Monday, August 22, 2016

Week #49

Hey Mis!

That's a busy week! I'm glad you guys made it safe to Utah. That's cool that you got to see a lot of family too! Are you excited for the new semester? How many semesters do you have left? As for the package, transfers aren't for two weeks. I'm mostly sure that I'll stay for another transfer to finish training, but who knows. I'd most likely send the package to the address I'm at now. 

This week was eventful! We visited with a part member family named the Paddocks. We're teaching their two youngest kids. We taught them the Plan of Salvation, and they loved it! They really like sports, and so we compared it to trying out for a basketball team, and how it was like either making Varsity, Junior Varsity, or being cut. It was a stretch, but it worked. At the end of the lessons one of the kids named Miranda kept saying "I wanna make varsity! I wanna make varsity!" Haha it was pretty funny. We've been meeting with Ronnie Thomas this week almost every day. He's doing well! He just got a job at McDonalds, and he's super happy about it. We even surprised him one day and stopped into McDonalds for dinner, and he saw us and was like "my brothers!!" Hahaha. He had to work this Sunday, so he wasn't able to come to church, but he said he's going to talk with his boss this week about getting next Sunday off! We're excited, he's doing well! 

We're also teaching another part member family, two 9 year old boys named Jiovanny and Julysses. We brought Bro. Penn teaching with us, and he loves kids!! He's a really funny guy too, so it worked out! We taught them the WoW and the 10 commandments with the hand motions to remember them, and it was really fun! The kids are super energetic, so they really enjoyed it! It was a lot of fun! We also had a great lesson with the Grenwalts, a less-active, part-member family. We had been teaching Josh, who isn't a member, and he's absorbed it like a sponge! Bishop was really intrigued by them, and so he wanted to come to an appointment with them. So he came along and we taught about the Book of Mormon. Bishop testified suuuuper strongly about the Book of Mormon, it was awesome!! We're seeing them again Wednesday, and we're
planning on inviting them to be baptized. I'm stoked! 

Thursday night was suuuuper sketchy. We took one of our ward missionaries who is a senior in high school, Jared Nelson, to 50 homes for an appointment. Sadly, there was no answer at the door. They have monsoon season here in August, so the winds were kicking up and there was a little rain off and on. When we left the doorstep, we saw a guy walking, so we waved to him. He waved back and said "I haven't seen you guys around here in a long time!" We went up to him and started chatting. He was Native American, short, but stocky. He had an old ball cap on, and some a gray tee shirt and some jeans that were a little beat up. As we were talking, he asked us what we believed. We started to teach him about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration, and suddenly his face went cold. He looked at me and said, "This is bull****, you're lying! I know you're lying because of the storm that Grandfather has sent!" Elder Rigby, Jared, and I, looked at each other all kinds of confused. We tried to explain more, but he was like "It's too windy, come in." So, we went in. His house was dimly lit, there was a couch that was pretty worn, with a table in front and a soft shake off to the side. The three of us sat on the couch, while the guy sat in the chair. He sat us down, and then he was super friendly. He introduced himself as Mr. Wilson, and offered us some water. We politely declined, and we asked him about his beliefs. He explained that he believed in the Native way, and he talked about how the white people stole land from him and his people. He talked about how they forced religion on his people and how it wasn't right, how he had killed two people and had gone to jail twice, and how he has firearms lying all around the house, with a .38 in a drawer in the corner of the room where we were sitting. He then asked us what our beliefs were. I started to tell him that we believe that God is our Heavenly Father, that he loves us, and that we're given different trials for our learning and understanding. He looked at me dead in the eye and said "That's bull****, quit preachin'. What else?" We then explained to him about the Book of Mormon, how it was another testament of Jesus Christ, and that it was translated by Joseph Smith. "That's bull****, quit preachin'. What else?" This went on a couple more times, and then he reiterated what his beliefs were. Every time we answered his question, he thought we were "preachin'". Finally, he thanked us for coming by, and he showed us the door. We shook hands, and he said to come back any time. We stepped outside the house, and it was a straight-up monsoon. Things were flying through the air, it was insane!! Rigby, Jared, and I ran to the car, and we started to drive home. Even though it was terrible weather, we were able to make it home safely. We dropped Jared off, and he was like "That was super sketchy, but awesome. I need to come out more!" Haha it was pretty funny. It definitely was sketchy, but oddly enough I didn't feel in danger at all. Even when he was talking about the people he killed and the guns he had in house, I didn't feel scared at all in his house. Afterwards was when we realized how sketchy it was. It made for a good story though!

Sunday night was crazy too. We had another ward missionary out, Hunter, and we were going to visit a less active family that Bishop wanted us to visit. When we were walking there, we saw a guy smoking a cigarette, so we stopped and talked with him. His name was Andy Ramirez, and he was legally blind! It was super cool. He said he was raised Catholic, but he never really felt good being at church there. But he said that he went to a couple funerals at the LDS building, and he felt a "special spirit" there. So we invited him to church. He said that he's a stubborn guy, so he said maybe one of these Sunday's coming up. He talked about how his aunt and cousin is Mormon, and as he talked more about his family, we realized that he was related to Hunter! That's Parker though honestly, everyone is related to everyone haha. But it was pretty cool! The more we talked with Andy, the more he talked himself into coming to church. He told us that he'll come
this Sunday! Hopefully he will, but we'll see!

Saturday was a rough day. We had a lot of cancellations, plus I was thinking a lot about Mom. I was actually trying to find a place to get a slurpee, but there was no 7 eleven anywhere near Parker haha. It's crazy that it has been a year now, but it's definitely been a testimony builder to me that overcoming these difficult trials is possible through the Atonement of Christ. I've relied on it a lot on my mission, and I've continued to see these many miracles. I still miss her, but I know that she's doing the same work, just on the other side!

That was pretty much my week! Busy, but productive. This area has come a long way, and we're hoping to see the fruit of our labors soon!

How's Marshall and your friends doing? Do you like your boss at your new job? Have a great week!

Love you Mis!


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