Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Besides the fact that I kinda feel like death it's been a really good week!
We have worked quite a bit with Gabriel and Ana this week and that has been so much fun! It's so hard to teach them because of the language barrier but that is starting to be the only barrier. They have started opening up to us and they aren't as shy as they had been when we first came around. Their kids are absolutely hilarious! It's funny because they will be there fighting over a toy despite all that Gabriel and Ana can do to get them to share and then they will just come over and hand us the toy and want us to play with them. It is so cute. Their family was supposed to come to church yesterday, but two of the three children woke up sick so they couldn't come.
This was a good week with Henry as well. We did our first Skype lesson with him which was great. It will never replace actually going to his house to see him, but for during the week, just to check up on him or answer one of his questions, it's perfect. It saves us a 2 hour round trip bus ride. This week he actually wants to come and spend time with us. He's going with the other missionaries to the beach, (the plan is for me and Elder Carling, who are both sick, to stay in today.) He then wants to come out a few times with us this week and be an "assistant missionary." He's going to come teaching and tracting and talk to people in the streets. It's going to be interesting for sure. Not sure how it will work logistically or any other way for that matter, but it will definitely be fun and it will be good for him. Our goal is to have him dated for and basically ready for baptism by the end of the week. Some members have offered, as well, to have us over so that Henry can come visit them. Like I said, I'm not sure how this is going to work, but we will see.
The miracle of the week was when we went to go visit the friend of ours that we have been doing a lot of service for. We hadn't seen him for ages, so we felt like we needed to rearrange our plans to try to go by and see him. We didn't have a lot of hope for him to be in, but we went anyway. It turns out that he was in and so he invited us in to talk and after a bit we ask him how everything is going with his remodeling. So he shows us around the room that we worked on and then he wanted to show us the tile that he was going to put on the floor in that room. He had it in another room he's been doing. We went in a side room and the light wouldn’t turn on, so I just flip the switch and leave it, to see if it might just need to warm up or something. Well it suddenly flips on and it's dripping water with a huge wet patch on the ceiling. So he turns everything off, the power, and the water are shut down so that no further damage is caused. Long story short, if we hadn't have gone over and asked to see the rooms and all of that, he wouldn't have gone into that room for a couple of days. (It's a really really big house that he is redoing) (and he's 68) (and he's got a bad heart). By the time he would have otherwise gone in that room, it would have been a total mess.
So that's been my week. I love you all and am so very thankful for the blessing that you all are in my life.
This week was pretty crazy. So much has happened I don't know where to even start. So I guess at the beginning will work.
Monday—We went to the sand dunes with Ethan which was super fun. That evening we met with Teresa, and oh boy was that a crazy crazy lesson. Collin came with us and it was such a stressful lesson. She went off about how God is just a light that brings peace and nothing more. She also doesn't think that there is any point to the scriptures. She doesn't want to follow anybody else's rules. She didn't write them or personally speak to the people who did write them so they have no importance to her in her life. She doesn't want the gospel for her, just her little girl. We have tried to tell her that unless she believes in it, then her daughter will never believe in it. It just doesn't work that way.
Tuesday—Went to a semi-active member's house. It was an interesting appointment. He kept trying to show us movies done by different churches and different things he had recorded on T.V., like how they think that Christ was actually crucified, super not a nice thing to watch. I'm just happy that the T.V. stopped working. Little miracles make life much better. The food was fantastic though. He pressure cooked bbq pork and it was really nice. We had it over chips.
Wednesday—We got stuck at the Temperance doing service. It's really hard to leave once we get there. The lady that runs it really needs the help and she is such a nice person. It's so hard to say no to her. All of our other plans fell through and we ended up getting a lot done, so I guess it worked out.
Thursday—We met the best family ever! They are Portuguese. They've lived here for about 8 years and have 3 kids. They aren't married though. They were a referral from a Brazilian lady in the Crosby Ward who does translating. Gabriel's father was really, really sick with throat cancer and he asked us to give his father a blessing. We will be able to help them, a lot, and they are very humble. They want to have God in their lives.
Friday—We met the meanest human being I've ever come across. I start out by complimenting his garden. He starts off by yelling at me about how much he doesn't like us and how bad we are at what we do. Ethan then cheered us up with lunch and by making us cake for Elder Singsam’s birthday. It was a bit late but the cake was super nice. Besides the rough start to the day, it was a good day. We went and saw Gabriel and Ana and gave them a Book of Mormon in Portuguese. They are fun to teach, but it's a challenge because their English is only at about 75% so we have to both really work to communicate.
Saturday—We went on exchanges and I went with Elder Pape. It was pretty fun. We found a new person for them to teach which is good. They are finally starting to see some success in the area which is really good. We then went to Henry's. I just love Henry. He gave me a Chinese name which is 罗根 Luō Gēn. It's kinda fun. We then talked about how when we get baptized we have the physical part which is the water but also there is the spiritual part which is the confirmation. We talked about that and everything about that for about 2 hours. The we missed our bus and had to wait for another hour so we talked more. We think he understood it all. He actually told us that he wants to come and be an "assistant missionary" for a day. That would be so much fun! I just don't know what is holding him back from baptism.
Sunday—We went to church but only got through the Sacrament when Gabriel calls us in tears asking us to come to the hospital. We got a member to give us a lift and Ethan came with us. It was pretty crazy, the other Elders had given his father a blessing the day before and Gabriel said that his Dad looked really good but we got there on Sunday and his Dad was already gone. We ended up spending most of the day waiting for Gabriel to come back with Ana. We then spent the better part of the day with them, we didn't get back to Southport till about 6:30 and had left at 11:00. It was a long day, but it was such a strange and powerful teaching opportunity. It's still strange to sit in a room with a dead man lying on the bed in front of you.
So that has been my crazy and interesting week. Hope that you all have had a good one as well and I will talk to you soon.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Hello! It's Monday and another week is on the books. We have been really busy this week doing quite a lot of service for a community building that a member runs. They have a very large collection of old junk so we have been helping her all week to get rid of some of it. She has been kinda forced to trash a lot of it because the fire brigade is kinda breathing down her neck about it. I guess it's a substantial fire hazard. They are a bit obsessed with health and safety here.
Monday—Pday. Super, super fun day, we went to the sand dunes and had some good fun there, until we got stuck on the wrong side of a swamp and had to walk for about 2 hours to get around it. That was a pain. After the sand dunes, we went to Bro. Turner's house and recorded a song. Elder Singsam and Elder Lauener had both been really wanting to do it the whole transfer and it was the last chance. We did a version of "Ye Elders of Israel." We did it a capella and then we added some percussion in after and so it turned out really nice—at least the rough version that we have heard. I hope that we get the finished thing soon, I can't wait to send it to you.
Tuesday—We knocked on two wonderful doors. One was a former investigator who was a born-again Christian. He was kinda nuts, but I about died laughing when he answered the door in short shorts. That was funny. He had a lot of good questions that I didn't have answers for so I've been studying them all week and have been able to find the answers to them. The other door we knocked that was amazing was an older Catholic couple. That was the first time in my mission where I've been tracking and someone invited me in. We talked to them for a while and the man was so funny. He would explain some Catholic beliefs to us and then would ask, now that you know the truth, are you ready to convert? Hahahahaha, his wife who used to be a nun would just slap him and say, "Oh Peter be nice to these boys, we are all serving the same God." Funny funny.
Wednesday—We helped at the Temperance all day. Maybe on a scale of good better best we could have found a better use of time but it was still good.
Thursday—Went to the doctors in Liverpool, this doctor was way way better than the last one I went to. He actually did an examination and tried to figure out what was wrong. The result was that I have the inflammation left over from some kind of infection but my sinuses are dry. He gave me a nasal spray to help the inflammation and then told me to use menthol crystals and rub. Anything to get the blood and water flowing through my sinuses. No more runny nose, just a nice sinus headache.
Friday—We went to my appointment with Sister Beech that was good. We then went and saw some less active ladies who are the best! They are hilarious! They also feed us regularly so that's great. We also are hopefully making some progress with them as well.
Saturday—We went to Ormskirk. We did some tracking and for the second time in my mission I got let in immediately. He was super nice and we got a time to go back. Hopefully it works out. We then taught Henry and had a great time. He is learning so much and is so smart. He just wants to know everything before committing.
Sunday—We skyped Elder Singsam's parents, as it was Mother’s Day here. Then went to church. Then went to the fireside.
Love you all!
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
So this week has been a bit of a blur, I'm not going to give as much of a play by play but a recap will have to do. We will see how I like it and you all like it.
So this week we taught Henry twice, on Monday and on Saturday. Both were super solid lessons and we finally got to invite him to baptism, he said no though. He is a bit of a perfectionist and so he doesn't see himself as being ready to be baptized. He feels like he needs to be perfect before he can get baptized or anything like that. We now get to explain otherwise as he has a bit of anxiety from his perfectionist tendencies. So guess who else has struggled with this? This kid, so when we finally found out that was why he was holding back I was super happy, I am so excited to get to help someone overcome what I've struggled with. It's gunna be great. While we were there on Saturday, he fed us some Chinese food that he had made and it was dead nice. He made a salad of sorts that was so good. It was such a strange flavor but was so good.
We also taught Teresa this week with Bishop Fullwood. That was a very good lesson as well, Bishop was fantastic to bring. He is a solid missionary. We were able to address the problem that she has with the concept of authority. He talked about his role as bishop and how it all works. It was way better than we could have ever explained it. We were able to invite her to be baptized, but she said not right now as well. Not shutting the door, just not wanting to walk through the door yet. It is a very big decision for her because of the change that it would be for her family. She wants to know, and she feels that the Church holds something for her, but she isn't sure yet.
We found a less active lady named Heddi, she is great. She is so nice. She also has a super interesting life. She was married at 16 and was married till her late husband died at 50 ish. She's married again and her now husband, Peter, has Alzheimer's disease. It's so funny to watch them interact because he will sometimes realize what's going on and get some understanding that she's talking about him or bossing him about. He hasn't lost his dry, dry, dry sense of humor, so funny. He was telling us the other day that he is on a "see food diet," he sees food and he eats it. I've heard that before but never from an 87 year old with Alzheimer's. He's something like 6'3" and she's like 4'11" some odd, I would have a hard time believing that she's over 5 foot. It's kind of a Dave and Nedra relationship if I had to compare it to someone.
Funny story of the week was when we had dinner at a members' house and we were talking about Donald Trump, of course, and I just happened to be wearing the tie that Kayla gave me that was a Trump tie. Anyways, the funny part was the members (husband and wife) bounced back and forth making jokes about his toupee, I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Holy cow, they were making fun of him the whole night. That is every member here's favorite joke, anything about Donald Trump. What's actually going on there with him? Is he really winning? Will he be the next president? Will he destroy the country? I need answers to give to people who ask me! Hahahaha the members expect me to know even though they have the news and the Internet and I don't. In fast and testimony meeting (yes, I was surprised too, it caught everyone off guard when it was announced) a sister in the ward shared her testimony. She talked about how the house that she is living in right now has a massive mold problem. They have lost like half the house to the mold and since its a rental they can't really do anything. Long story short, she told how that when you accept what is, your suffering goes. When you accept the reality that you face, and allow God to help you, then things get better. It doesn't always change, but you do. I really liked it.
So that's my report of the week. It's transfers this week and me and Elder Singsam are staying together for another transfer in Southport. Elder Carling from Kaysville is staying and Elder Lauener from Switzerland is going to a place called Chester right near Wales. Hope that you all have a good week and will talk to you soon!