We decided to continue exploring the area around the lake. While exploring we met up with an older gentleman who said he was living out in nature so he could find balance in his life. We sat down and broke bread at his fire. While we were eating the man came up and back stabbed our fighter. Right after that happened a large cat came bounding out of the woods and pounced on the fighter too. The cat knocked our fighter out cold.
Our bard cast a rage spell on me to help me increase my damage and attack on the puma. I struck a hard blow against the large cat. Then Skoll (my wolf) bit the cat. At this point the cat was looking pretty beat up, and he was bleeding all over the place. He bled out shortly after that, so me and Skoll went after the old man who had back stabbed our fighter.
The wolf and I both got good hits in on the old man, and our summoners eidolon managed to take him the rest of the way out. Once we revived the fighter and our cleric healed him all up, the fighter decided he needed a new cloak made from the skin of the cat we’d just killed. He also took the teeth of the lion and made a necklace for the eidolon who had taken out the lion. The eidolon looked confused when he was given a necklace, but he put it on anyway.
Once the fight was over we explored the area. We found a tree hollow where the old man had been living. Buried deep in the bottom of the hollow was a chest with lots of goodies inside. While we were exploring our cleric spoke to the recently departed spirit of the old man. He asked us if we would please take his body to his brother (a man the rest of the party had met before my arrival with them).
In the chest was a locket wrapped in cloth. On the cloth was a map showing the northern shore of Tuskwater lake, and a bit of area east of it, between 2 rivers. We spent the night in the camp while our bard studied the weird symbols and runes on the map. He discovered that the map is to a tomb, which is guarded by undead creatures. Inside this tomb is a magical weapon of great power.
The next day we headed out continuing our explorations. While exploring we came across some bears. We left them alone, giving them a wide breadth. Next we arrived at a fence with a smallish house in the distance. There was a scarecrow in the yard. Our bard had previously been some rumors of a witch in the area who was eating children, so it seemed like a good idea to check this house out. There was smoke coming out of the chimney of the house.
There was a bell on the outside of the gate which I rang. An older (and quite scary) looking woman came to the door. I shouted at her to let us into the house, while making the most intimidating posture I could. I told her there had been rumors of problems in the area and we were investigating. She yelled at us to get off her property. I demanded that she let us in, seeing as how the ruler of this entire land was with us. The old woman slammed her wooden window shut.
Our fighter decided he was tired of this crap and busted down the fence. He ran about halfway up to the house, with me, and the summoners eidolon following right behind. While I was coming up I suddenly noticed the scare crow in the yard come alive. He was able to get a spell off on the fighter and I, though he missed the eidolon who quickly took to the air, before turning around in a dive bomb trying to hit the scarecrow. However the eidolon then became caught up in the spell as well.
Our summoner who was staying well back from this whole thing tried to cast a light damaging spell on the fighter to get him to snap out of this daze he was in. The summoner screwed up somehow and managed to hit himself with the spell. (metagaming moment, at this point the whole table was rolling with laughter). His supposedly light spell managed to take out about half of his health.
At this point the woman came out of her hut and came up and pushed our fighter to knock him out of the spell her scarecrow had cast. She accused us of being bandits trying to come onto her property and steal all the things she owns. Our fighter managed to talk her down and explain to her we had been sent to establish order, and that the new ruler of the area was with us.
The fighter asked her what had happened to her to leave her looking so much like a hag. The woman stated it was something to do with magic. Then the fighter explained we just wanted to come onto the property and take a look around to make sure everything is ok. She says that is reasonable and allows us to look around the place. She said that she had heard the rumors about how she is eating children. She wants us to look around and make sure everything is ok, and spread the word that she in fact does not eat children.
The cleric took a shine to the old woman and offered to leave some wine for her when we left. (Kind of odd to see the cleric willing to share her wine with anyone…) So after looking around and not finding any evidence of anything shady going on, we deemed that she was ok. She offers to make magical items for us at the standard price should we ever need them. She tells us that there is an island of lizard folk to the west.
We offered to erect a sign just outside her gate to let others know that she is ok to stay in this area. She does ask us if we can do her a favor. There is a certain type of mushroom that she really likes and is offering to pay top gold for if we are able to find some and bring it back for her.
We camped out that night in her yard, then left her hut and continued on with our exploring the next day. We came across a different lake called Candlemear, and our bard remembered hearing stories of strange lights dancing across this lake, oddly enough named Candlemear lights. In the middle of this lake we come across a Lizardfolk village on Candlemear island. The bard and fighter go across the river and find out there is a human child within the walls of the village. They can hear the human child screaming and crying. The lizards mention they have to scare the child to appease their Lizardfolk god.
At this point the fighter calls across the water and the rest of us swim across to the island and join the bard and figher where we get filled in on whats going on. When we arrive a floating orb of light comes out of the center of the village and asks “What is going on here” while the Lizardfolk cower in fear.
That is where we leave off the adventure for today. To be continued!
Mirrored from Randy's Home On The Interwebs.
Next we explored the northwestern tower. The door was locked. There were some carvings on the door that looked Elvish in nature. The upper reaches of the tower were shrouded in vines from the forest canopy. While we were looking at these vines they started to move! It turned out that these were assassin vines.
We were able to pretty easily kill the vine, but we did take a few hits during the fight. Our cleric was nice enough to get us all healed up. Then the fighter smashed open the wooden door with Elvin carvings before anyone could stop him. There were some more vines inside the tower walls, we immediately got into a defensive position in case they decided to attack. Luckily for us it turned out they were not going to kill us.
While we were distracted by the vines (that turned out to be fine) our fighter was attacked by some weird looking mutant Elf creature. I later learned that this creature is called a Grimstalker.
He got such a huge sneak attack off against our fighter that our fighter was damn near killed in 1 blow. The rogue went after him while our bard started doing his magical singing that makes us all stronger. I managed a hit off on this creature, but just barely touched him. Our cleric was able to get some healing done on our fighter. He was still looking pretty beat up, but the majority of the blood loss was curtailed. The rogue and I managed to get a few more hits in each. He was very difficult to get a hit off on him. He moved quite fast. Finally I was able to catch him off guard and got a really good hit in on him and killed him.
We found a chest hidden in the back of the room. Our rogue picked the lock on the chest. We found some pretty awesome bling inside. We decided it was a good time to take a break. Skoll (my wolf) guarded the entrance, while those of us who don’t need a full nights rest to get back our magic took turns on guard duty. After my guarding time frame was over I took an hour to meditate so I could replenish my own spells, and then got some sleep.
We also went and fully explored the previous tower that the quickling and come from. He apparently liked to scalp his previous victims, as we found a number of scalps nailed to the wall. We managed to find a few gems and a little bit of gold in his tower as well.
We went for the third tower and found a lot of organic refuse. There were a few rats chewing on human flesh that scurried away from the light when we entered. Then all of a sudden we saw the rats coming back. There were a whole lot more of them. The rats were just pouring out of cracks in the walls and ground. It looked to be several rat swarms.
I was able to use my shield to basically smash the rats in between my shield and the ground. This was pretty effective in killing them, but there were just SO many. I called Skoll into the room once I had the swarms distracted and on me, and he was able to bite them and rip their heads off. There were so many that when I was smashing my shield into the ground it was coming back up completely covered in blood, with rat bodies impaled on my shield spike. I was able to do considerably more damage to the rat with my shield than the others in my party were with their weapons.
While the rogue, fighter, Skoll and I were doing battle with the rats our cleric was sitting outside saying “forget that, im not going in there, there’s RATS!” Our bard stayed outside to keep her company, but he did also keep up his magical singing, which helped quite a bit with the killing of the rats. (I think he was also helping the cleric appraise one of the rings that we had found in the quicklings loot.)
We finally killed off the last of the rats. The fighter then proceeded to take a lot of rat blood and guts off my shield in his hand and smear it all OVER our clerics dress. She was PISSED at him, while the rest of us were laughing. Lastly we explored the last tower on the outside edge of the keep. It contained some trinkets, as well as a statue of a god that I’ve not heard of before.
Finally we got to the inner tower of the keep. We went up the stairs and came across an elven woman at the top of the stairs. The elf woman started dancing and we all became dazzled by her dance steps. There was some serious magic going on there. Interesting side note, our cleric is a lesbian, so even she was dazzled by this woman’s dancing. The dancing was so good that none of us were even able to move.
She started playing really close attention to our bard (a half elf). She seemed to be very attracted to him. Our cleric offered up our bard in trade for letting us go. While amusing to the rest of the party, the dancing elf lady just ignored us and kept grinding up on the bard. The dancing elf lady then actually tried to tackle our bard, while at the same time reaching for the lace at the front of his pants. While disturbing to see, she finally stopped dancing and we were able to attack her. We started landing blows against her, and she seemed to be trying to bite the bard on the neck while still fumbling at the front of his pants.
The bard later said it felt like all the energy was being drained from his body when she was doing that. After another few attacks with some stops in there for us when she started dancing to distract us again we were finally able to kill her. It did however take a lot longer than it should have.
After killing her, and looting her house for every bit of loot we could find we headed back to town. Upon arriving I felt much stronger than I had previously. I also noticed that Skoll looked considerably stronger as well. (I’ll metgame here for a moment and let you know we leveled up).
I also found out from Oleg that my new magic bashing shield had come in. It is a much tougher shield and looks like it will do a lot more damage to my enemies.
Til next time!
Mirrored from Randy's Home On The Interwebs.
So after the adventure with the tree demon we returned to the capitol to make sure everything was running ok. After that we continued to explore the land around our capitol. We want to get as good of an idea as we can as to what is around it. While exploring we came across the ruins of a keep.
The front door of the keep had arched door ways, the doors long since rotted away. Our fighter decided to walk through the doors without checking for traps. Several tons of stone started to come down on top of him as he went in. Luckily his reflexes are pretty good and he was able to jump out of the way at the last second.
There were 4 towers, one in each corner of the keep. The towers each had doors on them, and strangely the doors looked to be pretty new. Our rogue decided to walk up and knock on one of the doors. No one answered, and after checking for traps we opened the door. Inside were dead bodies nailed to the wall. There was blood all over the place.
While we were marveling over the room our group was attacked from behind. We found out later it was a Quickling, but at the time we were unaware as it attacked, and then stealthed and ran away.
The quickling hit like a truck. When he stabs you it hurts! Healing from our Cleric was required so we could move forward with fighting this thing. The biggest problem with trying to fight him though was finding him. There was also a smaller tower inside the center of the keep. We thought that the Quickling would be in the tower room, so we stuck someone at each one of the entrances to make sure he couldn’t escape.
Our Summoner was casting oil on the floor in hopes that the quickling would move through it. I cast Entangle in the room in hopes of snagging it in place. Unfortunately when I did that it managed to tangle up a few of our party members. Ooops, sorry about that guys. I was actually entangled as well.
Realizing I wasn’t going to be able to move I sent Skoll (my wolf companion) around to the other side in case our Rogue needed help guarding the door. This actually really helped things quite a bit because the Quickling decided to attack Skoll. A Quickling must become visible to attack. Our Bard was also on that side of the door with Skoll, our rogue and the Bard was stealthed, so the Quickling didn’t know the Bard was there.
The bard came out of stealth and started playing a song that forced the Quickling to lay on the ground laughing. It was just the opportunity we needed! Our Cleric was quick to get over to the Quickling and cast Faerie Fire on it, which basically caused it to glow. After that was cast the creature was able to take off.
Some quick thinking with our fighter and his bow, he was able to get out and start attacking the Quickling again and distract him so the rest of us could catch up. Skoll, myself, our rogue, and our fighter all managed to surround the Quickling and dispatched of him.
The hour grows late, so I must retire for the evening and rest up for tomorrows adventures.
My Wolf Companion Skoll
Mirrored from Randy's Home On The Interwebs.
So with hind site this blog will be a little bit out of order. First I’ll be discussing the progression of the Province we are building, then I’ll get into some more specific things that occurred during our Province building. The province building itself is going to cover 6 months of time.
The fist thing we did after establishing our capitol city was to declare our first holiday! Gotta keep our people happy. We decided founders day would be the 1 yearly holiday we have every year. We’re possibly going to add some more in next year. We also passed an edict to promote ourselves to outside provinces and kingdoms. Basically we commissioned some political ads to go up in other places to get more settlers moving into our province.
Next we claimed the plot of land next to our current plot. We built a castle around our capitol city so should the worst happen we have a way to defend ourselves. We also built a fishery and a farm next to the castle so our settlers would be able to be fed. The building of the castle was REALLY expensive, luckily with the resources provided to us by the other river kingdoms we were able to afford it.
Next we built some mid-sized housing in our city so that our citizens wouldn’t have to be sleeping in tents anymore. On the other hex of land I mentioned claiming above we built another farm and fishery. It is pretty amazing how much people can eat, and how difficult it can be to manage food supply sometimes. Next we built an inn in our city so that travelers will have a place to stay when passing through. It also helps the local economy quite a bit to have that money coming in.
Next we built a library and a brothel. Those travelers and our citizens are going to want to have something to read and someone to.. well, you know… Right about this time our citizens got unhappy with the fact that we had built a fishery so close to the castle. The ungrateful people were actually complaining about the smell of it. Never mind that half their food comes from the fishery. We decided as a group that they can deal with it since they’d probably rather eat and have to smell the fish rather than starve to death.
We next built a town hall to conduct meetings and offer citizens a place to gather. We also took over a hex with a gold mine in it. +1 to our economy! Also around this time one of our fine citizens studying at the local library that we had built for them made some kind of knowledge break through (it was something to do with alchemy, not really my field so I don’t know all the details.) The helped increase how well known our little province was which should be really helpful in getting people to settle here!
In the final month we heard more people complaining. We built a foundry next to the fishery and the citizens REALLY didn’t like that. We pretty much told them to deal with it. Even if it does smell bad its a good thing for the city. Eventually they’ll be able to expand out and move away from it. The current housing can become low income housing and everyone will be happy.
The next big problem we ran into was some over zealous settlers moving into a hex that was not our property yet. They decided to build a mill there. Then these settlers decided to get into an argument with each other about which of them actually owns the mill. This group fighting was causing some unrest amongst the citizens in town. No doubt they have family members out there at this pirate mill. We’re deferring judgement for the moment about what to do with these squatters.
During all this building time I had some downtime to myself. I spent the downtime working out and working on my skills. I feel much stronger about this now. One of the really cool things about my job though is that I’m getting paid 140 gold a month to be the warden of the province. I also decided to order myself a new shield with shield spikes on it. This will be a shield made out of a lighter material with a little magic mixed in to make it so I hit things a bit harder when I shield bash them.
We managed to find some time to do a little more exploring further out from the province. We ran into a dryad who told us that a tree demon had been harassing her. While hunting down this tree demon we came across a new river. I’m of the opinion we should really start expanding the province in that direction. We’ll see. We managed to find the tree demon, he was about 20 feet tall. He took one swipe at me and beat me up pretty bad. Luckily our cleric was able to heal me right up.
In the middle of the fight the tree demon decided he’d had enough and started to run away. The fighter in the group chased after him and barely managed to kill him. The tree demon looked to be made of some pretty solid wood. We decided to have a trophy room at the castle to put up tokens of our adventures. We’ll be using the tree demon for shelving in the new trophy room.
That’s all the adventuring I have time to update right now. More adventures coming soon!
Mirrored from Randy's Home On The Interwebs.
So, I don’t know if I mentioned it in the previous post, but we had managed to capture a wanted prisoner during our raid on the fort. We picked our Cleric to guard the prisoner while the rest of us cleared out the rest of the fort. During the search our fighter came across a Masterwork sword that was better than the one he had. He gave me his old Masterwork Long Sword, so that was nice to have. (I still prefer beating the crap out of stuff with my shield though.)
We headed to the basement of the fort and were immediately attacked by dire rats, a swarm of spiders, and a druid who had shape shifted into a wolverine.
The Dire Rats we were able to take care of with no problems. The Wolverine took some hits to take out, but in the end our fighter ended up getting a critical hit and literally chopping the guys Druids head off. The Spider Swarm was another problem entirely.
The problem with the Spider Swarm is that it kept poisoning people in our party. If our party wasn’t quick enough on its saving throw then they would continue to take damage for awhile after they were poison. Luckily I was able to get away long enough to avoid being poisoned.
Once we got done getting rid of all these nuances, we were able to finish looting. We found LOTS of stuff. Some awesome equipment, and lots of treasure. I walked away with about 1800 extra gold pieces. Once we had gotten done ransacking the place we decided it would be a good base of operations for future missions in the area. We’ve named our new retreat Fort Tuskwater after the lake that it sits next to.
I know I mentioned our former Paladin friend in the previous entry. We decided to ask him to stay behind and keep an eye on things while we headed back to Olegs Trading Post. We also asked the ex-Pally to talk to the gnomes and see if perhaps they would be interested in setting up a trading post in Fort Tuskwater as a way to make some money and help keep us supplied as need be. (Side note, we heard back later while we were resting that the Gnomes said they aren’t interested in setting up a trading post).
At that point we left the Pally to his duties and trekked our way back to Oleg’s Trading Post. On the way back we stopped by the temple where I had met up with the group previously. The priests in the temple offered us each a Masterwork weapon for free as a thank you for killing the Stag Lord. I picked up a Masterwork Composite Bow. Finally we arrived back at the Trading Post for some R&R. We sold a lot of stuff to Oleg and went away with LOTS of Gold Pieces.
We decided to take a week to relax at Oleg’s. While I was scouting and exploring around the trading post area I came across a young wolf. He looked scrawny and beat up. I was able to lure him to me with some jerky. Once he figured out that I wasn’t going to hurt him he started taking food from my hand, but I couldn’t get him to come with me that first day. After several days of meeting him in the woods he finally decided it was safe to come with me, and stayed with me in my cabin that night. He seems to be sticking around. I named him Skoll.
Around the 6th day we saw a giant dust cloud to the north of the Trading Post headed our way. We equipped our gear and got ready for a fight. The poor messenger who showed up at the gate didn’t understand why we looked like we were about to attack him. Turns out the leaders of Restov were quite happy with the groups progress so far. They sent us the following letter:
“Be it so known that the bearers of this charter having delivered the northern reaches of the Greenbelt from the scourge of banditry, having provided detailed maps of the lay of the land, and having done no small amount of work in the exploration of said land and the culling of hostile monsters and indigenous hazards are hereby granted the right to rule. The nature and laws of rule are theirs to define, and the well being of this new nation is theirs to protect. In accordance for providing a stable nation to the south of central Rostland, let there be a generous stipend of funds, support, and advice provided to this fledgling nation as a token of Restov and Brevoy’s goodwill, such that future relations between kingdoms might be mutually beneficial. So witnessed under the watchful eye of the Lordship of Restov and by the authority granted by Lord Noleski Surtova, current Regent of the Dragonscale Throne.
Lord Mayor of Restov”
The large cloud of dust that we had seen in the distance turned out to be colonists for our new nation. They brought building supplies and materials with them so that we could start work on the capitol of our new nation. We discussed 3 different possibilities as to where our capitol city would be set up. We finally decided it would be good to start building it around Fort Tuskwater. We decided that Fort Tuskwater needed a better name. So after kicking around a few names we finally decided on Veridian (which means green, considering we are in the Green Belt.)
We decided that this new nation would be called Tuskwater Province, so named after the lake that is smack dab in the middle of our nation. The next step was to appoint cabinet positions in our government. Our Rogue has become ruler over the nation. Given that he tends to remain pretty neutral in all dealings, it seemed he was the best choice for it. Our fighter became the general of our nation, and will control its army (once it has one). I became the warden, enforcing law outside of the capitol and assisting the general as needed. Oleg (of the fmous Oleg’s Trading Post) agreed to become our treasurer, given how good he is with money. Our ex-Paladin friend agreed to become the Marshal of our new city, enforcing the law within its walls.
This is where my journal entry will end for now. I look forward to more progress in the building of our nation. It is an exciting time for Tuskwater Province!
Mirrored from Randy's Home On The Interwebs.
Hello, my name is Ricven. I’ve been tasked by the leaders of Brevoy to go to the Stolen Lands and help a group of adventurers take back those lands from the monsters and bandits that live there, and establish a new kingdom. I guess to start with I should describe myself. I am a young human male, 5’8″ 170 lbs with blonde hair. I am a Ranger. I spent much time in the forests around my home learning how to live off the land. I’ve become very good at what I do..
I decided since this is the first time venturing away from my home I wanted to start a chronicle of my adventures. After traveling many days from my home I managed to come across the group I had been looking for at a local temple. It was dark when I arrived, so I do not know to which god the temple was dedicated. When I approached the camp I saw the bard on duty and hailed him as I approached.
It was a tense few moments when he saw me and did not know who I was. I produced my charter and was able to convince him that I was a friend and not a foe. I settled down with everyone else for the night and got some rest. It’s a good thing I did too, because the next day was going to be a long one.
Upon waking in the morning I made my introductions to all my new companions. We set out following the path of the river. Then we came across some loggers who seemed to be cutting down the trees in one of our areas. We also noticed that there was a fairy who seemed to be pretty angry with the loggers as they were cutting down her home. After some discussion with the loggers we were able to convince (intimidate) them into moving further up river and leaving the fairy’s home alone.
In retribution for the cutting down of the trees that the loggers had taken we took several kegs of beer from them and loaded the kegs onto our horses. The fairy seemed indifferent to the whole thing, but she also knows that she owes us a favor. We then pressed on.
Much later, towards evening time, we came across a band of gnomes who had gotten their wagon stuck in the water. The fighter in our group, and I, both waded out to help. Out of our group we are the best with animals, so it was the logical choice for us to head out. The gnomes were thankful for our help, and agreed to sup with us.
While talking to the gnomes, they mentioned that they had a map of some unexplored by us areas. We tried to trade for the map, but unfortunately, the price was too high for us to be able to afford a copy of their map. They even offered us a discounted price since we helped them get their wagon out of the water, and it was still too high. The rogue in the party excused himself to go relieve himself in the woods. What we didn’t know at the time is that he was going to try and steal the gnomes copy of the map. Unfortunately the gnome leader was not quite as inebriated as we thought he was, and he did spot our rogue. The rogue was able to bluff his way out of the situation though as he himself had quite a bit to drink that evening.
Once the party died down we went looking for our ultimate goal. We needed to kill the Stag Lord, supreme leader of the bandits in the area. There was a bounty on his head. My companions had previously met one of the bandit party leaders while they were out raiding honest people, and so knew what he looked like. The bard cast a spell on our cleric to make her look like the bandit leader we had met before.
- Stag Lord
After giving the wrong password at the gate to the bandit camp, we managed to convince the guards at the gate that we were bandits returning with the spoils of war for our leader the Stag Lord. The guards sent someone to wake up the Stag Lord himself and come see what we had brought him. The Stag Lord appeared drunk when he showed up at the gate. We gave him a taste of the beer that the loggers gave us. He enjoyed it so much he immediately insisted the kegs be taken back to his tent.
As the Stag Lord was turning away, our rogue tried to attack him. Noticing his attack I immediately pulled my shield off my back and got ready to attack. The Stag Lord tried to run, the guards seemed a bit confused as to what was going on, and the combat broke out. The first thing I did during the combat was bash the closest guard with my shield. The guard fell dead at my feet on my first hit. Another guard tried to run away after seeing the first go down, and as that guard was running I managed to bash her with my shield. She also fell dead at my feet. This continued to go on for what seemed like forever.
Once the dust had settled and the fight was over I had 5 guards bodies laying at my feet. I do offer many thanks to my cleric healer who healed me twice during this melee. While I was fighting the guards my companions managed to take down the Stag Lord and also the Owlbear that the bandits were keeping in a cage. (This owlbear explains why I had so many guards running past me trying to get away.)
We also met a Paladin who had reluctantly joined the bandits in an effort to survive. This is where I will end my tale for now. In the interim, please see my sketch of the Owlbear we faced.
Mirrored from Randy's Home On The Interwebs.
I recently started playing Heroclix, I played in my second tournament today. So I can remember this later on here is how I did in my first and second tournament:
1st tournament results:
2nd tournament results:
Mirrored from Randy's Home On The Interwebs.
Hunter S. Thompson, great writer, he foreshadowed our current political situation with the world one day after the world trade center and I will quote.
“The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for peace in our time, in the U.S. or any other country. Make no mistake about it: we are at War now- with somebody- and we will stay at war with that strange and mysterious enemy for the rest of our lives.”
“It will be a religious war, a sort of christian jihad,fueled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics on both sides. It will be guerrilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy.”
“This is going to be an expensive war, and victory is not guaranteed-for anyone, and certainly not for a baffled little creep like George W. Bush. All he knows is that his father started a war a long time ago, and that he, the goofy child- president, has been chosen by fate and the global oil industry to finish it off”
Page 90. “Hey Rube” letter dated September 12, 2001.
Mirrored from Randy's Home On The Interwebs.
I’ve heard from a distant relative that works on an American Air Force Base in Asia that we’re getting ready to bomb the crap out of North Korea. Keep in mind this is all circumstantial evidence. I know nothing for sure. Jets are being loaded with live missiles. The Air Force has been moving people to this particular base pretty heavily for the last 6 months. When my relative arrived there a few months ago there were so many people there that the relative had to rent housing off base. Also lots of jets have been relocated from an Arizona air base to this Asian air base. I’ve found out because the wife of this relative doesn’t know how to keep her mouth shut.
Mirrored from Randy's Home On The Interwebs.
Good morning brothers and sisters. I’ve been asked to speak this morning on how studying the gospel in Elders Quorum has blessed my life. I was asked to base my talk on Doctrine & Covenants, Section 88, verses 118 through 123. This portion of the Doctrine & Covenants was described by the Prophet Joseph Smith as an “‘olive leaf’ … plucked from the Tree of Paradise, the Lord’s message of peace to us.” From my preparations for this talk, I have learned to appreciate the many blessings I have as a member of the church, specifically I have learned to appreciate the Elders Quorum. The effect it has had on my life is one of peace and for that I am grateful. But Before I delve into the many ways Elders Quorum has blessed my life, I’d like to start off with one small disclaimer.
Any talk like this about Elders Quorum is really going to end up being a talk about our Elders Quorum president, Hunter Sprenger. As a convert coming into the church, Hunter has been exceptional about making me feel wanted here. He has taken me under his wing, so to speak, since he was once a new convert himself. He knows from first hand experience that there are a lot of things that are difficult to understand as a new member. He is always willing to help me to understand those things. Despite his help and despite being a member of this church for the past 3 years, I do still consider myself a new convert just because of the sheer amount of information that those new to this faith need to learn.
Heavenly Father knows this and understands this and so he has given us guidance on how to learn everything we need to know to be able to return home to live with Him again. In Doctrine and Covenants, Section 88, verse 122, it says “Appoint among yourselves a teacher, and let not all be spokesmen at once; but let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be edified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege.” I think that is one thing I really like and appreciate about Elders Quorum. Everyone there has a chance to speak, to ask questions, to seek knowledge and to compare thoughts.
Being in Elders Quorum teaches me what the good things in life are and reminds me to appreciate them. In Doctrine and Covenants, Section 88, verses 119-120, the Lord speaks to us and says “[o]rganize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God; That your incomings may be in the name of the Lord; that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord; that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with uplifted hands unto the Most High.” Elders Quorum has taught me how to make my house a house of the Lord and how to align my doings with His will for me. Being apart of the quorum has helped me realize what is important in life: the gospel, family and temple work.
Another thing it does is help me understand things that as a new convert I wouldn’t otherwise understand. Like what it was like to serve a mission, and the lessons that are learned on a mission. I find it interesting to compare what others learned during that time to what I learned during the same time frame of my own life.
Another thing I’ve learned from the times that I’ve missed an Elders Quorum meeting is that by coming to church and being in amongst a group of my peers I end up a lot better off than I would be if I had just sat at home and read the same lesson out of the book. Doctrine and Covenants, Section 88, verse 118 says, “And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” In Elders Quorum, we seek out the best books of the church, our scriptures and our lesson manuals, but we also “teach one another words of wisdom.” I think it is getting that perspective from other people and hearing their stories that sometimes helps make the lessons in the book more relatable.
Getting back to President Sprenger, he has taught me a lot just by being the example that he is. One story I have is when Hunter was trying to round up people to do a race here in town called the Run-A-Muck. It’s a race where you have to go through obstacles (including a giant mud pit) to get to the end. As I’m sure you can tell by looking at me, I’m not in the best shape to do a race. I’m not in any kind of shape for that matter. However, he persisted despite all my complaining.
I finally agreed to do the race after he promised that he wouldn’t leave me behind. The two other guys who were in the race with us as a team, Doug and Josh, were also in much better shape than I was as well, so I was definitely the weakest link in the chain. True to their word, they stuck with me, encouraged me and helped me through the entire race.
Our experiences during the race reminded me a lot of life. There are obstacles and hard times, but with the church and its auxiliaries like Elders Quorum, we can get through everything in our path as long as we stick together and work as a team. The church links us, family history work and living ordinances link us and those links are strong enough to get us all home again to live with our Heavenly Parents.
One last example I’ll give of the ways in which Elders Quorum has blessed me, is that it teaches me how to use my priesthood. When I came into the church, I barely understood what it meant to use my priesthood. I’m only just now starting to really grasp the larger concepts of it. The biggest blessing I’ve received was when my lovely wife Ashley was sick, I was able to give her a blessing. Ashley was in a great deal of pain. It was about as bad as I had ever seen it. She asked if I could give her a blessing. I had been involved with doing blessings for other people before, but I didn’t really have an understanding of the proper procedure. I had to call President Sprenger over to help me with it. He didn’t even hesitate when I called and said he would be right over. He walked me through the whole process and helped me understand what it was we were doing. As a result, Ashley immediately started feeling better.
In closing I’d like to leave you with the testimony that I’ve gained from Elders Quorum. I know that the auxiliaries of the church are here to bless us. I know that through these auxiliaries we can be happier in our families. I know that Elders Quorum teaches us how to live good lives. I say this in Jesus Christ name, amen.
Mirrored from Randy's Home On The Interwebs.