Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Week 9 In the Field

Hey everyone, Happy Easter!

It's P-day again. We’ve had a great week full of lessons and service 

appointments. Sorry if this email doesn't seem as funny as some of the 

others, I'm having a hard time right now, or as Mom would say, "he's not 

feeling the Mojo". Recently, we got a new rule that says missionaries 

cannot congregate as zones for P-day. This means we cannot leave our 

district areas so we have to quickly create a new P-Day routine. In spite of 

our recent afflictions, we still had a lot of things happen this week. 

On Sunday the 27th, I hit the 2 month mark of me in Tennessee! Woohoo 

22 for to go! 

On Tuesday we had some team ups that went really well. We begin by 

contacting a referral that ended up being a dud. We were looking for a guy 

named Mr. Logan. Well we found his brother, who introduced himself as 

Minister (different first name) Logan. He was very uninterested in our 

invitation to watch the Easter message video. He tried to bash and when he 

wouldn't give us the actual location of his brother, we departed. Then we 

visited with Aida, a woman who has been investigating the church for 3 

years. She's been through several sets of missionaries during that time and 

when we sat down with her, she told us we've been the only missionaries 

that have her considering coming to church. She really likes us, but is hard 

to work with her because she doesn't let us prepare lessons. We just 

answer her questions and come as friends. She's told us she's going to 

come watch General Conference with us, and then come to church with us 

the following week, so I think that is big progress and hopefully a bright 

future for her. 

Roger came over later in the day and we all worked out. Later that evening 

we went contacting less active members with the ward clerk and found 

someone is now an active member of an Episcopalian church. That was a 

awkward conversation.

Wednesday we did some service for a member in the ward. The member 

had a 500 lb bag of leveling sand we had to move up and out of the 

driveway. With 3 people it took us a good 15-20 minutes. The hard part 

was getting it on a palate which took some creativity. The final solution was 

to wedge it up with a wheelbarrow with a wedged ramp on the other side 

while pulling from a 3 foot wall. Elder Beard threw out his back, but he's 

slowly recovering. 

A new family, the Strub Family, from 

Mesa/Phoenix/Tempe/anyotherphoenixsuburb moved in and they fed us 

deep fried tacos. Man, they were good Corn tortilla with some meat in the 

middle, fried up with some cheese, sour cream, more meat, beans and rice 

on top. Oh yeah! 

Thursday was zone conference. President talked about the importance of 

contacting media referrals within 1 hour because those referrals have been 

verified by people in Salt Lake. We also cannot wear white-soled shoes or 

crazy socks while proselytizing. Also, no more large print ties, but these 

knew rules don't really affect me so I'm not too bummed out. Later that day 

Roger Johnson came over to work out and we did chest day. Ben Softky 

would have been proud. 

Friday was weekly planning, then we went out contacting passing out pass-

along cards. We passed out about 40 cards. Our ward mission leader came 

with us to visit a less active family who has an 8 year old trying to get 

baptized. The problem with this family is that they are very irreverent. The 

kids do whatever they want and hardly pay attention during lessons. On 

Sunday, they were so bad, a ward member cussed them out in the parking 

lot. It was a pretty scary thing to hear. Lesson learned: don't play with the 

people in the South, they aren't afraid to repent later. A member took us out 

to eat on Friday to some Mexican restaurant. It was good. I ate a super 

burrito but it wasn't nearly the same as Los Gallos in Redwood City!

Saturday, we did some service for Bro. Rogers, the craziest guy you'll ever 

meet. This guy grows his own hot peppers. Not jalapeños or habanero, but 

like Tasmanian hellfire, or Carolina something, and many others. He takes 

these peppers and brews his own hot sauces. He let me try some of the 

hottest sauce ever. It was amazing. The sauce I tried had been aged for 10 

years and was full of flavor. It wasn't just heat and no flavor, it had 

immense flavor...with a ton of heat. Bro Rogers cooked us Mancakes (15 

inch pancakes) with a 5 inch sausage pie per person, and 3 eggs. I ate one 

of everything topped with lots of this hot sauce. Then we went to go do yard 

work for 2 1/2 hours, and when we came in he's made BBQ sauce and hot 

sauce infused hot dogs smothered in liquid smoke mesquite sauce. If you 

asked if I ate good Saturday, the answer was yes! 

We went out and visited a few people with the Elders Quorum President. 

We talked to a women who just became a new investigator, but she speaks 

Spanish and little English so we're probably going to hand her off to the 

Spanish Elders. We tried visiting our investigator Chris, but his girlfriend 

was there and wouldn't let us in or talk to him. Roger came over and 

worked out, it was arm day. 

Sunday we had a lot of E and C members come. The Chapel was packed 

of less active people and recent converts. To put into perspective how 

many less active people this ward rooster has, we have an average 

Sacrament Meeting attendance of 120 and the ward roster is sitting around 

500. That's nothing compared to some of the Baptist churches around who 

draw over 1,000 members for a service. 

We had an 89 year old man give a talk on the atonement. It was an 

awesome talk, and what made it extra special was that he had a stroke 

about a month ago and is on oxygen and can't walk without a walker. 

Despite his physical condition, he wanted to speak in church. So he did. 

His wife who is 20 years younger, spoke on the true meaning of Easter and 

how Christ is alive and how we will all be resurrected because He loosened 

the bands of death. 

We had lunch at a member’s house and it was phenomenal. Pork chops 

marinated overnight in soy, onion, paprika, (and some other sauce I can't 

spell), seasoned asparagus, cheese broccoli, rice and fresh rolls. Then we 

went over a few hours later to another house for dinner and we had 

salmon, rice and salad. I never ate salad before the mission, but I've 

decided as long as it's just greens and Ranch Dressing, it's alright. But it 

has to be Hidden Valley Ranch because all the other brands taste like 

runny, white, dog poop. 

Here's a little spiritual thought I found this week during my personal study. 

I've been reading the book of Matthew these past few weeks. It takes me 

about an hour to read a chapter because I'm always looking for what God 

is trying to tell me in the chapter. A few days ago I was reading out of 

Matthew 27, versus 57-60. It reads," 

57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathæa, named 

Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:

58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate 

commanded the body to be delivered.

 59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen 

cloth, 

60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and 

he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed."

When I read this I was instantly struck with a testimony of paying fast 

offerings and service. Now if you had asked me to pay fast offerings two 

months ago, I would have told you, “you are not even getting tithing from 

me right now". But this is so powerful what Joseph did. He gave up his own 

tomb for Christ...literally his body. Back in these days people had to chisel 

out by hand the rock to make a tomb, it was very expensive. It took several 

months, if not multiple years, depending on the specifications of the tomb. 

Joseph decided to give up something of great value for him, for someone 

else. While that person is Christ, we learn in Mosiah 2:17 ,"

17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye 

may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only 

in the service of your God"

So there are two things here. While we cannot render service to Christ 

literally as Joseph did, we know that when we serve and take care of our 

fellow man, it is just the same in the eyes of God. Joseph was also a rich 

man, but he didn't let his social status be an excuse not to go do work 

himself. He didn't pay someone to go beg for the body, he did it, he moved 

it himself, he did all the work. God is watching y'all, God knows the intent of 

our hearts, we cannot trick him into thinking we are humble when we are 

actually greedy or prideful. One way to show the intent of your heart is by 

paying a generous fast offering. Yeah, it's going to be hard sometimes, but 

God always will bless you to find a way. 

Here's a example from my mission:

We've been encouraged to pay fast offerings to the ward we serve in while 

on our mission. We didn't pay in February, which was a really bad month 

for meal appointments for us. We got maybe 2-3 a week. In March, I paid 


$20, which doesn't seem like a lot, but out of the $140 we get a month, it 

made it stressful. My companion spent most of his money shipping boxes 

home as he gets ready to return to California. So I ended up buying most of 

the food, cleaning supplies, and bus passes. We breezed through our food 

quick. But a few Sunday's ago, we got blessed big time. The ward decided 

they weren't doing a good job feeding us, so we got every day taken care 

of for the rest of the month. That $20 would have allowed us to get enough 

food to last us the 2 weeks we needed to go, but instead the Lord decided 

to give us real meals instead. I'm telling you, sacrifice and following the 

commandments works! 

So next time you find out someone needs something, don't think you can't 

help, and don't think writing a check is all you can do. We all have bodies, 

we can all work and nobody is too busy to serve. Serving our fellow man, is 

serving God. We are blessed when we serve, and we are blessed when we 

pay fast offerings. 

Hope y'all have a good week and prepare for conference!

Elder Kuhnen
The Great Tennessee Knoxville Mission

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