Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 44!
So, just in case anybody didn't know, I'll bet getting surgery tomorrow (Tuesday) to get my Gall Bladder removed! Isn't that FUN! I'll FINALLY be able to eat more than fruits and vegetables! Say "HELLO!" to Dairy Queen! I will be quite high on Tuesday, so my companion and I will play Pokemon Master Trainer (the old board game) and he will be taking video. It will be fantastic! :D
They won't let me keep my Gall Bladder. I wanted to put it in a jar and send it home with a note saying "I figured that you missed me, so I thought that I'd send a piece of me home!" That's would have been fantastic, but NOOOO. Thay have to send it to pathology and make sure that it's not cancerous! lame. 
It was SUPER cool to have lunch with the Heath family on Saturday! It was fun to catch up. JOE ALDRIDGE: INDIA?!?!?! THE CRAP??? It was fun to find out about everyone going on a mission! Our stake is the best. I'm a tad disappointed in my parents for not telling me anything. 
Today I want to talk about God's love for us. We taught a silly teenager a few days ago who thought that he was the coolest thing ever and didn't need Christ in his life. That was the saddest thing ever. 
I WISH THAT I COULD MAKE YOU ALL UNDERSTAND EXACTLY HOW MUCH GOD LOVES YOU! With all my heart. This scripture accurately describes it:

Isaiah 53:3-5
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Christ suffered for you. He experienced every single thing that everyone has experienced and will ever experienced. He is a celebrity who's only purpose is to help you to become like him. He is all love and all righteousness. He is everything. In every instance his love is infinite. He loves you so much and wants you to come back to him. Please accept him.
 Honoring God
Elder Decker

Sunday, June 29, 2014

week 43!
shout out to Katelyn Heath who is now married... or will be this week. I don't actually know...
This week has been pretty grand. We had a bunch of ups and downs, as usual, but we found 2 new people to teach and they're solid! yay! 
Oh yeah, maybe I should tell you all about the gall bladder test. So... They did a test on me. First they shot me up with some fun radioactive... juice... so they could see my inner... ness under a scanner. Then, after an hour, they shot me up with the enzyme that the stomach shoots out when it needs the assistance of the gall bladder. During this time, I was not having an enjoyable experience. I thought that I was going to throw up because of pain. That was not fun. So, they're taking my gall bladder out in the next few weeks. It's functioning at 50%. 
I asked the lady who did the test how likely it would be for me to get super powers. She said that it was unlikely. I died a little bit inside. But at least I could say that I was radioactive for a while there. #thatsong
Also, the doctor put me on a zero fat diet. I can't even eat chicken. I've been eating fruit ant pretzels. It's interesting to see what members make for our . 
So yeah. What I'd like to talk a little bit about today is the word "disciple." My mind was blown this past week: "Disciple-Discipline" We cannot be a disciple unless we are disciplined and do what we are told to do by he who we follow. If we want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ we must follow him and do what he says. Every definition that I can find for "disciple" has to do with accepting and spreading the teachings of someone else. 
First question: Are you a DISCIPLE of Jesus Christ or do you just praise him? The distinction is applying his teachings to your life.
Second question: What do you need to do to be a better disciple? Might you need to discipline yourself more in one way or another?
a few scriptures to think about: 
Matt 7:21
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
-We need to keep the commandments. (be disciplined)
Corinthians 10:13
13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
-You will not be tempted to sin above your ability to resist it, and God will help you to be his real disciple.
I testify that as we CHANGE ourselves to follow the will of God, we will be blessed beyond our capacity to receive it. He loves us so much. The path of His Son, Jesus Christ, is the path that we must follow in order to become like like and be his disciple.
Honoring God
Elder Decker  
This past week was a roller coaster of emotions and happenstances. It was pretty crazy, but THAT'S LIFE! Yay! I love it when life is experienced! 
Last week we has that couple drop, and we were a bit discouraged. THIS WEEK we got 3 referrals from the members on people to visit, so it looks like the work is moving forward anyway!
 Last week we went spelunking and that's where we got those pictures! 
God is currently blessing me with opportunities to exercise patience. 
I want to talk a bit about finding out truth for yourself. James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, lest him ask of God; that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given you."
We must all find, for ourselves, the truth. We cannot depend on someone else's beliefs, we must know for ourselves. We need to ask God what the truth is. He will tell us. 
 The amazing thing about this Restored Gospel is that the only way to find the truth about it is to follow the example of Joseph Smith. He wanted to know, for himself, which church is true, so he prayed and asked God.
He received an answer. God and Jesus Christ appeared to him and called him to be a new prophet. He was called at a young age, like Samuel, and he was unlearned, like Peter. 
I know that he was called to restore the truth on the earth, and I know that you can know it too. God will answer your prayer if you ask in faith and real intent. If he knows that you will act on what you receive, he will give. 
Honoring God
Elder Decker

Thursday, June 12, 2014

To be honest this week (41) has probably been the worst week I've had as a missionary. 
The abdominal pain continues. The ultrasound didn't show any problems. They're going to have me meet with the GI soon.
Some people who we've been teaching, and were going to get baptized next week, fell of the deep end in a super-massive fiery ball that was visible from space. Long story short: They both got drunk (and maybe high), got in a fight, and hit each other with a baseball bat and broken beer bottles. One is in jail and the other is moving to Washington state. Isn't that just delightful?
I was feeling kinda down and discouraged after that happened but this morning I felt impressed to read Helamen chapters 4-5. In there it has this scripture:
11 "Now this great loss of the Nephites, and the great slaughter which was among them, would not have happened had it not been for their wickedness and their abomination which was among them..."
This gave me comfort, because it stated that what happened is not my fault at all. The super sad thing happened because of their unrighteous decisions. 
Let us all learn to destroy the guilt the "I could have done better" thoughts about friends and family who have taken wrong paths. We cannot change the past and people have their agency. All that we can do is change the future. What will you do to make things better? What you do to help them? 
I testify that God loves each and every one of us. I testify that everyone has their ability to chose (no matter how annoying it is sometimes.) 
Something that helped me a lot with what happened was a talk given by Cheryl on Sunday. My entire mission is worth it because of her. She is a light and an example to all of us about conversion and prayer. 
Thank you all for all that you do. Thank you for supporting me! 
oh yeah... HAPPY FREAKING LATE BIRTHDAY MOM AND MARIA! :D I hope you don't get sick!
Honoring God
Elder Decker  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

This past week has been rather eventful.
First off, the Doctor thinks that it's a gallbladder thing after all.
He said "There are two ways to test and see if it's gallbladder. One,
you can avoid fatty foods and see if you start to feel better, or,
two, you can gorge yourself and see if you feel worse." I tried the
second one. It's a gallbladder thing. If you're having gallbladder
problems, don't eat ice cream or drink milk. That's the worst.
ALSO, if you're having gallbladder problems and a recent convert tells
you to chug a bottle of Coke and burp it out, DON'T DO IT. I sent her
a text that said "I hope you know how much pain I'm in right now." I
hate the taste of coke anyway. That was not fun.
BUT, this week was pretty good. quite fantastic actually. We had a
Zone Conference, some sweet lessons, and a cool opportunity to give a
blessing. One of our investigators is having trouble forgiving herself
and feels really bad for some things that she's done. We offered her a
blessing and she accepted. The Spirit in the room was SO strong. I was
giving the blessing and I knew what it was that Heavenly Father wanted
her to hear. This is my favorite part about being a missionary. I love
feeling that God is using me to bless others.
This is a sweet scripture that was shown to me this past week.
Doctrine and Covenants 35:8,13
“For I am God, and mine arm is not shortened; and I will show
miracles, signs, and wonders, unto all those who believe on my
name.Wherefore, I call upon the weak things of the world, those who
are unlearned and despised, to THRASH the nations by the power of the
I know that there are miracles in these times. I know that if you will
have faith and will act, miracles will be shown unto you and you will
know it. You just, simply, need faith.
I heard this quote this past week. "God uses the unlikely to
accomplish the impossible." HOW TRUE IS THAT? Heavenly Father used
David against Goliath. He called Samuel as the prophet. Christ called
fisherman to be his Apostles. Joseph Smith, a 14 year old kid with a
3rd grade education, grew up on a little farm in New York in the
1800's was called to Restore Christ's Church on the Earth.
God uses the humble to accomplish his purposes. Are you humble enough
for God to work through you to fulfill his purposes? If you're not,
fix yourself.
I know that if we humble ourselves and give everything to God we will
be blessed with the opportunity to do amazing things.
Honoring God
Elder Decker
So this past week (week 39) has been pretty good. On Thursday I woke
up sick and I've been sick since. The Mission Doctor isn't sure what
it is. I've got an appointment with him tonight to try to figure it
out. It might be a gall bladder thing... Now that Mom said that she
got her's taken out 3 years ago... That'll be fun :D (lies.)
Friday, while I was feeling sick, I though that I had lost my wallet
the day before at Walmart when I went to get some tums and prylosec
the night before. So we went over to Walmart to see if they had it.
They did not have it, but we DID talk to some nice people. Then we
proceeded to go home, where I found my wallet. Heavenly Father wants
us in specific places and times for reasons that we don't know.
If you're having a hard time, you might need to be there so that you
can help somebody else who might be in the future. Do not lose hope,
because Christ will always be there to help you through everything if
you let him.
Honoring God
Elder Decker