Well, to start off, this has probably been the longest week of my life. But seriously though. Monday - Wednesday was great, but starting Thursday it became so long that now I cannot believe it's only been a week since December started. I know, crazy, but so true. My mind exploded last night as I was re-reading through my journal, and I exclaimed numerous times: "I did that this week??? NO I DIDN'T!!!" (emphasis added for dramatic effect) It was really bad haha. But did I mention that I spent a long time last week (2 weeks ago) fixing a member's printers? Well, if not, I did for a long time, and if I did, then I won't go into it. But, after spending all that time fixing them, we went to go teach them on Friday and I saw that they were all packed up, because they were painting the wall, and are currently trying to move out. All my hard work with their internet.... oh my... lol. Well anyways, Monday was good! Pretty dull for a p-day, but ended so strong. We got to meet the new sister missionary in the ward. Thank goodness she can sing :) because we got signed up to sing in the ward Christmas party. but it is a super easy song. To those of you who know the song Tiny King, this song is even easier. I never ever thought that was possible.... but it is, and we struggle with it too. Good Ghandi! It's coming along though, and so are my piano skills. I can now successfully play two parts on a piano without much difficulty, and I was able to get through the first two lines of God speed the right without any effort either, but as for the rest of the song, I did pretty good, but ended ten seconds late, so still a little slow, but the more I play the more I begin to realize things and techniques. It's a lot of fun!
Anyways, Monday night was probably the most powerful experience I've had out here in the field. Well, in the top 3 at least if not the most. We were visiting the family we normally do on Mondays, and a couple of days prior we had been praying over what to teach them, and felt like there were two Mormon messages we could share, one about the Restoration (over-view of what was taught last week) and one about trials, called Hope ya know I had a Hard time. When we initially watched them, nothing really came, we just knew that was what we should share. Simple. BUT! As soon as we hit play on that DVD player, and L. Tom Perry began to speak, I became so full of emotion. inside my mind was going: "what on earth is going on???" it was very unexpected, but my eyes filled up and my insides came to life! Absolutely and positively insane! Oh my gosh! Everything he said made me happier and happier, but filled my eyes up with more water. I must have drunken too much gatorade, but holy cow, I could not contain myself! Elder Peterson shared his feelings on the video while I was struggling to hold back this wave that I had never ever felt before. So, we turn on the second one. Well, out the window my efforts went! That finished, Peterson shared his testimony, and then I finally could find the words to speak. I know without a doubt that that was the Spirit speaking through me and using me to speak! And as such, I will be bold with what I said. It was very powerful, and very heartfelt! Nothing I was ever capable of ever doing! That family has been the strangest family, because I KNOW that I knew them before this life! I KNOW that I was supposed to come and meet with them, and I KNOW that there is something still that I need to do. What is it? How can I do it? I don't know, but it is a knowledge that I cannot refute! The Deja Vu that happens everytime I step through the doors is incredible, and the feelings I get in their apartment/home is insane! Never have I ever felt that power in that form. Probably the closest I have come to feeling that inability to control myself was at that Lamb of God concert, but that was more of a sadness type of thing, that turned into joy, but this was 100% happy! I was smiling through everything. I cannot possibly describe what was going on inside of me, but I challenge you all to go experience it! Sharing the Gospel is an incredible thing, and the Spirit works differently through everybody, but it you can come anywhere close to the experience I had, there is nothing you can do that will not be worth it. Oh my gosh! It was iiiiiiiiiiincredible! This is what being on a mission is all about! Well, more than that, it's getting everyone in the room to feel what you are feeling, and change their lives, so I am one step closer to having them feel it too. If the people in that room did not feel anything, then there is something wrong with them, because the Spirit in that room was so strong! Wow! I had never anticipated such a change in me! I knew that as a missionary it was my duty to try and get those feelings and changes to occur in someone else, but I never really understood fully the things I would come to realize and the things I would come to feel. This is truly an amazing work, and it started my week off great!
Well, without further ado, moving on! So, December 1st marked the day we could start listening to Christmas music, so Sunday morning I awoke so happy (8 days ago Sunday) and after all the morning stuffs danced into the bathroom to turn on my Christmas CD I had brought. I press the power button aaaaaaand..... nothing. It was broken. Not batteries, the batteries had looong since been dead, I had had it plugged in and running off of wall power. Well, I unplugged it, changed the batteries and tried again. Nothing! GASP! Christmas music could not be listened to???? NO! So that morning was pretty depressing, but eventually I realized that we could listen to CDs in the DVD player... so it was good. Good thing we realized that too! This past week I made Elder Peterson and the Carstens so jealous! HAHA! I got four packages in one week! Oh my gosh! Started out with a great package from GP! Yeah let's go!!!!! :) Twas splendid! Then I got three from my mom! Thanks mom! She sent Michael Bolton's Christmas CD, David Archuletta's Christmas CD, and two chocolate advent calenders for Elder Peterson and I! Truly and simply marvelous! We have listened to all of our Christmas music so much that that is probably the reason the week feels so long ago, was all the music being blasted. We even held an O Holy Night competition between Josh Groban, David Archuletta, Michael Bolton, Lee Greenwood, and we didn't end up playing Johnny Cashes one at that time, but we both knew it would have lost ;). But Josh Groban definitely had the best one! Two last things about the packages though, Elder Peterson and I eat a piece of chocolate every night from those calenders like we are supposed to :) aaaaaaaaaaaand GP send wool socks! AH! Styling too! and saved me too, because this week has been soooooo cold! Gee whilickers! It has truly been great though.
Tuesday we taught Nolan for the first time. What a great guy! So so so so prepared for the Gospel, already knows the Book of Mormon is true! We taught him the Restoration, and it was good! He kept saying how much sense it made (Spirit telling him what he already knew? Yeah probably). But he has been coming to mutual for the past few weeks, and Church, but Wednesdaywas the day that they were going to do baptisms for the dead. Bishop teased him in Priest's Quorum saying they could baptize him the next day and get him to the temple, scared him a little bit, but it was all teasing :). So he wasn't going to go, but I ended up asking him if he wanted to go, but us (the Elders) could go with him to the Visitors Center, learn more about the Temple and the gospel in general. He loved that idea! So we did that, and spent some time in the atrium as well, then he ended up asking us to teach him the Plan of Salvation, based on all the Sister missionaries in the visitor's center had shown us, and the video that kinda summed it up, but we laid it out for him, because we had our cheesy little cutouts, but again, just kept saying: "makes so much sense!" I don't know, it was very interesting, he was very taken by it all. We are meeting with him again on Tuesday (tomorrow) and we are going to ask him to be baptized, but it's already a given, he's already told us he wants to, so we will set a datetomorrow. It is incredible what some people go through, and how prepared the Lord makes them.
Wednesday we went to subway to meet with some of the Elder's in the district to get some materials and various books. Why? Well, with transfers this past week, I was made District Leader, first one in the church to be District leader at such a short period of time. Lol, obviously kidding, but my companion is District Leader, and we were going to get all the stuffs for it. Sister and Brother Glew paid for my meal too! That is the second one that they treated me to! How wonderful of them! Rebekah, thank them for me? They are wonderful! You're probably all confused, but they gave me a subway gift card before I left, and I have made good use of it. Yummy. Truly delicious ;) haha, but anyways, we played a little prank on one of the missionaries who met us there. Ever since my companion has been district leader, this guy has called us everyday, many times a day, if not a lot within the space of one hour. It's a lot of calls, but anyways, he left, and called us, we answered the phone (Quatama phone) in which they asked if they could call the Hillsboro phone, thinking they had left (but they were actually still at subway with us), so he calls the Hillsboro phone, and Peterson answers that phone: "Jones, you just called me, I already told you to call Hillsboro" Confused, Jones hangs up, and calls the Hillsboro number, to which Peterson answers again, says the same thing, but Jones is convinced that he called the right number, Peterson asks him to read off the number, and says: "Nope, that's Quatama's number, I think somebody swapped them in your phone, call the quatama number" So Jones calls our phone, which the Hillsboro Elder Alatini answers, pretending he is walking in the cold and shaking. Answers his questions, but before he hangs up, Peterson busts up laughing, then Jones figured it out. It was pretty hilarious, but Jones probably face palmed and thought to himself that we were pathetic, but it was pretty funny.
Alatini had mentioned at subway that the week had seemed so long, but we couldn't relate, it had flown by for us! He jynxed us. The next few days to today have felt so long! It is insane! We were there at Subway waiting for a long time for Elder Alatini and Lewis though, because Lewis's tire had exploded on the way over, so they parked them at a local church, and walked over, good thing I didn't get my bike where Lewis did, nah, it was probably all the junk on the road that slashed it open. But it was so cold that the four Elders who met us at Subway were all bundled up. You could only see their eyes, if even that, Elder Peterson had sunglasses on. I had nothing on my face, didn't need it. I'm from Utah! But so were they..... lol, but who knows! But, the wind had been at our backs on the trip there, but now it was in front of us, and it was biting! Like the shivering chorus song we sang at BYU fall semester last year. My face looked all scraped up when we got home, biting wind! But I figured out how to protect my face, so now I'm fine, but this cold up here is a different cold then I have ever ever felt before in my whole life!
Well, nothing really memorable happened the next few days, so you're lucky, and I'll end early.... ish.... I suppose I always talked a lot at home, so writing long emails is no surprise! But we did a lot of service, and helped set up some Christmas lights, cleaned the church, practiced singing our song, and went to the District Leader meetings, which means we had to call for a lot of stats. Our phone goes off so much a day, that Peterson has decided that I should answer the phone every time, and then hand it off to him (its obvious that they call to talk to him), but based on my vocal performance at SPC last night, they decided it was a hilarious idea, so I'm going to answer the phone dramatically and bouncy every time. I will let you know how that goes!
But by tomorrow we will have 4 baptismal dates set! It'll be good! What a white Christmas! This lady we teach set her date for the 21st, but in church announced it was the 12th.... happy birthday to me? But after meeting with her, she realized that the 21st was a much better idea for her. Oh well, but we will see how everything goes!
You are all wonderful, and I hope you continue to have great days and weeks and months and years! See you in 22 months! Except Cutler, that'll be longer ;) ya beast! Keep up the good work everybody! :D The book is blue, the Church is true!