Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Conch Republic

Dear Mountain Dwellers of the West,

News for this week is that I will be finishing my mission in the Conch Republic.  Elder Hall is transferring.  You may think it is a cool thing to say that your missionary is in the Florida Keys, but I want to take some time to explain why exactly that is so cool.  Yes, it's beautiful, but missionaries in the past never wanted to be here.  It was the worst place in south florida for missionary work.  they taught 4 lessons a week, and it was just hot and miserable.  In the Ft. Lauderdale mission, numbers get published, everyone sees them, and everyone looks at Key West.  Why?  Because it's key west!  It's a fascinating place.  For a long time, it was the area that Elders got banished to, exiled.  Sure, it would be nice to visit for a day, but please don't make me spend a transfer there!  Then Elder Brough got put there.  The reason this is important is that Elder Brough was transferred from the Orlando mission.  He had no idea the reputation that Key West had, and he decided "this is going to be my favorite area."  And he brought it up.  Then I came down with him and we brought it up even more.  Then I became the first Elder in forever to train a missionary in the Keys.  That says a lot for an area, to be a training area.  I was blessed with the hardest working fire-filled trainee in the world, and now Key West is among the top finding areas in the top finding mission in the United States and Canada.  And everyone is watching.  "Elder Fine" I was told last night on the phone "you're a legend."  Have faith, my friends.  I wanted to share that because, over my entire mission, I have looked up to legendary missionaries.  I also wanted to gloat a little bit that I have been honored to be among them and that I get to finish my mission in paradise, and I feel to say as Isaac Newton that "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."  This is God's work.  It goes on.

Elder Fine

P.S. look up the history of "the conch republic"  It's kind of a funny story.  also search mormon.org for "the man your man could smell like"

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Exercising Faith

Last week was super hot.  This week has been way nicer because the wind has picked up and we've had a breeze going.  Also, I find it ironic that the okc thunder came to Miami this week, since it has been pretty thunderous in Miami and the surrounding regions.  I don't know if you've ever been in a rainstorm so bad that you had to pull off of the road because it was raining so hard you couldn't see the other side of the windshield wipers.  It's kind of neat if you're in a car.  The ones that catch you on your bike aren't as pleasant, and they stop and start without much warning. Anyway, we happened to catch a few seconds of the game last night.  I don't know who won, but of course I'm cheering tfor the Heat!

Dad, you asked about trials and overcoming them.  I would say that something I've learned well, especially in Key West, is the principle of "fake it 'til you make it."  Feeling down?  fake like you're happy until you get over it.  Discouraged?  keep working until you get your excitement back.  Disagree with the direction from the leaders?  Obey it until you understand.  Having trouble living the rules?  Live them until it's easy for you.  Jesus Christ taught the same principle when he said, "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it is of God, or whether I speak of myself"  Don't have a testimony?  Live the gospel until you get one.  Want to know if the word of wisdom is really a commandment?  Live it.  Because in reality, you're not faking it at all, you are exercisig faith in a principle and acting on it, knowing that after the trial of your faith, you will receive the blessing.  Just Go and Do and you'll get through it.  Be Happy.  It really gets on satan's nerves.

My ankle is good, I played basketball last week and I'll play again today.  It's still a different color than the other foot just from the healing bruises, It's not
quite where it was, but it's a lot better.  Just a little sore now and then or if I trip over something.  going down stairs is still a lopsided task
even though it's getting better.  Level ground and going up stairs are just fine though.

You're awesome,

Elder Fine

Monday, June 11, 2012

Time to Work

Hello there!

I will be wearing a suit and tie for my talk, although I might want to get a guayavera before I go home.  traditional cuban business dress...basically a short sleeved button down shirt with a certain style of decoration on the front...they're cool.

Wow, life sounds rather busy.  What else is new?  Scout camp is a wonderful place.  I definitely hope I have another chance to go during my lifelong career as a member of the church.

It is kind of bothersome now that I have two months left everyone acts like my mission is already over.  Not so.  I plan to baptize several more people before I go home.  I also really hope I get to stay in Key West for that time...moving would be lame.

Carry On,

Elder Fine


Hey y'all!

My week was good. We have a lot of investigators who are sooo close to being baptized but satan just keeps gettting in the way.  He's annoying like that.  Any time that people try to do right and come closer to the savior, there is always an increase in opposition pulling them back.  This week has also built my testimony that this is the Lord's work and not mine.  People are being prepared long before we ever meet them.

Next week the stake is having youth conference in Key West, which should be really fun for the youth.  My ankle is doing better.  I still can't really run and jump, which makes morning workouts super boring.  I have a testimony of exercise now.  Not being able to exercise, having way too much ibuprofen in my system, along with being injured and just the stresses of mission life brought me way down for a little bit there...I'm glad that's over.  Happy missionaries are successful missionaries.  Anyway, I am grateful to be able to get my heart rate up because if it stays down too long you feel super gross and you don't feel like a missonary even if your numbers are great (which they are).

Well, I have to take a survey now.  It's important for the sake of church statistics, which I also have a testimony of.


Elder Fine

The Dumb Shall Speak

Hi Family!

We got our own senior couple all to ourselves now.  The McCormicks from washington state just got here on saturday and they are wonderful.  They've already been a great help and will be a permanent part of the marathon branch.

I've been sick this last week as well.  It is harder to feel the spirit when you're not at 100% health-wise, even if you aren't doing anything particularly wrong.  So that's been this week's struggle.  It was needful though.  I hadn't been giving my companion enough opportunity to speak up and teach, so God struck me dumb to prevent me from speaking
too much.  Seriously my voice was way messed up.  It's still not completely back but I can talk now.

Well, I'm going to go watch my companion play basketball for a bit.  Have a great week!

Elder Fine