Wednesday 2/9/2016 ( D DAY)
AKA The worst day of my life. I compared myself to members of 101st Easy Company who missed the drop site and were lost in country with absolutely no idea what they are doing! Also anything that could go wrong did. I tried to sneak Red Bull in to help ween off of my caffeine addiction, I felt prepared in the car (plane) but when the drop zone came everything went out the window. My suitcase tipped over at some point during that day and one of cans exploded. Luckily it was just in the suit case with all of my scriptures/paperback books/ Journals/ Preach my Gospels/ notebooks/ and basically anything that could be ruined by fluids. This is where I first started to know the spiritual power of being a missionary. I started walking to my apartment/ find my platoon, and I noticed a steady stream of liquid dripping from my bag. I was mortified! So I said a quick prayer in my heart and realized there was nothing I could do. When I got to my apartment I ripped into my suitcase and pulled everything out. One by one things came out without a drop on a page. I did this until the suitcase was empty and realized that the only thing that sustained any damage at all was one of my note books and only the front page was wet. Don't ask me how this happened because I'm still shocked. I think these are referred to as Tender Mercies of the Lord. Once I made it back with Easy(branch 43) I was just relieved and ready for the day to be over.
D DAY + 1
D Day was awful so D DAY + 1 had to go better right? Wrong.. Woke up sicker than I have ever been(exaggeration? Maybe) but seriously I was sicker than I wanted to be. I started to throw up around 7 and by 9 I had a Fever of 102. I ended up in Sick bay Bed 1 while my companion Elder Swapp, went with Elder Smith and Elder Cason. The next five hours are a blur, but let’s just say that I did not know where I was and if I was going to live. I left Sick Bay Bed 1 at approximately 6 pm. I went to branch meetings with our branch presidency and it was one of the greatest experiences of my entire life. I was sick like really sick and our presidency came in and I was just overwhelmed with all that was going on. I wanted to be in my safe spot back in Sick Bay Bed 1. Well here's Elder Street in the corner with his face pressed against the wall wishing for peace and quiet. And the spirit of the Lord came over me. I started crying and I don't remember what set it off but I started bawling. Everyone was going around the room and talking about why they are on a mission and were asked to share their testimonies. Well somewhere between the 1st and 3rd person to speak the waterworks just broke and I started to flood the room. Everyone was looking at me like I was homesick/regular sick and they felt bad but I'm pretty sure that they were pretty much annoyed. I think they were shocked. I don't think they had ever seen a 21 year old hysterically crying with a smile on his face. Well this went on for about an hour. Until it was my time to stand up and introduce myself I can’t recreate the testimony and the happiness that I shared with these 10 fresh faced kids but it brought people to tears. So here is Elder Street crying for the last hour, then he gets up and talks about how this has been the greatest day of his entire life and that he has never felt so happy/sure/right where he was. I told them that I had longed for that feeling and had never known where I would find it. And here Jeremy is fresh out of Sick Bay 1 fever of 102 barley conscious and I find that joy. I was coughing. I was hot. I was miserable. But I can say that that moment was one of the happiest spiritual moments of my entire life.
D DAY + 2
More sick day--less spirituality. Feeling unproductive and discouraged with my knowledge. More time in Sick Bay Bed 1 (aka my second home)
D Day + 3
The following days went like this. Study, then we studied, and studied, and then finally we studied. I have never had this much time to poor of the scriptures like this. I am finding gems that are unbelievable. If you have a second and a Bible and Book of Mormon present I would invite you to turn to 1 Nephi Ch 8 and read verse 2 then flip to chapter 11 in Nephi and read the heading (and chapter if you'd like) pay special attention to the words used here in both Ch 8 and Ch 11, then I would like you to flip to ACTs chapter Ch 2 and read verse 17.
I found this last night while studying and shared it with my district and their minds were literally blown. It made me smile. It was kinda like a little wink from the Lord to me. It made me smile. I'm finding so many great thing not only in the scriptures but in myself. I CAN DO HARD THINGS! Studying is actually the easiest thing for me. I love study time! I can’t get enough of it!
Teaching is a different story. You could have a lesson planned out perfectly and bring it to your investigator and the conversation literally goes the other way! So now you're scrambling to figure out what life is. And trying to flip from page to page and find the verse that you read earlier that day that answered that exact question and to try and be guided. I find myself needing to tell myself to STOP! I'll start freaking out and realize that I look like I'm losing it and then I realize that there is nothing to be worried about. I need to calm down and listen instead of try to rush and find the answer. That is really hard for me! I'm usually so quick to just try to flip and find the answer. So I'm slowing down. I'm listening and I'm seeing results!
So D DAY + 5 came around and I felt like I had made it through the thick of it. I was reunited with Easy and we were accomplishing objectives. That is until I met Stephen. I walked in to teach Stephen feeling confident and assured. When I sat down I realized that I was sitting FACE TO FACE with myself. This kid said sentences that I have literally said. He had the exact life philosophy that I used to live. He was young, easy going, confident and SMART! He is pretty much an atheist or as agnostic as you can get and sees religion for all of the problems and not the good. He tried to become a better person than those around him who were "religious" because he feels like he doesn't need organized religion to be a good person. I literally could not fathom this experience. I was sitting down with myself. And the questions that he was asking, and the comments he made I could literally not say anything bad about. I agreed with him. So the lesson went awful. I lost my head. I couldn't teach. I could say anything. I didn't know what to say. I was seriously so shocked. I didn't expect it. So I tanked it. I think I've got a good idea of how to go about this. Because, like me he agreed to have the missionaries come back.
Well I love all of you so much! I hope that you have a Great week and the next time that you hear from me I’ll be in Tampa!