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 withmormon.org and familysearch.org 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

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