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 mormon.org 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 mormon.org, 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.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

We are all enlisted! For now... Jan. 14, 2014

Jan. 14, 2014

There is a certain arrangement of that song that has been stuck in my head for a loooong time. It's by a group called Lower Lights? Or something like that, I heard it with the zone leaders, and it got stuck in my head...

Anyways, in case you hadn't previously noticed, I didn't email yesterday, with it being transfers, and losing a great deal of the district, we decided to take P-day on Tuesday (today) so we can introduce our new companions and such.

Before I get to this weekend, let's flashback to last... We had a lesson with Michael, and it was very odd and depressing. His family didn't seem to want us there, but he was listening? Idk, total flip flop of emotions. But, the first thing we said when we were about to start our lesson I said: "Today, we are going to perform for you... the cup song" and I pulled out a bunch of cups. And yup, they all groaned lol, but were actually relieved when instead we used to cups to teach the Restoration. Very cool. But the feelings in the room were weird, and a lot of things they said confused me, and the gifts Michael got for Christmas certainly won't be helping him come unto closer to Christ, at all. But take him a lot farther away :/ so that was confusing why Santa would do that, especially after Santa mentioned how the progress and change in him was good :(

Tuesday we did service! Not anything as cool as Braden's rice harvesting or anything. But this lady had a shed that was taking a lot of damage from the rain, and there was a lot of mold and mildew, so, it was our job to clean out the shed, re-organize, then prevent further damage. Well, we only cleaned it out on Saturday (2 saturdays ago) and Tuesday we went to prevent further damage. Well, the problem was a WHOLE lot more than we expected, and through all the rain, and everything else we had to work through, and 3 or so full water-vacs, and a whole yard debris can full of crap, it was finally fixed. We have prevented further water damage by fixing her gutters and restoring the orignal flow of water, now, when it's dry, we'll go over and waterproof the crack inbetween the concrete and the shed, we woulda done it Tuesday, but it was raining. And this was one of the more inspired projects we've done, because on Saturday, it rained SO much. It was insane, this week has just dumped, and if we hadn't have cleaned out the gutters, shed woulda been ruined haha, well who knows, either way, the damage was prevented. That night we had dinner with a family whose son hasn't been to church in years, and has been to mutual once. We had met him before, and typically when he sees missionaries he gets up and goes upstairs (when it comes to dinner, he just wolves it down and leaves), but that night, we got him talking. About what he likes to do, what he wants to go into, and I was able to relate to all of what he said. I got every reference, everything! Elder Wilson Hulme, our days of Runescape paid off ;) and when it comes to his career, a guy we had spoken with a few days previous had the same interest, so I knew a little about that too. Twas good. We went on Bishopric visits that night and saw some people we hadn't seen in a while and got the ball rolling again. My companion and I were split up then. So I was with Brother Carstens. But, earlier in the afternoon, I got a package from GP full of the most beautiful candy assortments! From the popcorn factory!! Woop woop! It is delicious, and yes, I have shared a LITTLE bit, but that's because i don't want to gain TOO much weight from it ;) lol, it's fantastic!

Speaking of exchanges, after district meeting on Wednesday (which was awesome, and President and Sister Morby showed up) my good ole buddy Elder Lewis switched with Elder Peterson for the day, so I showed Elder Lewis around the area, and we spent the day as companions. It was my third exchange, I'm not sure if I mentioned the one the Friday before, but I like exchanges now, I like getting to learn from other missionaries, and I appreciate the added responsibility that seems to rest on me when I suddenly become the only one knowing whats up. The day was crazy though. It was calm at first, not much going on, it rained, so we decided not to tract, but we did do service for a recent convert couple, we sealed a window with two sided tape, plastic, and a hair-dryer, you may know the procedure. Anyways, the day got nuts at dinner. I get a text from one of the priests saying: "Are you guys teaching Robert tonight? He just showed up..." WHAT?! Robert was supposed to text us to set up a time. So while panicing, and knowing that Robert probably assumed we were supposed to meet him, and that we were standing him up. AH! So, we rushed over there, but on the way, I remembered that Robert had mentioned that he had wanted to do family history work this time. !!!! And the Family History center was locked, so we had to find somebody with the keys to open it, and a consultant to help us. Well, luckily everything worked out, and there was mutual, so Robert was able to get to know lots of people while waiting. I wasn't happy that he didn't let us know he wanted to meet on Wednesday, but oh well, I was happy to see him. To make matters worse, suddenly I became everybodys best friend. I got a taste of what district leader is like, as everybody and everybody decided to call and text me, AND Elder Peterson had forgotten to bring the paper with his stake reports on it, and the Zone Leaders didn't want it the previous sunday when we reported stats, so guess who was on the phone for half an hour reading off a report? Yup... yours truly. Either way it was a great day, super stressful, but I never got upset, I was super chill, just rushed!

We had to find a ride back to re-exchange, because the other two elders were too lazy, so I text one of the priests, and knowing that if I asked him for a favor, he would say no, so I said: "Hey, can you drive us to go PICK UP Elder PETERSON from Hillsboro" It wasn't emphasized like that, but what i meant was, that if the text was about Peterson, he would be all over it. So, of course he showed up a few minutes later, and we re-exchanged.

Thursday was good too! We met with the Dornblasers again, and had a lesson and lunch with them, and played a game of dominoes with them too! We also got to teach a man who is just barely coming back to church, and he just barely got his patriarchal blessing a few days ago. We had a powerful lesson with him. He was invited to take the missionary discussions (just about everybody does) so we taught the Restoration. Great day.

Friday we had a huge meeting for the Greenies and their trainers (last one I had to go to as a "greenie") and we learned a lot about using the Book of Mormon and such in our teaching, and it was grand. We also had to practice teaching the Law of Chastity through the Book of Mormon. Hmm... most people referenced Abinidi, with his ten commandments, and while that was good, mine, went deeper. I didn't have the opportunity to practice teaching it there, but on Sunday I got to share some thoughts on my lesson plan, specifically on Alma 39. I decided to use that chapter to help teach because it's Alma talking to his son Corianton. And the poor fellows example prevented a whole city from being converted. :( But it is a chapter rich with truth!

Saturday, we had another exchange... and the Zone leader came here... and this zone leader wasn't exactly my favorite missionary either... he was looking over my shoulder while I was doing anything, and being extremely hypocritical. Oh well, we all have those companions, so if I seemed extra strict and robot-like on Saturday on facebook in my conversations with ya'll, it's because everytime I got a message, he was glued to my screen saying: "Who's your non-member friend? Gospel oriented?! Did you get pres's permission?!" Buzz off! I eventually told him that I KNEW how to use facebook and I KNEW what was appropriate, and eventually his snide remarks stopped. All the while he's talking to other missionaries on facebook... there is a way to use that to help further the Lord's work, but I'm pretty sure they were just chatting... Who knows, either way, it was a semi-rough day. He comes from a family of 17 kids! Wow! His parents aren't members yet! 17 kids, and not Mormon?! No way! ;) It was cool though. And transfer calls came that day, but the only call I got told me that I was not being transferred, and not who was...

Sunday was just a day ripe with meetings... fun stuff, we had about two hours all day where we weren't in a meeting. Hooray! Somehow I stayed optimistic the whole time! :) I loved it, we even got to go to a devotional up at the Visitors Center of the Portland temple. They have a Book of Mormon display that BLEW my mind! And while I tried to figure out how it worked, and I was freaking out, all the Sister Missionaries were laughing at me >:( but eventually I figured it out... after one of them showed me.... but still! I know now!!!! Technology is crazy!!! I was looking and attempting to read the Danish Book of Mormon, obviously attempt is too strong of a word, I was looking at the text inside going: "Wow, I know that 1 means 1!" And maybe I'd recognize the Book it's in due to page number, but nothing made any sense beyond that :)

Monday, was transfers.... My trainer is gone... :'( And of course, a new Elder, Elder Seastrand, is my new companion, but I have a feeling.... not for long.

Before I go any further, I want to express my deepest apologies to you all for letting you all down and embarrassing you. My conduct with this missionary yesterday was not in harmony with one representing the Lord at all. And I may see you in Utah in a few days depending on how my interview with President goes this Wednesday at District meeting. :/

Ok, Elder Seastrand thinks he is the greatest missionary ever. And that he is right about everything and anything under the sun. He gets what he wants, and what he wants, he gets. He decided that upon arriving at the carstens, that he wanted the top bunk, after my stuff was there. He decided that he wanted my side of the closet, and then laughed at my apparently "Ridiculous ties" so, I moved all my stuff. But it went on, he was doing this to irk me, and as "Senior companion" I had to listen. So, after not only switching sides on those, but now I've got the near dead chair and the broken desk, the opposite drawers in the bathroom, I had to move everything, even the dresser drawers! He wanted the bottom two! Come on man, it doesn't make a difference! Well, it did to him apparently.... -_- So you can see at this point, I was pretty fed up with him.... and THEN he decides that we need to switch shelves in the fridge. That, I didn't understand, but apparently "my drinks will freeze if they are on that other shelf" a bunch of bologna, but whatever, the guy has been out for 20 months, two more transfers and he is home, I can deal with this.... I'm patient.... and...... he is huge...

Pretty soon, everything I did and said was his favorite word, a.k.a. ridiculous. He decided to criticize me on everything, and in our lesson with Tyson yesterday, laughed while i was bearing my testimony... Who does that? Either way, and I'll cut to the chase. No need to complain about him, I'm sure there is a lesson to be learned... Well, there WAS one, but I blew it... The reason I mention all these trials he put me through is to let you know that my patience ran thin. He kept insulting my family, my friends, the various pictures and Christmas cards I had, he made fun of the members we live with too! So, last night, I couldn't take it anymore. One day, and I was sick of him. I was seeeeeething! We had just gotten in for the night, it was close to 9:30, and he just gone on his rant/speal (spiel?) about all the girls he's dated (sometimes, I don't know about him...) and then he takes it too far. No need to go into what he said, but I snapped. Biggest embarrassment of my life, but I told him to zip it, and to never speak again, but meaner than that.... and louder...... he wasn't stunned, but he smacked me, and proceeded to try and tell me that I can't tell him what to do. So, I'm ticked, and I get smacked across the face. What do your natural instincts tell you to do? As much as I hate to say this (thank goodness he's too into his emails and whatever else he's doing on the computer) I took a swing at him, and popped him in the jaw... and dislocated it.... hard....... to the point that we had to call Sister Morby to see if we could go to the E.R. because of all blood that was coming out of seemingly nowhere... he was dazed, and he was crying, and I didn't know what to think or do! Sorry seemed too stupid, the only thing to do was get him some help! The Carstens were thankfully home, and drove us to the E.R. and President Morby met us there. While Seastrand was in with the Doctor, Pres pulled me aside... and I told him everything. He was not happy. He said that he had put us two together because he knew how much we could learn and change by being companions, and how Elder Peterson had commended me for my patience, and how if anyone could deal with him, it was me. Seastrand had almost been sent home twice, and had had similar experiences with his previous companions, but Peterson had assured him that i was the right man for the job (thanks for the heads up buddy.....) And now Pres wants to take some action. He was NOT happy that i had done that at all, and the damage to Elder Seastrand's jaw was quite extensive, and nobody had ever done that before. And while we were both in trouble, apparently President is just sick of dealing with him, and if I have a temper like that, I might not be able to be trusted at all as a missionary! WHAT?! He brushed off my story as excuses, and while I'm not proud of what I've done.... perhaps he is right.... should I even be out here?

I've done a lot of reflecting, and after getting home at 11:30 ish last night, I haven't spoken to Seastrand, his jaw is swollen enough that he can't talk anyways. Good! Finally some peace. But i had to show him the schedule for today, and i have to face the district with what's happened... and Pres is going to be there to reprimand/interview me tomorrow to see if I really should be sent home.... What do I do? Nothing, because that story is as bologna as anything else in the whole world! Ha, Elder Peterson is still my companion, and yesterday was a great day! We taught Tyson, and got back on a schedule with him, and our lesson with Michael went amazing! We were pumped, and had terriyaki burgers for dinner, and I've got a picture to send, I'll insert it, but it shows what I did yesterday. We went to the Johnsons house, and cheered them up a bit and shared a message with them, and then I had to ask the daughter, Lucy a question, about something, Lucy is in the picture with me, and I won't tell you what we are doing so it doesn't spoil a surprise, but this picture is so great! Take a look! But we look super good huh? :)

Well anyways, I hope you all have a fantastic week, and I hope you're not too mad at me for the Sea strand story, it's completely made up! i would never be that impatient with a man, and would never hit him in such a way just based on what he said to me haha, I'm waaaaaaay more mature than that! I hope i had you going though... so many people have asked me who my new companion is that i just had to! it's also why I sent this email to a lot of you, so that nobody would spoil it ;)

This will be a great next 6 weeks! A great transfer! I'm pumped, and I look forward to hearing from you all! We are all enlisted, let's be happy about it :)

-Elder Wilkinson

A New Year... ha, how cheesy ;) Jan. 6th, 2014

Jan. 6, 2014

Well, this year, I told everyone that my resolution that will NOT be broken, is that I'm going to spend this WHOLE next year on my mission. Wow, nobody saw that coming! I know I know, I'm pretty cool for saying that! :D

So, this week.... ha! With the Holidays and such it wasn't a very successful week, but it's a lot like the previous week, just without most of the excitement! :)

To start off the week, we went to the Columbia Employee store. That was cool to see the stuff there, but I love the huge coats that I have already, so they couldn't top them, however, I did see a coat for nearly a thousand dollars. Whaaaaat?! Who on Earth would buy that? Well, apparently some people do, because there were a couple of them... But other than that, Monday was pretty dull! Everybody we went to go visit/see cancelled on us. 5 times in a row after dinner too! Ha! Good thing though, because some of them I would have invited to basketball on Tuesday Nights, buuuut there wasn't any on Tuesday night... so to avoid the embarrassment and spare me, the Lord probably didn't think it was such a good idea to visit them, so they weren't home :)

Tuesday though, we got to go to the Temple to be there to support a lady that we have been teaching (well, teaching her daughters and kind of her non-member husband, but anyways) She went to receive her endowments! And that was a great time! A guy started to have heart problems during the session though, and without going into too much detail (I don't want to say anything wrong) basically he needed a Nitroglycerin tablet (yes, I DID spell that right on the first try haha) to help his heart. But, the Church can't dispense anything, so he ended up having to leave the session before who knows what happened to him. The reason I bring this up though, is there is a lesson to be learned.... the guy sitting just down from him said (after the heart-problem guy left) "Man, I had the feeling to grab my Nitroglycerin tablets before I left... but I didn't..." Peterson heard him say that. And oh man! Imagine that! So, the lesson to be learned here is to NEVER postpone a prompting even if it seems dumb! If you get a seemingly random feeling to go grab something or check one more time, DO IT! Anyways, the rest of the day was pretty ok..... except in the afternoon. Obviously it was New Years Eve, I get that, so people were busy, but we decided to go visit some people mid afternoon to see if we could do anything to help, or cheer them up a little bit, or teach them, etc. But the same thing as the night before. Nobody wanted anything. It was pretty discouraging, BUT the best part of it was though, that out of the blue an investigator calls us and asks to meet with us. He asks if he can meet with us right then, like, a five minute notice! AH! Well, if somebody else had let us in, we wouldn't have been able to meet with him. But, we met with him at the cuhrch and had a wonderful lesson. His name is Robert, and is one of my favorite people ever. You can get to know his life story in a little under a minute if you ask him any question. If you thought I speak fast, nope, this guy beats even me, but, I can understand him fine! Anyways, he has done a lot of searching, and when he was asking us questions, he made it very clear that he KNEW that Joseph Smith was a prophet, in fact, Robert could relate to him so well! We met with Robert again two days later, and we brought a priest with us, and Robert really likes to meet people in the ward, so we are going to bring a new person to every lesson with him. So that'll be cool! We taught him the Restoration again (a little quick background: he was being taught by Elders from another zone, and they knew he was well in our area, but they did it anyways? I don't know, it was weird! Robert found us and is the one who told us about it....? Idk, I think the mission terminology for it is "poaching" but I'm not sure that I like the sound of that...) so he had been taught the Restoration before, but bless the hearts of the missionaries who had been teaching him, I don't even like to listen to them, so no wonder Robert hardly got anything from them. We have never seen either of them smile. And their voices are kinda dry... so it was a new experience when we saw one of their facebook profile pictures, and of course, they are smiling :P Ha! That was weird, like, a whole new person! Anyways, we used these cups that one of the Sister missionaries in the ward had let us borrow. Basically the cups stack up and represent Christ's Church. With Jesus Christ as the middle in the bottom, with prophets and apostles, and the two priesthoods, and then above them are four other cups (faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost) and on top of those 4 are three more cups (church, prayer, and scriptures), on top of them are 2 cups (commandments, and temples) and the very top cup is one that just says "YOU" So Christ's church supports you. The cool thing about the cups is that they have two pictures on them that go with each point. One side is a picture of something from Christ's time, and another from ours. So for example, you might see Noah on the prophet side from his time or something, and Thomas S. Monson on the other side. So when you originally "build" the Church the way he did, you see it all as it was back then, and of course, with the apostasy, as you take away the five bottom cups, what happens? They all fall! And then they fall into groups of three, representing different churchs and the like. However, when I teach the restoration, I typically with use the analogy of a mirror that Christ and his apostles were holding, but as they all were killed, and nobody had the authority to hold the mirror, it fell and shattered, and people scrambled to pick up the pieces and put it back together, so the other churchs out there have pieces of truth, but not the whole picture, and if you used glue or duct tape to put the mirror back together, would you have 100% the same image? Nope, it would be a little distorted (little is the understatment of the year) well anyways, as you talk of the Restoration (back to the cups) you show that Christ's church that he had back then, is here again, and you rebuild it/restore it, but with tthe flip-side pictures. Robert was in a car crash a long time ago, and it gave him a brain injury, so based on what we can gather, giving him something to look at, made things click a lot better, and when he would lead the conversation off into a tangent, he would notice the cups again and then HE would bring us right back haha, it was beautiful! The guy has done so much reading, he knows more about Church history then Elder Peterson and I probably put together. He doesn't work, his wife does, so during the day he doesn't have much to do, so he reads and reads! :) We challenged him to pray about the Book of Mormon, but he pretty much already knows it's true, but his witness so far appears to have been one of those gradual whispers, nothing too noticeable, so hopefully he'll be able to notice the divinity of his witness eventually. Anyways, meeting with him is GREAT! And he said the prayer at the end, and prayed that he would eventually get baptized. Our jaws hit the ground. I'm not sure why, but the investigators we have picked up recently have been pretty golden, and even my first tracting experience went insanely well.... Is the Lord giving me an easy first area so that I learn how to appreciate them more when suddenly the rest get really hard :P but! For the time being, I'm ok with teaching people who want to learn really bad! And who actually pray and do the things they should do so that God can tell them the answer! Don't get me wrong though, we are teaching some people whose desires are not as pure, and who are losing interests fast, and it makes me sad, but all we can do is support, encourage, and invite. Missionaries who are super pushy, and nag and nag over and over again, bug me, and chase people off, so, I take the position of a missionary who boldly (lol, hopefully boldly ;) ) invites people to come unto Christ, that is our purpose right?

Well, Thursday we got our hairs cut. Yup, because we didn't just get 1 hair cut.... The rest of the day was OK, we had this way awesome Korean dinner though! So that was really cool! Oh, and Mom's package arrived! That looked great! I've got a lot of soup to go through, and a lot of candy that I have to figure out what to do with.... ;) So thanks mom! :)

And then, exchanges happened... Yup, Peterson left again, and a new guy came into the area, but the day was actually SUPER good! We double our amount of lessons for the week (well, almost haha) and we got to tract for 2 hours! And it wasn't stressful! It was fun! And the Spirit was with us the whole time! And while the majority of the people didn't care for our message at all, one guy started going at us. Well, he seemed pretty upset but he said: "You have your religion, he has his, and I have mine!" And we told him religion was good and that we weren't there to shove anything down his throat, but just to simply invite him. He stopped, and said: "Oh... well then, continue on! What were you saying before?" My jaw about hit the ground again, but we recovered quickly and talked about the Book of Mormon, what it is, who wrote in it, what's it's history was, and even the crowning moment of it, when the Savior comes to the Americas. Then it looked like HIS jaw was about to hit the ground. We pulled out the Book and invited him to read it, and he was entranced. It was weird. While he wasn't interested in hearing the discussions (yet) when we offered him the book, he went nuts! He really wanted to read it, and while we were still talking, he opened it to the introduction, because we explain that he could read and pray, and then God would tell him (we didn't refer him to the introduction, but eventually he'll read it). It was a super chill experience, and we left on good terms. He even asked where we meet as a Church, and what time. What?! I don't know if he was egging us on or not, but based on his face when we started talking about it, either he is the best actor in the cosmos, or he was really excited to read. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. But as we left, we felt like we should have given him a Mormon.org card, so that he could also learn more in a non-intimidating way, but we forgot. We were sad, and felt like we should have, but didn't want to just randomly go back and knock awkwardly and give it to him (sometimes that goes well, but we didn't feel like it) but on our way back to the Carstens to get mormon.org cards, guess who walked outside? Or was already outside. YUP! It was him, and we gave him one, granted we didn't have any with Peterson's and my number on it, so Lundell gave him a card with the Beavercreek Elder's number on it, in case he had any questions, which at that point, we'd get a referrall ;) oh well, the purpose of the card was to show him the website, I don't care if he calls, if he's ready and prepared, the things we told him to do will lead him to God, and that will be through the teachings and gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, which can only be found in it's fullness and purity in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Don't believe me? Read and Pray about the Book of Mormon, and you'll find out for yourself. There was a Presbyterian (whoo hoo first try again ;) ) billboard that said: "Don't read the Book of Mormon and Pray about it... that's how they get you..." Hahahaha what?! Thanks for telling everyone how to receive revelation! Those guys are brilliant when it comes to keeping people away from the truth lol ;)

Well, the rest of the exchange went well! We went to go help teach a new member discussion, and that went... alright, the doctrine got waaaay deeper than it needed to be, and right over the heads of the 88 and 68 year olds we were teaching, but Lundell and I were able to simplify what our ward missionary was teaching (we were the back-ups for this lesson, and for most new-member discussions). It was pretty odd, but oh well, it was good. I guess now I understand the chemistry behind why the Gold Plates are made of gold... :D

Saturday we cleaned out a shed that had mold and the like in it. Fun! And we went to Stake Baptisms for some of the families we had been teaching! The lessons we taught them didn't count as anything, because they were all active or under the age of 8, but we did it just to help them, and to better prepare their children for baptism (some of the kids even requested it). So that was fun. Hooray!

And yesterday was fun too! We had our crepes for dinner! (Crepes on fast sunday woop woop! :)) and we finally got to see the Dornblasers again! Ahh! We have missed them! Something in their house and in their countenances was different from when we last saw them, and we had such an enjoyable time with them yesterday. It was strange! I love those two so much! If they don't end up getting sealed in this life, we will make sure the work gets done for them! Don will need to be baptized, and hopefully we plant a seed enough that when he learns that his work was done, then he'll accept it! :)

Well, that's pretty much it! It was a great week, long, and a lot of walking, but it was great! Despite us not teaching as much as usual, it was still a better than average week in terms of the inspiration and uplifted spirits we gained/learned. Oh man! This work is great!

Until next time,

-Elder Wilkinson

p.s. and Laura, when it comes to that Rapstoration, what are the odds??? I had just seen that video a few days before. Who knows, I don't think we can top that, but if I've already written a missionary parody of the Backstreet boys, Mr. Grinch, and Pokemon, I'm sure that we can come up with something :), but I hope everything is going well! Hopefully I'll be able to brief you more next week on the ipads that are coming soon! :)