So this week started out pretty slow. Nothing really on Sunday, and we taught 1 lesson on Monday. It was to the same family we visit every monday night, and even then, they almost canceled. So it was almost very sad. But they texted us halfway through the day saying they were back on for 7 o clock. This is the family that we try to get Michael to stay for the lesson, which he did last week. This week our lesson was on overcoming trials, the symbolism of most things in life, and the Atonement (of course) I have earned myself the nickname of the "Atonement Puppy" it apparently has been passed to me from a missionary who was there a long time ago. This nickname stems from my apparent excitement when the atonement comes up. I look like a puppy! It is apparently very amusing. Well, I shared some experiences that are very dear to my heart, and Michael stayed for the lesson, most of it anyways, but I became very sorrowful, I suppose it is just that phase again, but of course, as fate and time will tell, I began to bawl like a little baby :D very embarrassing, and Michael just laughed and laughed and laughed. It was a little offensive however, I don't think he was paying the proper respect to the sensitiveness of the subject of which I was speaking. It didn't phase me at the time, but looking back I'm a little frustrated! >:/ But oh well, he stayed, I wasn't the only one crying, and the Spirit was there. We figured out our gameplan for tonight, we are going to use three knives and three cups to do a typical balancing act, BUT, it will relate to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and how everything works together. It'll be good, AND interesting, so Michael will stay :)
So last monday we had a District P-day, which involved us all going to the Golden Road building to play Volleyball, apparently is was almost a zone p-day, because nearly everyone was there. Now I know what you're all thinking, but since I've come out on my mission, my confidence has gone up, and as a result, I'm a force to reckon with when it comes to sports. If you don't believe me, let's face off when I get home ;). Anyways, Volleyball didn't last very long. It was going good until my team of 4 went to compete, and while blocking a spike, somebody broke the net.... Niiiiiiiiiiice one, we were killing them too... Oh well, I suppose the Lord didn't want them to feel sad, so the net broke. So we switched to soccer. But not just any soccer, a free-for-all. How this works is that you set up a metal chair in the gym. The object of the game is to NOT allow your chair to be hit by the ball, so you try to hit everyone else's chair with the ball, and defend your own. Very fun. One guy played soccer in high school, and we had some other guys that were really good, but I actually could hold my own. Very impressive if I do say so myself ;), nah, just luck. I had a lot of fun, and as these "good" guys would try to attack me, I ended up slide tackling the ball. It was the sickest sport move I've ever done. Reminds me of the cheapness of when we used to throw our sticks in hockey hahaha. But it worked. But the game can get violent fast, as people panic to defend their chairs, and we had a close call. My companion had been passed the ball, and was coming in for the attack on me, and he was closer to my chair than I was, so I bolted over there, caught up to him, and slid and right as he kicked it, used the tip of my toes to deflect the ball, well, it worked, but he tripped on me, and we both fell and tumbled, and his chin almost collided with my chair, but right as he was about to, he shoved it out of the way, and ended up sliding like a penguin across the ground. Hilarious! And my leg was aaaaaall beat up. Did I mention what I did to get there? Well, I got a loaner bike from the mission for now, but the back intertube is bad, and so far I've been to lazy to fix it, so what did I do? I used my bike lock and strapped the pump to the bike. But I kept scraping my knee :( It huurt! And my legs got all beat up from that soccer game too. Very active this past week.... Wednesday we had Zone Meeting/ Conference, it was my First and last with Elder Olsen, only picture I have was the worst one of me taken, however, the man cowering behind me is the Zone Leader who leaves next month. He took a few pictures with everybody before he left. It was pretty exciting, but of course, the good ones of us are on his camera, and I still look stoned on my camera haha. I love cameras, but they do Not love me apparently haha. Also with that picture, it finally hit me that my hair was waaay too long, I couldn't do anything with it, it was too long that I could no longer part it effectively without another inch or so, so it was like what it normally grew out to be, where it just hung low. Ha! I felt like a heathen! Anyway, I got it figured out and got a haircut on Friday. I know, not P-day, but I didn't go to a place to get it cut. But an inactive / Part member family. AND we got to teach them. Smart? Oh yeah! There was another family there too, that had cancelled our lesson on Thursday, so they came over (the mom is related to the family who cut my hair) so we taught everybody! And my hair was cut! Everyone loved it, but I thought it looked weird, but, now that I can put gel in it, it looks fine! It's much much better than before, and looks a little better than when I first get my haircut back in Utah. It'll look better and better as it gets longer, but it's a bell curve, eventually it will start looking worse and worse haha, but that's hair for ya! Hair today, gone tomorrow....
We picked up a new investigator the other day. The Carstens offered us a ride to our appointment, but we felt like we should walk. Ooooooh yeah! Inspired or what? Definitely Inspired. her name is Candy, we've spoken to her a couple of times on the street before, and she typically goes outside and sits in her pink chair with a book and reads and smokes - we gave her a Book of Mormon weeks ago, and she is actually half-way through it! She reads it! And we haven't taught her yet! Amazing! Well, we saw her that night (Thursday??) and talked to her about prophets, and she asked about living prophets, and oh boy that was great, because we told her that there was once again one here on the Earth. Totally made her day. She knows a lot about the church already, but we ended scheduling some service and a lesson, and promised to bring her an ensign from this last conference, because she brought up how she wants to hear the words of the prophet, so it led into talking about the organization of the church, the same as the Church Jesus Christ restored back then (because it is his church haha) and that eventually led into the History of the Book of Mormon, and the wars in the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon. Very good discussion, and we even had a prayer with her, that was what started the whole thing, was she was outside because her daughters were going nuts, and she said she was praying that they would go to sleep, and she asked us to pray with her. It seemed a little silly, but the spirit was there surprisingly. Anyways, great night, totally inspired.
Speaking of inspired, we have had a number of miracles like this where we listened to the Holy Ghost and lives were changed. So first off, we were riding our bikes after rehearsing for the song we will sing in church next week. I don't know if I've mentioned that before, but the 4 missionaries are singing in church, it's coming along nicely, only two parts though at the split, tenor and alto (which changes to soprano), it is bizarre how we've done it, but one of the sisters and my companion say they don't sing, so if we try to harmonize with 4 parts it'll self-destruct. It'll be good, I've used it as an excuse to improve my piano skills. Super sick! :) it doesn't help that the humidity here has raised my voice nearly 6 notes. Seriously though, in the MTC I was a rocking bass, and now my talking pitch has sky-rocketed. Does water kinda act like helium? I suppose it moistens your vocal chords, and dry vocal chords make your voice lower... anyways, it's a little depressing, but I still have my range, so all is well. ANYWAYS, we were riding our bikes, and had a gap in our schedule, so Elder Peterson had the prompting to go visit a family that we would have dinner withon monday (today) and when we visited them, it was Wednesday. Sorry if that is confusing. But anyways, we stopped in, said hello, talked for awhile, and had a feeling to share our DVD that we normally show the members of the ward. This family we visited is considered less-active, and some of the members inactive, and we showed them the DVD, and it didn't really hit them hard at all, it wasn't supposed to, it's a short 5 minute video that that shows ways to have missionary opportunities, and when a family hardly comes to church, obviously Missionary opportunities aren't really going to interest them. But it was our inspired commitment that got them. The challenge we leave with the families is to pray for missionary opportunities, and to pray for the missionaries in the wards, well, our challenge did say that, but it came out differently, basically the challenge was to have family prayer, and that cracked open a huuuuuge can of worms, and they all started talking about the past, how they used to pray as a family, and how they didn't know why they stopped, and how their spirituality had suffered a great deal because of it, and they went on and on, and the mom said she was fine with it, but if the other members of the family didn't agree to it that it wouldn't happen, so we asked each of them individually, and they agreed, and the dad even kick-started it with a prayer while we were there. It was a beautiful prayer, the spirit was there, but afterwards the mom said: "you forgot to pray for missionary opportunities...." it was hilarious, but still good.
Last miracle I'll mention was yesterday (Sunday) we were in the chapel when these two young ladies about our age come up to us (not from the ward) and tell us to look for a tall greek man with a mustache, and after the meeting that he would want to talk with us. The crazy thing is, that the two of them were members of the church and had been at this restaurant the night before and had met the manager and after talking for awhile he asked where he could go to meet more people, and acting on a prompting, one of the ladies invited him to church, the other one was super confused why she did it, but she did. And the only church address they knew was the one we were at, because they used to go to this building til the wards had changed. Anyways, he came and almost left because he thought he was in the wrong place, but eventually the two ladies got up to go wait for him, and they did it at just the time that he was going to leave, he was outside headed away and they saw him. Well, they brought him back in, and it was the most inspired Sacrament meeting I've ever been to. It was perfect for him. One of the speakers even said: "You may never know who your testimony will touch and change", and then bore a powerful one and talked about what a testimony is, how you get one, etc. It was great! He told us about how he felt afterwards, and how he knew that this is where he was supposed to be, (totally felt the spirit like a wave) he was so happy to have been there, and so happy to have been invited, the restaurant he manages is in my area, so tomorrow while I am on exchanges I will go there to visit and check up on him, and set up an appointment if possible. We have his number, and the girls will be the member presents. I don't care if we aren't the ones who get to teach him, I think he lives in Beaverton, so we won't, but he was so inspired, those sisters did amazing! The one who asked him to come to church said she was positive that if she hadn't been at the temple that morning she wouldn't have recognized the prompting, the other girl said that she didn't feel it at all, so she was grateful someone was in tune. This girl who asked him leaves in January on her mission to Milan, Italy. Cool! Anyways, this guy inspired me so much, I couldn't help but just smile at him the WHOLE time, he was so happy. Totally a miracle!
I find that I Often walk through fog, it's here a lot - if Rebekah was here her hair would go nuts! :) it's like being in a cold steam room! It's like Mistborn, but really though, it is. So cool! Reminds me a lot of Slenderman, so it is a little eerie and creepy, but it's not as bad as the "Valley of the Shadow of Death" which is a valley that I have deemed that title from Psalm 23. Because it is an all dark forest, I mentioned it last week with the splashing water, well we determined to never walk through it again, and we ended up doing it 2 more times, but NOW we don't go through there at night, we went around from then on out. But those two other times, Elder Peterson had his flashlight and I acted like a cop on a radio. It was hilarious, we talked like we were searching for somebody, so eeverybody who was in that forest doing who knows what, stayed away because of our speech. It was dark, so they couldn't tell that we were in suits, but our dark coats made us look like cops in the dark. Boy oh boy it was great! But creepy! We are NOT going through there again.
One day, one our way home, met this guy named Donval, he talked and talked and talked for two hours (on the street, we were passing each other going different ways on the sidewalk but he asked us what we were doing and ended up telling us his life story... my poor feet ;)) yeesh, it was ok, and everytime one of us said something to him, it was EXACTLY what the other would have said. For example, I was going to ask him about family history, but right as I opened my mouth to speak, Elder Peterson said exactly the words I was going to say. It was nut-job! Insane even! The Holy Ghost was definitely guiding our questions. I don't think anything will come of it, and the 2 hour conversation was too long to give you an outline of what was discussed :P
While contacting Potential Elders, we were stalked by a skunk! Some lady warned us that it was a house or so down from where we were (in a trailer park) and it followed us. I opened my umbrella like in Indiana Jones 3 with Sean Connery, haha, it was great, but I was NOT getting sprayed. The little thing remained hidden, but definitely followed us!
We also heard a monkey one day. I was super confused. Like, the most confused I've ever been, we had been hearing frogs and birds, but all of a sudden legit monkeys. What? Well we did some research and found out about a secret monkey camp that is in this one forest. Weird. I suppose not Secret, but we totally treat it like area 51 for monkeys. Weird!
Well that about wraps up my crazy and weird, but somehow inspiring week! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to let me know :)
I love you all, and pray for you all as well!
p.s. with the subject, really though, people here go out of their way to avoid us. Ouch. It makes me look forward to being able to wave to strangers and get a happy response when I get home.... lol.