Monday, September 24, 2012

Birthday Email (September 24, 2012)

 Dear Fullmer Family,

Birthday Card Cover

Thank you all so much for your many birthday wishes! It was so wonderful to hear from many of you and also to see all of you on the birthday card. That was without a doubt, the coolest birthday card ever! Thank you all! I'm so blessed to have such an amazing family!

The branch that I'm serving in found out that it was my birthday a few days before and decided to throw me a surprise birthday potluck. This branch is amazing! They all have so much love for the missionaries and take really good care of us. One of the elders in our house called the Branch President's wife and told her it was my birthday this Sunday and they went all out! They got a Costco cake, Fried Chicken, homemade mac and cheese, salad, corn bread, lasagna, spaghetti... too much to say but it was all so delicious! They got me a birthday card and everything! They're so great! I had no idea either! Lots of fun! 
Inside his birthday card

Later on in the day we went to our investigator's house where they also made us dinner, (while watching the football game... Big temptation!) But it was very good! Now you all think I had a lot of food but it wasn't over yet! We then had dinner with the Branch President and his family. I didn't eat much at the last one but it was fun to be with the family. All in all it was a great birthday with wonderful gifts! Thank you again!

Also, this week was transfer week! I have a new companion from Brigham City UT! He lives about two blocks away from the new temple, so he was pretty bummed that he missed the dedication. He's been out just over six months, same amount as my last companion (they were companions in the MTC.) He's a great Elder! He loves to work but at the same time is very patient with my..err.. troubles :) I'm glad to be working with him. My mission trainer’s little brother went to the same district that I was trained in, the Miami Beach zone! Pretty cool! Funny story, my trainer,  went on an exchange in the area where his brother is serving about a week before he left and when he came back he said, "I'm glad I'll never have to serve in that area!" It pretty ghettoy (i don't think that's a word...) He'll love it though! I worked with his trainer when I was down in Miami. He's a great missionary! It was fun to see Elder *********, he looks just like his brother! 

Well there's not much to report about the tummy troubles, except that tomorrow I will be having a EGD where they'll put a camera down my mouth and look around in my stomach. Hopefully they'll find something! I'll also be having a CT scan on Friday hopefully. Luckily for the EGD I don't have to drink the Jugo de muerte! I just get to fast from midnight until the procedure at 1. I had to fast for the entire day before the colonoscopy along with the Jugo de muerte. So good luck Dad! Let me know how it goes! 

We had a great experience with one of our investigators this past week. We weren't really sure what he needed at that time so we asked him, what do you want to learn about and he responded, "forgiveness." We read with him Alma 36 and he got really excited, he then asked, "what did he remember his father saying about Jesus Christ?" It doesn't say in the scriptures but i took an educated guess and we then turned to Alma 7 and he felt the Spirit so strong! He said, "I finna get baptized!" (which means, I want to get baptized!) He then said the closing prayer and asked him at the end how he felt and he said, "I feel good, I want to cry!" He was feeling the spirit big time! This man is a big dude but the Spirit touched his heart. I love the Book of Mormon and the Spirit it brings. We went harvesting everyday and every day we found wonderful people. One of the blessings we left was with a very sweet woman. She opened the door and before we could say anything she said, "Come on in!" Since her husband wasn't home we couldn't because we are representatives of Jesus Christ, she said, "I just prayed for you to come! I was in the room praying and crying over my sister who just recently passed!" She then went on to say how she looked up on the internet about comfort from Jesus when we knocked on the door. We said a prayer with her at the door and the spirit was so strong. Mid way through the prayer, her husband showed up but instead of disrupting us he joined in the prayer with their daughter. They knew that we were sent by Jesus Christ. We told her to go to and to look up the Plan of Salvation. She said she would. We're going back over tonight!

 Well this week was pretty interesting but all in all it was great! I learn more and more everyday about the Atonement and the enabling power to keep going! I love this work, even though it takes everything out of me, but there is nothing I'd rather be doing. I love you all so much and hope to hear from you soon!

-Elder David B. Fullmer
back page of the card

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Decide to Act and Not be Acted Upon September 18, 2012

Dear Family,

This has been quite an interesting week to say the least :) There have been many things going on, some good, some not so fun. Haha. First off, we got the transfer information yesterday letting us know that my companion will be getting transferred and I will be staying. They didn't say I was training. It will be interesting to see who my new companion will be. I'm heading into my last four transfers... Time is literally flying by. Well this past week went pretty slowly just because we weren't able to work very much with all of the doctors appointments and such. However I've been learning a lot and it's helping me grow.

So let's talk about what happened last week! So Monday night around 5:00 i got to start drinking, "The Juice of DEATH!!!" It was not fun at all! I was very cleaning out. I'll just say this, it does it's job and magnifies it's calling. The night before was definitely worse than the actual colonoscopy. I was supposed to drink 8 oz every 15 minutes. I set an alarm to go off to let me know when I had to consume more of this horrid drank and every time I had to drink it I thought of Harry Potter 6 when Dumbledore needs to drink that stuff and tells Harry to force him to drink it. I told my companion to force me to drink it. Haha. The other Elders in the house had a blast last Monday watching me run to the bathroom every 7 minutes or so... Other than that though everything else went pretty smoothly. At the doctor’s appointment everyone was so surprised that I was having a colonoscopy. I was the youngest one that they've done one to in a long while. Haha. However everything looks normal in my colon. They took some biopsy's to check for allergies but I still haven't heard back from the doctor on them. I was planning on having a CT scan on Wednesday but the CT scan place called and told me I needed to reschedule (the morning of the procedure after I had started to drink ANOTHER Jugo de Muerte) but it should happen this up coming week. The mission doctor has been talking with me and before they do more tests on me he wants me to live on a high fiber diet with a medication. So far it hasn't really been helping but we'll see this week.

This past week I was able to have a wonderful interview with President Anderson. He asked about the medical problems and said to just do the best that I can. He talked about Paul in the scriptures how he asked multiple times for his "thorn" to be taken from him but time after time the Lord rejected his request. We all have thorns in our lives that are there for a reason. Sometimes they're taken from us immediately and sometimes they're never taken from us. There is a quote that I really like and has brought great understanding to me this past week by Elder Bednar that says,
"In many of the uncertainties and challenges we encounter in our lives, God requires us to do our best, to act and not be acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:26), and to trust in Him. We may not see angels, hear heavenly voices, or receive overwhelming spiritual impressions. We frequently may press forward hoping and praying—but without absolute assurance—that we are acting in accordance with God’s will. But as we honor our covenants and keep the commandments, as we strive ever more consistently to do good and to become better, we can walk with the confidence that God will guide our steps."
I love this quote because sometimes we may not receive overwhelming impressions or answers from doctors but we still have 2 choices, to act or to be acted upon. It's real easy to be acted upon and make excuses but when we decide to act, we receive understanding and the Spirit helps us know what to do.

This past week has been full of those kinds of moments. Someday I didn't have any energy at all, like the day of the procedure, however the Zone Leaders asked me to do a training to give to the zone that morning. ( This was the morning after the juice of death). As you can imagine, I wasn't feeling that great but I did what they asked me to do. I ended up giving one of the best trainings that I've ever given. It lasted about 25 minutes and the words, energy and Spirit just came to me. It was an amazing experience for me to fulfill the scripture in D&C 100: 5-8 that says,

"Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men; For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say. But a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall declare whatsoever thing ye declare in my name, in solemnity of heart, in the spirit of meekness, in all things. And I give unto you this promise, that inasmuch as ye do this the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say."
This really is a perfect example of what happened. I don't know how it happened but it did! It was a strong testimony builder for me of what can happen when we trust in the Lord. So far nothing new has been happening except for what's happening inside me. President Anderson shared with me an experience of when he was on his mission he was in the hospital for eight days but he said, "I wouldn't wish what happened to me upon my worst enemy but I wouldn't change it for the world because of the things that I learned during those trials." At times it's really frustrating when difficult things happen to us that we can't understand, but as we trust in the Lord, "we can walk with the confidence that God will guide our steps." 

It's been a very difficult week but one where I have learned and experienced the enabling power of the Atonement in my life. I'm so grateful for all of the blessings that the Lord has blessed me with. We were so blessed to have the people who were baptized get confirmed this past Sunday as well! We saw them yesterday and they've changed a lot. The Spirit is definitely helping them out. Thank you for all of your many prayers and love and I really appreciate it! I love you all so very much!

-Elder David B. Fullmer
 Pictures on the shore of Lake Okeechobee

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekly update- I'm finna get you thick

Dear Fullmer Family,

How have you all been doing this week? This week has been different but it's been good. Life is good in Belle Glade! Not much out of the ordinary has happened this past week. I was able to see a GI Specialist and he still wasn't very sure about what is going on. I'm going to be having a colonoscopy tomorrow afternoon where hopefully they'll be able to have a better idea of what's been going on. This past week i've also been on a prescription to kill of Giardia if I had it. I'm done with the perscription and I feel just about the same. So we can rule that out of the possibilities. It's been tough this week since i've been very low on energy but i've been learning how I need to accept the will of the Lord in my life and to follow his council. I don't know what will happen tomorrow, no one knows what will come up in their lives, but the Lord does. If we follow Him, and "feast upon the words of Christ... the words of Christ will tell you all things that ye should do." I've definitely been learning many things, which haven't been easy, but they're strengthening me.

This week we had a disappointment. Yesterday, A couple of the people we have taught made a bad decision. I was really frustrated since they have so much waiting for them but they just won't take it. As we were driving back to the church I was very angry but as we sat in sacrament meeting, a peaceful feeling came over me knowing that I did my very best and that the Lord is proud of me. These disappointments really do strengthen me and really make the successes so much sweeter. Another person has kind of been avoiding us lately so that has also been tough. However we met a really cool new investigator.... He played semi-pro football and almost went pro but got in a car crash. He's best friends with a guy in the NFL... He's a very humble guy and is really interested in what we have to say. He's planning to be baptized on my birthday :) He's really had a rough life but has turned his life around and is just waiting for the Gospel. He's also going to be our personal trainer... He's HUGE!!! He let us know, "I'm finna get you thick!" (that means, I really want to help you work out... and yes, finna is how it's spelled.). We got a txt from someone the other day and I want to share it with you. This is how it is spelled, you might need the Urim and Thummim to translate it. I've already let you in on the whole "finna" word but here you go. "Dats were we at nw im finna check wit her husband n her first to c if its ok first den um gon txt u right bak.." Gotta love Belle Glade!!

This next week is also transfers... I don't know where all the time went but it's here nonetheless. I have a feeling that my compaion will be transferred, as much as I don't want him to... I also feel like I'm going to be training a new missionary. Who knows though? 

Well that's about everything for this week. Sorry it's so short but my mind is a little preoccupied with what's going to be happening shortly :8 Please keep me in your prayers! I love you all!

-Elder David B. Fullmer

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day Weekend- September 4, 2012

Dear Fullmer Family,

This week has been pretty good I have to say. It was filled with lots of high moments and a few lows but all in all it's been great! Let's start with the highs. We were able to have a wonderful wedding and baptism this past Saturday for ****** & ###### (I don't really know how to spell her name :).) It was so great to be able to see them be so happy and finally get baptized. The branch did so much to help their day be so special. There's a member who decorates flowers who did some arrangements for free, which was a surprise for us and them. The food was amazing and everyone was just so happy! 

The couple invited many family members and friends and they were all so great and supportive of both of them. Many came up to us afterwards and asked if they could come to church and if they had churches where they lived. One of the aunts, who lives in North Miami Beach, asked if I knew of a church down there and I could tell her exactly where it is since I served there :) It was a wonderful night! One that I will never forget! There is something special when someone you have grown to love and work with decides and makes the steps to be baptized. I'm so happy it went so well! I was able to baptize the man and my companion baptized the woman. Funny story, when she was being baptized she didn't take in a breath and breathed in water... :S She came up coughing. It was sad but she was still happy to be baptized. the man went nice a smoothly in and out of the water. As we were changing afterwards I asked him, "How do you feel?" He responded with tears in his eyes, "this is the best thing that I could have done for me and my family." I said it was and he said that it's been about five years since he's seen his aunts and they all wanted to come see him. They're so proud of him and the changes that he's making in his life. His mom died when he was 13 years old and ever since then he's been on the streets. He's been into some crazy stuff but he's recognizing the need to follow Jesus Christ and loves the feeling of the Spirit. It's really been a pleasure for me to work with them and grow to love them.

Also this past week I broke my toe! One of the lows... Just add it to the list of things going wrong with me haha. Last Tuesday after I wrote home to ya'll (I'm learning great things in the South), I stubbed my toe pretty badly. Not thinking much of it i just hobbled around and ate my lunch. When I stood back up I realized that it had gotten quite swollen, I looked down and it already started turning colors :) The next morning it was very colorful! Don't worry, I've got pictures :D But i've been taking some ibuprofen and that's taken the swelling down and also the pain. It's been a week and it's starting to feel better. My other wonderful body aches haven't really changed much. It's been so hot lately that my energy is just about drained by 2 o'clock in the afternoon but i'm doing my best that I can! I'm glad I've got a patient companion who really helps me out! Tomorrow I've got my appointment with the GI so hopefully they'll find something that'll help me. 

 This week as I have been reading the Book of Mormon I was reading Alma 5. I love this chapter. It is so powerful and clear and I love Alma's testimony when he says, "Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know of these things of myself. And now, I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me." I love how he testifies so clearly how he was able to know these things for himself. We have an investigator who wants to be baptized but feels like she hasn't received an "answer." We read this with her and she decided that she wants to fast for her answer. We're going to fast with her and are going to work to have her be baptized this next Sunday because we know she'll receive her answer.

Other than all that I've written there isn't much going on. Thank you so much for the package that you sent. Unfortunately the toothbrush heads aren't the right kind. I didn't open them. I should have been more specific... Sorry! The type of toothbrush I have is phillips sonicare pro whitening or pro series or something like that. The heads don't have that big plastic thing at the bottom. That's as specific as I can get. Haha. For my birthday, there isn't much that I need. I'm good on clothes and shoes and such but it would be nice for some cologne. Mine is all out... I like the Aquadigio and also this stuff called Kenneth Cole Reaction. But other than that there isn't much that I need. Ohh maybe some good socks. There are some that i really like made by CTR Clothing. They're pretty good stuff that some of my companions have and really liked. So if you find anything you think i'll like I probably will :) 

I love you all so much and am grateful for everything that you do for me! I hope you all have a great week! Pray for me that they'll be able to find what's up with me tomorrow at the doctor! 

-Elder David B. Fullmer