Just a small bit of advice. Make sure that the owners of the dog are OK. Forgiveness can go a long ways."
I think that is interesting that they sent something home for me about that. I was never going to tell you about it, just send you some pictures that I took of it after it doesn't hinder me any more.
First of all, president told me to tell you to not worry... don't worry Mom, I'm fine.
Since the beans have been spilled, I might as well tell you about it. In fact just this morning, a bruise from it finally showed up on part of my arm that has caused the most torment from the bite two weeks and two days ago. It seems to me, when deep puncture wounds take place, (the other one being the bike pictures you saw that jabbed my leg,) when the bruise finally shows up, it finally makes it to the downward slope of annoyance and pain and means it's pretty close to being healed now. Anyway, that particular home is a less-active's home that is a fairly new move-in and we've been trying to see them for months, but the roster has no phone # and they have three mean dogs that have an invisible fence that they can't pass that won't let us to the door. Well, one of the days we went to go see them and the dogs were probably behind the back of the house asleep, because they didn't wake up until we were almost at the house. We never were able to contact the member at the home, and the owner of the dog isn't the member at the house... so we decided that we are going to send them a letter today in the mail, maybe that will entice them to do something. There was also a big hassle to make sure the dog that bit me was quarantined for 10 days. Which the safety patrol police people didn't make sure happened from the get-go. So there was an annoying hassle with figuring out all that stuff out near the end of the 10 days (and they were closed over the weekend). They closed at 5pm Friday and open at 8am Monday... I called 4:59 Friday and they were already closed. and Tuesday the following week was the ten day limit. That was messy. I only called about everybody on Monday. Every person I talked to forwarded me or gave me another number to call because they said they don't deal with that stuff. I probably talked to 15 people last Monday trying to get somebody to do anything other than give me another number to call or send me to the phone book. It all got situated out eventually though. No rabies. If you are curious where it hurts, the muscle that you use for pullups hurts, I can't do a single pullup because of it, even hanging hurts... however, pushups & handstands apparently don't use that muscle because those don't hurt it at all. So whatever that muscle is, that's where the dog pucture bit me a couple weeks ago.
So, now that that story is out of the way. I want to let you know that these past two days have been among the most spiritual of my entire mission. My motivation and commitment, and drive to do missionary work has peaked very high (I don't want to say "peaked" because that sounds like it is now going to fall, which it isn't, I'm going to maintain this progression.) I have seen a lot of miracles and I am very very impressed with all that the Lord has in store for those. "The Lord requires so little, and in return gives so much." Just being obedient with all of the little things makes an enormous difference in missionary work. Our ward had a fireside last night and presented its ward mission plan with a bunch of other stuff. It is very good, and the members are getting all over missionary work too. This is a marvelous ward to be in. ... I intended to say a lot more about this stuff, so I'm just going to copy and paste what I sent President Holm and add it in here. I spent too much time talking about my dog bite that doesn't matter:
"President, the last 2 days have been among the most spiritual and motivational for me for my entire mission. I mean that sincerely. The week started slowly but as of Saturday afternoon blessings have been poured, literally poured into my desire to be an effective missionary. I can sincerely say that out of all my companions I have learned/changed/grown the most while being with Elder G--. We both have a great desire to do the Lord's work, and we're both willing to put all other things aside to do so. Our companionship study as of this morning is going to be tons more effective for teaching and preparing to teach investigators. We are developing a "game plan" that we'll probably share with you down the road assuming we finish it before either of us leave. (Or maybe we'll finish it later, who knows?). I am motivated, I am hungry for the gospel, to learn, to teach, to find, to work with members. I finally have the right mindset for most of the things associated with missionary work.
I am thoroughly impressed with our Heavenly Father. He literally puts everything out on the table for us to use to be effective missionaries. It just takes the tiniest bit of inspiration for us to figure out how to get it from the paper, into action. Well, just to let you know president, it's being put into action here in Orangeburg; conveniently enough, the ward is being put into action at the same time. I have been very excited to do missionary work. I am very excited to do missionary work.
"Fast and pray hard for this next transfer president. I caught a glimpse of this work moving exponentially. I know we both have absolutely no authority over the matter, but Elder G--'s and my personal hope is that we both stay here for another transfer. We know you are inspired though, so do what is the best for the Lord!
"I love being a missionary! I would like to say that again. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!
~Elder Benjamin Ray Walker
and we love you too president"
btw: I'm supposed to make sure you send packages "priority mail" or I may not get it for a couple months. The mission office is no longer calling everybody regularly letting them know they have a package they can't forward so we can tell them what meeting to send it to. Apparently it is very time consuming.
Elder Benjamin Ray Walker