Don't worry I am not counting down or anything... only Returned missionaries will understand that sometimes your brain runs away from home on pdays... Every time i sit down to email i solidify what happened as a write the title and that might just be the hardest thing i face today haha. Just a little sneak peak inside the mind of Elder Jeppson...
Story time. So we went to go help our friend J* with family history this last Thursday. He has a tonnnn of family records, pictures, and other family memorabilia in a huge dresser drawer but the problem is that since he is in a wheelchair he cannot easily access it. So we got to go through a bunch of "cool old stuff" way back to the late 1800's and talk a walk through his family's history. Way sweet:) I took a picture of just a bit of the cool old stuff and its way cool... and old heh heh. (Should i only use those two adjectives for the rest of the email?) Anyways, we set up a family search account( which was a journey of its own) and then started to plug stuff in. Well he had a hard time remembering his Grandfathers birthday and other information so we we rifling through all of his stuff to see if there was any useful info. If you have never used the family search database, you might not know that it is the worlds largest by a long shot. So if you plug in your grandfather and he has already been indexed into the database, it will automatically link all of the additional info; namely, more family :) So this was pretty huge if we found something because his family has been very Danish going all the way back to kings and the likes so if we found the right info we would be able to hit a jackpot.
Well this is the part where it got pretty neat because there was a large box with tape all over it. It looked like it hadn't been opened since he last moved so i took my knife and popped it open and starting going through a bunch of new photos and papers. I came to a small stack wrapped in a newspaper that had the names of two individuals on it so i unfolded it and found a registration card. I wasn't sure at that moment if that was who we were looking for but I asked what it was and he said that it was required during World War I that everyone carry a certain identification card on them at all times. This card looked important but i kept going through more of the stuff but i had a nagging feeling that i should probably look a little harder at the card. Well, "just to be safe" i thought, i went through the rest of the box but when i got to the end of the line i felt again that i should open up the file wrapped in newspaper and look at the card. I asked who the man was on the card and he said "oh... well that is my grandfather!" So we were able to plug it in and BAM we found a line going back to the 1600's through his grandfather. Way sweet!! He was able to see that it really is legit stuff we are helping him with and that we aren't just two monkeys in suits pushing buttons. That was probably one of the victories of the week! :)
Another highlight is that we did what we call "suicide calls" which now that I am thinking about should probably have a new/different name haha. But that basically means that you just call everyone in the phone and make a list of what happens and delete numbers and that sort of thing. Our phone is ancient and had people in it from all the way back to 2006 so it was about time haha. It was a neat and creative way to find because Elder Thurman is one of those people with the gift of talking in a way people listen and he is really good with people, so we channeled his talent into that haha. My goal is to stay as busy as possible until the day i go home and we had some "slower days" so it was the perfect time to do so. The results... there are now 19 people who we either have an appointment in the works or who would like us to call back!! So that should funnel out to a couple solid new friends to teach:)
Well I am stoked to share the part two of last weeks spiritual thought so here it comes:
Once again shoutout to Scott because this put together some puzzle pieces in my head that I have been trying to put together all week :) :
We discussed the importance of building inner strengths and positive emotions. Research has shown that positive emotions can help heal psychological wounds, improve resilience, well-being, and life satisfaction. They encourage the pursuit of opportunities, and promote success. They also strengthen your immune system, protect your heart, and foster a healthier and longer life.
On average about 1/3 of a person's strengths are built into his or her genetically based temperament, talents, mood and personality. The other 2/3's are developed over time. YOU GET THEM BY GROWING THEM. This is wonderful news, since it means that we can develop the happiness and other inner strengths that foster fulfillment, love, effectiveness, wisdom, and inner peace. No one can just say, "I was born this way and it is in my genes to be depressed or anxious." That is only 1/3 of the equation. The other 2/3 we can change and develop!!.
The brain takes its shape from what the mind rests upon. If you keep resting your mind on self-criticism, worries, grumbling about others, hurts, and stress, then your brain will be shaped into greater vulnerability to anxiety and depressed mood, more reactivity, and inclinations towards anger, sadness and guilt. However, if you rest your mind on good events and conditions, pleasant feelings, and your good intentions and qualities, then over time your brain will take a different shape, one with strength and resilience hardwired into it, as well as a realistically optimistic outlook, a positive mood, and a sense of worth. In effect, what you pay attention to - what you rest your mind on - is the primary shaper of your brain. ( Info taken from Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson Ph.D)
The gospel really teaches us all the necessary tools we need to shape our brain to find joy and happiness.
I would add my testimony that if you are living the gospel to the best of your abilities, despite all weakness, shortcomings, trials and tribulation you will come back to live in the Kingdom of our Heavenly Father. That is a promise. You are good enough! You will make it! Don't leave what you know because for a moment you are unsure, you fear, or you doubt. Just because something seems unreasonable does not make it unreasonable. We must remember that "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55 8-9 ). Someday we will come to fully understand the wonderful plan of happiness and how great will be that day. Just do your best to become what you want to be by being what you want to become everyday. It is God's intention that obtain our divine potential and somehow i don't think He aims to miss his goal :)
Thanks Scott! To all you other lovely people, have a great week! And shoutout to my Mom for yet another year on this earth :))