Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Week 10 In the Field

Hey everybody BIG NEWS! I got transferred!
Elder Patterson with a bearded dragon.
 It was very unexpected and a little upsetting at first, but now it's back to being awesome and BACK AT IT. The original plan was for me to finish this transfer and go another in Knoxville but instead, I'm now in Rockwood, Tennessee! It's a small town about 50 miles west of Knoxville, and it's very country. It reminds me of Coalfax or Auburn, California sometimes. It's also great because we have a car which makes life so much less stressful....really!  The only downside is now I have no excuse to not watch my weight and after these few days, it's going to be rough.. People out here like the missionaries...just sayin'.   

My new companion is Elder Patterson. He's from Arizona and is really cool! He loves to play the piano, Disneyland, and the Gospel! He is a misionero para LA Iglesia De JESUCHRISTO De Los Santos De Los Ultimos Dias. If you can't read Spanish...he's a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That's the other big news, I'm learning Spanish! My call hasn't been officially changed as of right now, but it could be if I become good enough! We shall see in the future. 

We've had a lot of really awesome things happen the past few days here in Rockwood. The first day I got here we had a lesson with a girl named Cheyanne who's been working on getting ready to be baptized. She is 9 years old and has been taking the lessons for a while now. Picking a baptismal date and been hard due to family obligations, pressure from friends, and personal desire, but at the end of our lesson (tithing) she decided that she was ready. We set a date for April 23. The family is very exited and so are we! 

Elder Kuhnen starting to feel at home in Rockwood!
Coming into the area, there had been a family that was on date to be baptized, but due to issues with housing, the family was lost and went MIA with the church. On Thursday we got a call from them letting us know that they had found a home and were ready to have us come back over. We will be working with them this upcoming week to get them back on date to enter the waters of baptism. 

Conference was pretty good huh? 

Can I give a shoutout to NATHAN RICHES, and JARED for KILLING it in the choir during Priesthood session?!?!  Nathan, they didn't show you as much as Jared, but when they did I nudged everyone in the branch that came that that's my boy!

I was impressed with all of the talks, but the talk that stuck out the most, (beside Elder Holland of course) was Dale G. Renlund from the Saturday morning session. The biggest lesson learned  was the more we distance ourselves from Jesus Christ and the Atonement, the more we feel entitled to Grace. This is a very true statement. I can feel the difference from times in my life when I have gone out of my way to distant myself from the church, and that blessings do NOT come as we think they should. But when we come closer to Christ and His gospel, all of a sudden....WE START GETTING THE BLESSINGS WE WANT. A universal blessing we all want is true, lasting happiness. This is available to all who follow and LIVE the gospel of Christ. It then gets more personal as you allow Christ to direct your life. If you stop focusing on yourself, and focus on Christ and serving Him, He will focus on you. Let him take care of you, because I guarantee you, He can do a heckova lot better job than you can. 

Elder Kuhnen with bearded dragon!
So now for the food. I cannot wait another week to talk to ya'll about this here food we gettin'. So my first meal when I got here was with a senior couple. For four people, this sweet grandmother made a whole ham, 3 sweet potatoes for each person, buckets of mashed potatoes, broccoli, a couple of apple pies, and custard with whipped cream. All homemade.  Talk about...woah. That's all I could say, with a lot of sincere  "Thank-You's!"  Oh man, we eatin' good in Rockwood! Hey rhymin' accidentally...Chris Smoove anyone? 

These people are also really funny, and kinda scary. The husband, Frank, expressed his interest on mounting a 50 cal. machine gun on the roof, but his wife talked him down to a 30 cal. They're working on figuring out just how they're going to do that, but nevertheless: Welcome to the South!
The next dinner, we ate homemade biscuits and gravy, with sausage, sausage, and more sausage. Once again, fire. I got to hold a bearded dragon, and learned that it's skin is poisonous to humans, which was awesome because they told me this as it was crawling on the back of my neck. I think I'll be okay though, my skin isn't purple yet. 

Yesterday we visited this guy named Ronnie. This guy records music in his bedroom, and has the missionaries come over to be his "band". He's pretty weird, and his house reeks of nicotine and smoke (so does everywhere)   but he really loves having the missionaries over. He's been investigating the church for some time, and he is currently in the process of quitting smoking. He likes to give missionaries things like guitars, and other things he's got laying around, but for me, I got his Rebel Battle Flag. It's pretty cool, and now hanging from my ceiling. 

Elder Kuhnen with Rebel Battle Flag from Ronnie
Well that's all for this week everyone. One last thing, in Knoxville we had access to wifi,, but here in Rockwood, we are pretty spread out. I probably won't be at the church all day, so if anyone want's to write me and get a response that week, you should send the email on SUNDAY night. If you want to risk doing it on Monday just remember Tennessee is 3 hours ahead of California, and 2 hours ahead of Utah. Thanks everyone. Go Giants, Go Warriors!

Elder Kuhnen
The Great Tennessee Knoxville Mission

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