Nearing Kolob

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Analytics: 1 Million Views Today! Thank You!

Analytics: 1 Million View Today!

We have been watching our analytics for a few weeks now and we are happy to announce that we hit 1 million views today (screenshot is from earlier this afternoon when we prepped this blogpost). We were hoping to accomplish that in the first year, but we’re still happy even though we barely missed that goal (by just a couple weeks).

Thanks to all our readers!

Analytics: 1 Million View Today!

It Was The Best of Times, It Was The Worst of Times

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

It’s been a little over a year that we started this blog. We’ve learned a lot and we hope we’ve produced blogposts that you, our readers, have found interesting. We were thinking a little about some of the stories we’ve shared and how things are going in the world of Mormonism. It’s the best of times and it’s the worst of times for both the members and the Church.

We all know it’s been a difficult few years for the Church:

 

It’s not all bad. Some good things are happening in the Church:

Mormon Stories: An Analysis of Content and Compensation

Mormon Stories: An Analysis of Content and Compensation

Update: There was another interesting blogpost published after our blogpost. It was published at Wheat and Tares by Andrew S and is titled Transparency & Due Diligence: Open Stories Foundation Finances. Give it a read.

 

Sam Brunson at By Common Consent recently published a blogpost in which he asks “Does Open Stories Foundation Qualify as Tax-Exampt?” He concludes:

Mostly, people don’t use tax-exempt organizations to cheat the system. They’re subject to tight regulation and broad financial disclosure requirements. But unless you’re familiar with the area, there are tons (and tons and tons) of potential traps. Maybe OSF successfully navigated them. But, on my surface-level review, I’m skeptical.

In the middle of his blogpost, Brunson quotes Dehlin from a blogpost that appeared on MormonStories.org in January 2011 (emphasis mine):

Back in the summer of 2010 I made a deal w/ the listeners.  If enough of you would sign up for monthly financial donations to Mormon Stories , I would promise to release a quality episode each week.  The way that I was able to make this happen as a super busy Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student was to turn down other paid assistantships and do Mormon Stories as my part time job while in school.  While the money in no way covers my family’s annual expenses, it does help us pay for things like health insurance, groceries, etc.

Dehlin said he would release an episode each week if he received a certain level of financial donations. So, has he released an episode each week? That depends on what an “episode” is.

What Counts as an Episode?

The first thing we need to consider is what counts as an episode. I see three obvious things that could be considered an episode:

  1. Any audio file that is released. This may consist of a single interview or other event that was recorded. Many interviews are released in multiple parts. In this defintion, each part of an interview would be considered an episode. I will refer to these as “parts”.
  2. Any episode or episodes that were released on the same published blogpost on the MormonStories.org website. Sometimes John Dehlin would release multi-part episodes on the same blogpost (this would be considered one episode). Sometimes he released some subset of parts of the interview on individual blogposts (which would be considered an individual episode even though it was part of the same interview). I will refer to these as “blogposts”.
  3. Finally, the last characterization of an episode would be any natural collection of interview parts whether John released them all on one blogpost or released parts on individual blogposts. One example would be the Interfaith Amigos episodes: four audio files were released on four separate blogposts, but these could be grouped together and considered on episode under this third defintion. I will refer to these as “groups”.

The Numbers

The table below shows the number of parts, blogs, and groups (as defined above) for the years of 2010 through 2013. I restrict this analysis to those years because those are the years for which 990 forms are available.

YearGroupsBlogpostsParts
20104246116
2011334284
2012384579
2013293659

 

Day of the Week

The first thing I was interested in was the weekly distribution of episode releases.

Wednesday was the most popular day for both blogposts (as defined above) and parts to be released. Saturday was by far the least popular day for both of these things to be released.

The following two figures show the weekly distribution for episode blogposts (red) and episode parts (blue). The first figure is of the raw data and the second is of the percentage of total blogposts and parts, respectively.

mormon-stories-episodes

red: parts, blue: blogposts

 

mormon-stories-episodes-percent

red: parts, blue: blogposts

 

Episodes Released by Year

Here I plot the parts (blue), blogposts (red), and groups (orange) released per year. It is clear that the number of parts has decreased monotonically from 2010 to 2013. While not monotonic, the trend for both blogposts and groups is also decreasing.

I believe the best measure of content produced is the number of parts released. The majority of Mormon Stories parts are roughly one hour in length and using the number of parts released gives a rough estimate of the number of hours of content produced (and available to listeners).

It can be argued, however, that the number of groups is also an important measure of content produced because this measure accounts more for the behind-the-scenes time in addition to the hours of podcast content released. For example, one 1-hour interview requires much more behind-the-scenes work per hour of content released than one 5-hour interview does. Notably, both the number of parts and groups have decreased from 2010 to 2013.

mormon-stories-episodes-by-year

Blue: parts, Red: blogposts, Orange: groups

 

Content Produced vs. Dehlin’s Compensation

In his piece, Brunson says:

The case law points to the following criteria, among other things, in deciding whether compensation constitutes private inurement:

1. Benefits to an insider at the charity can constitute private inurement.[fn3]
2. Constant, significant increase in compensation, irrespective of entity revenue or amount of work performed.[fn4]
3. Significant control over the tax-exempt entity (including a significant say in setting one’s own compensation).[fn5]
4. The compensation is in line with compensation at comparable charities. (Note that it is the charity’s responsibility to provide comparability reports; even if it had a disinterested board approve the compensation, without those objective reports, it is hard to prove that compensation is reasonable.)[fn6]

For this blogpost, I am particularly interested in Brunson’s point #2: How has Dehlin’s compensation changed (has it changed?) compared to the amount of content he has produced?

First, I present the following table which contains the annual “contributions, gifts, grants, and similar amounts received” as reported on the Open Stories Foundation 990 forms and the compensation received by John Dehlin as reported on the same form.

YearContributionsDehlin Compensation
2010$58,570$27,429
2011$106,243$40,000
2012$210,666$56,200
2013$134,099$89,574

 

Above I mentioned that I believe the best measure of content produced, with regards to the Mormon Stories podcast, is the number of parts released. Below is a figure that shows the percentage of total parts released per year (blue, total considering all parts released between 2010 and 2013) and the ratio of Dehlin’s compensation to contributions received listed as a percentage (blue).

mormon-stories-episodes-parts-compensation

percentage of total parts released per year (blue, total considering all parts released between 2010 and 2013) and the ratio of Dehlin’s compensation to contributions received listed as a percentage (blue)

 

Dehlin’s compensation as a percentage of contributions received decreased from 2010 to 2012, but increased nearly 150% from 2012 to 2013 while the total contributions received decreased 33% during the same period. This jump in compensation to contributions occurred as content produced (measured by parts released) continued to decrease to its lowest point during the four year period.

Another way to see this jump is by look at the ratio of “compensation as a percentage of contributions” to “parts released as a percentage of the total number of parts released from 2010 to 2013″. If we plot those ratios we get the following figure.

Ratio of "compensation as % of contributions" to "% of parts released"

Ratio of “compensation as % of contributions” to “% of parts released”

 

Note that using the measures of number of blogspots or groups (rather than parts) does not qualitatively change the results. Clearly, this ratio experiences a massive jump due to both the increase in compensation that Dehlin received in 2013 and the decrease in content produced such that the ratio in 2013 is nearly 3 times that of the previous 3 years.

Maybe it doesn’t need to be said, but certainly each of these three measures chosen don’t fully capture “work done”. The Open Stories Foundation has other goals and endeavors than just the production of the Mormon Stories podcast, but that is the primary interaction I’ve had with the Foundation which I imagine is also true for most people.

I hope this provides some insight into Brunson’s point #2.

A couple other things stand out to me from the 990 forms (2010 – 2013):

  • Each and every year between 2010 and 2013 it is listed that John Dehlin averaged 50 hours per week of work on the Open Stories Foundation (even as content produced decreased and his compensation increased)
  • John Dehlin was the only director, officer, etc. that received compensation from 2010 – 2012. In 2013, John Dehlin and Dan Wotherspoon both received compensation.
  • The total director, officer, etc. compensation as a percentage of total contributions received for each year were: 46.83% (2010), 37.65% (2011), 27.87% (2012), and 84.68% (2013). Nearly 85% of the contributions received in 2013 went to personal compensation! (see figure below)
  • The amount of contributions that didn’t go to personal contributions each year was: $31,141 (2010), $66,243 (2011), $145,466 (2012), and $20, 543 (2013).  To show (emphasize) this graphically, see the figure below.
Percentage of Contributions Used on Personal Compensation

The total director, officer, etc. compensation as a percentage of total contributions received for each year were: 46.83% (2010), 37.65% (2011), 27.87% (2012), and 84.68% (2013).

 

Contributions Not Used on Compensation

The amout of contributions that didn’t go to personal contributions each year was: $31,141 (2010), $66,243 (2011), $145,466 (2012), and $20, 543 (2013).

 

Contributions Not Used on Compensation (%)

The amout of contributions (%) that didn’t go to personal contributions each year was: 53.17% (2010), 62.35% (2011), 72.13% (2012), and 15.32% (2013).

 

Note: Similar disclaimers as Sam Brunson apply here. Additionally, I am not an expert in law or accounting relating to tax exempt organization. This was purely a mathematical exercise to elucidate ideas related to Brunson’s point #2 above: “Constant, significant increase in compensation, irrespective of entity revenue or amount of work performed”.

New Page: Radiowest Episodes That Might Be of Interest to Mormons

Radiowest Episodes That Might Be of Interest to Mormons

We have a new permanent page that contains Radiowest episodes that we consider particularly relevant to Mormons and Mormonism. Check it out at the link below.

 

http://www.nearingkolob.com/radiowest-episodes-might-interest-mormons/

 

 

 

Brodie Awards 2014 – Best New Blog – VOTE!!!

Brodie Awards 2014 - Best New Blog - VOTE!!!

The Brodie Awards 2014 are here and we are honored to have been nominated in the category of “Best New Blog”. According to the website: “You have approximately two weeks to vote. The polls close on Thursday, February 13, at 7:00 a.m. Switzerland time.”

We also have two blogposts/series nominated in the category of “Best LDS Church Watch Piece”, both of which we are very proud of (the competition in this category is very stiff!):

We would love for you to vote for us!

VOTE HERE

We looked over the list of other blogs nominated in the category of “Best New Blog” and we were only familiar with one, Gospel Doctrine for the Godless.

We like to be good sports about these kinds of things—so, if you don’t want to vote for Nearing Kolob (which we think you should do!) we have two other recommendations for you:

  1. Gospel Doctrine for the Godless: This is a blog that posts satirical and sometimes critical “lessons” to accompany your study of Gospel Doctrine lessons. We recommend this blog for a number of reasons, some being that they are very consistent (posting each week), the blogposts are not only interesting but also informative, and the blogposts are quite comprehensive (i.e. “long”). Note that they were also nominated in the category of “Best Scripture Study Blog/Podcast”.
  2. Mormonism 101: We had never heard of this blog before the Brodie Awards 2014 nominations appeared, but we were quite impressed with both the quality of posts and the choice of topics. One drawback is that, from a quick review of the blog, there does not appear to be a lot of completed blogposts. However, we are interested to see what they prublish in the future.

 

Family History, Creating Culture, and Embracing Change from Boyd Packer’s Son

Family History, Creating Culture, and Embracing Change from Boyd Packer's Son

Elder Boyd Packer’s oldest son, Allen Packer, is a General Authority Seventy. Recall that it was his other son that helped set up the permanent Boyd K. Packer art exhibit at the Bean Museum on BYU’s campus (“complete with furniture from the actual Packer family home“).

Packer Family and Family History

Allen Packer also acts as the Assistant Executive Director of the Family History Department. Family history is very important to the Packer family. In 1985, there was a 4947(a)(1) Nonexempt Charitable Trust set up called the “Boyd K. Packer Family Society”. A website called “Mormon Insider” published a post about it that includes some interesting details based on 2011 documents:

  • Boyd Packer was president
  • Officers allegedly averaged 36 seconds per week on the trust
  • Professional Fees and Research costs were $15,232, while a number of items were listed under “depreciation of assets not held for investments”
  • Some activities associated with the trust were “achievement prizes awards”, “gifts or grants to individuals”, “area development, redevelopment or renewal”, and “housing”

Preparing for Missionary Trainings

Last month Allen Packer and his wife visited the Gilbert Arizona mission (a newly formed mission).  They prepared for meetings by first meeting with the mission leaders and gathering information on what the leaders considered important in the mission (Recall that Elder Pearson obtains similar mission information by asking missionaries to complete surveys before his trainings). Not knowing this type of preparation was done, I have no doubt a few missionaries misunderstood the trainings the next day as purely inspired: “How did he know? That’s exactly what we needed to hear in our mission. He is so inspired!” (On the other hand, maybe that’s what being inspired means).

One missionary writes about this in the following way:

He asked all the leaders what was one thing that would be helpful to train on.  So we went around the room and everyone gave their answers.  He had someone make a list and he used that to make his training for the next day.

This is what Sister Packer (Allen’s wife) discussed as ways to have the spirit (to a group of missionaries):

  • cleaning our apartments
  • getting rid of all contention especially in the companionship
  • being exactly obedient
  • doing family history

Family history?  I don’t think missionaries have time for that.

Creating Culture and Embracing Change

Allen Packer then spoke about creating culture, in the same missionary’s words:

Elder Packer talked about creating a culture in the mission since the mission is still relatively new.

Another missionary adds that Elder Packer taught the Spirit has a culture:

…what impressed me the most is how he explained that the Spirit has a language and a culture all its own

Sometimes we, in the Church, confuse the Spirit’s culture with that of the larger culture of American conservatism.

I am not sure Elder Packer and I agree on what the culture in the Church should be (expanding his call to create a culture in the mission to in creating culture in the Church), but I really appreciate his call to individuals to be actively engaged in this creation of culture.  In his General Conference talk, in the context of doing family history (of course, that is a big Packer family hobby), Allen Packer gave the surprisingly progressive, and much appreciated, call to embrace change (emphasis in original):

This calls for a change in our priorities. Don’t fight the change, embrace it! Change is part of the great plan of happiness.

Often the more conservative members of the Church look for change from the top and believe that the conservative culture of Intermountain West Mormons, which permeates much of the Church worldwide, is authorized by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and therefore has Jesus’ personal stamp of approval (i.e. “whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same”).

However, as Allen Packer instructs the missionaries, it is up to each individual of the Church to create the culture in the Church and embrace change.

In the context of creating culture, he then reminded the missionaries to act in faith:

He talked about a lot of other things, but one thing that I learned is how important it is that we act on our faith.

Creating a new culture in the Church will require faith–maybe too much faith for some. I sympathize with that, but we have been directed to do just that. The scriptures tell us to “to act for [ourselves] and not to be acted upon” and to be “anxiously engaged in a good cause”. Creating a better culture in the Church (for women, for singles, for our LGBTQIA members and friends, for those who are politically liberal, for those who doubt, etc.) is a good cause. And as this better culture is created, remember that all members have been directed to not fight the change, but to embrace it since it “change part of the great plan of happiness.”

More From Elder Pearson in Australia

More From Elder Pearson in Australia

Last week we wrote about Elder Kevin W. Pearson’s recent visits to missionaries in the Australia Sydney South Mission. At the end of the posted we mentioned he would later be going to Melbourne, Australia.

Well, we’ve got an update from one missionary about his visit to the Australia Melbourne Mission. Here are some quotes from the missionary (emphasis mine):

  • “First off he came to our MLC, it was funny because he pretty much tore all of the zone leaders and the assistants apart piece by piece and then he built us up again piece by piece.”
  • “He told us that “good just isn’t good enough.”
  • “So after the 4 hour chastisement, we went home and we were thinking about what we could do…”
  • “We then had the chance to hear from Elder Pearson as a zone, at zone conference and this time it was a 6 hour chastisement but I felt even stronger.”

Adding it all up, this missionary reports 10 hours of “chastisement” which included tearing up all the zone leaders and assistants “piece by piece”.

Another missionary made an interesting comment about Elder Pearson asking missionaries to complete a pre-visit survey (we recently published a post about missionaries in Wisconsin doing surveys):

Before he came, we did a survey that asked about lot of aspects of missionary work, and I think he used that as a guide for how to talk to us, so he helped out our mission a lot.

It looks like Elder Bednar will be visiting the mission in February. I can’t wait to hear what he says.

Elder Pearson Down Under: “Extinguish Doubts”, “Starve Them”

Elder Pearson Down Under: "Extinguish Your Doubts"

Update: Here is an update on Elder Pearson’s visit to Melbourne which occurred after this post was published

 

Elder Kevin W. Pearson, Harvard Business School graduate, member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and President of the Pacific Area of the Church, recently visited the Australia Sydney South Mission.

About the visit, one missionary said:

This past week we also had Elder Pearson of the Quorum of the Seventy come and visit our mission. Our zone of missionaries and two others came together near the mission home to hear him speak. He spoke of many great things, especially with how we need to extinguish doubts, to starve them, and to go forward with faith in Christ.

Another missionary recounts seemingly strong language from Elder Pearson:

President Pearson came on Tuesday to Mission Leadership Council. He basically told us we are the worst… actually we were the worst. He told us we are ineffective and faithless. “Sydney is not the problem!! It’s the way you’re thinking!” “We are not looking for needles in haystacks here!”

The same missionary ponders not baptizing much on his mission:

On my mission when things didn’t turn out how I wanted it to I didn’t think twice, I kept working and trying the best I knew how. I thought maybe I’m just supposed to be a seed planter. I’ve tried my absolute best for 18 months and things haven’t really turned out the way I hoped

Interestingly, another missionary ponders the same idea with the same metaphor.  It must be one that’s been told to them by a leader:

We had Elder Pearson, a member of the Pacific Area Presidency come to a Zone Conference of ours this week, he said some things that I liked, one thing was “A successful missionary is not measured by how many baptisms he has, a successful missionary is measured by his faithfulness and spiritual power.”  Most of my mission has been the work of a farmer, planting seeds for missionaries to sow in the future.  Our mission president informed us that the Australia Sydney South mission is the lowest baptizing mission in the pacific area. He has a new outlook for 2015, I’m excited to see this mission lift.

Elder Larsen, of the same mission, talked about three meetings with Elder Pearson. Some things he recounted are below:

  • “Overall, there was a strong sense of urgency, urgency in the work, that gave me a drive to do better.”
  • I remember feeling inadequate, yet determined to change. It was a very spiritually empowering meeting.”
  • “Elder Pearson took almost the whole 5 hours. Wow! The thing that stuck out the most to me was a diagram he drew. Next week I will have to send a pic or something…… Basically it outlined the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation, but much differently than I have ever seen it.”

Apparently after Sydney he is going to Melbourne.  I wonder what he will say there.

John Dehlin Facing Excommunication

John Dehlin Facing Excommunication

Update: Minutes after publishing this John Dehlin published a blogpost titled Disciplinary Council announcing “a disciplinary council to be held on January 25, 2015 at the North Logan Utah Stake Center, located 2750 North 800 East, North Logan, Utah beginning at 6 p.m.”

Additionally, he published an official letter “for immediate release”.

 

The New York Times has reported John Dehlin is facing excommunication, the Church “charging him with apostasy for supporting same-sex marriage and the ordination of women and for questioning church teaching.” There did appear to be a typo in the picture caption which stated:

John Dehlin was excommunicated from the Mormon church on Thursday

This was also hinted at in a post that appeared this morning on the Mormon Stories website, but was later mysteriously removed (see an archived version here). The post contained an interview John Dehlin did with still member-of-record Tom Phillips in which they discuss Phillips’ receiving the not-too-often-talked-about Second Anointing. The interview was previously not published by Mormon Stories, but Phillips was given a copy which he leaked out onto the internet.

In the post that appeared and disappeared this morning, John Dehlin said:

At the time I conducted this interview I was in deep discussions with my stake president, Mark Jensen, over my status with the church, and my ability to baptize my son.  Out of fear of church discipline, and as a sign of good will to President Jensen, I decided to not release this episode via Mormon Stories podcast, and instead granted permission to Tom to do with it as he saw fit.

Over the subsequent months and years I have come to regret this decision made largely out of fear, and want to publicly apologize to Tom for it.  As I recently received notice of my own pending disciplinary council, I feel it appropriate to release this interview, not because I seek to show disrespect for the LDS church or its temple ordinances, but because Tom’s story a very poignant example of the pain and suffering that can come about as many LDS members continue to experience legitimate struggles with the LDS church’s truth claims.

Since this interview openly discusses secret/sacred LDS temple ordinances, listener discretion is strongly advised.

 

LDS Church Introduces New Units in Africa: Clusters

LDS Church Introduces Clusters in Africa

If you are Mormon you know the standard units in the church: branch, ward, district, and stake (there are also the lesser known “groups”). Have you ever heard of a cluster?

A cluster is a fairly new unit of the church that is being tested in Africa. One couple serving in the South Africa Johannesburg Mission described it well in a blogpost:

The cluster concept is fairly new and is being implemented in a small number of communities in South Africa. A cluster is simply a group of ward members that holds Sunday meetings in a location within walking distance of their homes. In this case, the meeting place is a small building that is used primarily for a pre-school. The meetinghouse for their ward is far enough from their homes that frequent travel to it is cost-prohibitive. The cluster members will still participate in ward activities. The bishopric of the parent ward will alternately attend and preside at the cluster meetings and is responsible for the cluster membership as it is for the rest of the ward. We think the concept is excellent – it takes the Church to the people when such a need exists.

From this explanation, a cluster appears to be different than a group. A group is an independent unit of members while a cluster is a sub-unit of a ward (or possibly a branch).

One missionary claimed that Elders Bednar, Holland, and Oaks are behind these new clusters:

Lastly, Elder Hamilton from the quorum of the seventy came to the Chris Hanni cluster. In this hot, little wooden zozo he told us that the bretheren, and the quorum is aware of this cluster. That Elder Bednar, Elder Holland, Elder Oaks are the minds inspired by God to put forward the cluster innovation. And oh how it’s working.

In the blogpost from September 2014, the writer says “there were just over 40 members in attendance“. I have seen many branches that have weekly attendance lower than 40 people. A few thoughts about this:

  1. Maybe many people came and were excited about the new experiment of clusters
  2. Maybe the 40 people were mostly or entirely women and children. Otherwise why not form a branch? (as 4 worthy priesthood holders are needed to create a branch)
  3. Maybe the group is women, children, and men, but either the men don’t hold the priesthood or aren’t “worthy” or ready for leadership callings

Another missionary posted in November 2014, that the cluster there had 50 people. Maybe this was a highly attended cluster, though, because two seventies were in attendance: Elder Cook B. Cook, area president, and Elder Wilford Andersen of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. The missionary said:

Whoaa.  Sacrament meeting yesterday.   In our tiny garage we were overflowing, all the way outside….people stacked on top of people.  We were blessed enough to have Elder Carl B. Cook, the area 70 president of Africa, in attendance as well as Elder Wilford Andersen of the 2nd quorum of the 70, from back in SLC.  Talk about a small room packed with the Spirit. There’s something about a General Authority’s testimony, when they say that “God Lives”, you just feel it inside you that what they are saying is real.  It was amazing truly, two general authorities in a tiny garage in Daveyton, with music and the outside world blaring all around, but the spirit still eminent.
Elder Andersen said something that stuck in my brain, “The Spirit is the same everywhere.  I’ve travelled the whole world and have yet to find a place without the same, sweet Spirit.  It’s everywhere.  No matter where you go.”  Powerful.  I’d have to agree with him there, the Spirit over here is just as real as it is over there. Seriously, probably the best sacrament meeting I’ve ever been to.  And it was great cuz there were like 50 people there.  We’re gonna open up another cluster in like 2 weeks in another part of our area called Mayfield, so by next month our area will have 2 clusters, a ward, and a branch in it so it may be a little hectic to keep tabs on everything, but fun and legit and awesome nonetheless.

The following week the missionary wrote another blogpost and said that the “booming” cluster was not a ward because they need more priesthood holders–indicating that the booming church membership in the area is mostly women and children:

The “Cluster” is booming and the new one is about to open.  We literally are just about a couple priesthood leaders short of having enough for a ward, so these cluster things are really helping the sacrament come to the people, which has been amazing to watch.

I actually love seeing the Church try new things and I hope this idea can be used in other areas around the world. But, as some have argued, clusters are not the only solution to this problem. Extending the priesthood, and thus allowing women to preside and oversee wards, would also alleviate this problem, immediately.

———————————————————————————

A few interesting quotes from the blogs above:

  • “This week I got chased by a tsotsie (thug) who was tryna steal my bike while we were biking back from Minanawe to Daveyton. Like this hitta jumped out of the bushes and just started sprinting after me, good thing for me we’ve biked our legs off the past few weeks so basically Lance Armstrong’s got nothing on us, so the dude gave up cuz he couldn’t catch me. Unfortunately the cluster areas are pretty sketch, but you do what you gotta do for the Lord and His work.” (LINK)
  • “And the teaching isn’t super easy, these people have their go-to Bible verses that they will die for. The book of Revelations is super popular here because it’s super whack and crazy.  But we do our best with what we know.  The Book of Mormon is seriously legit.” (LINK)
  • “When you’re eating a cow don’t start with the brain.  Pick something more letha (nice) like the eyeball. This week was off the chain.  Got to experience parts of the cow that I never even thought were edible in my dreams.  TIA this is Africa.  We don’t waste anything here, all the way from the tongue to the tail to the hoofs to the bones.   You might wonder what a cowbrain tastes like.  Just imagine rotten hamburger put in a hamster cage, filled with dead hamsters for a year, and then put in a blender and served nice and hot with flies on top.  The smell alone had a license to kill, and the brain is just not the place to start like I did.  But seriously I could not be more greatful for my call to Daveyton, wouldn’t have it any other way.  Ama Skoppo.” (LINK)

Note: This post was edited slightly due to prematurely publishing before being an editing review occurred

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