This week went well. Our entire Ward Council in the YSA ward is
moving away so there will be a lot of changes that will have to be
made next week. I'm actually excited for it. Change usually brings
enthusiasm which is what this ward needs. Especially for missionary
I've had a little bit of nostalgia for my first area this week.
When I was talking to my mom on Sunday I realized that there are a lot
of stories from when I served in Skyline that I never shared. One in
particular keeps coming back to me this week so I might as well fill
you all in on it.
When Elder Meline and I were together we did a lot of work with an
excommunicated member who we will call Josh. Josh is probably the most
naive, innocent man who was ever spent time behind bars. I can't
picture Josh hurting a fly. That said, I have absolutely no idea what
he went to jail for. Josh is one of the those people that does less
acting for himself but more so has a tendency to be acted upon. He was
always very indecisive and opportunities were left behind because of
that. He would always give us calls to ask what he should do in each
situation, no matter the severity of each one. These calls ranged
"Hey Elder Earl. Sooo I have an interesting situation right now. I
need to get a personal trainer. Now one is a member of the church and
one isn't. The member is more expensive but I think it might be worth
paying extra so that I can talk to him about the gospel. What do you
"Hey Elder Earl. Sooo my girlfriend is moving to Illinois and I was
just calling to ask if there's a scripture somewhere that will let me
know if I should go with her?"
After Elder Meline and I split up and I was put with Elder Cupp
these calls continued to take place. I remember my favorite one of
these calls came as I was sitting on my bike, waiting for the light to
turn green on Broadway and Sossamen. I wrestled a little bit to get
the phone out of my pocket. When I finally got it out I answered.
"Hello this is Elder Earl"
"Hey Elder Earl."
"Josh? What's going on man?"
"Okay...how are you?"
"Not so good."
"I don't think so. Who's that?"
"My chihuahua with one eye."
"Oh! Yeah what about him?"
"He got ran over in half."
"...what do you mean?"
"Rico got ran over by a car and his body was torn in half."
"Dang...I'm sorry Robert. Rico was a good dog. I'll miss him. What
can we do to help?"
"Well the police are here and they blocked off part of Power. I can
only find the back half and I need help finding the front."
"...you need help finding the other half of your dog?"
We didn't go help find the other half. We were busy. It turns out
that he never found it. We were invited to a funeral a week later for
the tail end of an old chihuahua. Josh ended up putting the back half
in a shoebox, holding a service, and then burying Rico. It was a
highlight for my mission.
Now obviously my mind has also been focused on my mom this past
week. As I think of my mother at this point of my life it reminds me
of Mary. I think I have a different understanding of how Mary, mother
of Jesus, must have felt when she was watching her son die on the
cross. Even with all the miracles, even with all the blessings she had
seen, I'm fairly sure that she wanted nothing more then to stop the
suffering of her son and to bring him back down to her arms still
But she didn't do anything ensure that happened. Her desires were
quenched by her love for her son. Mary loved her son, Jesus Christ,
enough to let him die, to let him suffer, so that he could fulfill his
mission. She let him die so that the measure of his creation could be
filled. She loved him enough to let him suffer a terrible death, right
in front of her eyes, so that all mankind could have eternal life.
On a completely different scale I feel like that is my mother
sometimes. Even though I'm only in Arizona, even though I know for a
fact that death won't come my way while I'm serving here, it's still
hard for her. I remember how hard it was for her as I gave her a hug
and then walked off into the missionary training center. I remember
even how hard it was for her to keep composed as I talked to her on
Christmas. But all that shows how much my mom loves me. I know that my
mom loves me because even though it's hard for her, she still is
letting me serve The Lord away from home for two years. Even though
it's hard for her, she still is letting me fill the measure of my
creation here in the desert. Even though it's hard for her, she loves
me enough to let me become the man that I couldn't become anywhere
else. It is difficult for me to express in words how appreciative I am
for that sacrifice.
As a result of that sacrifice of my mom, ten children of god have
chosen to be baptized into his church with an additional three this
Saturday. My mothers stats don't stop there however. Because of the
countless sacrifices of my mother, I and six other children's lives
have been forever influenced in the best way possible. I don't know
where I would be or in what condition I would be in without the loving
care of Beth Earl and I feel it necessary to confess that I would be
afraid to find out.
Sincerely, Elder Earl