Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Week 18 In the Field

Hey Everyone....Happy Memorial Day! What a great day to take some time out and remember those who have died while serving the country! Let me tell you about some crazy stuff that happened this week!

One of the members of our ward that we've been working with traveled to Sacramento and met Grandpa Kuhnen at Recycling Industries! Check them out:

This week we taught Chris, a new investigator who moved in with a member, about the Plan of Salvation. He loved it! It answered many of his questions about life and it's purpose. He had read a little of the Book of Mormon and liked it too. He believes this is the church for him, but wants to wait one more week before he commits to be baptized. So stay tuned to hear more about him!

We had to drop a lot of our investigators because they weren't progressing and we're working on going through the area book to sort through the potentials we've found over the transfer. This transfer ends on June 8 and I think I'll be staying in Rockwood so that's nice. I have some plans as to how we can really beef this area up. I'll talk more about that in subsequent weeks.

We were out finding on Friday and we ran into this guy named Church. Yeah..his name is Church. He is the funniest guy ever. We talked for probably an hour about how gay San Fransisco is. Somehow we ended up talking gospel and he was interested in our idea of repentance and that it's something you work for. He was raised with the idea that you give 10 hail marys and call it good. We set a return appointment for this Thursday so we shall see how that goes. Planning on teaching the restoration. 

So in the food department this was the week for authentic southern food that you only find here. We got invited to a members home and she served chicken wings, pork rib, corn, mashed potatoes....and gator tail...and frog legs.  I can now finally say I've had alligator tail and frog legs. The legs tasted like fish, and the gator tail tasted like chicken. It was pretty good. But my stomach did feel a little uncomfortable afterwards, but I'm all good now. We have so many leftovers from Saturday...it's a weird thought to think that I have 20 frog legs and part of an alligator tail in my refrigerator. 

For Memorial Day today we got invited to the local Freemason lodge for a homemade biscuit and gravy meal and to hang out with some of our investigators. Then we went shopping at Wal-Mart and then hit up the disc golf course at Roane County Park. Now here in a couple minutes we are headed to a different investigators house for a BBQ! What a great day! I hope you all are having a splendid Memorial day!
Until next week!

Scott Kuhnen
The Great Tennessee Knoxville Mission

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Week 17 In The Field

Hey Ya'll, it's time to come together indirectly over the internet again and tell yunz about this awesome week I had! 
Oh boy, I'm in a really good mood right now because looking back: our week was SOLID. We had so much happen this week...in the words of Grant Malquist "it was incredible!!!!". Finding and teaching wise...this has been one of the most successful weeks of my mission. We found 2 solid new investigators and 4 potentials. (I'm sure some of you who served in South America are saying "really!? We found 20!"). I got to teach some some investigators we found last week and see them begin to progress. Let me tell you about a few things that happened.

So there is a member who has a boyfriend named Chris. Chris has never heard about the church and asked his girlfriend lots of questions about the LDS church. It got to a point where instead of just answering, she called us over and we taught him the Restoration. At the end of the lesson; Chris said," Wow you guys answered a lot of my questions, and I feel like this is the church for me." It felt like we dropped a spiritual bomb on this guy. I mean we try and do that to everyone we meet, but Chris was something else. He's going to take the rest of the lessons and be baptized sometime soon. 

Also at Chris's place, was his cousin Austin. Austin has been soul searching for a while and met with missionaries before in Knoxville. During our Restoration lesson with Chris, Austin also decided that this is the church for him as well. So really in just one day we hit a 2 run home run. It's just a matter of circling the bases! It's so awesome to see people change their lives. This was a testimony building that the spirit can testify truths to those who are ready and prepared to listen.

Later on in the week we were contacting former investigators and we found this one dude named Ryan. Ryan is 28 and hadn't slept in 24 hours and looked like a heroin addict. (I assume everyone is a heroine addict before I talk to them). If you were here you would understand. But Ryan was just off, he asked me if I was a CNA, if I was a professor at some nursing college, or in a sorority...WORD? Well anyway we tried teaching him the Restoration but he wouldn't shut up about some girl. He talked about Jesus but then would just start sharing memories of his girlfriend! Without any proper English transition...or connection to anything! Well finally after telling us that he wanted to find her (after 2 years and still hasn't gotten over her) we told him that we hope it all works out, but don't do anything stupid and that we had to leave. As we were getting up he was like "Any recorders?" What? "Are you guys recording me" Uh No? We're missionaries.... You guys work for the Feds huh? No....dude look we carry scriptures...pamphlets etc. Well he didn't believe us and was getting pretty mad and in our face. Luckily his cousin; who plays basketball with us, was home and he came and dropped Ryan to the ground. We got out of there quick and will not be going back. Scary moment, but Ryan's cousin Chris, now wants us to teach him what we're all about. Can I get a #blessings

So we're at Chris and Austin as the two solids, and Chris as one of our 4 potentials. This kind of stuff doesn't happen by accident. The Lord will lead us to those whose hearts have been softened. But we also have to throw skin in the game.

Last week we had a Zone Meeting and President Griffin decided to get rid of meal appointments unless a non-member is present. At first I was vexed, but now I realize why. When missionaries are eating at members home usually between 5-7 that's prime time to catch people home. We need to be out finding people then or teaching lessons, not hangin out with people who already know what we teach. We're lucky we have meal appointments with part member families every week so another reason to not turn green. 

Well that's all for this week. Guys the fullness of the gospel is here on the earth RIGHT NOW. If you haven't ever checked out the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints you should. It's a pretty dope church. I look at all the big questions people ask themselves "where did I come from?" "What is the purpose of life?" "What happens when we die?" "What about those who couldn't hear about Jesus?" "How can I know for myself?" "Why are there so many flippin churches!?!?!" These are all questions we have answers to. If you want to find answers to your questions go check out the website: Www.mormon.org and request a visit from the missionaries in your area. Or ask me... and if you live in the big 650 of yay area, I can hook you up with some cool dudes. 

Anyway: Hope yunz have a good week! Roughly 168 hours till the next report!

Scott Kuhnen
The Great Tennessee Knoxville Mission

Week 16 In the Field

Hey everyone it's makeshift P-Day!   Yesterday we had a Zone meeting in Knoxville so P-day was moved to today.

Me and a pure bred French Bull Dog...
It was another good week this past week, but I have to tell you guys what we did this morning was so cool. We went fishing and I caught 7 fish.  The fishing was nice, but the breakfast we ate afterwards was legendary. We went to a members farm and they cooked pancakes with farm fresh colossal eggs and freshly slaughtered sausage. Guys,  you don't understand the flavor of true sausage. I'm just letting y'all know that your missing out! . When you get extra large eggs that are fresh, the flavor cannot be compared with anything you get in the store. Maybe the celestial kingdom has better eggs, but these are awesome!  

So this week was filled with appointments, appointments, and more appointments. We taught 20 lessons this week, which for our mission is good. We've gone from 10 a week to 20, so hey, we got something going on here!

On Tuesday, we taught a family who we've reconnected with now, and the Mom is doing great! She has been reading the Book of Mormon and trying her darndest to find time get to church. She works on Sunday, which is a problem, but we still go over twice a week.  We have a couple ward members fighting us to let them come to the lessons.  Shark tank much? We also said goodbye to the Lance family as they travel cross country back to California for a couple months. But we are FaceTiming with them and teaching them while they go have a little fun in the sun.
Wednesday we were at the Spanish Apartments so Elder Patterson could teach a dude he's been working with from Guatemala. This sketchy looking dude came up to us while we were knocking on dude 1's door. He was all like "So you guys Mormons?"...uh yeah...."So do you have like a Bible I can have?" Heck yeah we got one! We gave him a copy in English ( because we were a little surprised he spoke English), but then he busted out in Spanish to his friend so we also got him a Spanish one...and Book of Mormon. This dude had read the Book by Friday and loved it. We're going back to those apartments tomorrow and I'll be teaching this guy...Michael in English, while Patterson teaches dude 1 in Spanish. Awesome day for us in Spring City!
Gone Fishin' 

Thursday we got to go help set up a booth at the Tennessee Medevil fair. Got to meet some guys that make
 custom weapons and armor. Weapons I understood, but you could get custom black knight armor suits for $3,000!  I'd rather get one of those suits for church instead of Versace!

Jacob has gone AWOL on us.  We have tried stopping by and calling and no response. He was the one negative thing that happened to us this week! Other than him, everyone else is doing great. We have 7 progressing, 3 new, and 2 potentials at the end of last week. Our teaching pool is bigger than that, but those are our most recent additions and closest to baptism. It's good for us here in Rockwood!

Well, that about sums up the week. Thanks Menlo Park Elder's Quorum for the shutout! 
Hope you all have a good week!
Scott Kuhnen 
The Great Tennessee Knoxville Mission 
Me and a ferret. They look like really big tempura styled shrimp.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Week 15 In The Field

Hey everyone,
 It's Monday again! This week went by really fast. Hope everyone had a good Mother's day, I know I did. We did a lot of fun things. Talking to the family was very nice. We took some J Golden Kimball talks on our iPad and played them over the pulpit at church. Did some foolin around on the Piano, and ate Pizza! Today we are at our apartment using our monthly free pass on Xfinity wifi so we don't have to drive 10 miles to wifi. Then we are going Downtown to hit up the pawn shop and antique store, then a members house for lunch. Then probably play monopoly for the rest of the day. 
This week we taught 22 lessons, with 11 of those with members present. It was a very good week. Here's a little update on some of our teachees:
We had our weekly visit with Jacob; and we've come to a halt in his progression. Jacob has two problems: 1. Smoking. he keeps telling us he wants to quit smoking, but he never really tries. We showed him the 15 step guide that LDS missionaries have, but he says he's already tried everything. 2. Law of Chastity. Jacob lives with a woman and they are not married. He told us the reason they live together is because she needs him to take care of her. She cannot live by herself, and he doesn't make enough to live on his own either. So they do it together, but he refuses to marry her. So we will continue to visit Ronnie, but we have come to a few road blocks. He knows the church is true, and that Thomas Monson is the prophet, but will not exert faith and change his environment. Jacob is a fun guy though, he gave me 2 of my 3 confederate flags. He also told me he wants to buy me a cop taser. Like the type you shoot at people. He bought my companion a guitar, Uke, and Confederate flag. The guy before me got a Keyboard, Banjo, Amp, Knife, and Confederate Flag. So who knows what I'll be walking out of Rockwood with. 
Scott, a dude whose been investigating the church for what seems like an eternity, came to church this week. First time in 5 years. He always has the missionaries over, feeds us, but would never come to church. Well; he finally came, and said that he would be back next week because he felt something when he walked in. That's called the spirit everybody. Take notes. Scott is having us over tomorrow so that lesson will be exiting!
William is a 18 year old dude, who hadn't been to church in a year. We were looking for his mom (whose records were sent to us by their old ward); but we ended up finding William instead. He said he wanted to come back to church, so we took him and after church he expressed to us that he wanted to serve a mission. Woah. I didn't even want to serve that bad. First day back in church after a year,  at a new ward trying to relearn doctrine...asking to go on a mission is the last thing I expected. Another testimony that only the Holy Ghost is what really "converts" you. Not people. We  teach doctrine, the Holy Ghost teaches and  confirms truth. That's how everyone who believes the LDS church to be the fullness of the Gospel came to know. Anyone can as well, it's just a matter of will YOU try? Will YOU do the scripture study, prayer, and other work and effort to find out for yourself. Joseph Smith didn't just claim to see God one day randomly. He studied and was religiously confused for many years. It all happened with a sincere prayer. God knows the desire of our hearts, we can't fool him. If we go through the motions, God won't give us answers. Haggai chapter 1:5 "Consider your ways". 

Sorry this has been shorter, We don't have much time to email today. I need to get back into the habit of pre-writing these posts so they'll be more descriptive. Part of the problem is that now that I'm in a car, we do a lot more teaching; instead of tracting and getting funny stories. So I promise to do better next week.
Hope you guys have a good week!

Scott Kuhnen
The Great Tennessee Knoxville Mission

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Week 14 In the Field

C'mon Vamanos! Everybody lets go! C'mon lets get too it! I know that we can do it! Where are we going? Kuhnen's Blog! Hurrrayy!

Alright that's enough Dora the Explorer...although I came up  with several Nickelodeon twists to this post, I'll save ya'll the grief. 

So this week was a very good week for us in Rockwood/ Spring City/ Oakdale. We packed our schedule with appointments, and a few service opportunities...and we had a BAPTISM on SUNDAY. I'll talk more about it after these temporal observations.

If there was one thing I learned this week it was that you don't talk trash about the South (cough* cough* Shaan Chilikuri) The people here want you to know a few things: 1. You got a problem with their battle flag or way of life? Come say it to their face. 2. Come try and take their guns and you'd better come with a group of people because you and as many as they have bullets for are going to get a casket. 
That brings me to my next observation: Guns. In Tennessee; the local high school has a gunsmith class, where kids can bring in guns from home and learn about how to fix them. Out West, we see gang violence; and guns being misused by immature people. Guns are viewed as tools only idiots or evil people have. Why would anybody need them? Well in the South, gun ownership is a method of teaching kids to mature. Everyone we meet over 16 has a gun with them. Parents have taught them from an early age about the reality that scares everyone out West: Guns allow people to kill easily. But they don't just give guns to anyone...the kids have to earn them. They learn to respect the weapon, take care of them, learn the "rules" of using them etc. Nobody points the gun at anyone unless they are willing to shoot right then. When everybody knows that everybody is armed, it makes it a big incentive to not try and start anything or commit crime. 

Apparently Obama laid out some new gun regulation proposals; and everyone down here just is chuckling because nobody is "buying" guns anymore...they're buying the parts separately and then assembling the weapon themselves. Can't register parts, so if you build it yourself, the government doesn't know you have it. It's becoming more popular than buying guns from stores like Walmart or Gun Shops that require registration. 

Last gun remark for the week. Every home we go into I ask how many guns the people have. I've been in 3 homes in Knoxville that didn't have firearms...to one home in Spring City that has 55 guns. (I counted them myself). I'm keeping track in a tab and the average household has 5 guns. One family I've met is in the process of mounting a 30 cal machine gun on their roof. So if the government does end up trying to squeeze the right to bear arms, the people will give the government the right to bear the arms of the dead back to the funeral homes. 

So don't try it guys. Many times when I tell someone I'm from California...I get these messages. 

Ok, SO WHAT HAPPENED THIS WEEK? Well...Here's a look from 11am -8pm from this past week. 

This isn't entirely accurate. Blue is scheduled lessons, green is finding, yellow is service, purple is studies, red is meetings. But we try to stay busy. 

We found some new investigators, and lost a few. I'll expound on a few of these blocks that turned out real well.

We recently found the Sealis family, they are a large family that somehow grew up not religious. Unlike California; where religion isn't important anymore, it still plays a major role in the South. It's called the Bible Belt for a reason. Anyway, we taught them the restoration and it wasn't going so good at the beginning, but then we started talking about the Great Apostasy and the need for a restoration. BOOM, spiritual bomb was leveled on this family's head and everything made sense. I can't remember what we said, or anything I just know that they had a very big Ah-Ha! moment. We were pretty much commanded to come back after that lesson. They came to church this Sunday; wish we could have them at the baptism, but all things in due time. I'll continue to update yall's on their progress. 
The Baptism on Sunday.

Jacob is having a rut.  He doesn't want to put in effort to quit smoking, but he tells us every time we see him that he's going to do it the next day. He comes to church and everything, just needs to muster the strength to get er done. 

Scott (hey) is doing great. He is learning about the restoration and finds the restoration of the priesthood to be of great interest. He can't get enough of the Great Apostasy. Scott is working towards being baptized, it's just a matter of understanding and feeling right about it. He believes in everything we teach him, he just wants to understand more before he gets involved, which is totally OK. 

The Baldwins are a family that have us over for bible study. They like how we can explain things, and won't ask for money. It's been hard to teach them only because they are strong in their church, but we taught the Plan of Salvation 2 weeks ago, and they showed up at our church early yesterday. It was pretty cool to have them come and feel the spirit. They enjoyed it and said they would be back again. 

What Tennessee will do to you...
Finally, we had a baptism this week. The ward actually had 2 on Sunday. We had our baptism with Cheyanne; and the other Elders had Barbara. We had most of the Ward there to witness it. It was a great experience, and it's my first baptism that I actually taught all the lessons. She was super exited and invited her school class and teacher, who got to hear the message of the Restoration. We could possibly be meeting with the teacher this next week, so hold onto your hats! Baptisms are a great opportunity to learn about the church. (Especially when it's a convert) It's a time where people can gather and witness for themselves the change in a person.  They can see what baptism is really all about and how important it is to God's plan and especially why it should be done with priesthood power.

Well I hope you all have a great week this week. Sorry about the gun rants, I was really bored in Seminary this morning. Stay tuned for next week..it's coming real soon!

Scott Kuhnen
The Great Tennessee Knoxville Mission