Wednesday, March 2, 2016

"I'LL BURN YOUR BIBLE" (2 March 2016)

Hello Everyone!

- Crazy week.

- We were in a lesson and the next door neighbor came into the house, uninvited, and told us to get out of the house. He started cursing at us, saying we ripped up the grass and caused all this damage, and then he threatened to fight us and started taunting us, saying he was going to "rip all our little Bibles in half and burn them right there” as he “beat us till we died." This went on for about 10 minutes and then we got out of there. It was quite a funny experience. I have become so much more patient on my mission with people. Mom knows if that was the old me, it would have ended quite differently.

- Got transferred from New Paltz back down to the city, back into the Spanish program. I’m in a place called Inwood, at the top of the Manhattan island right above Harlem. I’m with my old companion, Elder Richards. It's Spanish haven here. I'm very excited to be back here in the city and with Elder Richards. We worked so well together and he challenges me to be better!

- Well, I think we all get to the point in life where we have phases that feel like ground hog day. How do we get out of the "stuck feeling"? Read the story of this man to see how we can change our own lives by ironically doing nothing to improve our own, yet it does everything to improve it.

Weatherman Phil Connors​ ​is dispatched one freezing February to a town in Pennsylvania. His assignment: to cover the Groundhog​Day ​Festival, involving a groundhog, its shadow, and the possibility of six more weeks of winter. Phil is bored and hostile; he bullies his cameraman; he disdains the cheery locals and their festivities; he can’t wait to wrap up this piddling gig and get back to Pittsburgh. But a huge snowstorm blocks his way home and he is trapped there for the night. When he wakes up the next morning, it’s Groundhog Day. Again. Same conditions, same people, same ritual. So it goes the morning after, and the morning after that, and on and on. Phil is in a loop, a temporal locked groove. He’s stuck.​ This goes on for what has been estimated for eight years. Every day, the same as the last, over and over again.​

​His day begins each morning at 6:00 A.M. His clock radio is always playing the same song. His memories of the previous day are intact, but he's trapped in a time loop, repeating the same day in the same small town.​ After briefly trying to rationalize his situation, and then thinking he is insane, he takes advantage of learning the day's events and the information he is able to gather about the town's inhabitants, and finds that his actions have no long-term consequences for himself. He ends up schmoozing people, stealing money, even driving drunk and experiencing a police chase. He begins to tire of, and then dread, his existence, starting the day by smashing the alarm clock. He tries almost everything to break the cycle.

Eventually, he enhances his own human understanding which, in return, makes him an appreciated and beloved man in the town. He is able to befriend almost everyone he meets during the day, using his experiences to save lives and help the townspeople.

During his days, he opens his heart to his coworker, and her advice helps him to gradually find a goal for his trapped life; to become a benefactor to others, to help others. After seeing an elderly homeless man die, Connors vows that no one will die on "his" day and performs many heroic services each and every repeating day, including performing the Heimlich maneuver on a choking man and saving a little boy who falls from a tree. However, he becomes despondent at being unable to save the homeless man, despite trying to get him medical care. When he demands to see the man's medical chart, a nurse tells him "sometimes people just die." "Not today," Connors replies, but he never manages to prevent it.

He then spent his days perfecting the good that he could do, and when he got it perfect, he found the time loop was broken.

We find ourselves when we lose ourselves in service to others. Doesn't make much sense, but it works :)

With love,

- Elder Celaya

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