Monday, November 30, 2015

Wifffff!!!!, Chalk Walk, Interesting Thanksgiving

Well now according to my Trunky Monkey Sisters I have now come to know that I have relatively 36 days left to go on the mission which is a strange number to look at. Life at the beginning is looking at the monstrous 728 and now it has been pretty well cashed out and it would seem that my tenure won't be holding up much longer. So I don't have a large portion of things to talk about this week so I will try to keep it short and simple. So Monday and Tuesday were pretty well complete misses as we went to appointments. What should have been 5 lessons for the beginning of the week quickly turned to 1 as we went around. On Monday we went to a new reassigned investigator named Marcus who I have known for a little bit since he works on the streets here in Easton. We got in and said a total of 5 words as he never paused for a breath to allow us to speak. Tuesday we reach a less active and after chatting a bit and about to start the lesson a phone rings to which we were quickly shuffled out of the door since it was some business he had to attend to. The next one cancelled moments before, and then the holy of unholy's we show up to a new investigator of ours and we are getting to know him when his Mom then enters the room (she is an ex member) She wasn't anti or anything but was another person who just preferred to take up all of the oxygen in the room. Five minutes into telling us about how much she loved her job at NAPA before being let go when our investigator (her son) says to give him a call so we can meet at another time. He then booked it up the stairs.... WE WERE DITCHED WITH HIS MOM!!!! so for the next hour and a half we had our ears blown off as she chatted about NAPA. her dead dog, and how much she enjoyed her boss at NAPA which was creepy since she showed us all of the pictures she had of him on her computer with the wife blurred out...... It was a mess. Wednesday we had district meeting due to the Holiday and it was ok like usual. Tired of tracting and street contacting we then decided that we were going to do some art work. So on the way home we went and bought some chalk so that we could do part of the Plan of Salvation on the side walk. It was a lot of fun and we talked to a few people who walked by. Nothing has come of it yet from what we know but with the rain Saturday I am pretty sure that it is no longer there. Thanksgiving was alright but it was also interesting. Most of the day was making Thank you cards which I love to do and then from there we went to one of the ward families. Great group and they were fun but there was some obvious tension between the wife and the husband which was sad to see. Three hours later we delivered cards. So besides that we didn't have anything to crazy. Jean is doing good but still won't commit to a date. The Garrido's are doing good as well and she was supposed to be at church yesterday but unfortunately didn't make it. Her husband tried to make a bash with us again as we talked about the need for baptism and baptisms for the dead which kinda killed the mood. So I wish y'all the best, this came out longer than I expected but thats how it goes. Have a great week!

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Beginning of the End, Temple?!!?, Break Out, This is the Day!

Well folks, another transfer has come to pass and it would seem that I am now at the beginning of my end so I have quite a bit of work that I have to accomplish in that time. And it seems to keep piling on but yet also never really seeming to go anywhere so my first and for most goal is to break out of this seven lessons a week deal that we have been having. We weren't able to do so this past week but I have a good feeling for this week as we go around setting everything up. More less actives for the count and investigators still on the run so we shall see. So just to report is that our baptismal date Nathan is doing well however I am a bit concerned about how he is progressing. We are really going to need to emphasize the reading since he only made it to the second chapter of 1 Nephi and then skipped to 2 Nephi because he wanted to go to the "exciting parts". Guess he hasn't ever read Isaiah before. The Garrido family is fun like usual but it was quite obvious that Brother Garrido is still trying to push away from what he already knows to be true. We were going over the Family a Proclamation to the world and how they have seen their family blessed when he brings up the age old argument of is it better for a child to be with abusive parents or a loving gay couple... he also brought up asking where God came from but luckily for him Public Relations Officer Elder Olsen tactfully moved the case from digressing to digesting. Its been awhile and I wasn't expecting it from him... Little does he know that I already see what he is trying to do and am just waiting to move in. Friday we had transfer calls like usual. I was very relieved to hear that I wouldn't be moved for my last transfer but a bit bummed when I learned that I would be losing two of my Sisters in the district. I'm looking forward to seeing what the new ones can do and bring to the table. Debra has been doing great and it was wonderful to see her after a two week period of not being able to get over there and see her. She has been going through a rough time with the up coming holidays and not having anyone here for her so we addressed that. From there though we were able to finally talk to her about the up coming temple trip on the 5th of December which she was super excited for. Even more exciting is the fact that as of today she has quit smoking and coffee for the past 9 days so all we are doing now is going into a hold out war for the 5th of December woot!!! It is probably the only shot I have to go to the temple with anyone for any of the ordinances and if its just baptisms for the dead I am more than happy to take the opportunity. Also not to mention the fact that it will be to New York! That is what I am looking forward to the most so we need to do what we can to help her. Last up in news is that we had a really fun event yesterday. We have been practicing with the ward choir for an Interfaith event at an episcopal church. I had a lot of fun with it and I always love to see other peoples churches as well as the hymns that they sing. Their were 10 Christian groups including us as well as two Jewish congregations that came together and it sounded great. Our opening song that we sang was called "This is the Day" which was sung at some British wedding within the past decade I believe. I completely recommend looking it up on You Tube since the video I have doesn't really do the song or cinematography that much justice. Well folks I wish you the best and that you have a merry Thanksgiving. I'll see y'all soon!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Turning 50...., Grand Exchange, Just Can't Seem to Leave this Church

My colleagues and fellow members seem to be under the idea that I am reaching certain degrees of trunky since for the most part I can tell you the range of days that I have about left. They have a good laugh and say "But who's counting?" I assure them that it isn't me, Santa Clause at Walmart is the one counting.... :3. So yes I guess you could say that I am now in my fifties and I guess it is all down hill from here. You could also say that after the 50 you begin to age backwards and I can assure you that all statements are true. But enough of my wallowing I will give a brief report on this weeks events... Don't hold me accountable to that statement. Well, we started off with a great visit to our potential investigator Crystal, as we made our way down Washington Street. Her house was dark so we decided not to knock it but five steps later we receive a honking notice that she was just pulling in. She was not having the best of weeks due to three relatives dying the week before this last one and as we talked with her we decided to share the primary song "Family's can be together for ever". And though we were interrupted at times, due to a drug bust across the street, we were still able to manage a spiritual experience with her. We however have not been able to have a normal lesson with this women yet. Tuesday was an explosion of fun when one of the zone leaders came here on exchanges with me, an Elder Fernandez that is. He was recuperating from being pretty sick the past couple of days so we were just going to take it a bit easier than normal but by the end of the day we were able to accomplish 4 lessons and we now have 2 new Less Active and Part Member families to work with woot! Fernandez and I also shared a companion (Cornelius) so we had fun sharing experiences we had with him. Wednesday was mostly uneventful but we did have an awesome lesson with our investigator Nathan. We taught him the Plan of Salvation which he found to be extraordinary and we were able to put some questions that he had at ease. I am not to sure just exactly all that he retained, since the next day he started talking to us about how we taught him about racists not being able to make it into heaven(which we didn't do), but that he wanted to see us again on Friday. We shared with him the Restoration video then and he thoroughly enjoyed the visual help. One last fact that I would like to share before I finish off our week was the fact that we had to go to our church almost 6 to 7 times this past week which was exhausting! Which leads me to Thursday. We had district meeting as usual and I had one zone leader and one AP in on it which made it fun. I was worried about it at first but the meeting itself gained a life of its own and it was thankfully a very good and spiritual experience. We would later on return to the church that evening for Choir practice which has been a delight since we will be in an InterFaith event next week which I am looking forward to. And to polish off our night we then finally had a lesson with our investigator Jean. I have been trying to have a lesson with this woman for almost 2 months now but due to her situation, circumstances and never being able to get a Male out, it proved to be a hard won battle. We had the lesson in Brother Carter's home which was amazing and it went really well as we talked to her about how much love God has for her and how the church family can help her out in times of struggle. We invited her to be baptized on January 3 of next year (see what I tried to do there) but she asked if she could have a little more time to think on it so we will just continue to strengthen her. Well the last thing up in news is that I had my last regular interview with my mission President this past Friday. It was strange to think that I only have my exit interview left with him and then I would be only a few weeks out from home. This was probably my favorite interview of the lot that I have had. Just got to talk about how things are going on here and back at home with no real big business items or struggling missionaries to shorten my time (sorry, that sounds really selfish). We had a training afterwards which was great to but it did go a tad bit too long in my opinion. Anyways that about concludes our week. Friday pretty well started our down fall since every lesson after that cancelled out on us so better luck next time!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Martin Guitar Factory

IBM!, Blazzin Nuts...., Belief Montage with a Dash of Holy Water, Chess?

Well, this week had a dash of New Blood imported into our area, but besides that I wouldn't say to much happened this week... Or was there? Well for the second time on my mission we had an IBM pop up. Not the Business what not, that we always hear about in the news going to make a push this year (Sounds like the Jaguars right?). But rather it stands for Introduced by Member. We are now working with the Boy Friend of a Less Active member returning to activity and if anyone understands missionary work that is the best of both worlds. 2 for 1 baby! Anyway his name is Nathan and is a pretty cool guy, though he is a bit interesting. He is looking to switch majors from Biology and science to being a fashion artist, so I am looking forward to seeing his drawing skills. Really nice guy and apparently when we left after the lesson he was super excited about the things that we talked to him about, woot! We invited him to be baptized, but as of the moment he is not yet ready for a date so we will work on that with him. Upon leaving we were going to go and see Brother Adams to have our annual lesson with him but as we arrived we found him on his porch getting ready to leave for the hospital since his wife had speculated that her ankle had been broken. We asked if him if she would like a blessing and then loaded him up and road to the hospital. She ended up only having a really bad sprain but with the blessing, she had little to no effect on her ankle besides resting it for the next few days. We would have also seen a family known as the Love family later that evening, but we realized partway into the day that they lived 80 miles away from us and that the Elders who had sent them to us had made the flub. We quickly called the Sisters associated to the area. Not to much to report about on Wednesday, besides I am a bit worried that Mike and May's preacher told them all the horror stories about us. My guess though is that if this was the case that he forgot to tell them about how we as Latter Day Saints worship a hamster in the temple by the name of Rosso (yes that is the strangest thing I've been told about my belief thus far). Thursday was also a bit of a hard day for us since our appointments fell through, however we did have some interesting experiences later on that night. We had dinner with Sister Stiteler which isn't to strange, I guess, besides how great the food is. No it was afterwards when we went to our Elders Quorum activity at Buffalo Wild Wings. The Elders Quorum has an initiation for new missionaries in the ward by having them do what is known as the Blazing Challenge which is 12 wings in their hottest sauce which have to be eaten within 6 minutes. Hot? Only the fact that they come right off of the burner, otherwise not so much. But you add a previous dinner, with six minutes as well as about 30 teeny boppin soccer girls who you never noticed as you chowed down things, can get pretty fiery in that mess. I am sad to say my companion did not make it past 4 but am proud to say that I completed the challenge! Friday we had dinner with Sister Timari who is doing well. We need to start preparing her for the Temple this coming month so that we can go as well. It will probably be my only chance to go to the Temple with someone, so I hope she is ready by then. Saturday was a beast all by itself. We were called to go and help a member move a fridge from Nazareth to their house in Easton and while doing so we were called by another member asking for help to move their fridge as well. The first one wasn't to bad besides how nasty the exterior was, but the next two (it ended up being 2 fridges) were new fridges that were just beasts. It was fun, but all in all I'm pretty exhausted from the whole ordeal. We would later that evening meet with a Less Active who we had lost contact with named Lori. She is a fun lady, but once again while we talked with her, she just confirmed to us just how long she has been out of the church. Its a mauge pauge of Catholicism, Protistant, and little to no Mormon left all wrapped up in a crumpled paper ball and her strange fascination for Holy Water. She came to church though like she said she would, so I am happy on that counter part. Sunday was probably the best day this week though. We had the elderly we go and see once a week and with his asking I tried to teach one of them how to play chess, but for some reason he didn't get the concept that certain pieces can move more than one space at a time as he slowly shuffled them up the board. I guess in time it might connect with him ;). After that though, we had dinner with a member and then rushed out to an appointment that fell through. So our last appointment that night we met with the Garrido family. They have been less active for some time and it is mostly due to the husband, but Sister Garrido is looking to come back so there is a light. It was a great night and we were finally able to see some of the struggles that brother Garrido has about the church, but when it all came down to it we gave him the question as to whether or not he believed that Jesus Christ was actually the one who was heading the entire church and what its decisions are. He liked it and we hope to see how he has used that question by the next time we see them. As for now Sister Garrido is doing great and we will hopefully see her at church soon. I wish y'all the best and I will see you later!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Trunker Treaten, Tyrannical Mini Giants, Halloween

Attempting to do laundry this morning as we began or adventurous P-Day, we placed our pay card in and upon removing it, the wash basin and one of the valves began erupting with hot suds and water spraying the whole wall and making a mess of the floor which we had a dirty towel to lap up... Just reminds me of how much more important it will be to have an outside dog... So here we go with the week since its pretty simple. Monday and Tuesday were pretty well uneventful as we meandered about the Easton and Phillipsburg region, which really bugged me but we had a pretty fun night on Tuesday as we went to the ward Trunk or Treat. However we weren't notified as well as one other family, that everyone was going to park on one side of the parking lot and with all of the pizzazz of my popcorn bopping music (if you listen to it don't judge me) blaring we only managed to get a few repetitive kids to come to our car so we eventually just started to give handfuls so that I wasn't left with a plethora of skittles. On Wednesday, we had a super soaker day! It rained and rained and never let up but the fearless missionaries continued as they tracked along.... Getting kinda tired of that. Not to much success but later that evening we went and had a lesson with our new investigators May and Mike. Mike wasn't in on it for the first half but lets just say that they have two boys who have some mental issues and obviously not well disciplined they terrorized and sifted through everything as we tried to give a lesson about the revelation. One even went through my bag and tried to steal my camera but thats where I kinda drew the line. However they did steal a "Proclamation to the World" and gave it to May and she agreed with all of it. I have good hopes for them however it will be an uphill battle with those little guys running everywhere woof! Thursday we saw Debra which was good like it always is. We went over some more strength scriptures with her since she is working on quitting smoking, which she enjoyed but I feel that it is time that we set her free on that subject and follow up a little later as we now move on to such things as the Priesthood and Patriarchal blessings. Good and plentiful temptations that will hopefully help over power the bad ones ;). She's a champ! So we now come to our Halloween weekend which includes mischief night... It was pretty boring haha. Mischief night that is. We had fun carving pumpkins, which I wasn't able to do last year. We listened to music and not much else happened. Its strange out here though since the different communities start Halloween on different days so trick or treaters have been around long before the actual Holliday itself. Saturday we moved a member which took up almost all of the morning and afternoon when we then had to double into the Sisters area down in South Bethlehem. I don't generally enjoy these double ins since nothing ever seems to happen but this time around our prayers were answered when we asked for someone we could talk to so that our time wasn't wasted. Elder Kester felt that we should go back from the way we came after a failed stop by and upon our travels back we met a part member family. Beth the wife is a member and her husband Barry is not and due to a Dr.'s appointment she wasn't able to meet with the sisters that day but when she saw us walking down the road after getting back she called to us and we got to go and teach the both of them a lesson. Woot! After that we had dinner with the Butterfield family, who are becoming my favorite family here. Dinner was good and when they heard that we had nothing to do besides go home for the rest of the evening (we aren't allowed out during Halloween) they asked us to stay and we played some board games for the rest of the night. First time this has ever happened for me and it was nice for some members to finally reach out :D! Also it was great to play a board game for the first time in almost 22 months woot!!! Well our conclusion, was a great Sunday yesterday. A less active member brought her boyfriend for the second time and he now wishes to be taught. We had Debra and our Recent convert move in Laura Prather there so it was good to finally fill up our empty Gospel Principles class. Show that we do work here haha. Anyways I wish y'all the best!

Pumpkin Carving