’

Jason didn’t know what was going on.
Steve picked up his head and said, ‘No, let him come.’
Bro. Christianson said, ‘You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten pushups for him.’
Steve said, ‘Yes, let him come in.’
Bro. Christianson said, ‘Okay, I’ll let you get Jason’s out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?’
’Steve, will you do ten pushups so that Jason can have a donut?’ Steve did ten pushups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat back down.

Bro. Christianson finished the fourth row. He then started on those seated on the heaters. Steve’s arms were now shaking with each pushup in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. Sweat was dropping off of his face and, by this time, there was not a dry eye in the room.

The last two girls in the room were cheerleaders and very popular. Bro. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, ‘Linda, do you want a doughnut?
Linda said, very sadly, ‘No, thank you.’

Bro. Christianson asked Steve, ‘Steve, would you do ten pushups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn’t want?’
Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow pushups for Linda.
Then Bro. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. ‘Susan, do you want a donut?’

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, asked, ‘Bro. Christianson, can I help him?’
Bro. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, ‘No, he has to do it alone, Steve, would you do ten pushups so Susan can have a donut?’

As Steve very slowly finished his last pushup, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 pushups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Brother Christianson turned to the room and said. ‘And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, plead to the Father, ‘Into thy hands I commend my spirit.’ With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, he collapsed on the cross and died. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten.’

When everyone in the classroom heard what the teacher meant by it and realized everything. Steve smiled on the ground where he laid in his own sweat and began to cry.

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