Saturday, August 9, 2014

Great and Spacious buildings that don't actually exist... Monday March 3, 2014

Mon, Mar 3, 2014 at 1:36 PM
Great and Spacious buildings that don't actually exist...

Ok, Elder Hulme, and Elder Johnson, there are a couple of things in here you might appreciate. Don't feel obligated to read this novel in the event you don't have time lol. Elder Peterson, this ward loves you way too much ;) lol

So, this week has been great! Last Tuesday was an interesting P-day. We weren't in the mood to go play basketball at Cedar Mill Stake Center because they told us we would have to find a ride back, and we weren't too fond of the idea of asking a member to drive all the way out there and pick us up, so we just chilled around here! It was wonderful weather, so we could have gone for a run, but we ended up playing Sequence, the card card cardboard board game as we used to call it (meh heh heeeh!) and then we play Galaxy Trucker to teach elder Beus. It was just the two of us, so it wasn't all that intense, but we played the first round to show him what it was. We decided to play round two, and he spent nearly half an hour building his ship. Because round 1 was a bit of an eye opener I suppose, he did NOT want to come in behind me, so it gave me an opportunity to look around, do other things I guess, like watch mormon messages and such, but when he finishes he says: "Behold, the perfect ship" ok, not quite like that, but perfect ship was involved somehow. And of course, he rolled 3 7's in a row, and blew up half his ship! Granted, he still was ahead on the race track by the end, but he had lost over half his engines... it was pretty funny. Reminds me of Thunder Ridge and Parker Phair and the tent, for those of you who are familiar with the story: "There is NOTHING Mother Nature can do that can "knock this tent down" poor Parker.... After nearly 4 tries of tying down the tarp over the tent that we forgot to bring a rain fly, literally as soon as the word down came out of his mouth, the wind tore it off yet again. So much for all his knots, his efforts, his sweat and blood... you never mess or taunt mother nature.... but God sure has a great sense of humor, because it was hilarious.

Well, we taught Michael monday night, but Elder Peterson had always transitioned into our lessons there, so I had forgotten that I should, because, it was weird not having Peterson there, in fact, the family almost rioted and wouldn't stay for the lesson because he wasn't there. Sheesh! See that Elder Peterson??? The ward loved you too much!... ha... so it was an awkward transition, and Michael ended up leaving to go watch a show, so oh well, but Elder Beus asked some amazing inspired questions and the lesson went so great! We hardly had to do anything after he asked the question. It was awesome.

Oh boy, my brain just exploded, we had dinner with the carstens monday night in which we got to know Elder Beus, and THEN we went to Michaels. Whef, then Tuesday was P-day, so sorry everything got whacked up....

Tuesday night we had dinner with a family in the ward whose son hasn't been to church in years. He is apparently agnostic, so he doesn't really care if there is a God or not. He is super into runescape and guild wars (it seems that ALL of the young men who are inactive have a common interest in video games... ha) so typically he doesn't open up either, but because I had met him a couple of times before, and because Elder Beus played Runescape back home a little bit (In case Elder Hulme reads this, remember when we played that game? My purple beard and rainbow boots? Oh boy, good times, cutting logs to level up!) Well he wants to be a story line writer when he grows up. Whether for games or movies. He is brilliant, and is way into the Lore behind games, he is not a fan of the mindless games, so it was pretty interesting, but we got talking about the Theology of the game, and brought it to the gospel, and related it to it (it's surprising how well the gospel can relate to video games, I guess the War chapters in alma were for this purpose ;) ) but really we just discussed the similarities in the 7 gods in Runescape to Christ and Satan, and discussed the pros and cons, and what combos would best fit who, and the afterlife theory in the games and such. It was very interesting, definitely a cool fella, and if he is still around when I get off my mission in two years, hopefully we'll get to hang out! That's the way I feel about a lot of people here. It's really sad though! People forget missionaries so quickly! It's because of the nametags! It's sad! People forget names so quickly! Yeesh! We are out here, thinking we are changing lives and making friends, eternal friends! But really, we just have to settle for changing lives ;) oh well, what a terrible thing to settle for hahahaha, nah, it's not bad, it makes sense, we are not out serving the Lord to want to chill, and to look for "this and that" or else he "will go and come back in vain" sooooo, ha. But still, assuming these people still remember me come October 2015, there will definitely be some good hang-outs. My good buddies who are missions now, feel free to come along! :)

Well Ok, back to the week. Wednesday was just same ole same ole, we had district meeting, and that was fun, we were in charge of the training and practice, and we practiced contacting formers and potential investigators that we found in our area books, but could look up on the I-pads (we are trying to learn how to use them to forward the work, not just to play Angry Birds: Old Testament style, where we knock down the walls of jericho ha!) And the guy I chose to practice going to talk to is named Seleth. He is Cambodian (Wow Elder Johnson, what's with all these Cambodians in my area???) and he has 1 leg. Not sure why that made the background information, but I suppose it's good to know. They had dropped him because apparently it was too hard to understand him. They brought with them a Khmer speaker from the Beaver Creek ward, but scheduling got nuts too. But, as it turns out, we have two active Khmer speakers in the Quatama Ward! Whoop whoop! So we can bring them with! But first we went to try and see if he still lived there.... No idea, no answer, and yes, we did wait at the door for extra time in case the one legged thing made it hard to move. But with the training and practice on it, it was terrible, the man trying to be Seleth was saying things that were so terrible that we really didn't know what to say, for instance: "I don't have time right now, I'm heading to the Doctor's to get a prosthetic leg" what do you say to that?? Well, while we were discussing this, and he said this, this came to my head: "ouch, expensive, it'll cost you and arm an a leg!" -_- no, I did not say that.... I'm curious as to how Satan got involved in our practice, because that is a terrible thing to think! Hilarious when you haven't met anybody in that boat, but it's as terrible as Helen Keller jokes, they make you feel terrible inside, and rotten and unholy and evil if you laugh....... yuck! So avoid those kind of thoughts in the presence of man like that, because then you might bust up laughing, and then it just all goes to pot. But anyways, that day we made the trek up to the Chicken Coupe, as we call it, because the walls look like one, and found that one of the families that I love teaching is going through yet again, another trial. Yeesh! They get so close to being baptized and becoming active again, but time and time again they still have things to learn I suppose, we will just be supportive, and continue to visit, but man, their life is freaking out right now. But, it reminds me of D&C 121, so it's all good.

Thursday was the sickest day of the week, and I ended up bearing my testimony about it on Sunday. So, we wanted to go help a lady in the ward move some furniture-- ha, getting ahead of myself.... So, we typically have lunch and a lesson with the Dornblasers on Thursday, and we play dominoes with them too, but this week, her daughter and son-in-law were there, so we pushed the appointment back to two, so they could get back, and then we ate lunch elsewhere, but we went over and were going to share this sweet message and invite Don to be baptized, but we learned at the beginning of the lesson that her son-in-law was very avid and even zealous baptist, and he decided to stay in the room, but just looked angry, so we didn't know what he would do, so we ended up teaching about the Good Samaritan, and related it to the Atonement. We bore a powerful testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ, and how the Book of Mormon and the Bible support each other when-- yup, *intruder alert, intruder alert* *exterminate the Mormon filth* and of course, the bible bash started. Unfortunately for him, he used the oldest of old anti-mormon stuff, which you can blatantly tell is just balderdash haha, but he seemed convinced. Also, if there is anything you have heard that seems to rattle you, remember to doubt your doubts, before you doubt your faith, reflect back on what you know, what you have felt, and how you feel about what you know. And then ask God to help you through it. You'll be able to distinguish the truth. But anyways, he starts going off at us, and it makes me feel terrible inside, he forces the spirit right out the door and contention comes right in. I look up at him, and smile while he's getting angrier and angrier, he says something that is completely wrong, and Elder Beus corrects him, but for the most part, we didn't argue, but the same isn't true for Sister Dornblaser. She had had enough of it, and while her beliefs are different from ours, there are a lot of similarities, but it was strange. He starts calling Joseph Smith a false prophet, and she slams her fist on the table: "No he is not!" O.O what did she say????????????????????????????? Oh, it was great, but we were kinda at their mercy being in their house, and who are we to dictate their affairs in their own home? She eventually told him to leave the room, and the issues changed from the gospel to life in general, and they kept getting madder and madder, buuuut eventually he left. She tried to apologize, and I was shaking a bit, because I was prepared to Hulk smash him with the spirit. A Testimony had been churning and growing in strength like a tidal wave, and I was read to go all Abinidi on him "touch me not" type stuff, almost like a Super Saian (spelling?) missionary. But I didn't... so when he left, I got to deflate a little, bit, and I opened to Galatians, to where it talks about the Fruits of the Spirit. As we discussed the verses, I said: "If the spirit testifies of truth, don't you think the things he was saying would have caused us to feel any of these?? Wouldn't the spirit have been here?" Stuff like that, and really, we could tell he had left once the contention began, because there was no point. When people get angry their I.Q.'s drop 30 points, so really, there was nothing he could whisper that would get through to you, so why stay? Ha! But anyways, our discussion went on and ended super good, and we played Dominoes and Don won! Don don won don-imoes, as I always say when he wins ;)

But, back to the furniture, this is where it gets cool. We left the Dornblasers to go move this furniture, and when we get there we realize 2 things: 1) she's not home 2) even if she was, her son probably wouldn't be there, which means we couldn't go in... Well, feeling like fools we turn to leave, and then she pulls around the corner. 1) is now irrelevant. We set up a time to come do it, but then I turn to her and say: "why don't we go grab Damian from next door and do it now?" Well, we did, and right as we were getting to the door, he was headed out ha, and we surprised him. Not sure why he was coming out, but he just happened to be, now 2) is irrelevant, because he agrees to come help us. So we move this entertainment center down some stairs (tricky to move it by the way) and all went great. Then as we were leaving he said to us: "man, I need to start coming out with you guys more" (he's just about 18 mind you) and that did him in, he spoke too soon, because then I asked what he was going to go do, and if he had time to spare. Hah! Well, rather than feel cornered, he was pumped, and ran in for his jacket and everything, and we made the long trek up to the chicken coupe (30-40 minutes) we go to Nate's door, with whom we have an appointment, we knock, and are pumped to relate League of Legends to the gospel yet again, when sadly, nobody answers... yup, stood up ha! It's such a great feeling :P well, I was OK, but I felt super bad for Damian who had now just wasted 40 minutes walking with us, so we walked away from the door, and I stopped us all, and I said: "Well, so to make sure that this wasn't a complete waste of time, we can do one of 3 things, we can 1) go tracting, and search for Austin (a guy we ran into a while back who seemed interested, but we don't have an address for, just a general area), 2) go visit Gavin (an "investigator" who came to church once, but really doesn't understand the purpose of missionaries, and just wants to hang out, but none the less, is willing to learn... kinda? He has this knack for chasing the spirit right out with the things he says and references and such... so I did NOT want to go see him, but the things in these sets of parentheses were not mentioned in the actual conversation) or 3) we could go visit some less actives and Recent converts who live near-by." Because Damian was the one who I was concerned about, I asked him which thing he wanted to do. He furrowed his brow, then looked up at me and said: "I think we should say a prayer" BOOM! Spirit explosion! I looked at him and said: "You passed the test" but really I was just as humbled, holy cow. Sometimes you think that your plan for the day is so inspired because of how you prayed the night before, but when you have back ups to back ups, which do you do? Well, the answer is clearly to pray about it, and this Priest knew that. He'll be a great missionary! So, he offers the prayer, and we stand there for awhile pondering what we should do. I think about each of them, I think of tracting, and no special feeling comes, I think of visiting the members... I was sure that this was the best course of action, but nothing came. Then I thought of visiting Gavin, and sure enough, I started to feel all warm inside. NO! I had been dreading this all day long! I almost spoke up, but I decided to let them decide. Muahaha, devious. So I look to Damian: "where should we go?" I asked him. He responded: "I think we should go see Gavin" -_- oh boy..... I hadn't even a clue what to say to Gavin. I told them that he would probably invite us in to play video games, and then it would get sups awk, but they decided to go anyways. We discussed what we wanted to talk about with him, but looking back, I don't remember what we had "decided" to talk about. But sure enough, he answers the door, invites us in to watch him kill zombies....... yikes. He gets us glasses of water, but does it all while playing the game at the same time, and says he is a great multi-tasker. So we get water, and he keeps playing with his friends online and says: "some mormons just stopped by..." etc, but I think he called us his friends, but anyways, he keeps playing. So we are looking around the room, avoiding the T.V. but it was sups awk, but then I have the idea: "Hey Gavin, let's see how good of a multi-tasker you are" and we start talking to him. Muauahaha devious yet again eh? ;) Well, the way he sat us down, Damian was in the middle, the closest to Gavin, and he really knocks it out of the park. Apparently Gavin's life was not going too well, stuff was happening that wasn't super fortunate etc. And Damian says he has something that may help. He whips out the Book of Mormon and shares the story of Ammon. My jaw hit the ground, because it fit perfectly with his life, and what was happening to him then.... but Damian's analogy wasn't complete, it was missing the tie-in, so I was given the words to say to pull it all together, but it worked out great, we challenged him to read, and he seemed to be doing better, Damian also bore this sweet testimony about the Book of Mormon, and how it can help you. I was so proud of him ;)

Then we had this awesome street contact with a group of teens who in spanish tried to ask if we were Jehovah's Witness's missionaries. Sure, we are witnesses of Jehovah, but not in the sense that they were thinking about. Apparently this lady had never heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but let's back up a bit. She's starts asking us, and I look at her confused and say: "huh?" she repeats herself. I still couldn't understand.... she says it louder, and it almost sounds english, but while Damian and I are stunned and confused, Beus knew what she meant and started talking to her. What a champ, way to go interpretation of tongues! Eventually we talk about the Book of Mormon and she exclaims: "MORMONS?!?!?!?!!?!" and her friends start busting up, she turns to one of them, and very rudely tells him to please not talk hahaha, and then gets back to us. She treated me like crap, and then, started to hit on Elder Beus. Wow! He interpreted the Spanish, and because of his dark hair and the light, assumed he was hispanic, and so the flirting (sups awk) begins. I take a few steps to the side while she is all goo goo eyed on him while he is explaining the gospel, and I talk to the man she very rudely told to be silent, and I asked him why he had laughed, if it was because of the word Mormon, or because she hadn't been able to figure it out, and had reacted in that way. The latter was what it is, because he started asking questions, and explained that he was Muslim, and started asking all these questions about Jesus, and I was stuttering and not making sense for a couple of seconds, but similar to how some people exclaim "bleh!" when their tongue gets tied, I took a breath, and then the words came. It was wonderful, he accepted a Book of Mormon, and said that he might give us a call. Yeah I know, he won't, but hopefully a seed was planted or watered that day, which I know it was. Meanwhile, the showdown with Alehandra (I forgot her name and called her ma'am which she exploded at, thinking I was calling her old. Super frustrating........ what an experience.... She was definitely just messing with us, but eventually said that she would go to the Spanish ward, because she kept asking about it. But she eventually learned he wasn't hispanic, aaaaaaaaaaand the flirting stopped. It was very weird, I can't see why she would stop, or why that question had anything to do with anything, but oh well, she has a particular "type" I suppose, and 1 quarter Filipino isn't it I guess... But anyways, the rest of the night went well, we had a great talk with Miles, and life went on.

The rest of the week was pretty meh, but some highlights: I got cut on a barbed wire fence. No need to go into that. And then the next day, Elder Beus got cut on the same fence haha! We had a interesting talk with some people who I thought were going to try and mug us, buuuuut they didn't. They couldn't have taken us anyway ;) But the contact was weird, one stuck around to talk to us about Jesus.... he was super weird.... he put his hand on the book and started breathing in, then put his face to it. Then he came back up and told us that he could tell we were messengers from God. It was weird, and I know what you're thinking, a fake fake fake-master fakity fake fake guy, but the spirit constrained us not to leave, even when it got awkward with his buddies, we didn't leave! They were even looking at their phone, but we did not move nor speak. I'm not sure why (lol, did I just say that? Yes I am sure, it was the spirit, but I'm not sure what the reason was haha) but it was super bizzare, and eventually some things we said and testified to him made him tear up. He told us how much he loves Jesus, and how he had met with missionaries in the past, well, almost had, but the sisters never called him, he was running late, but we gave him our number (we had it on a card). He said that he couldn't guarantee he would call. Yeah I know, he won't but again, falling back on the words of an Apostle who came here just a couple weeks ago: "No effort is wasted" "every thing you do plants a seed, whether in you or the other person, some good comes from it" not word for word, but it's what I got out of it anways. So who knows what will come from it.

Oh, as you may have seen on Facebook, we also pushed a hot tub down the road. What a beast of a thing! We hoisted it with our strength (and 2 2x4's very strategically placed) and placed it onto a dolly that Brother Herbert had put together last minute. There were 4 of us. And the 4th guy was older than Brother Herbert I'm pretty sure, so it was definitely a lot of fun.... but we pushed it down the road all the way to the new house, well, Elder Beus and I pushed it, the 4th guy drove the wood over, and brother Herbert was pulling, but then guided it, which actually worked better, it would have been bad if his leg had got caught under it! Brother Herbert is a genius! It was so cool to see his brain at work while we both lifted, spun, and wheeled it through mud with plywood. It was super cool, and we placed it on some bricks, and slid the dolly out, only to realize it was 180 degrees the wrong way, so we had to upsy daisy turn it around. but still, super cool.

I'm not sure if I ever mentioned the Tennis game with Sister Dornblaser, but she is working on planning another one, and wants me to get Elder Peterson to come back for it. Elder Beus played Tennis throughout his life, so it'll be cool to see if it goes down, and if so, what the outcome will be.

Ok ok ok, I'll tell you why the email is named what it is. We were going to head to dinner at a members home, but we ended up in Quatama village, where we remembered a former investigator lived. We only had 30 minutes before dinner, so I wanted to go see Michael again, then go to dinner right across the street. I was figuring it would be sups awk to just say hello and goodbye to a former without a lot of time to get to know em, but Elder Beus felt differently. And because I only had logic behind mine, I decided to go with his idea, and we began to follow the numbers searching for his apartment number............................................. We went around the whole place, and realized that there was not a building corresponding to that apartment number......... grrrr, there was a marsh in between the two complexs, and Elder Beus asserted there had been one, but it had sunken into the marsh like Atlantis. This may be the case actually, because I saw some type of metal under the water. creeeeeeeeeeeeeepy. But it was a great and Spacious building whose foundation was gone, so it became corrupted and fell. :D Yup, that's the logic. So, if we couldn't find him, why were we inspired to go over there? Good question my dear Watson! We went over there and then it hit me that these two brothers lived over there who were not active! They have another brother who is active in the ward, but lives on the other side of the ward. These two brothers like star trek I had heard, so I figured we had an in to get to know them and learn their story. So, we knock, and unlike the previous times where we get peep holed or dismissed, he opened the door, and after I awkwardly called him the other 2 names of his brothers before his own, we asked if we could get to know him. He brought up his mission in the country of South Africa, and he brought up the word of wisdom. Wow! Why doesn't he come to church??? We are on a mission, while on a mission lol, to figure that out! But it was totes inspired, because he opened the door and talked with us for half an hour (when originally confronted with this dilemma, we actually had 40 or so minutes til dinner.... heh...) but it worked out great! We had an amazing dinner and discussion, and everything went wonderfully.

I can't really recall any other highlights... and it's funny really, because I elaborated on just about all of these "highlights" so much for that haha.

One last thing, this morning after shopping, we were going to go to goodwill, but it wasn't open, so Brother Sutton (A.K.A. the Suttonater) took us to this bird sanctuary in the wetlands for an hour. It was super cool, very relaxing and peaceful! So I'm super chill today.

Everything is going moderately well, and we have some appointments scheduled with some investigators we haven't been able to contact much, and OH! Thanks for reminding me, we found Robert's apartment. He was an investigator who had dropped us, and we decided to go visit him and introduce him to Beus. We had NO idea which apartment was his in the whole complex, but we had some ideas based on wherever we saw a black car, so we decided to tract him out until either we got kicked out, or we found him. But, much to my astonishment, the first door we knocked on was his, buuuuut we picked the wrong day, his wife had the day off, sooooooo yeah, we left after a couple minutes of catching up. He seems sadder.... he said things were going well besides that he was not meeting with us because he decided to step away ha, but he wasn't ready to talk again yet. But, it was not wasted, we gave him a card and on it, because he got his computer up and running again finally. He wants to keep doing his family history, so we will call him and tell him his account information, and we told him about basketball. We will see what good comes from that, but he won't be gone for long, he had a testimony, we will just pray for him to have strength.

Lol, I promise that's all I'll say here! I hope you are all having a wonderful week, and that things are looking up, if they are not, look up the weather here in Oregon around where I am, at least the pictures. This morning was gorgeous, super dark clouds, but the sun was out, and there was a light mist. Looking out over the marshes was so peaceful. Go relax, go have fun! And go keep building your faith! Peace out, and I apologize if this was too long for you ;)

-Elder Wilkinson

Quatamatastic Tuesday February 25, 2014

Tuesday February 25, 2014 at 2:06 PM

First off, Elder Jordan, you can scroll right to the bottom to see what I put that you'll hopefully appreciate, it's the last two words in the email, you don't need to trudge through this haha!

So, as you probably figured out, Transfers were yesterday... and yes, my companion, Elder Peterson left. He is now serving in the Farmington ward... weird huh? He just missed Jessica! :) It's pretty cool. He's got a mini van and will be a great zone leader for that stake. He will be greatly missed. Melissa helped me out and sent me the speech from Lord of the Rings that Sam says to Frodo, where he convinces him that there is still some good in this world, and that it's worth fighting for. I shared that with him before he left. It was cool!

Ok, flashback time! Last monday... seems like forever ago! I was being super weird with the emails as you learned, it was a zone p-day that involved a bunch of little kids that showed up for a birthday party? It was way whacked up, and nobody knew any rules to anything... soooooo, yeah, pure chaos! I don't think I'll be going to another one of those! Too contentious.... We had dinner with the Rice's though, that was cool! And we visited the Bangeters. I can't spell the name, but it's like that one highway in Utah, they are related. We had dinner with them many moons ago, and learned that they know my young men's president from back home, Brother and Sister Johnson, so that's cool! :) And, she showed us some pictures of Brother Johnson doing powder Puff... that was interesting hahahahahahahaha, oh boy, he'd be mad to know that we saw those!

Tuesday we went by Mary's, and she had been working on fixing some of elder peterson's stuff, she fixed a tie, and patched a hole in a jacket, and they looked great, but knowing her excellent sewing skills, I asked her if she could help me take in two shirts, she obliged, and on Friday we went over and picked those up, and they turned out wonderfully :) It's very nice, and they fit so much better now! There was waaaay too much fabric in them lol. Tuesday night we also went by and saw Michael and his family. We learned that his favorite movie is Frozen, and he was going nuts singing the song! I'm looking forward to watching it when I get home, it sounds pretty amazing. We also had zone meeting that morning, and there should hopefully be pictures in the Elder Wilkinson folder from that, because I forgot to put my memory card back in, so the pictures I took there are just on the camera haha! Hopefully it worked!

Wednesday we went over to clean Elbert's house, but it was pretty clean already, I just dusted and cleaned this china hutch for an hour..... -_- everybody else walked around and could hardly find anything to do because it was so neat and clean, but nope, I found the one thing that hadn't been opened for probably decades hahaha, there was like tape on the glass? It was rough city, that's for sure, but I got it done :) It didn't look any different, but I knew it was cleaner, I removed a lot of stuff that you wouldn't even have originally noticed, so the effort may have been wasted on a beauty side, but on the cleanliness side, it's looking waaaaaaaaaay better :)

Thursday was non-eventful in the slightest, so we can move on ;) Friday! Thursday night we had exchanges, so Elder Hendricksen came to the area, and Peterson left again -_-, that makes the 5th exchange in a row where I've stayed. I've yet to go to another area on an exchange... so I was not very happy at first. But oh my word, it was the most inspired thing ever. I was pretty close to accusing Peterson of sabotage ;) and mutiny ;), but then I learned that the Zone Leaders had prayed about this decision, so we went with it.... So, Elder Hendricksen is pretty much the most powerful missionary out here. We planned that night, and then went to sleep, and he told me a couple stories which were pretty cool, and then in the morning, we went for one last workout with our marine friend Eli. And I had "poked the beast" the day before, pretending to be Peterson so that Eli would work us to death, and he did. However, thursday night I learned that Hen didn't bring workout clothes -_-, and he's a big guy, he has inches on me in every direction... so what did I do? Yup, you didn't guess it, but he wore my treebeard shorts and tall yellow tee. and it fit him perfectly, which made me feel extremely weird... I have a picture of him in the outfit, but the hardware I have to plug my memory card into the computer doesn't like to work with this computer.... ugh, I will have to figure something out.... But anyways, we went on the exchange and had a great time. The workout sucked, and Eli and Hen died, well, Eli "cheated", he definitely wasn't doing 50 of everything like he was supposed to, and I died hahaha, sooooo, yeah, it was great! I made it farther than Hen though, so that was a great esteem builder for me ;) But the rest of the day was insane. There is a lady that showed up on our i-pads through what is called "Re-assignment" so technically a referral? but without the actual procedure? I'm not entirely sure, but her name is Linda, and we were planning on going to see what's up. Her teaching record said that she hadn't been taught in about 1104 days or something, basically 3 years ago, January 29th, 2011, whatever that ends up being. So, we decided to stop by. We are all pumped feeling super excited to go see her, and we are walking, talking about what best to do when street contacting someone, talking about perfect circumstances, and how important it is to talk to everyone, and then a super awkward "hi" yeah "excuse me" "we keep getting in each others way" happens.... sooooooo, off to a good start! We see a guy vacumming his car, Hen says to go talk to him, so we go over and start up a conversation. Sweet guy, didn't need any help (I'm beginning to think that nobody does lol) and he is expecting a baby in a few weeks, so it was super cool! Well, Hendricksen bears this awesome testimony, and then we start talking about religion, and the guy closes up faster than a clam, and harder than a crocodile, he was not going to read the Book of Mormon.... awk. So, we carry on towards Linda's. we are walking on the sidewalk on one side of the street, and we see a guy doing something with a fence and a bunch of poles, and a drill, but we are on the other side of the street walking... then I realize that we were going the long way there, and to go the short way we needed to turn around, so we cross the street, and head for the guy with the fence. We ask if we can help, and....... what does he say? Yeah I know, weird, but he said yes! So we hoist all this wood and hold in it place so he can drill stuff back together, apparently his fence had blown down. So, he finished what he needed with us, had more to do, but it was a one man job, he said that he had stuff we could help him with, but he wouldn't be doing it til later, so of course we say we will come back, and head to linda's. Nothing came from anything up til Linda's, so I'll skip ahead. We go up to her door and knock. This guy comes up to the door, we start to get excited! He looks and sees us, reads the nametag, lifts up a finger, and waving it, turns and goes back in :( awkward. ha yeah... So, I'm ready to head back, but Hendricksen says that we need to knock some doors... I was confused, considering that we had scheduled tracting for later, but was definitely willing, so we are knocking doors, and nothing is coming of it, only a couple people answer, and then don't want to hear us. But, this is the kicker, and the weirdest miracle of all... we are sitting on the corner of this street, and Elder Hendricksen had told me he felt very strongly we needed to knock those doors, so, we were going down the line, and his feeling told him to keep going, we end up at one street, and then I realize: "Oh shoot, we are in Reedville's area" Hendricksen learned this, but because he's zone leader said: "I give you permission to leave the zone temporarily" and we didn't know why we were there, Hen couldn't shake the feeling that somebody was waiting. We learned that this street is only accessible to the the reedville missionaries if they first leave their zone. It's a cul-de-sack (I haven't the first clue how to spell that haha, I thought it was culdesache, but that's wrong...) with only a few homes in it, because we are out of our area, we sat for awhile trying to figure out where to go. my gaze keeps getting drawn to this one house, but I figured he was the one being guided, so I wouldn't say anything, pretty soon, I see him staring at it too. We are just about to make up our minds when a car comes down the street. We pretend to check our watches so we "don't notice" but guess what? Yup, the car goes the the house I had been looking at. No.... way.... did that just happen? So, we are pretty positive that we are supposed to go there. So we do! At first we knocked a few doors so it wouldn't be super awkward, but nobody answered, and that was weird, but we get to this house, we knock, and this lady comes to the door, we start up a conversation, we're talking, and then after things start getting spiritual, she tells us that she is a member. But she is incredibly inactive. Her words. She hasn't been to church in over ten years, and we were the first missionaries who have stopped by her house since she moved in more than 10 years ago.... whaaaaaaa? So, we got her name and stuff, and she's not really into home teachers and stuff at the present time, but we figured we'd send the sisters over. We were quite sure that the culdesache we were in was in our area... nope.... so, we can't let the Quatama sisters go over, however............ Reedville just got sisters............ :O do you realize what this means?!?!?!?!?! AAAHHHH!!!! Everything played out so perfectly :) and our whole day was like that, we ran into the fence guy again, and he had finished everything, but told us that we could come by and teach him some time, he was open to learning :O so that was a jaw dropper too. And we kept running into members all over the place, including a guy from reedville who is on the high council, and he PAID FOR OUR LUNCH! What a nice guy! We were eating and he brings over our reciept and says: "have a nice lunch, it's on me Elders" and then leaves... we had been talking to him earlier, because he had approached us, but then he did that. What a nice gentlemen. And that night we had a lesson with Miles, and after we finally opened with a prayer, I turned to Hen and said: "I'm ditching the lesson plan, and doing this now." I had planned this lesson, according to what I thought his needs were, but after praying, I had this insanely massive prompting to share this mormon message 3 part series that I had not seen before.... I hadn't seen them! I had only seen the 2nd part, and as it ends up, I didn't know the order, but I couldn't wipe the smile off my face as I brought it up and turned it on. It felt so good! I had not seen it, but I really needed that video shown.... It was super cool! And while the spirit was so powerful as we discussed, I'm not really sure of the purpose yet, I think something clicked in the ways of missionary work and Miles regarding a friend of his who is going through rough stuff, but we will have to see, but the feeling was ridiculously powerful! I would say "what was that?" but we all know. But fun fact, Manna means: "what is it?" that is it's translation, so like the manna getting the Israelites through their 40 year trial, the good things we don't notice or can't figure out how it was possible, and we ask: "what was that?" it was obviously the Lord :) It was super cool!

Saturday we got transfer calls, and we were at a baptism for one of Peterson's investigators from his first area. That was cool, but we had learned that he was leaving... :(

So Sunday we packed him up and visited members like crazy to say goodbye! I'd show you my super cool photos, but this computer is being a pansy, so I will figure something out eventually.... hopefully there is a way I can get the SD card hooked up to the Ipad somehow? #firstworldmissionaryproblems #ughlol

Then yesterday he was transferred, and the great Elder Beus came in! It's pronounced like Zeus, but with a B. He seems pretty cool! I haven't even known him 24 hours but he and I get a long super great so far! Well, from my point of view anyways ha! Hopefully everything goes smoothly. He is very smart, and a powerful teacher, and I learned a lot from him in just two lessons yesterday. Especially in how to deal with less actives and members in general. It was sick! We met with Michael's family, and I learned that I had never transitioned into the lesson at their house, but Peterson always did, so it was a rocky transition, but Beus passed the test that Michael's mom and sister presented, but Michael hasn't warmed up yet, and is probably still very mad that Peterson left, so he left towards the beginning of the lesson :P Oh well, he'll come around again. Life has it's ups and downs just like a heart monitor, if it didn't, then you'd probably be dead.

Well, that's about it for the week! I look forward to a great couple transfers with Elder Beus, and I hope that everything goes well with the work!

-Elder Wilkinson

p.s. I haven't been able to get on facebook since Saturday, and even then it was for like five minutes, and so we will log on tomorrow, but I keep hearing that there is a apparently a lot going on with my account? A bunch of pictures or something? Well, I'm not sure how they look, but I hear that I look pretty stupid, soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, yeah... who cares ;) #firstworldmissionaryproblemsyetagain #itbuffsout #eldertysonjordansthebomb

Half gear - fixed for mid week! Monday February 17, 2014

Mon, Feb 17, 2014 at 5:51 PM
Half gear - fixed for mid week!

Haha, so this past week was pretty cool. Started off slow, our p day
last week was grounded, the snow made it so we technically couldn't do anything, so we basically sat around all day, but it was good to read just letters, write new ones, and email and stuff, so it worked out. We shared the Mormon message Spiritual crocodiles with Michael, and that was super funny. But inspirational too, out of all the analogies we have ever come up with, relating the atonement to crocodile hunting has by far been the weirdest. But it was cool. But I bet you can figure it out :)

Tuesday is a blur.... If I recall correctly, nothing really happened
at all. We went on bishopric visits but other than that.....
Caaaaancel city hahahah.

Wednesday we had a random call from Miles asking if we could go over, and I almost turned my sic Pakistan into an eight pack, because I was laughing so hard! He is hilarious, and his voice hops up an octave when he laughs. I kept making these ridiculous puns. It was great. We had district meeting, and the training and practice was on how to teach using the I pads, so we practiced using them and extended a baptismal challenge. The two sisters running the practice used the video of Jesus Christ being baptized, so I couldn't copy, so.... I grabbed a seemingly random Mormon message that I had never seen, and made it work. It was fun.

Thursday we saw miles again, and taught the family he lives with the Ten Commandments, it was awesome, all over the place, but awesome! But, that morning we learned that the Quatama sisters we're determined to beat us in lessons, and so far we had had like none all week.... So we were just going to let them win, but, it's not a competition at all, it doesn't matter, but we knew that they would run it in, so it gave us the motivation we needed to turn a bad week into a great one, by giving us courage, and because we wee thrusting our sickles with our might, we enjoyed success. We had heard that the sisters had seven lessons on Tuesday, and that was just under what we were for the week, and they did that in one day -_- so we were stressing......... But it worked out just fine. We were full of the spirit and we wanted to work, mad we were blessed. The sisters will need to try harder this week. ;)

Thursday night we learned that an investigator that we only got into
contact with last week is moving, just out of our area, into Orenco
ward. It's a part member family, and the member hasn't been active for awhile. The brother lives with them, and we had am interesting
conversation while moving them out. Because Friday we went by to learn more, era Saturday.... Friday was date of initial contact but anyways, we moved them out this morning.

Sunday was bad, we must have been drugged by a member, because we couldn't stop laughing all day, it was really bad. Very bad..... But again, the laugh was good!

Today, we moved them out ish, and then we went to Kohls, where I found this terrific Charlie Brown shirt for like three bucks! Now, we are at the stake center, we played scatter all, which is like dodgeball, and currently we are playing soccer, with a twist though. We defend a chair, you don't let it get hit, but the rules got changed, so it became pretty ridiculous, so I decided to type this. Ha!

But now I fixed the rules, time for my victory! Good luck!

Love you all, sorry the week was boring hahahaha, but here's to a
cooler week! Peace!

-Elder Wilkinson

European versus non-European Monday February 17, 2014

Mon, Feb 17, 2014 at 10:11 AM
European versus non-European

Ok, so: first off, ignore the selfie hahaha, I already explained my logic on that one, it seemed like a fitting thing to do with a purple scarf... and I think my man card went in the trash too ;) But the thing is, we have three things here.

584: No scarf
588: European Style
501: Just around the neck, perhaps some kind of American style?

Which looks the best? :)

Precursor 3 Monday February 17, 2014

Mon, Feb 17, 2014 at 10:07 AM
Precursor 3
The Video was Precursor 2

So, lemme explain.... there is a family we teach. They have 3 daughters. The middle daughter's birthday was saturday, and we went over friday, but were sent away due to no time, and the parents "forgot" and were shopping, but the youngest daughter gave us these "tatoo" thingies, we tried to decline, but she was about to cry.... so yeah, we took them, and then like the dark mark, put them on before going over on Saturday. She was so happy to see them! (They were under the suits, relax, and they washed off super easy too). But of course, she gives Elder Peterson a flower, and she had a mushroom one, but nope..... she decides to give me........ yeah, you can probably tell... Ha......

We also gave the daughter a Finding faith in Christ DVD, among other things :)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Precursor Monday February 17, 2014

Monday February 17, 2014 at 10:02 AM

So, at this time, I do not have time to write my "weekly" letter, but, I will send you the pictures now and explain them, and then I'll be sure to send my weekly email later today when I have the time to email, but I thought I'd sit down quick.

First off, Holy cow Mom! Thanks so much for the game! I hope the following express my joy! And, we are playing them with Sister Carstens daughter and son-in-law today! So whoop whoop! :)

So yes, we had to open it up! And we got bags for everything, and I taught Elder Peterson how to play, but today will be our first play through. Hoo-rah! :) Truly magnificent. To those of you who don't know what that is, that is Galaxy Trucker, one of my most favoriest ;) games in the whooole world!

Whoops, too big, I'll send the other thing in another email!

So, here's a little piece of the joy I felt:

Follow up, Snow Fight Monday Feb. 10, 2014

Monday Feb. 10, 2014
Follow up, Snow Fight

Same day a second email

So, I forgot to mention this, but we had two super funny things
happen. While we were shoveling the church on Friday, the sister
missionaries ambushed Elder Peterson and came out of nowhere and hammered him with snowballs. For the church shoveling we got to borrow a shovel too, so I ran to the rescue in full snow armor and jumped in me with the shovel, comp unity lol, woulda had to been there.

Secondly, Saturday, when we ran into those people who took the
pictures of me with the broom, they went to the Carstens with us, and when they were leaving, Peterson hit the dad, who is huge, with a Snowball. So they came back, knocked on the door. They wanted to talk to Peterson, to "give him a hug" we knew better, but oh well. I sat down to enjoy the show, and Brother Hopper picks him up and throws him into the snow, and then tackles him. He can't take him, Pete's in need, about to get a face full of snow and the like, and I'm zone out while watching. Sister Carstens yells at me: "Where's the comp unity Wilk??" Then I leap into my boots, which are untied, and charge out into the snow, then right as Pete's about to go down, I nail Brother Hopper, and he falls over, and a brawl occurs. Adam, his son, who just returned from his mission in Brazil, joins the fight. And a tussle occurs. So much fun, and I didn't get shoved into the snow. It's a cool video, I'll need to get a copy, or see if they can upload it if they are not embarrassed lol, but it was fuuuuun! Comp unity #ftw lol anyways! have a great week! My wrestling skills paid off hahaha

-Elder Wilkinson

Week of Mikey's birthday! And SNOW... Mon, Feb. 10, 2014

Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 3:02 PM
Week of Mikey's birthday!

So, this week has been the longest of my mission, if not my life. It feels like it's been at least a month since I got to email home. First off, I should tell you a couple of things as kind of a disclaimer: 1. Nothing in this email will be made up, no stories, nothing to lead you astray, it legit happened. 2. This week has been super rough, and very very sad, so, you may want to sit down. It is full of emotion....

So, to start the week off, we had monday, our P-day! We went to the Stake Center and played some basketball with a TON of elders, well, they did! I decided I had better catch up in my journal! After seeing the APs there, I knew President was inbound, so I decided to write in my journal. One of Elder Peterson's former companions also didn't want to play, so I talked with him. His name is Elder Schmidt, his reputation precedes him, for I have learned a lot about him from Elder Peterson. He was in men's chorus at BYU, and has been out just over a year. That's all you need to know.... well, of course, President and Sister Morby showed up to play some basketball! He was in a suit, but had on basketball shoes, it was wonderful! I wish I had my camera because it was quite the sight, and the elders had no mercy on him. One of his APs was on his team, Elder Hunsaker, who had been my zone leader just before going AP, and Hunsaker played for USU before coming out, he's about as tall as a lamp post ;) It was fun to watch, but I didn't want to embarrass myself against such skill, buuuuuuut, after watching for awhile, I wish I was playing, I coulda held my own very well, but oh well, I decided that catching up in my journal was important (with the way time has been going, it has been difficult recently to write a lot, and given what's gone on, no better time to write than now :P). We had dinner with the Rice's, and had this delicious food like always, and then went to the Michael's! In which Michael came up with the analogy we requested of relating the Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end) to football. He thought about it, and came up with an analogy, but it came at a price, we had to tell him the loop-hole for facebook when it comes to viewing hidden pictures haha, so he saw most of the pictures of us on facebook as a result, but we didn't give him full control, he does not at this time have access to my "Gollum covers Rebecca Black Friday" video.... ha! He spent all night trying to search for it! And his sister tried to help him by telling him he needed to add somebody specifically, then based on the hint I gave her, reached the wrong conclusion! Michael now thinks (because they messed up my hint) that he needs to search Laura's (yup, my oldest sister) wall to find the video... he spent hours searching, and Laura, I'm glad that you would tweet and post a lot back in 2011, because it was mega frustrating him, he would say: "How am I supposed to find it if there are a lot of posts per day??" something like that. It was fantastic! And we shared a video about the Temple.

Ok, now we have to back track, and here comes the rough city.... so, on Sunday, Jeanne and El weren't at Church... we called them to make sure they were OK, and if we could still meet for our lesson that day at about 5, well, they said that Jeanne was sick, and was coughing weird stuff (green, yeah I know TMI) up, and that's why they weren't there, and wanted us not to come over as to avoid getting sick. We asked her if we could give her a blessing, and she said yes, so we said: "Ok, we'll be over at 5." and bless her heart she said: "Can't you just give it to me over the phone? I don't want you to get sick" it was hilarious, but we reacted very calmly as we explained that it doesn't quite work that way haha, but we went over a couple hours later. As we sat around the table at her house, we asked her who she wanted to annoint, and who she wanted to give the actual blessing, well....... I had a feeling something like this would happen.... but she asked me to do both :P yeesh lol, talk about stress! Well, we anointed, and then proceeded to start the blessing, but she had to get up and run to the bathroom just as we started the actual blessing (after the sealing of the anointing)... never had that happen before... but she came back later and was fine, so we just started the sealing of the anointing over again. It went fine! The blessing was good, and words came to my mouth, and we shook their hands, told them we'd see them on Friday, and left the house!

Ok, now to Tuesday.... Tuesday was the day that we got our I-PADS YEAH BUDDY!!!! So we had this huge meeting we had to go to, in the which we would learn about them, get them etc. So we were pumped. It was cold up here that day, and the way it worked out, is we used the Orenco sister's car, and took the district leader and his companion of the other district in the zone, and the orenco sisters went with cedar mill sisters. Either way, Peterson drove us up there. But, the CD player was busted -_-, I was so pumped to listen to music on the way up, but the player was busted, and it made the ride even more awkward then it became.... Here comes the brutal part.... just as we pick up the other Elders, we receive word that Jeanne, had.... passed away that morning..... It was incredibly sad, especially the circumstances surrounding it, but it was incredibly crushing to learn of, that the woman that I had baptized, that I had given a blessing that healed her to the point where she could be baptized, and I had given her a blessing just two days previous, but yet, she passed! Besides her husband, Peterson and I and the ward mission leader were some of the last to see her alive..... that knew her at least.... So, we get that call, right as these other two elders (who are super happy and pumped mind you) get in the car. I hang up, and give elder peterson the news, and like a balloon exploding, the enthusiasm left the car, and because the stupid CD player was broken, we had a long 20 minute drive in silence to the I-pad meeting...... Oh my word..... So yeah, Jeanne has passed into the Spirit world, and she picked one heck of a time to go too! We hadn't finished teaching her the new member discussions! How are we supposed to do a hand off with the Spirit World Elders, when we can't see them??? And our teaching records are being digitized now, so good luck to them to try and use it hahahaha, oh well, she left the mission now, THEY will figure out how to finish them :P So yeah, a real damper just before the I-pad meeting. But, we got the I-pads, set them up and everything, and then were told that we would need to input our area books into them. AAAHHH!!!! Our area book is HUGE! and they want us to enter in every single person in it, all the lessons they've been taught, EVERYTHING that is in the book. And it needs to be done by the 24th! We have people in our book that have been taught for 6+ years! Sheesh! It's been quite the job. Thankfully there is an option to speak stuff, but it is FAR from perfect, I will email my favorite mishap it did to me. It turned the Book of Mormon into Pokemon..... hahahahah whaaaat? Well anyways, on wednesday we went over to see El, and see how he was doing, and how we could help, and we shared a message with him (using our ipads, which was cool) and then we looked through all of his pictures of Him and Jeanne, and all the pictures he had of her, in preparation for the memorial for her we had this morning, that's why this is coming in now! And even still, for these computers we are pressed for time, so I am flying through this! Yeah I know, we can send emails from the i-pad, but I type faster on this, and can't send pictures via i-pad, sooooo yeah!

Thursday made things even worse (as if they weren't bad already :P) we were doing our facebook time, when we see a post by the other guy we baptized and taught recently, and you know how I mentioned that he may have gone off the deep end? Yeah, he's gone! After a loooooong discussion, there is still hope for him, but for the time being, his anger is clouding his judgment, and Satan is attacking him. It's never too late, but this young padawan is heading the wrong direction. I feel like Obi Wan, who trained Anakin, and now this, but unlike Obi Wan, we will not chop his limbs off and turn him into Darth Vader hahaha, but he is turning into Darth Vader for the same reasons Anakin did, women and anger... yikes, it was super crushing then too, but ooooh boy we got him! The spirit of discernment is great! And ok, judge all you want, but after the conversation started, we were running out of ammo fast.... so, Elder Peterson decided to go onto, and talked with the missionaries online, so we said things like our guy expecting help, and boy oh boy did we get it. It was hysterical, and probably inspired... but they said that they had a prompting that something good would come from their chat. And it did. They said some super inspired stuff that really helped our guy, and everything that happened with them and him was great, we still have hope for him. Even Darth Vader came back to the light side at the end, so there is still hope for our guy too!

Well, upon finishing with our guy, we get a red alert call.... The Lock-down has started.... oh my goodness, it was terrible, we couldn't leave for the rest of Thursday, and Friday, Friday we did get to go shovel the church, but that was IT! Saturday was all shoveling too! Good grief Charlie Brown! A little bit of snow made everyone panic.... however, I will give it to them, the ice that arrived later proved to be a worthy foe. Sunday we even got quarantined! Church was cancelled! So all in all, a pretty rough week, but we had the i-pads and the area book to keep us busy. Every time somebody got mad at us for having i-pads we would say that we: "use our time playing Angry Birds: Old Testament style. We knock down the walls of Jericho, in the Book of Mormon one, you try and hit Samuel the Lamanite!" Yup, yours truly is very quick intellectually to come up with those on the spot ;)

We've also played some ticket to ride among other games, and I did win one game with 161 points. Not too shabby, but not as good as Rebekah Glew! It was my first game I've ever won of that though I think... either way, it was fun. Also on Saturday we shoveled the Dornblasers driveway, and then ended up shoveling their neighbors across the street (no real reason :) just for fun) but, these Oregonians... DON'T EVEN OWN SHOVELS HALF THE TIME! That's why on Facebook you see me with a broom, and Peterson with a squeegee. So... yeah, awkward doing driveways with those, but it was funny. While doing the non-members driveway, I heard her get on the phone (she talks really loud, and she accidentally left her window open) and she was telling somebody about us! She hadn't even come out yet, but she was on the phone: "Two guys are shoveling my driveway!!! What's going on? Why are they nice??" stuff like that. She was super grateful, and it was one heck of a time :) It worked well, we did end up borrowing a shovel from Don, but the snow hugged it, so it was rough city.

This morning we had the memorial for Jeanne. It was at ten, and last night at 8:40 p.m. we got asked to sing in it. So we came together and sang 292 Oh My Father. It was great! I also had to give the closing prayer. We had quite the turnout! Not as much as is typical, but more than we thought! It was inspiring and good, and the Plan of Salvation was taught and we had non-members, so we will see what fruits come from that if any.... We went shopping, and now, here I am! With a lot of pictures to send! I must also say, that the lock-down gave the sister's cabin fever. They kept burning themselves on stuff and then tried to ask permission to walk a long ways to get toilet paper from a member... ugh! The Zone Leaders were cruel lol, and said: "Nope, we don't care if you use towels or rugs, President said no leaving today" hahahahaha, we felt so bad, but we knew the sisters were yanking our chain a little bit to try and get out of the house.... With church being cancelled yesterday, we didn't have a meeting, but we did have a devotional at the Carstens, some people came (next door neighbors) and the sisters, who gave a devotional. It was great.

So, all in all, it's been a rough week, but somehow I can't deny the happiness I feel. It's weird, I feel terrible that I don't feel terrible, and I did for a while, but now... I'm so full of Hope! I don't know how to describe it! It's definitely the Lord helping me, and maybe the denial has come back. So much bad stuff happened this week that maybe I just don't know how to cope except to be happy and hopeful? Who knows! Either way, keep up the good work, and I love you all! Have a good week! :) There is a life after this, and this life is but an instant, and we WILL live again, and we CAN LIVE with God again, because of Jesus Christ, I love him, and I know this. Peace out ya'll!

-Elder Wilkinson

ok, some pictures attached too :)

So we have Pokemon Replaced for Book of Mormon, and we have the stand at Jeanne's memorial today! And, continuing my tradition of wearing the sunglasses of whoever's car we use haha :) anyways, peace!

Continuing my tradition of wearing the sunglasses of whoever's car we use haha :) anyways, peace!

So we have Pokemon Replaced for Book of Mormon

We have the stand at Jeanne's memorial today!

My scarf selfie, where I try to strike a feminine pose... judge all you want, I decided to send the one with the flash, because the others I just look way more ridiculous.
This other one is me haaaaaaappy to eat the soup! My word that was great :) I bought this whole grain bread or something or other for it. Basically just messing around :)

Is the hall of fame for his chair that died, we hung it up so that the Carstens would witness it's death!

I have these little hilarious videos showing what it was like to have the snow arrive, but alas, they are just too big, so I will have to dropbox them eventually, but when I do, watch in the order of their names, You have to, it's hilarious, on a bright note though, thanks to modern technology and compression, allow me to share with you, the Death, of Elder Peterson's chair! It is also on the SD card Rebekah has, along with some other gems which she can tell you about...

Who says you can't build a fort on the mission??? ;)

Our terrific member Monte, isn't he hilarious??

Monday, February 3, 2014

Aloha - The Luau! :) February 3, 2014

February 3, 2014

So, this week didn't start out so great. A weekend of cancellations, and Monday, all of our scheduled lessons ended up cancelling... but, somehow, we managed to set a record for our companionship in the number of lessons taught in a week...? Really bizzare! But don't get your hopes up, it wasn't like 35 or whatever they teach in other countries sometimes, but we did manage to meet with 25 people :) Twas splendid! After I emailed home last week, we went with the zone leaders to the stake center and played basketball for awhile, and then, played whats called Scatter ball. Scatter ball is a game similar to dodge ball, but crazy, and free-for-all. That's a lot of fun! And then our day progressed normally, we had dinner with a family whose son just got back from Brazil, so he cooked this Brazilian style dish... that was delicious!

Tuesday is where things started to pick up, we started off the day by going home-teaching with our ward Mission Leader. He teaches a part member family that we meet with frequently, and he also home teaches some inactives in the ward, but it was great to meet with them all. We asked one of his home-teachees if we could start teaching her the discussions to help amplify the spirit in her home (her kids have all fallen away too) and she agreed, she thought it was a great idea, and would try and have her kids there too. My favorite meal I've had out here on my mission, is this dish that the ward mission leader and his wife make. It's nothing too exotic, its just chicken enchiladas, and it's not even authentic style, they don't even wrap anything, just layer it up in the pan. Sounds weird, but oh my word, I don't know what they spike it with, but it is super good! :) I will definitely have to try and get the recipe from them before I leave this area! That night we also met with Robert, who seemed really down in the dumps about something. We had called him to confirm our appointment for wednesday, but he wanted to meet tuesday night as well. We did not have a problem with that. Tuesday's was weird, he was super down-hearted, and expressed his fear in asking his wife to come to the luau, and all other sorts of fears about stuff, and by the end of the lesson, he somehow got the idea in his head that if his wife wouldn't let him come to church, then what good was it gonna do him in meeting with the missionaries... That was pretty sad, because wednesday night we met with him and did family history, and a lady here in the ward is amazing at it, and found so much about his parents and family and such before she even met him. He still seemed troubled, and after the lesson, kept thanking us for all we did, for all the information, and kept thanking us, and then said that he needed to step away for awhile... he dropped us. My heart hit the ground. But you know, they have their agency, but nobody even said a word, just said you're welcome, and that we'll be waiting. It was super heart breaking for me! His wife said she was fine with him coming to meet during the week, but I think the fact that she wouldn't let him come to church really blew him up inside... I hope things change soon. I pray for him, he is a great guy! He knows Joseph Smith was a prophet, and we were getting ready to set a date for baptism, but then Satan got in the way again :P he is so annoying you know? He needs to get over his ego and just go lay down in a hole lol. Anyways, we know he'll be back soon! We hope so anyways :)

Oh, wednesday was pretty funky! We were way up at one corner of our area, just invited people to the luau and stuff, picked up an investigator, had lessons and such, and it was great, but we were NOT looking forward to walking back... Oh my... Well, as we are starting our 30-40 minute walk back, I see this bus coming down the road, and thinking to myself and chuckling I think: "well, wouldn't it be funny if that bus gave us a ride?" I was blissfully laughing at the idea, when suddenly, the bus slows down... and stops right next to us. The driver asks if we are Elders, and if so, where we were headed....? She tells us to get in! WHAT?! Holy mackerel, it was insane! She gave us a ride to the next stop, which ended up cutting our walk in half! So that was super cool! The driver is a lady in the ward, who recently has started coming back to church. There was one other lady on the bus named Emily (we learned that later), she told us her name was Al. She draws comics and stuff, and has had a super hard life! We gave her a pass along card, and I fellowshipped the driver a little bit, and then we went on our way. It was so intriguing... what are the odds that the one time I think: "wouldn't it be cool if x, y, or z happened?" it happened... Mind blowing; hilarious!

We didn't get to meet with Nolan on Thursday to teach the second new member discussion, and he never responded to our texts... I worry about him a lot... Poor guy! Again, our adversary needs to buzz off! Satan, if you are reading this email over my shoulder, know that we are not very happy with you. Go bug someone else, preferably Cain! Shoo! Away!

Overall, interesting day, had a super hilarious lesson with our good ole Buddy Miles! The family was there, and these jokes kept being brought up and stuff, oh man, it was hilarious! (they are all members, but on the member missionary list, so we teach them the discussions to give them a better idea of how to share the gospel, etc.) Oh, and we got these shirts from Eli! Elder Peterson's fits him great, and mine is super ironic! His says: "I work out... just kidding, I take naps" and it's a pink shirt. Lol, it stems from his "exercise" when he lays on the ground and lifts a leg in the air, and practically goes to sleep. It's pretty funny! I got this super neon green shirt that goes perfectly with my shoes, and a pair of socks I have (it's pretty neat) and it says: "I'd flex, but I like this shirt" and the way the shirt is built, you'd almost believe it if you saw me wear it ;)

Friday we got to meet with Cody again! We haven't seen him in a decade, we talked about the plan of salvation, missionary work, and Satan.... it was interesting! We had DLC, which is a meeting for the district leaders in the zone, they get together with the Zone leaders and discuss business and goals and stuff, and afterwards, we went to IHOP, and had all you can eat pancakes. I must say, I put them all to shame! That morning we had had this suuuper intense workout circuit, oh man, it was terrible! We probably lost so much weight in that period of time, which sounds crazy, but true, so I was huuuuuuungry, so, I had 8 pancakes :) double what everyone else had. It was delicious! But, I had forgotten that the family that wanted to feed us dinner that night was also doing breakfast for dinner... -_- the things I forget these days.... but it was good! I got to have waffles!

And I have a random question, but there is a song that I sang in choir years ago that had this line in it: "and as I pass along, I'll sing the Christian song: I'm going to live, forever!" What song is that?!?!?!?

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for! The Luau! We set up on Saturday for it, and even dressed up Hawaiian-ee for it :) Thanks to Goodwill anyways haha, I'll send pictures, but try not to laugh too hard hahaha, but it was a lot of fun, good food too, and some Hawaiians showed us some Hawaiian dances! So that was cool too! We were originally planning on cooking a pig in the ground, buuut Bishop feared that the kids would be traumatized! We have enough people here who know how to do it, so it wasn't that. But it was a lot of fun! :)

Sunday we gave a lady a blessing because she was sick. We called her, and then I was told to ask her if she wanted a blessing. She said yes, so we told her we'd come over and give one to her. She said: "today?? can't you just give me the blessing over the phone??" -_- granted, she IS a member, but was completely serious... oh well! We explained that we couldn't and went over to do it, but she wanted me to do both the annointing, and the blessing, so that was an adventure! She also interrupted the first part of the sealing to run and use the restroom... never had that happen before either. Hahah, the whole day was exciting! And everything else was good. Fast sunday means crepes! So those were waaay good! :)

Well, that's all I got for you this week! How are things going on your end?

-Elder Wilkinson

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Apostle Time! January 27, 2014

January 27, 2014

Ok, this week was a little strange! I had my interview with President..... and the verdict is...... I'm good to go! I get to stay out here! ;) Whef, how stressful lol ;) Nah, it was all good! We had zone meeting on Wednesday!

Monday we didn't get to meet with Michael and his family, Michael was out of town, so that was pretty sad! However we did have dinner with a family whose parents are just becoming active again, but their sons are still a no! But, what can you do? Plant seeds! So, I talked with him for a long time! He reminds me of Mikey! Ha, his name is Michael too, his mom calls him Mikey! We talked about a lot of stuff! He brought up anime because of something we were talking about, and got him to open up as we talked about Full Metal Alchemist! Yup Ashleigh, FMA! He's completely opposite of you though, he hates Brotherhood... Ha, it was a good talk! Planted the seed of "missionaries aren't so bad after all" It was good! The two of us had a lot in common and we shared a thought about Enoch, and where he started out, to what he became, all because of faith. It was great!

Tuesday we had the first new member discussion with Nolan! He finally got to hear it! The people who were assigned to help him out and teach them haven't been very diligent, so we took matters into our own hands and scheduled it. Buuut they couldn't go... so we taught the first one! It was good! We had Brayden Johnson with us, and his younger brother Blake! (Yeesh, can you imagine if his younger brothers name was Cutler???) Wow, its pretty insane! We had a busy day that day! Ooops, my bad, that was Thursday... because we had a crazy day that day.... Hmm... Because that night we taught Michael and his family that we couldn't on Monday... so, forget Tuesday, come 2 a.m. I'll randomly wake up and remember what happened then. But we taught Michael and his family. And that didn't go too well... He stayed for awhile, but his mom and him had a disagreement, and he ended up leaving :P Oh well, still a great lesson! Best part of the night though, has to do with Zone meeting on Wednesday. So, in zone meeting, we were learning about how important teaching with the Book of Mormon is, so, we had to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ (third lesson) WITHOUT the Book of Mormon, then with it. I must say, the example didn't teach me much! I didn't learn a whole lot from it either.... because I owned it in the Bible. Used Isaiah and Mark and all sorts of things! It worked wonderfully! My companion that I had at the time, bless his heart, was struggling a bit. When one of us would try to transition to the next step, they wouldn't. It wasn't very organized... So, then came the Book of Mormon one. I then realized that my interview with pres was just a few minutes away..... so of course i zone out and start stressing "what is going to happen" lol, but my companion for the practice was trying to use an analogy of Football to go with the Gospel. It started off good, but he lost control quickly and the analogy blew up in his face. I tried to salvage it, but the ship went down, but I did manage to get us aboard a life boat, because it still ended good, but the part that is important is the Football analogy. I'm not sure if you remember, but there was a time when we went to go teach Michael (the Michael on Mondays) the Gospel of Jesus Christ, with an object lesson with 3 knives and 3 cups, well, before we even started, he grabbed it all, set it up, explained to US what it was, what it meant, and even kicked it down to make a point and then dramatically exited, then came back laughing. We were stunned.... So, if you remember that story, then this one builds on it. Knowing Michael's expertise on that lesson, AND his immense knowledge and passion for football. Whilst leaving his house on Thursday, I called him out of his room to explain my dilemma. I explained how the zone meeting went and bless the elders heart, how the analogy failed, and asked if he could help us! We told him why he was qualified, and he laughed at the memory, and half agreed to it. So, we will get him to do it, by telling him what it needs, then he will have to research to figure it out, and a fire may be kindled... as we left, his window was open, and we knew it, but he didn't know that we knew it. He was second level ignorant about the window, he didn't know that he didn't know that we knew that the window was open ;) anyways, while leaving I said (louder than a whisper, so he could hear, but very discreet) "You know, Michael is the best guy for the job, he can come up with one WAY better than you or I, Elder Peterson!" Booyah Grandma!

Friday we went to the Temple in honor of Rebekah Glew's birthday! Well... maybe.... but it was time for our quarterly visit as a district... so that may have had a little to do with it.... Happy Birthday Rebekah, thanks for the All-expenses paid Temple trip, Happy Birthday! Thanks for the gift ;) lol, but.... OH MAN THAT WAS COOL! They changed the video again, and I love this one! Obviously pros and cons, but it's not very cheesy! El Scroge' yes! :) We went to Changs Mongolian grill after that, and due to peer pressure, I just about ate my bodyweight in food.... Ugh, and nobody had signed up for dinner that night, so we figured we wouldn't eat... Nope! The Sister in charge of the calender said that she and her husband would take us out to eat! They took us to this Mexican restaurant, and it was super good. The pictures made the food look small, and I said: "Oh, that looks small, I'll get that" -_- it was the biggest burrito I've ever seen in my life.... and guess who finished his plate??? This kid. Holy Moley, it was terrible ;) Tasted great though! It's a good thing we go running in the Morning now AND work out with Eli, our Marine guy. It's pretty great, mornings are rough with all the exercise, but it feels amazing! And I love it, so that food we ate Friday won't last long! Hot dog!

Saturday was boring.... We went to a church at nine a.m. Left at 8.... ugh. And guess what we had to go hear???? Yeah, Elder Christopherson came to speak to the mission... Hahahaha, pick up your jaws! IT WAS AWESOME! We got to shake his hand and everything, and after his and everybodys talks, he opened it for Q&A and we asked him if he had met the 3 Nephites! HE SAID YES!!!!! Ahh, and that he had even met John the Revelator! But that we couldn't tell anybody that, and couldn't email a....bout.... it..... uuuuh-oh.... Awkward.... ;) just kidding, we didn't ask any of that, he starts out by saying: "Don't ask me anything about the 3 Nephites, they never call, they never write...." It was hilarious. What a great guy! He brought such a powerful spirit into the room and uplifted and inspired us all! Don't worry, it wasn't a chastisement, but encouragement! We are doing well! And we will get I-pads come February 4th! We are such a spoiled mission :P Sheesh! Oh well, what to do, what to do.... apparently it makes the planners a lot harder.... but the i-pads sync up, so it makes transfers easier! You don't get to take the I-pad home with you, but you do keep it for the duration of your mission. It'll be cool, but no 4g, strictly Wi-fi hotspots, so that'll be rough... ;) lol.

So, we went hometeaching with a guy in the ward yesterday, and the lady he hometeaches had a bunch of ribs broken. And after she explained all of that, he was about to ask her how everything else was... but felt dumb so he told a joke, he said: "You know, I would ask how everything else is going, but I heard something the other day, a joke about Mrs. Lincoln, President Lincolns wife, and how people asked her: "So, besides all that, how was the play?"" Good Ghandi! (That's my phrase Braden!!! ;) lol) So it was pretty humorous, but laughing hurts her so.... he failed there? Lol, it was great :)

Hmm, Monday (today) we went to Goodwill this morning to go shopping, and found some sick stuff for the Luau this weekend. Unfortunately, Elder Peterson will look WAY better than me, but I will still have fun lol! I decided to get shorts and sandals, and he went the long tan pants with some sick shoes. However, while i was there I saw a leather jacket... oh boy! If there's one thing I've ever wanted, it's a leather jacket hahaha, so, I went and put it on, genuine leather, everything! mmmmmm! But it was 25 dollars. For those of you who don't know good will, it's like D.I. everything is way downpriced and donated, so 25 is a steal for it. It was fantastic! Gray, and looked amazing on me! Whef, it was close, buuut I found a black jacket which was not quite leather, but was 6 bucks haha, and as I was purchasing, I found out that if it had a green tag on it, it was half off, so half the stuff I got ended up being half off. Score! I hardly spent any money :D So, I got this sweeeeet leather (ish haha) jacket for 3 bucks! Yeah man! But, I won't wear it to the Ward Luau.... but it's still cooooooool! :)

That's about it! One last thing, Elder Christopherson said that "no effort is wasted, a seed is planted, whether in them or you" or something good happens, whether in you or them. Something along those lines. So that was comforting. Well, I hope you all have a great week!

-Elder Wilkinson

P.s. this lady in the neighborhood's house is terrorized by stray cats, so she starting setting traps (calm down, just puts them in a cage as it lures them in, no harm ever occurs) And then she gives the cats to a shelter who find them owners, because she hates cats hahaha, but it's so funny, she is always taking a cat to the shelter, because they terrorize her dog too. If they had collars, she'd return them to their owners, but these are legit strays... poor things, they look so scared when we help load them into the car. Anyways, if only she loved cats, she could totally be one of those cat ladies hahha, so cool! :)

p.p.s. Oh for Petes Sake, it's not 2 a.m. but I remembered! Most of Tuesday was service! We painted and painted, vacummed and sealed windows, tinted them, replace sealings on doors, painted ceilings, AND did a lot of yardwork, trimmed bushes, pulled stumps, eliminated ground cover, and raked. So hardly any work compared to the Rice Fields of Cambodia! But it was a good time, at least 4 hours worth, so still, was good. There was also a High Priest game night that we got one of our investigators to go to. Wasn't quite the turnout we expected, but it was fun! Our good ole friend Sister Dornblaser finally decided to come to 1 o clock church, the spanish ward actually was in spanish she found out (who would thunk???)

Ok, that's all for my week :)

-Elder Wilkcity!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Total 1st Nephi and Laban story! --January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014

No, we didn't cut any heads off, but close, I suppose ;)

First off, Wilson, you have permission to skip to the end if you want, that's where the reference you'll get is :) But the rest is waaaaaay cool too!

So, last week we took Tuesday as P-day as you know, and that night we had a lesson scheduled with a family that is doing really well, recently re-activated and such, well the son anyway, the mom went through the temple this past Wednesday, so that was cool to hear about! But the main point, and quite possibly the coolest thing to have happened this week, happened Tuesday night. We had gotten permission from President to go to the Ward Temple night. Well, not us. President told us no on Sunday, but when the sisters talked to him.... Idk, those Sister Training Leaders have too much power. Haha, but anyway, we had the choice of either going to the Temple or teaching this family. We love the temple, but we love the family too... And niether of us had been to a chapel session. So at the end of dinner that night, we had to make a decision, the head of the household which we were at kept asking "where can i give you a ride to" so, after all that, and all the stress of choosing, we gave the family a call to see if they could re-schedule. If they couldn't, then we'd teach them, if they had a better night, then we'd go to the Temple. Well, we called them, and it seemed to work out better for them if we did it Thursday. Perfect! So, we tried to find a ride to the Temple! But then... We realized, that it was 7:00, and the session starts at 7:30 O.o, so we wouldn't be able to get there in time.... Sooooo, we just freed our night for nothing, opened everything up....

I know what you are thinking: "Just call the family back" but we figured that that would be too embarrassing and awkward, not to mention rude... so we didn't... But we didn't need a ride anywhere anymore, so we just started walking... We didn't know what to do then, we just cleared everything... But then a thought came to my mind and I said to my companion: "Elder, there must be a reason why we didn't get to go to the Temple tonight..." Totally started a new phrase which you will hear about 6 more times in this email. Then, another thought came to mind: Go so Brother "L"! He is a Perspective Elder which we had not yet had contact with, we had met his sister-in-law, and she was pretty anti.... ha. But, it was a feeling, a prompting even, so we decided to go over that direction. Well, on our way there, we came across PCC, which is Portland Community College. Which reminded me of the Chicken Coupe, which is our nickname for the Wind haven apartments. So I felt, maybe we should go there. So, a discussion occurs: "Maybe the spirit told us to go to L's house so we would see PCC then go to the Chicken Coupe" "Well, he told you L's first" etc. And we discussed and such, but no conclusion could be made that we both agreed on, and we kept switching sides, so it was pretty funny, but frustrating, when the most obvious answer comes up: let's pray about it. So, despite how cheesy it may sound, Elder Peterson prayed and asked for the Lord to tell us where to go. After a few minutes of silence, he said: "On the count of 3, say what is in your mind." "1......2......3" and then we both spoke! He said: "L!" I said: "Chicken Coupe" -_- aaaaaaaaawkward. So, our discussion began again, and the side switching re-occurred, but, we eventually both reached the conclusion that L was the way to go! So, we did! We went to his house. The whole way there we were pumped, thinking: "This is the reason, why we didn't go to the Temple" and we get to the door.... we knock, and this lady comes to the door, we get excited! But she doesn't even open it!!!! She looks through the window and shoos us away! Tells us to leave! We tell her that we were looking for Brother L (we used his first name there though) and wondered if he was home. She shook her head no, then told us to leave again, and walked off.... So much for that idea...... But, we knew that his family lived across the street a little ways, so, Peterson had the feeling to go there, the only fear was, they are very anti, sooo we might be in for some Hulk smashing, but we went. As we approach the door, my thoughts go to: "This is the reason, why we didn't go to the Temple" and we knock. Nothing... they were clearly in there, watching national geographic or something! But nobody moved... -_- so, Peterson has the feeling to go next door! And of course: "This is the reason, why we didn't go to the Temple" so we knock. Person comes to the door (sneakily) then sneaks away. Ouch.

So by this point, I'm pretty bummed out! But, on to the chicken coupe... so we go there, and the complex is one where you have to have a code to get in, or you buzz in. We have some people in there that we teach, but haven't been able to meet with for a loooong time, so we decided to pay them a visit. As we get to the door, somebody walks out, so we have a way in. Wow, perfect timing. my mind goes to "This is the reason, why we didn't go to the Temple", and we go to the 3rd floor. We knock on the door of the "A" family. THEY WERE SUPER PUMPED TO SEE US!!! Ah! They told us how much they had missed us and such, but we couldn't come in, because the dad wasn't home yet (mission rule), and we are talking to her and the kids, and about all garbage that had been happening with the guy they had to kick out before we could meet again and such, and we set up a time to meet with them for a lesson again, and all that jazz. Super happy, and we needed to confirm some stuff with Brother A, but he wasn't there. :( BUT! Right as we turn to leave, he's walking down the hall!!!! WHAAAT?! Yup, just bear with me on my enthusiasm in text. He comes down, is happy to see us, we're happy to see him! He tells us they are going to need a ride to church, so we got tasked with finding one (we did) and everything was great! We Learned of their phone situation, and all this other stuff that was magnificent, and set up an appointment to come teach them on Friday. Whoo hoo! So we leave, and I say "This is the reason, why we didn't go to the Temple." And we start dancing! Regardless of what else happens this night, we know our reason, it was amazing! If we hadn't had the discussions we had, or knocked those 3 doors, we wouldn't have gotten to see Brother A (he was coming from the opposite way of which we came, so we really wouldn't have run into him, and maybe not even them) So we were pumped! We get to the Elevator, fighting off invisible demons ;), and go up a floor to see Nate! We get off the elevator, knock on his door, and much to our surprise.... HE ANSWERED! He never answers! He never responds to our texts either! AH! His mom has had pneumonia for a long time, and he got sick, and has been taking care of her, so that's why we hadn't gotten to meet. He asks us to pull out our planners (surprise again) and schedules the time to come meet with him (triple surprise)! AH! So, again I say as we are leaving "This is the reason, why we didn't go to the Temple." Sick of it yet? Well, THIS IS NOT ALL! There is a potential investigator, actually, an investigator that I have never met, nor Peterson in the long time we've been here. They were taught by the previous elders, but schedules got so crazy, that they couldn't, so we decide to check on them, and meet them and such. We've been to their door a number of times, never an answer. HA! Guess who answered??? Yup! Got to meet Billy!! He was trying to keep his dog from killing us though, so he asked us if we could come back the following day! Hooray! Billy lives in the Apartments across from the Chicken coupe, which we have nicknamed the tree house. Well, while we are there, there is another investigator we have that kinda creeps us out a bit haha, but we decided to go anyways. We get there, and he chastises us for missing his birthday. And, the reason we went over there, was because in a previous lesson, I realized that i hadn't brought any copies of the Book of Mormon, so we were going over to give him one. And to find out where his friend Austin lives (Austin was there at our first lesson, and was the one actually asking the good questions.) But, after a lot of show-and-tell (he does that, he's got a lot of really cool stuff) and after he told us that he already had 4, we shared a quick message, and tried to leave. But with him, it's a little hard, soo after being there for half an hour, we finally manage to escape ;) jk, he's a great guy, but we had stuff to do! Did we know what? Nope! But both of us had a sense of urgency. So, we leave, and all we get about Austin is that he "lives upstairs" so, what do we do? We start knocking doors looking for him lol. The door right above him first. We knock. We hear a voice through the door: "Who is it?!" and he had a peephole too -_- ha, we introduce ourselves as missionaries, and use it as a tracking opportunity. Whoops, I lied, we didn't at his door, we just said we were looking for an Austin, and described him. He tells us yes, and lives to the left. We look to the left..... and there's nothing but a stairwell. Funny. But then he says "wait wait, I mean your right" so we look, and sure enough there is a door that says: "knock LOUD, and if no answer, bang on the door, because i can't normally hear it ~#283" So, Elder Peterson is thrilled, and bangs on the door. Hahaha, and some really short lady who seems stoned out of her mind opens the door, and says: "I was a-sleeping! And yous woke-ah me up! goooood night..." And then closes the door without a word... it was sups awk. And all the lights were on in her place, so... Idk, twas weird. We had a number of experiences like this, nobody in the whole complex was interested in our message, and no Austin... so, feeling like we had wasted our time, we start to make the long 30 minute walk back to the C's. on our way back, we run into this little kid, 10 or so, and Peterson asks if knows an Austin with a buzzed head.... his head was buzzed.... and his name was Austin.... so feeling super awkward, we all left lol after laughing about the coincidence... Well, we get to the Max (train thingy) station, and Elder Peterson has the feeling to start asking people if they live in said tree house place, and if they know an Austin, and describes him.... we may be dumb sometimes, but seriously? That was like the biggest shot in the dark ever. And as we tried to leave, a group of people would get in our way, so we'd ask them, then they'd leave, and another group is in front of us. This process repeats itself in the space of ten feet. It was.... almost like...... something...... needed to happen..... Well, right as we get to the tracks to cross, and get away from the station, we intersect with this lady, and, she looks like she wants to talk to us. Hard to describe, but definitely had a feeling that we needed to talk to her. So, we did. After we learned that she doesn't know an Austin. BUT! Peterson was in tune, and introduces us as missionaries, and what our purpose is. She starts talking: "You know, every time i run into missionaries or members of your church, nothing but good follows." She describes an experience where she had lost her daughter (daughter got lost is a better way to say it) she ran into missionaries, and they said a prayer with her, and then her daughter shows up 15 minutes later. another time, she was with missionaries, they were talking to her, and then, from inside the clouds, a pillar of light descends on them. They all, missionaries included, looked up, dumbfounded and confused, but chuckling, but all I guess shrugged it off as a coincidence. She also tells us of the fact that just last night she had pulled out the Book of Mormon that she had received, that she had just finished moving, and while unpacking the last box, found it... and, not knowing what to do with it, placed it on her night-stand. She was kinda creeped out by the way things were but told us: "This is definitely a sign, that i need to look into this... I'm reading it when I get home....." so, we gave her a card and such and explained other things, and all 3 of us left feeling super pumped. She was out of our area, but it doesn't matter, we told her how to request missionaries if she had questions. So we walk away. get around the corner, and start dancing again. And of course "This is the reason, why we didn't go to the Temple". Teresa was her name, and she was the reason. One of them. So we are pumped. We are walking home, jumping and leaping for joy and rejoicing, and once we get to the half-way point, Bon Jovi's livin' on a prayer comes up... ha... and then, we realized, that we hadn't had a miracle that week at all. In district meeting, we share a miracle that had happened to us, and we realized, that this was our miracle. Just in time for district meeting. So we start practicing how we are going to tell the story the following day. We talk super dramatically, keep finishing each others sentences, and after one of the good experiences we say: "BUT THIS IS NOT ALL!" and carry on. Well, we finish the story, and are calm again. We had randomly jay-walked too, for no reason, we're not sure why, well, we WEREN'T sure. But as we are walking home (around 9 o clock) We see a lady up on the side of the street, sitting on a wall, smoking, on OUR SIDE OF THE ROAD. The only person we had seen since we left the max-station with the exception of a biker Oh my gosh, my jaw hit the ground and i turned to Elder Peterson and said "BUT THIS IS NOT ALL!" and cheerfully we bounce up to this lady and start talking. She seemed like the typical person to just brush us off, but one thing we said caught her attention, and her focus changed. And suddenly she started saying: this is what i've been searching for. She very eagerly took a Book of Mormon, promised to read it, and then said: "I'm moving to Georgia soon, what would I do if I had questions then?" Well, well well. We tell her about, requesting missionaries, and all that jazz about it. She is super excited. Asks us when church is and where, and then we all happily go our ways. Well, we have figured that we have seen all the "This is the reason, why we didn't go to the Temple" things, and that we needed to be back soon. We reach a cross-roads, and need to determine which way to go. I said one way, cuz it was faster, but Elder Peterson suggested another way, the creepy, long way.... well, as I'm walking over there I'm thinking "But this is not all!" We get to the road. There is nobody on it. It's deserted... all the houses are dark. So, we are saddened, and walk down the road. To kept our spirits high I said: "the person we need to speak to is ahead on 206th, just around the corner". Well, nobody was on 206th, BUT, while on the deserted road we were on, a car pulls up out of nowhere, and pulls into the Driveway RIGHT across from us, not a house down, but right across. Yikes. Well, what to do now? We can't just awkwardly walk over... well.... guess what these folks decide to do at 9:25 at night? Yup, you guessed it, rake up their leaves! ;) Ha, raaaandom, but they started picking up leaves. Service smacked us in the face, and we walked over and offered our assistance and helped, and you know what? We had met the family before, the mom is an inactive member, and the daughter wasn't one. She had come to mutual once, but all the auxiliary leaders seemed to ambush them (not much planning on the wards part there lol) but, we talked and stuff, but then, we brought up the Dance Festival! Jessie can help you understand what that is, because i'm still pretty uneducated, but her daughter was super interested. So, we decided to go get all the info for them (they asked us to) and we brought it to them the next day telling them who to contact and such, just in time for the first day of practice. Booyah, grandma. And then, we make it home finally, and then our 9:30 alarm goes off. Ooooooh yeah, we were safe too ;) Just. In. Time.

Whef, so, long Tuesday night. Miracle though. The rest of the week kinda pales in comparison.

I'll sum up the other days: we met with Robert again, and he showed us hundreds of pictures he had of his parents and family who had passed on. It was wonderful.

We also met with the A's on Friday. So much fun. And, at the beginning of the lesson, I saw a Warriors book. Melissa, Mikayla, Kestra, heck, even Wilson hahaha, we all know a little bit about the books. Now, judge all you want, but it's about cats. But, it's intense. Anyways, it had been YEARS since I had read them, but now, I'm glad I did! As we taught them, the little girls asked questions and said: "Well in warriors there is this" and I knew how to tie it in. YES! They loved that i explained principles of the gospel by relating it to their favorite book series. Scoooooore! Then, after the lesson, Elder Peterson talked business with the parents about the ride to church and all that jazz, and the kids and I (2 are baptizing age, neither is baptized as of yet though) talked of warriors, and I even got a new quote that I say all the time now (rather randomly): "The water will kiiiiill you!" You can hear the quote if you look up the little cartoons for the warriors series about Bluestars death when she takes the plummet down the cliff, her mentor appears earlier in the form of a water spirit and says that to her. Apparently it's creepy, but of course, I haven't seen it haha. But it was fun to get to know them, and then the dad said: "The missionaries have to go now" and the kids and I turned to him saying: "awwwwww, do we have to?" Well, something to that nature. it was hilarious! But, nevertheless, ten minutes later we were out the door hahaha.

Saturday was full of service. We took down Christmas lights (about time haha), moved somebody in, and fixed scratches on a car, and MY WATCH TOO! I figured out that the same chemicals work on glass, and fixed the massive scratch that i had acquired whilst saving things from falling!

So, pretty cool week. Not many other cool things happened that are really worth noting after those stories, but Mikayla and the gang, you'll have to remind me what my "warrior name" is, off of that website from long ago... I can't remember.... it's Rock something I think.... Rockclaw? Nope.... hmm, help a brother out! "Help me up will you booooy??" ~Sir Ector

Yes, lot's of inside jokes and stuff I suppose, but if you get one thing out of this whole email, it's that you are ALWAYS where you are for a reason, and ALWAYS listen to the spirit, because he will guide you if you listen. Whenever you begin to feel afraid to share your beliefs, I challenge you to say: "But this is not all!" and add onto my epic story, ha, if you want, you can even say: "This is the reason, why we didn't go to the Temple" lol, just share the gospel, it blesses so many lives! And report back to me! Return and report, soldiers! Have a great week!

-Elder Wilkinson a.k.a. Elder Wilk-city! Or one-eyed wilk: wilkson lol.