Monday, March 30, 2015

FHE, Two New, Insubordination Bantering, Pizza Trucks?

So may I first start off with a preemptive obituary for my said Golden and Companion.... We went shopping today and since his money has been moved to my card for the time being we made one purchase. Let's just cut to the chase and only mention that his purchase included several cookies, microwave hamburgers, and other said junk items :/. He has obtained a new nickname "Goito" from yesterday which I will explain at a later time in this letter. So I'm glad to hear that y'all had a good week this past week however I will mention my jealousy of y'all being able to go to the grandparents houses ;). However, as I sat and thought earlier this week just how quick things are coming at me and I need to get stuff done here before I can't! So last week we played basketball with the ap's which was a lot of fun since Toilolo left back in November and Watt replaced him they stopped coming to all of the fun activities where we actually got to know them. Though my basketball skills are terrible I am happy to report four wins out of five games with me shooting a three while one of the missionaries taunted me rather than guarding me haha. After that we went to Brother Abad's for FHE which hasn't happened for a very long time. He had forgotten but we got the one legged man out onto the stoop with our good friend Brother Lott and had a good time as well as a lesson. Brother Abad is one of those types where the moon could be falling on top of him and he would still have a joke or two to go down with so he told us a story about a certain member in our congregation who though it funny to send him a job application for IHOP, haha. Tuesday morning we were with Mike most of the morning. He's been going through a lot of depression with his broken foot and not being able to really go and do anything because of it. We had brought the prep booklets for the temple for him so that we can make that a future goal for him. It was a super good lesson and it was definitely what he needed at that time. We have also been doing a lot of tracting which I'll talk about in the coming paragraph. So that door that we had knocked two weeks before and found a man named Vince. Well we had set up to see him on Wednesday and when we went by and knocked we got nothing which was super disappointing! But while I was writing a sorry we missed you card, Elder Crowther saw him coming from the train station near by so we waited for him. Said he was sorry and had forgotten and since he had an insurance lady coming he wanted to reschedule. Well as we were figuring a time out he asked us about some of our beliefs and thus we had a lesson about the restoration of the gospel and a few "other" categories. Get people talking and nothing else matters. We are seeing him again this Wednesday. Also he's an ex Jehovahs Witness so this will be interesting ;). Just forgot but we also went and helped with the unlitter us program cleaning up the streets of Philly earlier that morning. District meeting on Thursday went surprisingly well. It was on the topic of finding new people which I haven't had the most experience with and really didn't have much of a lesson until the morning of. You gotta really hand it to the big guy upstairs for things like is, but I do worry that his back hurts from time to time carrying this team :3. Thursday then proceeded to become one of those days where nothing seemed to hold and no one really wanted to talk to you. However while we were out walking and searching we came across the zone leaders with Ray Gant doing more service with the unlitter us campaign so not having to much to do we helped them in our proselyting clothes! It was good but it was within the second worst part of our area, so I picked up a lot of needles that day ):P! Later that night we went and stopped by a referral that we had received requesting a bible. It was located in the worst part of our area and it was getting dark! On our way into the area there were six cop cars at a right aid having already arrested a guy so that was a warm welcoming. The mans name was Andy and when we knocked someone opened he blinds and then shut them. Just making sure we didn't have the wrong house we knocked the neighbors door and he said yes they do so we went and knocked it again when Andy answered. Super cool guy, his wife had thought we were Jehovahs Witnesses and thus didn't open the door. Had a mini restoration lesson, already believes in the God Head but he has some interesting beliefs in Mary so we shall see. Wanted to learn more about us so this will be fun! Friday we went to the Layton/Browns. Only thing different is that one of the guys who's been living there for the past two months named John participated in our lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When he first got there he wouldn't barely even look our way but we had a good discussion with him and we left him with a Book of Mormon and Bible which was really sweet. We had Sister Wasco for dinner later that night as well, along with the Heal family there. I know we all have food we dislike but thank you for raising me the way y'all did. Cause even when I don't like the food out here I at least take a bit and eat ya know? I never really realized just how... Rude I guess it is not to eat the food you've been given, ya know? Oh well we got more important things to work on ;). Saturday I'm not to sure what happened for most the day. We saw Michael and tried to have a lesson on the temple but since he didn't seem to care we just went for a "go for broke" lesson. Nothing really planned and just asked a ton of questions so we then could talk about things that really got him to think. He will soon be reactivated. So we come to Sunday.... So I have to decided whether or not the other Elders in my district have a border change to have temple campus in their area. The zone leaders asked me to discuss it with them and the answer I received back from the senior companion was that even if I asked them not to work there that they still would :/.... >.<. Also didn't say the most kind things about my companion when I was talking about having exchanges. He apologized but still. So we will see. We went to Sister Rios's, it was her last rcla lesson since we are now counting her as reactivated. Had some of her super good hot chocolate which we got the recipe for finally and then we had a great lesson to match it. We watched 'I will not fail thee nor forsake thee' by President Monson. We then had a kinda sorta lesson with Jen. She invited us over for her daughters birthday. Then Mike and Dana.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Initiation Preperation, It's a Boy!, District Overlord, Strange Happenstances

Well this past week was quite strange since it actually started Wednesday afternoon but there were a few details before that which I will make a mention of here and now. So Monday night we went and saw Brandon. Being in a trio really crowded up his two room apartment (the other room being a kitchen) and gave the good man a blessing. He had some huge tests this past week and wanted the extra heavenly assistance which I think we can all agree to be a worthy request. Later that night when we had come home Elder Cornelius's bags were still sitting here waiting to be taken which was really weird since transfers were the next day and no one seemed to have felt that he needed those in his new area I guess. But all ended well when I received a phone call that they were going to do it tomorrow since Elder Cornelius was going to be staying within the city :3! I told Cornelius and left it up to him whether I gave him the info or not.... He couldn't resist so he had a bit of a head start on where he was going. The next day being transfers was slightly confusing. It was probably the smallest transfer meeting that I have ever experienced and then they forgot to announce my name :/. I went and told pres what! You forgot me haha!? So in the middle of announcing another zone they brought me forth and announced me with a golden! I was slightly disappointed though. Usually past companions and friends come out to get a picture with you since you don't have a comp to do it with but none came out :(. All the lonely people....) Anyways after transfer meeting the trainers had to stay for an extra four hours of Preparatory Training and lunch. It was nuts, they also showed us a video that only trainers get to see of a missionary training his golden. It was supposed to be real but I feel that with a lot of these videos a lot of it is toned up to max capacity cause I've never seen anything in resemblance. I was so excited though for the rest of the day. Elder Lundberg one of my past zone leaders was getting a golden to0, so he got to come with me to my area for the day :D. Not to much happened that day. This was his third time training so I was trying to get the best pointers that I could, but from my study's, the main answer I've gotten back from everyone is love your golden and also to let him fail. I can concur that these principles are correct. Wednesday we had to be back to Broomall to get our Golden's who had come in the night before. There were only five English speaking ones and the rest were Spanish elders since we are at a bit of a low here on those. My goldens name is Elder Crowther and he is from Layton Utah. Says that he knows the Sweetens too. No idea. Anyways, he is a good kid but very interesting as well... I'll explain later :P. So we got our Goldens and from there we had another four hours of training and I was somewhat happy for this experience since I never had it when I was a golden do to the fact that our plane was delayed... However now that I think about it skipping the extra training was fine by me ;). His first lesson was with Mike and there we had a pretty good lesson discussing a chapter from the Book of Mormon. Had correlation that night and got to know my comp. he is the youngest of 9 falling thirteen years behind the one before him 0.o. Loves listening to music, sports, chick flicks-in touch with feminine side...., and his diet consists of sugar and meat :/.... But he's also very energetic which is something I've been needing to push me forward in the work so it's alright, just have to direct it now. Thursday I had my first meeting as the district leader. It went good which surprised me since I had been only given one night to prepare for it. Teaching people, not lessons was the topic and thank goodness for discussion cause we would have ended early haha. I am over Elder Bevans and his new Golden as well as Sister Jolley and her new companion who speaks Spanish which is weird :P. They have to go to the Spanish ward as well as the English yuck... Also since Sister Jolley plays the piano they kicked me from my organ position :(. We had the Layton Browns twice this week... Nothing thrilling. Same goes for Michael since he is now back on the fence of a mission. Now Saturday was pretty cool. Since I was a bit behind on training Elder Crowther, we didn't go to football. We were supposed to do some service at Mike as well but he got called into work so we were left with an hour and a half gap of nothing. So we went with tracting a street Elder Crowther had a thought to go do. It was really cool since for the first time we were invited back by two people! And had a really good conversation with a third! That's a first for me on the mission :O! Tanya was the first door and a guy named Vince on the second. We will see how Vince turns out since when we went to see Tanya yesterday a guy who I suspect to be her husband was outside working on a car and when we knocked the door he was like Hey! What do you want, we already have a church. I explained that Tanya had asked for a bible study and so that's what we were there to do (and hopefully more). He said they were fine... I plan to go back and knock the door to find out her opinion... Respectfully. We then went to a house I've been kinda dreading for a long time now :P. I've only made mention of him throughout the months but there's this drunk guy who always yells Smith! When he sees us and then he somehow remembers me and just asks why I haven't come to see him yet. Not once but twice this past week we saw him and reluctantly went :P. Not once have I seen this guy sober. His row home consisted of a couch and tv with a bunch of VHS's. The other rooms empty. Sippin a beer he said come back when he wasn't drunk... Then said never mind get over here. This lesson consisted of me having one of those rare moments of just wanting to deck someone. I'd tell him something and he would say that's wrong. Crowther would say the same thing but slightly differently and he would say yes. Mean while I'm just hoping that we don't get bed bugs and that the beer he keeps sloshing doesn't spill on me >.<. Bleck! We saw the Layton Browns after that. The only reason I report this again is that afterwards on our way home there was a bunch of kids on bikes sitting at a corner when a kid with a trike like bike (it had a carrier with a cooler strapped to it refurbished into a speaker) flipped on some tunes at full blast and lead them all the way up a one way street in the wrong direction... Most Hood thing Ever!!!! We had lesson with Brianna right after that. Doing super sweet as usual and we are getting pretty excited since her mom sat in again for a full lesson and liked what we had to say so upon next visit we will ask her to participate more fully! Can't wait to get this done ya know? Last but not least we had Jen as our last lesson. Crazy! But that's nothing new. I'm a bit worried with my comps casualness around there. We had a lesson that we gave but at the end Jen got all depressed about her dad and I proceeded to give another lesson on the will of God. It was good. What we really need is to create a spiritual environment but at her house I'm not to sure how we are going to do that ya know? It's really what we actually need to do. And now for yesterday. We had a sweet lesson with Stephanie. She is doing a lot better since she's had a few weeks to recover from surgery. Good as usual. And then we had Mike and Dana's like usual. They got a new dog to go with the two already present... It's a Labrador mastiff so it's this huge fat headed dog that's super energetic! Goodness that's one full house!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Macrae & Elder Cornelius

Pure as Gold, Wet Dogs, Gangsta Kryptonite, Double Tap and Going Gone

Here we sit at the beginning of a new transfer waiting for the news of a long lost fellow, lost in Philadelphia... And that's how it will stay. I'll get to that in a moment but on the other hand how is everyone doing today? Sun is shining here and the weather is nice and cool and every other day a down pore of soaking rain. So this past week the first and foremost part of business would be Brianna. We went over the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Brother Thueson and for the first time since she has met missionaries her mom sat in on it which was really cool. Don't know if her mom really wants to investigate but it is a start. We are looking at the 12th of April for this baptism which will be sweet :D! On Tuesday I went on exchanges with Elder Meline who is one of the zone leaders here and it went really well. He served with Elder Litton as well so we both had ridiculous stories to tell. That day was bizarre though, since it rained almost the entire day. I think we had about just an hour of sunshine before it rained again and during that time a lady called us over and asked if we had boyfriends which was really awkward. We talked to her about the plan of salvation and that we believed families can be forever which she said was weird but she wants to meet with us again... I'm a bit wary but we shall see haha. My side bag also broke so I was awkwardly carrying it like a suitcase all day :/. We were able to talk to a lot of people that day though and later that day we were able to see Brandon. The lesson we had planned he had already received from the other elders... So Meline pulled out the King Follet sermon which I had heard about but never read. It was sweet! And then on the way home we just got soaked! Wednesday was uneventful, we kinda taught the Layton Browns.... Ya skipping to Thursday. We followed up with Mike on Seventeen Miracles and he loved it. We read with him and found out some more good things to do with Dana so we will see what we can do. We then had two meal appointments that night one in our area with Sister Rios and the other with Sister Wasco. Sister Rios is just a couple blocks from us while Sister Wasco is in East Falls a good 7 miles at the least from our house... Plus they were back to back. Sister Rios had just had a surgery done and was hurting pretty badly so we got to give another blessing, which I love to do :). Haven't done one in a long while so it was all good. Sister Wasco's, we showed up a bit late for but we did make it. It was just her that night along with Brother Diehl who we brought with us. I really miss seeing that family weekly but I was glad for the time that we had with them. Here when missionaries are going to die (finished his mission), the week before doing so they are taken to the temple on Friday. So since Sutton is dying we received his companion that night, Elder Bevans, who is our district leader here if ya remember. Friday night we received the transfer calls... We were told that we were both staying which was a huge relief! For that moment at least (to be continued). Saturday Morning we had a ward activity of Pancakes as well as Meet the Mormons. The Pancakes were super good but we decided not to stay for the movie since no investigators showed up as well as the fact that no one tested the equipment so it went from being on the projector, to the tv, and then just a little 14" Mac screen :/. It was very cloudy that day and it rained off and on. As we were trying to come and knock on a less actives door there was a big group of black guys and a Hispanic outside talking smack to each other. As we got closer one of them came up to me and was like show me your badge officer and the whole group just started laughing (guess he's the funnies of the heard). Well they didn't expect us to knock on the door right next to them so they started going "Oh my gosh it's really the fuzz!" In loud whispers. We waited a second and one of the guys said that he had seen them leave. So as we were leaving they began their smack again so I offered one a card and he just jumped back like whoa no! Meanwhile the Hispanic comes from behind and says dude that's Jesus you can't deny that! And so he got the card haha. Woulda thought it was Kryptonite :3! Then came Sunday...... Between sacrament and Sunday school we were told that we needed to call the assistants. We found out that there was a change and that Elder Cornelius was actually going to be leaving :(! So bummed! I also learned there that I will be district leader for this coming transfer so this is going to be very interesting. Played organ and then went home so that Elder Cornelius could pack. We then got a call from Sutton asking if they could come to Mike and Danas for dinner. Gave them her number since it wasn't our place along with the fact that Elder Seeley and Milligan were coming over as well. They got permission and so ensued dinner at Danas with six elders haha. Man so happy and depressed all at the same time! Seeley and Sutton I've served around for four transfers and now they are going home :(. We had a good time though. Oh at about ten last night I found out that I will also be training this transfer 0.o. So first time district leader as well as now training! Oh goodness that's a lot of new big things all at once woof! Anyways we are with Bevans again since his companion is going home tomorrow. He's training to but only Cornelius knows that I am and I hope to keep it that way till tomorrow. This most likely means that I will be here till June!

Monday, March 9, 2015

No Swearing Club, The Last of Sutton and Kidnapped by a Tongan

So this past week we had a lot of repeats in terms of lessons but it had its moments non-the less so though short I shall relay them to you. So we saw Jen three times this past week. Our first lesson was good but it was pretty weird at the same time. We weren't in sync and rather than talking about temples like we had planned Cornelius showed the Tyler Haus video or what not since Jenn had questions about what drove us to be missionaries. It worked. The second one Jenn was just in drama mode so I skip to her Saturday lesson. She's been falling back into her swearing routine so we with our attempts to get her to live the Mormon life style showed the no swearing club video. Whether or not it had much affect Jenn said that she did want to swear less so I'm trying to think of where I can get a little declaration thingy for her to sign and hang up to remind her to quit swearing. On Wednesday I was on exchanges with Sutton in his area. It was a really good exchange by I'm really sad since it will be my last one with him since he goes home next week. Our first lesson was with a lady named Daishon and we had it down at the Philly temple sight. The lesson was really good since we taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ. However after the lesson she has this really strange hippy fiancé that lives down in Florida who we kinda slightly bashed with ( I say that cause he was talking to Daishon over the phone) who had this strange fetish for why we didn't believe in Christs teachings of being vegetarian? It was the most ridiculous resolving of concerns (fancy phrase for bashing) that I have ever been through. Sights a few scriptures like they always do, says this is what the Greek translation was supposed to actually say (rolls eyes), and then forgets the rest. You know the usual. So the lesson took an hour and the resolving of concern lasted an hour... She would be baptized in two weeks I swear if she didn't have to deal with him. She is super cool. Well enough with bashing and onward with that day. We then had a lesson with a less active who just moved in. We had Brother Moala with us ( big Tongan who used to serve in this mission). And that went well. We were on our way to the next lesson when he got a call from brother Rennie asking for a ride since he had locked himself outa the house and needed keys. It was raining and Moala was worried that Rennie would get sick so he had us reschedule wih our next lesson and said he would drop us off at Lehigh Ave. Well next thing ya know we are in East Falls at Brother Rennies house who was there safe and sound :/. First time being there since they only love the Sisters but at the same time we were wondering what the heck haha. Then Moala had us take the bus home 😒. So there went some time. Not to much else happened that day besides talking about stories of yore since we've been in the same district for four transfers together. It was good, depressing, and fun all at the same time. On Saturday Mike somehow manages to hurt his foot really badly so we went over and gave him a blessing. It was super swollen and turning black and blue on Sunday which was gross. We were getting ready to leave when I kept having a nagging feeling that we should go over the restoration with a woman named Susan who lives at their place. So we didn't let it go and proceeded to watch it with her since she didn't really have a good understanding of how our church came to be. She loved it so I hope that means that we can move from there to teach her more officially. Sunday was cool since right after church we were able to have a lesson with a girl named Brianna. I might have made mention of her three weeks ago I don't remember since we haven't been able to get back into her house since but she is really awesome. She is twelve years old and her Grandmother is a member and apart of our ward which is how she was introduced to it. She loves the bible and loves the Book of Mormon and wants to be baptized! She's already been taught the first three lessons but since it has been a few months we reviewed the restoration. It went well and we had five members present which was really weird but cool at the same time. Two of them were young woman her age so I'll take that any day. Get the youth with the youth and they are hooked! We tried to set a baptismal date but those there and my comp had a bit of a disagreement as to holding it on Easter or not :/. I know it's General Conference but it's Easter come on! Who wouldn't want their baptismal date on Christ's Birthday and resurrection day haha? We shall see I guess. We then had a lesson with Stephanie. That morning on her way to church during interchange someone stole her pass and all those around her didn't do a thing about it so that's super frustrating. She said it's nice to be asked if your alright but when it's obvious that someone can be stopped wouldn't ya stop them? She was pretty frustrated but we read with her, drank her amazing hot chocolate and then left her with a Book of Mormon to give her son who is Daisha's husband. Going for the whole family ;). And that about wraps up the week I think. Dinner at the Fraziers and then we went to dinner with Mike and Dana which was very bloating since we had fried chicken at the first and super duty burgers at the next :P. Somehow I've lost weight too? Doesn't make any sense.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Week Weird, Family History Buff, Where'd These Potatoes Come From?, Stupid Mid Terms

So with the meetings and Pday extension last week everything was thrown outa wack and then on top of it all our Ward has to be one of those student based wards with a low local yocol population.... We make plans just to do something else :/. But there are a few things that I can report to home base so I shall. Wednesday to Thursday I was on exchange with my Canadian district leader Elder Bevans in my area. We were first going to run a table down on temple campus but after a half hour saw no sign of a table being delivered to us so we called and found out that There was a miscommunication on which temple we were supposed to be at haha. So that was cancelled, the exchange started late and next thing Ya know we are at Mike's and watching Mountain of the Lord. We were supposed to go to the Wasco's for the first time in two months that day but since we were unable to find a male we cancelled and then spent another hour at Mikes doing family history since Elder Bevans is pretty dang good at doing that sorta stuff. Went to see our Ward Mission Leader like every Wednesday and when we got their we found out that it was supposed to be cancelled but since Elder Bevans and I showed up we got free banana chocolate chip cookies anyways. Then went to Dana's store and did more family history :P. Thursday nothing went to plan. I bought the district donuts just for the sister to not show up and two others to buy themselves donuts so that failed :/ and then Friday I started off fine but by comp study my stomach couldn't decide whether or not it liked me :(. Try to be so good to it and it repaied me with nothing praiseworthy or of good report, tsk tsk. I went out and worked as much as I could but by the time our meal appointment was rolling around we called the other elders to go on splits while the other one went home with me. When they got back we spoke and laughed a while before I felt so miserable I asked for a blessing. Directly after the last words of the blessing I went to the bathroom and threw up a lot which confused me? I had only two pieces of toast that day but somehow there was much more including that which resembled potatoes... Now that you have that visual I leave with the fact that my stomach hasn't felt the same since. Still mostly sick Saturday but we did what we could and worked and then we come to Sunday. Nothing went to plan again but that's alright. The spanish elders handed a guy off to us who's name is Nick. He is from Hungary and is 84 years old and is obviously in pretty big need of a home help assistant. We were there for about an hour as he just told us stories of his life before we left him with our number and a pamphlet. I'm not to sure what to do with him since we can't tell his interest level and he's pretty adamant about helping himself with everything in the house. He definitely needs help though so we will see what we can do. And to finish our week we went to Danas as usual for dinner but this time around we also had the other elders with us so that they could do family history. And that's a wrap up love Ya!