Monday, September 28, 2015

Free Bridge to Jersey

Small Treasures, Families with Benefits, Another One Down Another One Down Another one bites the dust

So I'm not to sure why, but I had the strange compulsion to add as many people as I could think of in this weeks email. Must be some old dying missionary trait and though I'm not sure that I'll continue with it I might as well make the most of it this week. So we got to begin our week with a really awesome spiritual experience, this past week. We found an older woman who hadn't been to church in ages my first week here, but she never held the return appointment we had... Until Monday last week. Her name is Debra and has been a convert for about four or five years but has also been less active for about half of that time. We were having a lesson about the temple and how families can be together for ever when we then asked her where she found her conversion to the gospel while investigating. Oh those few but precious moments on my mission where everything in the room just goes dead silent while the spirit opens the front door without permission (thank goodness ;) ) and flooded the room. She received her witness from the Book of Enos which was a first for me but now looking upon it that is probably one of the most amazing stories that we tend to gloss over. She stated that she was done running from God and wanted to come back. We would see her Friday night as well, talking about the Plan of Salvation and Atonement. Went to the woman's conference and apparently loved it (always wondered what happens in those meetings), but unfortunately over slept for church. I have high hopes for her ;)! Tuesday I was on exchanges with what we know as the "training Elders" who go around teaching the younger missionaries how to plan and what not do to their increased size as of late (little yuppies) and though I'm not young I requested them since I knew they had some great thoughts and my comp. was in a bit of a need for them. I was with Elder Long, an old mission buddy of mine, and we had a pretty successful day. He has served here before so we were able to do some work with a past individual of his who is once again investigating and give two blessings. We were also blessed to meet half of our goal to work with two families by the end of this transfer. This happened last Sunday night when through a very inaudible conversation a man from Tennessee with a thick Asian accent asked us to give his sister a blessing for her surgery. We went Tuesday afternoon to find that this sister and her husband have been inactive church members for about 20 years and have an un baptized daughter. They are Mark and Carolina and are such sweet people. Originally from the Philippines and are looking to come back! So missionary lingo that means a less active lesson, other lesson for the daughter, and free food, since that's part of their culture :3! We would find out later in the week that her surgery went very well and actually ended up taking only 2 hours rather than the 4 prescribed to remove an eggplant sized tumor... Yeck! So I guess that the last two items of business from this week that a feel to make mention are that we ended up dropping our one investigator Brian this past week. He's one I've been a bit worried about since the beginning since in our area book his name popped up with a big ol' DNC and as we've gone over, it has been pretty apparent that he's got a few mental issues but we continued on anyways. Well Thursday we committed him to the Word of Wisdom to quit smoking which he had already been doing for three days and then came back Friday when he texted us he didn't want to investigate any more since we had too many rules. I'll explain the last half in a moment. Yesterday was a good but bummed out day at the same time. Had dinner with a member when we then received word from a less active neither of us had met wanted us over for dinner as well a half hour later (woof)! We went over and he was a pretty swell guy but within the first five minutes when we asked about his conversion he told us that we don't talk about church while at his home but that we relax... Oh boy. Well half a plate of spaghetti finished and a corn maze found later, we received a text that Brian wanted us over again... We go to Brian's last night and on the way there a member found us driving by and came along... I'll finish with this: It was a Dark and not so Stormy night when the missionaries approached and began to talk with Brian as said member tagged along. Brian's aggravation increased as missionaries discussed how their ex gangster missionary friend wouldn't be able to visit. Brian wouldn't allow anyone in his house to come out with us... Seeing the tension build said missionaries and member cut conversation short to leave as a slew of obscenities began there journey out of the black cave. The end. Well interesting, none the less we won't be going back though my comp seems to have some strange faddish that we still need to save this guy 0.o. I don't know, anyways hope all is well and I wish the best!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Golden Dream Accomplished, Poor Car, Poor Missionary Celebration, Not Much...

Well today's letter will probably be a bit short but that's alright. I'll hopefully keep it sweet and snappy since there weren't to many events this past week. So Monday night we were able to meet with the Bishop for Dinner and have I guess what would be my first official family home evening night. It was pretty fun and I was pretty amazed by there 4 year old. He could read the scriptures at about a fourth grade level and was witty as all get out. Just one of those kids with a gift for the gab I guess. Tuesday was a bit of a long day since most of our appointments bailed on us so we decided to go and visit some investigators that I hadn't met before. The GPS gave us a location forever away and about 3/4ths of the way there my companion bailed out and was worried that we were going the wrong way. So we came all of the way back to Easton to find out that it was the correct address :P... So we made the decision that we still needed to go and see them. They own there own pizza restaurant known as "Johnathan's Pizza", she named it after her son. Her name is Margarita and is super nice however she is very busy with just a lot of difficult life matters and work so she wasn't able to talk to us for long but asked if we would like dinner there. Well after looking at the menu and what looked to be an appetizing "Johnathan Special" (he complains that he didn't pick a single ingredient) I decided to go for the long craved Stromboli which I've wanted since the beginning of my mission. Essentially its a pizza folded in thirds and loaded to the brim with cheese and other ingredients. So salty, but I can check it off of the list, woot! We would later teach Brian that night and set him up with a baptismal date for the 11th of October, however I am a bit worried about that since we also learned that he has social anxiety and so far hasn't really liked any of the members that we have brought over to help us teach :/. Wednesday we had our car inspected and what not so that it doesn't get a ticket and later on we would teach the Adams family about Patriarchal Blessings. They are a pretty cool family and are actually Elder Littons first converts so I'm glad to have a connection there. Such a crazy house though. It is a yours, mine, and not to sure if there is an ours yet, but it totals to be around 9 kids I believe. Crazy house but a lot of fun. Well, later that night after not having to much success we decided to go to one of the streets that we had planned out to tract but ran into a series of unfortunate events. My companion while pulling forward to retry parallel parking managed to scrape and swap paint with the car next to him as I waved my arms frantically and ran and slammed on the trunk to get his attention since he was still going. According to him he didn't hear a thing :/. Well we sent in the paperwork for that so I guess we shall see what ends up happening. We left a paper for the other car but luckily it seems that they didn't feel the need to call us. It was also Elder Smilanich's year mark that day but it seemed no matter what I tried to do for him that day a problem arose. Lunch? He ended up fasting... Brownies? No baking soda. Cookies? No baking powder. So I settled with toasting a ye old pop tart and placed a lit candle upon it which ended up working nicely for what we had... I would learn, a day later, that we had a box of brownie mix >.<. Thursday we had a strange district meeting where Smilanich did a fire and brimstone thing for the last thirty minutes on less actives. Different. Friday not much to report. Saturday: An appointment fell through so we went to Brian's with our member and witnessed forty five minutes of talking about movies since my comp said he had an idea :/.
Yesterday I guess the last events that I would like to report is that in my new goal to find a family we are now going to be doing a lot more tracting. And though we weren't able to find the family yet I got plenty of news on the Cowboys vs. Eagles games as we went down the line and actually began to use it in my finding. I plan to ask if we can come in and watch a bit and then do the ol' bait and switch if ya know what I mean ;).... Might backfire really hard though haha. We found a lady named Bonnie who was super excited to see us and she said that she loves churches that she can ask questions to so I guess we hit the mark pretty well there. Well I miss you all, got about 109 days left and counting and for you Justin maybe a little more ;) but I guess I'll talk to y'all next week! Love, Macrae

Monday, September 14, 2015

Black List Gator, Sister Talks A Lot, Of Christianity and Islam

We found out that we will be getting the much loathed and hated black boxes known as Tiwi, for our cars this month, so maybe it will be just enough to get me behind the wheel. For those who don't know these black boxes monitor everything that the car does and is known to be quite the pharisee as to how you should be driving the car. Guess we shall see. Anyways I will move on with this weeks events since I am pretty excited to tell about a few of the events. Not to much happened Monday night however on Tuesday we were able to go and see the Howlett family as well as the Adams family. The Howletts are an older family who were recently reactivated before I got here and are pretty fun. Brother Howlett defined himself as the biggest kid one will ever meet since his video game collection gives one of my best friends a run for his money as well as his old horror movie merchandise. Meanwhile his wife knits. We had a good lesson on scripture study however our main goal is to get them to the temple. Brother Adams was pretty sweet but I don't know much about him so I will leave it at that. Later that night we would receive a random call from a guy known as Brian and he wanted to start meeting with the missionary's again. We looked up his old record and were a bit sickened to see the DNC right next to his name (do not contact). I guess he flipped out on the missionaries in the past and ran them off of his porch when they stated that a British would not be able to return to teach him (he has a feddish for the UK). So with our running feet ready we decided to at least give him a try the very next day. He is a pretty cool guy though he is a bit interesting. I can't tell what all is working up stairs and where his interest truly lies but he knows quite a bit about church history and likes the Mormons over all, so I guess we will see what else we can do with him. We saw him again on Friday morning and went over the restoration. Wednesday night we went and saw the new Less active that we picked up the week before. Her name is Lori and is a super nice lady. The only problem is that with how nice she is it's also a bit hard to get her to stop talking and listen, haha. Never seem to run out of those on the mission I guess. More than likely I'll take a guess that it is a life time problem, I'll have to ask some one later on. We would see her as well on Sunday. Moving on to Saturday we went and got to do a service that I wasn't the most familiar with. We were able to clear out a garage so that we could then power wash it. Mind numbing I know but it was actually quite a bit of fun. The rain kept us from finishing which was a bit of a bummer since that meant we had to put all of the stuff back in on the undone half which ultimately means that we have to move it all back out again haha. We were also able to obtain three new investigator within one sitting a little later that day which was awesome. My first week here we did some tracting and found a girl named Izezza who said we could come back. And when we came back a girl named Devita answered and said that Izezza didn't live there. However she wanted to hear our message on Saturday. So we went over and met her and invited the other people there to come on in. Though unfortunatly the guy there didn't really want to come in we were able to meet with Devita, Izezza (she came back for a visit), and Izbeta. I got a little bamboozled at the beginning when we learned that they were all 18 and 19 (I was guessing that they were all 23ish). They are all from Seir Leon which is awesome and all are students. Two are Christian and the one is a Muslim but I take it from the fact that she didn't get all extra covered up when we arrived that it is like everyone else... Just the thing to do. They liked the idea of a modern day prophet, however they did express their concerns about false prophets and teachers so we gave the usual responses that they will know through the power of the holy ghost and by their fruits ye shall know them. I'm super excited for these three and I hope that we will be able to get Solmone in on the mix as well. Well that about wraps it up for this week. We received news that we have a pending referral for a family of ten so I am ecstatic for that! Guess we shall see but for now I'll see you later Space Cowboys!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Finishing Touches, Seat and Claw, Booby Trap..., Ghost Pepper Po

I have a few words... He shouldn't be allowed to drive! I'll explain this in a moment but first there are a few moments that we must attend to before the feature broadcast of my new area. Our final day together I packed my bags as Elder Maiava took either naps or talked to the occasional pop in of the Spanish Elders who hadn't finished there laundry. I had done perfectly fine with the transfer call until I had to start saying goodbye to our most consistent investigators later that night. Jachin was wondering why the heck I was leaving since Maiava had one and done all of his companions within Wilmington. That visit was short since he got home late from his track practice so we were then scurrying off to meet with Tiefa before the night was over. She hadn't completely quit smoking yet however she had been able to reduce it a lot to what I believe was only one cigarette every two to three days. Her date to be baptized is supposed to be next week so she better make it! I'm confident ;). Transfers came and I got to talk with President a little bit and he gave me some insights as to why he was moving me. He stated that the Stake President in Wilmington was making a big push to have mostly Sister Missionaries and that the area I was in would probably be replaced with sisters within the next few transfers. I can truthfully say that is not the best idea but to keep trust with the stakes and mission it has to be done. Not to mention the fact that the sisters who replaced me in west Philly were just replaced with Elders again... So I am now with an Elder Smilanich: ń S-mill-en-ich A small tiny Elder of about 5'7'' and what appears to be 130 LB's. Last name comes from Yugoslavia and by video game skill level I'd put his driving level at 5.2/1000. I've never been so scared out of my wits to ride with someone, my goodness! We have no designated driver so I'm talking with President in a few moments after this letter hahahaha... Eh... So I finally broke the Philadelphia line and am now in Easton PA. It's an interesting place. Besides Easton Maryland this is probably the whitest area that I have been but thankfully it's got a pretty even mix. There is a lot of work that needs to be done here so it's kinda what I was hoping for if this just so happens to be my last area ;). Get to do a lot of finding woof! So since I don't really have many people to report upon I guess I'll kinda lay out some of the interesting parts of this past week here. Thursday night I guess that the Elders Quorum a has a wing night every first Thursday of the month but only two other guys showed up to Buffalo Wild Wings so it was a quiet and mostly awkward night until the very end when I decided to try Elder Smilanich's ghost pepper wings which he himself had only managed to engulf one of a little bit at a time. Well due to peer pressure and plain stupidity I popped a whole sucker in my mouth and for about the first minute or so I was fine... And then it burned me...! I think it put my body in shock for the rest of the night but I'll continue on with our adventures. So while on the look out on Saturday night for some less actives we knocked on a door where we heard a muffle of a voice when suddenly the door opened a creak and a lady in the back ground said "come in!". Smilanich pushed the door open and we were greeted by a 250 LB topless woman who screamed "I thought you were my husband!". Thankfully she turned around before we had a sense of anything so we quickly slammed the door and stood there in shock for a moment. We were literally booby trapped! We would have success that night finding the less actives we had planned for thankfully. Saturday was pretty well completely filled with trying to find people. First two hours at the farmers market where I quickly found I was the only one attempting to find as we endlessly wandered around but we are working on that. Not to mention that this area is going to whip me good for street contacting ;)! Sunday included most of the same things however we went over into the jersey part of our area last night (finally checked that one off) and had some great success. Found a couple or brother and sister (better figure that one out quick) who we will be seeing tonight! We also knocked on a screen door where a pit bull invited himself out to say hi with the owner lady getting super angry stating that I had let him out -_-. Such rudeness. We would then find two less actives we will be seeing this week so it was a great night, woot! I love y'all!