Monday, January 28, 2013

A Wonderful Week in Paradise

Dear Fullmer Family,
I'm so sorry to hear about all the horrible weather that you've been having... It sounds absolutely terrible. The Branch President told me this morning, "When you go back, you're going to freeze!!!" I'm a little scared about that. Haha. Hopefully I'll bring the warmth with me to Utah. Haha. Hopefully none of you get frostbitten and I'll try not to get sunburned :)
Anyways, this past week has been great! We finished "Temple Worthy" by BroTab and it's awesome!! We really love it. We went up on Wednesday to Marathon to burn the CD's and also we made an album cover. It's pretty cool. We went up to the training on Friday and President Anderson said he'll think about it. He's a little hesitant to approve it because he doesn't want it to "open the floodgates." Especially with all of the new missionaries coming in he doesn't want the obedience level to drop. I understand what he's saying. However we gave the cd to him to listen and we feel like he'll approve it. At least we hope so :)

The training meeting was awesome! He talked about how we need to improve our ability to "liken" the scriptures to our investigators. During this entire part of the training I couldn't help but think of the time when mom was on a "Liken" phase and used the word all the time. I don't know if you remember that but I sure do. He also talked about the importance of working with the members. We have been making that a huge focus lately and what President talked about was exactly what we needed. Basically he said how we need to have members in everything that we do and we need to support them and help retain the converts. It was really nice. The final part of the training was about faith. I thought I was pretty good on faith but during the training I realized how much I lacked in it. He described the pattern of faith from Alma 32. The part that stuck out to me was where it says, "Don't cast it out by your unbelief (or something along those lines... I don't have my scriptures or notes with me)" We can be nurturing our faith but unless we truly believe it won't do anything. Faith is much more than a desire but it's gained and strenthened as we act! It was a really amazing training and it was great to see some other missionaries that I might not see again... It's weird but it still hasn't really hit me yet that I only have like a month left... Wow, it's actually a month from today. Weird.

Well yesterday we did something that has never been done before. We were expecting some new investigators to come to church in both Key West and Key Marathon.The ones in Marathon needed to have Spanish translation so we were trying to figure out how it was to be done. So what we ended up doing is that we got permission to go on a split. We drove up to Big Pine (about halfway to Marathon) with a member and we met **** (our recent convert) there and I went up the rest of the way with him. Let me tell you it was weird to not have a companion with you... Well I did but he was one of our recent converts. Haha. Unfortuneately the family who was supposed to come to Key Marathon didn't show up but it was fun to be able to see the members up there. I also got to see **** pass the sacrament for the first time and I taught him how to tie a tie. It was a great day! Last night we went to a member's work at the airport and got to see all of the little planes that he flys and takes care of. I forgot my camera but next time I'll go I'll make sure to take a bunch of pics. Then we went out with him to follow up with some of the referrals he gave us. It went really well! None of them were very interested but we were planting some seeds. His girlfriend is doing well... She's a really nice girl and it's helping him to prepare for his mission. He's going to be an amazing missionary!

Well that's about all that I've got to say. I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week! Take Care!
-Elder David B. Fullmer

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Last Tube of Toothpaste

His P-day was delayed a day because of Martin Luther King, Jr. day. Plus, he is unable to send pictures on the tablet he is using to write emails from the military base.  

Dear Fullmer Family,
Thank you Marc for your comment on the last tube of toothpaste. I actually might need to buy another one before I go home but we'll see :) Time is flying! I can't believe I'll only be writing home five more times. It's a really strange thought. However, I'm not stuck on that thought but I'm going out strong! Haha. Things are going really well for us down here. The branch absolutely loves us and is working with us a lot! This week we arranged to play a musical number in church. We called and set it up towards the beginning of last week actually. Then a few days later we got a call asking if we could both speak in church. We didn't want to turn anything down so we accepted. Then the day before Sunday, we got another call from the Youth Sunday School teacher asking if I could fill in for him because he would be gone. I said of course and started planning for it. Sunday was, to say the least, a very busy Sunday! We both spoke in sacrament meeting, which went very well. I used a story from a talk given my President Hinckley called "It's true, isn't it?" I'm sure you've all heard about it, but for you that haven't it talks about a young Pakistani man who comes over for military training and while he's here he get baptized into the church. Right before he is about to go back to his native country he meets with President Hinckley. President Hinckley asks him, "Your people are not Christians, what will they do when they find out you are now a christian, and more specifically a Mormon christian?" He responds, "My family will regard me as dead and as to my career I will never have a promotion." Hinckley responds, "are you willing to make such a sacrifice for the gospel?" The young man looks at him with tears in his eyes and responds, "it's true isn't it?" President Hinckley responds, "yes it's true." The young man then declares,'then what else matters?" In my talk I talked first about how we can know if something is true and be able to have a strong testimony and then I spoke about what the Lord expects of us after we know something is true. I think it went really well. I then taught the youth and that was one of my favorite lessons I've ever taught. The youth are so amazing to teach, especially with the new teaching program. We learned about how to lead by the Holy Ghost. It was a very memorable lesson. While I was teaching that class, my companion was teaching gospel principles. Haha. It was a very busy Sunday! Oh and the musical number we did was "This is the Christ." It went very well!

Both my companion and I and I have been really trying to work a lot with the members and so we've been leaving blessings in the homes of the members with the spirit of missionary work. This week alone we have gotten 12 member referrals! Incredible!! Never has that happened before on my mission. Great things are happening here. We were able to meet with and investigator last night where we taught her the Plan of Salvation. It went really well and she really loved it. A really close friend died this past week so it was a great reminder of the plan. It went well! The woman at church has yet to be seen again unfortunately... Hopefully we see her soon!

So this past week my companion and I have been doing a little project of sorts... I don't think you'll be too surprised as to what it consists of. So to begin, for nearly two years I have had the privilege of listening to only MoTab music, which is great but gets old, really old, after a while. My companion agrees and I have heard the same thing from many missionaries. We understand why the rule is in place but both my companion and I were thinking about how we could listen to other music approved by President. A while ago I bought a little digital recorder and the thought came to us... "Let's record us playing and singing different songs, put it on a CD, have President approve it and give it to everyone in the mission!!" So it's called, "Temple Worthy by BroTab" That's our band name... BroTab... Get it? Yeah. So we're just about done with it. Most of the recording was done last Pday but we're going to finish it up today and present it to him this Friday and a specialized training. Hopefully he likes it and accepts it. Haha.

Well anyways that's about all that's going ! Thank you for everything and I love you! Please keep me in your prayers, it's tough knowing the mission is coming to a close...Have a great week!

-Elder David B. Fullmer

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Staying in the Keys!

Dear Fullmer Family,

Well we got the info and we're both staying in the keys for this transfer! We're really excited about that. We get along with each other really well and we're both really excited, especially since I'll be finishing my mission here! I love it here so much! This is probably my favorite area that I've served in. The branch is so amazing... FYI this letter might be a little short since we're a bit low on time but I'll try to write as much as I can.

So this last week we had an awesome lesson.... However, she's reading the Book of Mormon and is about a half way through and we had a lesson with her this past week. We had met with her a few times before and she was always un comfortable around us so we were worried about how the first lesson would go. Her friend suggested that we wear like P day clothes for the lesson so it takes it down on the weird level a bit, so we did. It ended up being a really good lesson! We taught the Restoration and it was just a really fun lesson to teach. After the lesson, there was a branch activity of balloon volleyball which she stayed for and she had a great time! She was able to see us as regular people and definitely warmed up to us. She's a really cool person who will hopefully get baptized before I go home but we'll see.

We also we and visited one of the recent converts in the Branch, who are planning to be sealed in April. Last Friday, I believe, I had a feeling that we needed to stop by them all day long so we stopped by but no one was home. I was a little confused why I had been feeling like they needed a visit so we left a note at the door and then we left. We went by a few days later where we found out that they had been out of town and the wife said to me, "One night while we were gone I had a dream that the missionaries came looking for us and it brought me a lot of comfort. When we came home we saw the note and it helped me know that God is watching over us." It was a pretty cool experience!

Also, this week while we were leaving the church on Wednesday there was a woman sitting ouside the chapel wondering when the church services were at and we said on Sunday. We didn't think much more on it and then we saw her at church on Sunday! The branch just completely fellowshipped her and she loved church! It turns out that she's Jewish but she really felt like she needed to come to our church. We tried to visit with her yesterday but she didn't show up to the lesson... We'll keep trying with her though.

Well, all in all we've had a pretty good week. We have a new Branch Mission Leader who is really excited about the work. It'll be nice because we didn't have a mission leader before! We're looking forward to this next week! Well I hope everyone has a wonderful week! The senior couple loved their gift. Thank you so much! I love you all so much!

-Elder David B. Fullmer

Note from his mom: He is feeling much better and had just got back from the dentist.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Come What May and Love It (A trip to the ER)

Dear Fullmer Family,

Happy New Year! I hope you all have a bright and wonderful new year knowing that the Mayan's were wrong and that the world isn't over! Haha.

This week has definitely been an interesting one. As you probably have heard it's been interesting. One of Elder Wirthlin's talks has been of help this past week, as he said,
"Come what may and love it!" In a General Conference Address he said, "When I was young I loved playing sports, and I have many fond memories of those days. But not all of them are pleasant. I remember one day after my football team lost a tough game, I came home feeling discouraged. My mother was there. She listened to my sad story. She taught her children to trust in themselves and each other, not blame others for their misfortunes, and give their best effort in everything they attempted. When we fell down, she expected us to pick ourselves up and get going again. So the advice my mother gave to me then wasn’t altogether unexpected. It has stayed with me all my life. “Joseph,” she said, “come what may, and love it.”
I have often reflected on that counsel. I think she may have meant that every life has peaks and shadows and times when it seems that the birds don’t sing and bells don’t ring. Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser, and happier as a result.
I love this talk because with all of the challenges that we will all face in life, the way we act after the trials is directly correlated with the strength, knowledge and understanding that we will recieve as consequence. I am continually reminded of that throughout my mission. I never thought, going into my mission, that I would have the trials that I have had. However as I have reacted to them with a possitive perspective, they have influenced me in ways that I see them as blessings rather than hinderances. I have, like many of us, on occasions responded to the problems or hard situations in a negative matter only to have my attitude be equally as negative. It is much better to take what ever the Lord sees fit to put in our way and love it.

This past week has been another example of that. This past Friday night after dinner I had a pretty serious pain in my stomach. Trying to forget about it we went back to the house, and I attempted to fall asleep. I only slept for about two hours because of the pain. I woke up at 6:30, as usual but didn't have much desire to do so. I showered and tried to get ready for the day when my companion said, "Elder, you really don't look very good. You're sweating a lot. How are you feeling?" I wasn't feeling well at all. He said that he would call the nurse for the mission and she responded after talking with the area doctor that I needed to go to the emergency room. When he relayed the message to me I did not want to go. I really had no desire whatsoever to go to the ER, something I had never done nor ever wanted to do. I was frustrated and I tried to mask the pain and pretend nothing was wrong. However, as I offered a short prayer I had the feeling that I need to follow the counsel that I had been given because it was the will of the Lord. I was scared but had the confidence that God would guide my steps. We got to the ER and I admitted myself and soon saw the doctor. After talking over my symptoms and my past history and after some tests they came to the conclusion that my ulcer was acting up and had started to bleed. Luckily I went in to the doctor at that time and I received the medicine that I need to heal the ulcer. These past experiences have taught me to turn to the Lord and Remember Him.

I love Helaman chaper 12 where it talks about Remembering the Lord. The word "remember" is used more times in this chapter than any other chapter in the Book of Mormon. It's of a loving father teaching his sons on how to recieve salvation. Not only remembering Christ will save us from our sins but our challenges and afflictions as well. Just as Alma states in Alma 7 that he will go forth suffering the pains and afflictions and temptations of all men that the word might be fulfilled that he will suffer the pains and the sicknesses of his people. As we always remember him as the sacramental prayers instruct us to do we can be relieved of the challenges that we all encounter in our lives. I know that my redeemer lives and as we remember that in the midst of our afflictions rather than self pity or complain, we can recieve the peace that surpasses all understanding, which peace is only found through Him. I love you all and pray for you constantly! Have a wonderful week :)
-Elder David B. Fullmer