November 20, 2013
So It’s kind of good and bad news. I’m staying here which means I get to be here for Aliyah’s baptism…but Elder Thueson is leaving,. My new companion is Elder Proctor.
This week has been pretty good. We spent a lot of time in the mornings helping our bishop in building his new house. He has been working on it for months and now that winter is coming fast we figured we will do our best to help speed up the process. It really doesn’t help that its dark by 6:30! So we figured we would help so he isn’t stuck by himself working 10 hour days in below freezing and in the dark!
We were talking with Aliyah and Lexi and they had expressed that they were not ready to be baptized. So Elder Thueson and I went over and had a talk with them and their parents about it. Afterwards Aliyah (the older one) was more than ready to continue on. It is really cool how much of a change we have seen in her. When we first started teaching she didn’t say anything, didn’t look interested, and had her hair over her eyes. Now whenever we meet her hair is pulled back, she is smiling, and more than willing to participate. So she will be getting baptized this Saturday! We will keep working with Lexi. She is just being difficult we think, being a 13 year old girl. We are sure that soon after Aliyah is baptized she will follow.
We met with the Blankenships again this week, and they are still slowly progressing. We also went to their oldest daughter’s basketball game, and she seemed to be happy about that. We plan on being a little bit more bold with them, hoping they will spark them. We are going to watch the long Joseph Smith movie and then “Safety for the Soul” by Elder Holland, so we will see how that goes.
The ward is full of easy going people who complain about the one member couple we have here from another state who are all pretty uptight - like beyond. She is in her 40's, and thinks she is still a missionary. She enjoys correcting us whenever the chance arrives. She likes to call out investigators in gospel principles (members too) and tries to look through our computer history at the library. They are an odd family anyway. Their older son loves to grow plants. And our ward mission leader was telling us about how the oldest son who is 15 will sit there and spit loogies on his hand and use it like soap? The oldest daughter (at least 12) in sacrament meeting will regular eat her boogers. It’s hard to express in an e-mail but that family has caused a lot of problems...
Anyways things are still gong alright. Just stressing out about this transfer!
November 25, 2013
This Thanksgiving We actually got it approved by President Pitt to go with our ward mission leader to Roanoke, VA with his family and friends for Thanksgiving. I may see Elder Thueson there because he is serving in the YSA Ward. I’m hoping we can work out getting there at 8 am as opposed to 11am because at 8 am the YSA are playing in a Turkey Bowl, and they want us to join, but since we are getting a ride with Bro. Gentry, we probably won’t make it sadly.
Things with my new companion are good. He is a nice kid. We are just always doing something, which I guess is good.
We did have Aliyah’s baptism yesterday! It was awesome, there was an amazing turnout, mostly her family and some members as well. We had set up 3 rows of 6 chairs, and ended up having to set up 6 rows of 7 chairs! Afterward we went to lunch with them, and she seemed pretty happy! Poor Lexi [her sister] seemed left out. Her parents kept saying "Lexi your next!" Talk about pressure. Hopefully, it’ll be good for her.
We did have a pretty cool experience this week. We got a call from Bro. Gentry (ward mission leader), and he said his daughter, Sherad, is good friends with Hannah Blankenship, who is the older daughter of the family we are teaching. He told us she (Hannah) had a heart attack that morning. So after the baptism we went to check on her. We talked for a while, and she agreed to receive a blessing. Anyway we found out yesterday that as she went back to the doc to check her heart, they said she is perfectly healthy again. They don't expect her to get another heart attach anytime soon. Pretty much until she is old, but that was such a cool experience and hopefully boosts the family to continue to learn!
And for Christmas I was thinking about one of those nice Carhart jackets to keep warm. This winter seems like it’ll get pretty cold, and it’ll be nice for back home and in Boise! They are the ones that are around $110-$120 though. There is a store here that seems to get pretty good deals, compared to other stores. If anything, money would work perfect and I could just go and get it and make sure it is the right size! I would also say a GPS but I probably won’t need that soon, because we will be getting iPads :)
That's awesome to hear about the Dawgs, and good to know we have a plan for QB in the future. I’m hoping the hawks can keep it together as well. A member told me that Oregon lost too? I HOPE SO! Also both KC and Denver lost again? I hope that's true!
I’ll be sure to take more pictures with people!
December 2, 2013
Thanksgiving was good, and sadly, I didn’t get in any football. We got down to Roanoke too late. Roanoke is probably about an hour from me. But we had a good time with the Gentry family! They are a wild bunch who love their politics. It turned into a debate at the table with raised voices (not in anger just so they could be heard over others), and it was all directed at Bro. Martin (who is sister Gentry’s father) because he voted for Obama and stands by it still. So that was fun. One thing I’ve noticed in this part of the country is family is everything to them. Although it seems the culture of family up north differs a little bit, I’ve noticed that down south the families are all like best friends to each other – more than I have seen in any family until I came here. But they aren’t as supportive of personal endeavors. For example, if someone wants to do something and their family doesn’t want them to they always try to persuade them otherwise, and don’t like it if they don’t listen. As opposed to up North where families maybe aren’t as much like "best friends," but are much more supportive in personal things.
We had 3 dinners that day, so we were plenty full and didn’t do anything besides socialize and eat! It was like another P-day! I’m hoping I can get some football in on my mission at some point though.
We are hoping Lexi [the sister of an investigator who was recently baptized] follows soon. We aren’t sure what her hang up is. I guess she is just the typical 13 year old girl and wants to be stubborn. It doesn’t have to do with friends because in public she always finds us and runs up to us and introduces us to her friends. So we are not sure what her hold up is. Also we had a great lesson with Matt Blankenship, the father of the family we are teaching. We asked him about reading the Book of Mormon, and he said he reads every day at work, but he works with a lot of members of the Riverview Baptist church (notorious for preaching anti-Mormon sermons and providing anti-Mormon classes). They had told him how there cannot be anything added to the Bible, the classic complaint preachers like to instill in the minds of their drones, and about how no more prophets are on the earth. He asked if there is a chapter in the Book of Mormon that talks about it. We showed him 2 Nephi 29 and discussed it and then watched "My words never cease" by Elder Holland, which is obviously a great person to have explain it to him, Afterward he smiled and asked what the talk was called. We told him, and he wrote it down in his phone so he can show the guys at work the talk! He agreed with it, and our church’s stance on it. He thinks it only makes sense to have a prophet. He is very prepared, and he wants us to come next week and to teach him how to receive his own revelation about the Church! I think if we can get the father, the family will follow.
The other day we tracted into a lady who had baby sat for an LDS family for 6 years in Richmond, VA. She told us how she learned a lot about the church. She then told us she had something for us to look at. When she came back, she handed us a book with pictures of her and her family when they went to the DC temple on Christmas. She talked about how much she loved it, especially the Christus statue. Then before we could start asking questions, she asked us where our church is, what time it starts, and she told us how she wants to go! So we plan to meet with her again this week! She is pretty sweet.
It is really hard to find people this time of year for a few reasons. One is because of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and they are out of town on the holidays or have family over. It gets dark early, so around 5:30 or 6 everyone is kind of done for the night. The main reason no one is home is because well... its deer season now, so literally over 50% of the people here are gone in the woods!
One day it had rained 2 1/2 inches and then snowed that night and got into the lower teens. We decided to go visit some members that day who lived up the mountain on a road called Doe Creek. Anyway I was driving up there, and it wasn’t bad, then we slipped every now and then in our 2 wheel drive car. Then we started to slip pretty regularly. We got to a point in the road that everyone around here knows. It’s a big C-curve that banks to a huge ditch. Miraculously, we made it past that and about 20 more yards up the road when we lost all traction and began to slide backwards. We caught traction on the side of the road where it wasn’t paved, and as we began to try and turn the car around by backing it up the front end kept sliding towards the middle of the road. Luckily people saw us and waited to see if we needed help something most people back home probably wouldn't have done. We began to slowly creep down the hillside and slid 5 feet or so at a time before regaining enough traction to stop. After 20 minutes we got almost to the side of the road to where one tire was on the unpaved road with traction about a foot and a half away from the ditch. The guys came over and helped us hook up a tow rope to the car and because they wouldn’t be able to get to where we were with their car. We had to pull by hand with 4 of us although the road was icy enough that we were able to slide the car off the road onto the grass where it wasn’t icy. You couldn’t walk on the road without sliding a good 10 feet down - no exaggeration. It was the same as walking on an ice rink, but sloped down.
As we sat there trying to decide how to get down, a Nissan with a professor from Indiana saw our car and made the mistake of slowing down. He lost control and slipped off the C-curve into the ditch where his car was on its side. He and his 3 year old were fine. That poor guy was so out of his element you should have seen his reaction and face. He was the kind of guy you see in Seattle, scared with the skinny jeans, a weird French or Irish looking hat and a pair of toms. He was surrounded by all these rednecks with their lifted trucks and guns in the middle of nowhere, stuck in a ditch in a holler.
It was actually pretty entertaining to listen to him talk. You could tell he had no idea what to do. He asked if he could drive his car out of it to which a redneck with a .45 on his hip said "You aint from round here are ya? How do you expect to get outta there, you ain’t even got a wheel on the ground!" We then saw an old lady driving down the hill in her suburban. She was going to show us all up as she was almost past the curve where she lost traction, and instead of pumping the brakes she held them and slid at about 20 mph into the ditch on her side as well. (As you can tell it was a pretty deep ditch.) At one point we had about 8 or 9 cars/trucks up there trying to figure out what to do. So we called our Ward mission leader, Bro. Gentry, and asked for his help. He owns a brand new dooley turbo diesel Cummins. When we told him where we were he asked, "where on Doe Creek?" and we said "ON Doe Creek." He then asked if we were past Celestial Heights (which, by the way is a street where all Mormons live and that was named by them -- I thought that’s cool) . We told him we were and his response was "are you joking? I though y’all were smarter than that." He came up to help pull some people out. It was so slippery and icy even on his truck he had to chain his from tires! Anyway, he pulled the two people out and drove the professor the rest the way up to his family for Thanksgiving and we drove back down, half on the road and half on the dirt to keep traction. So that was an interesting experience and makes me grateful for 4-wheel drive vehicles.
That is awesome Jake is getting ready to send his papers in, you should tell him to make a new e-mail to e-mail me because his BYU-I one is retarded.
And I did get my package! THANK YOU! As you know I’m not a big sweets guy but I have almost eaten all the peppermint bark. And when would the money be put on for the jacket so I know when to get it? I can’t think of anything else for you to send me. I think I’m doing fine now.
And I’m glad the Dawgs won! That has been stressing me out all week! Now I can e-mail Rhiannon about it and give her a hard time. Some members were telling me about the Bama/Auburn game! I can’t believe I missed something like that! One second left, tie game, Bama kicks a 57 yard field goal misses short, but it is caught and returned 109 yards for a touchdown to beat Bama! Only in college football!!! I also heard Oregon has lost a few times as well. It’s been a good year! I heard the Hawks are planning on beating the sound record again because the Chiefs had beat them a few weeks ago so it should be something awesome to see!