I'm just going to say it: we had a hard week. Missionary work wise. (in other words, we laughed all week long, but spent the whole thing knocking doors and nobody was in church. happens to the best of us, but not a fun experience.) The good news is, we met a TON of people this week! I think our best was Lottie:
we were knocking a street and noticed this little old house with the cutest looking gabled porch. we loved it. so on our way back to the car before we left we decided to knock it. A cute little old white lady came walking out around the back of the house and asked, "yes?" so we started explaining who we were and doing our whole (english version) missionary spill. speel? dunno. But she said "oh my niece is a mormon!" and we loved that so we got talking about it more and asking her if she had ever read the Book of Mormon and she said no, so we tried to sell her on that point and she said, "as a matter of fact, I've got a Book of Mormon that I want to give back to y'all because I'm never gonna read it." ouch. haha. we tried to convince her to keep it "just in case" she ever changed her mind, but she was adamant about giving it to us because it was a "nice leather copy" and we could give it to someone who might actually read it. alright lady, we'll take it off your hands for you. What a find! She walks back out of the house with a 1966 edition of the Book of mormon, and as we start looking through it, Hermana Gibson's librarian mind starts noticing some subtle differences and with a weird, "we're not in Kansas anymore" feeling, we flipped to the front cover and frantically scanned the page until...published by THE REORGANIZED Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! WHAT? ahhahahaha it was so crazy! So that's how we got our hands on the best thing my companion has ever found on her mission. It is crazy. Pretty different from the real Book of Mormon. But exciting nonetheless.
We had another exciting occurance this week: We woke up one morning, did the usual routine, and when we went to get in our car, we noticed a little note on the windshield. Hna. Gibson pulled it off and we realized it was one of the new "mormon.org" passalong cards they have given us missionaries to hand out. (by the way, here's my plug for mormon.org: GO TO IT. GET A PROFILE. we're allowed to get on that website and i keep looking up everyone i know and they aren't on there! so hurry! haha thanks) so anyways the note said "i'm 21. i'm balding. and i'm a mormon." handwritten. it has to be a missionary, right? so we immediately think of elder bernard, the only missionary we know is is for SURE balding. but he works so far away. so next we think of the elders who work our same area, only english. It HAS to be them! so we text them and say "we didn't know ya'll were balding!" and they were completely confused. They finally said "no JIVING" it wasn't them. darn. so who is it? Well, turns out it was our zone leader and he had actually put it on our car the night before at the chapel but we didn't see it driving home in the dark. But in the meantime, we started this huge joke with the elders who share our area about balding/mormon.org cards. Next thing we know, that night when we go in, we see mormon.org cards all in the crack of our door and the spokes of our bikes which are locked out front. haha they said hilarious things like "i'm 22. i'm trunky. and i'm a mormon" and "i'm 24. I love libraries. and I'm a mormon." Hermana Gibson and I got a kick out of it. It's like she says, "those are the things that keep a missionary going!" and that is so true. That and letters from home! (got that plug out there too...i am good!)
That joke actually ties into another joke that I wasn't going to write about because I don't know how I actually feel about it, but just for fun, here it goes: One of the elders who left all the cards is named Elder Fife and he flew out with me. This is the first time I've really worked around him since then but he reminded me that that morning on the bus ride to the airport, an elder (Hakes) had asked me to marry him (yeah. boys are so dumb!) and apparently I just said "no!" and shot him down really hard. haha (he deserved it... asking a sister missionary to marry you...please.) But anyways Fife thought that was pretty heartless and he got me feeling bad about it. Then the other day he was on the phone with that same elder (Hakes) and I was there and so he handed the phone over to me and the kid asked me AGAIN! hahaha so this time I said, Elder Hakes. where are you serving? (he said beaumont, which is about as far from me as you can get in the mission) then I said. If you ask me IN PERSON before I leave the mission, then I will say yes. So we all laughed and thought that was funny but then we walked away and I turned to Hna. Gibson and said "you dont' think he'll find a way to actually see me do you?" and she said, "oh no...." with a panicked look on her face, and then we laughed even harder. But one of the mormon.org cards said "i'm 22. I love Elder Hakes. and I'm a mormon." Boys. Even when you put ties and tags on them. Part of them will always be that 14-year-old jr. high student.
Anyways. Manuel is struggling with smoking. and a few other things. I'm worried about him. We met a few cool families so I'm excited to see what happens with them. We did have a pretty cool miracle while we were out finding. We picked a street that turned out to me mostly white for some odd reason so we were thinking about bagging it and going somewhere else, but we kept going and as we were finishing up, this hispanic lady drove by in her car, then stopped and rolled down the window and pointed to a house and told us that she lived there! Alright. She asked when we could come visit her. Turns out she's a member, but has been less active for years. She has a granddaughter that isn't baptized that the elders have now set a baptismal date with. Pretty cool. It was funny though because all the mexicans have this thing outside their front doors that has their name, house number and usually a scriptural quote on it, accompanied by an image of the virgin or something crazy. But they had one that said "El Libro de Mormon. otro testamento de Jesucristo" above their family name, and "Latter Day Saints" below it. haha sweet!
Well, I love you guys! happy president's day! i hope jess had a fun birthday, and I thank you soooo much for the valentine's package. the shirt is adorable, so is the jewelry and the headband, and the candy was delicious. You guys are the best! Love you! Have a good week
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! Pretty cool that it falls on a P-day. And a transfer P-day at that. Which brings me to the transfer topic, which I know you're all just on the edge of your seats about. Well buckle up: I am still in Jacinto City and my companion is . . . Hna. Gibson! With Elder Gardner as distric leader and his companion is Elder Archuletta...so yeah. We all stayed. Pretty boring huh? well, not so fast. Me and Hermana Gibson did some quick calculating and based on where everyone is at right now we're about 85% sure that we are going to die together! There are two areas that neither of us have been in: Baytown and Pecan Park. But Hna. Keele is going to be training in Baytown (usually that means they're there for two) and Hna. Warner is in Pecan Park and just got there. Since we've both been companions with her...we figure he's letting us die in style. together. in jacinto city. But anyways. Who's thinking about dying anyways? not us! haha.
So last night we said goodbye to Hermana Cannon and Elder Rindfleisch. Ouch. OUCH! They came to our chapel to perform in our musical fireside so we got to hear them play (both) and sing (elder r.) one more time. Those are two talented people. Elder Rindfleisch asked if he could do anything for us when he got home and I told him to just give you guys a call. So be watching for it. haha. his name is Andrew. He is one of my favorite people that I've ever met. haha I told Hna. Gibson that he's such a good guy, if he were to get down on one knee and ask us to MARRY him, we would have to say yes! hahaha. He is that neat. Fortunately, he doesn't have any plans to kneel in front of either of us.
But as for the musical fireside, it went great! it was really sosoooo pretty. We had about eight different musical numbers with people reading paragraphs in between about faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. (with subtle piano music in the background while they read.) it worked PERFECTLY! A few of the numbers came together literally seconds before we performed them, since half of the performers live in a different zone than we do... haha but it was great! We had a great turn out, which was my biggest worry...and our branch president LOVED it. President and Sister Moldenhauer came with the APs and they all loved it as well. In fact, Sister Moldenhauer liked it so much that she asked us to perform one of the numbers for the visiting authority, Elder Gavarett who is coming in March!
So the other day we didn't have a dinner appointment, which is pretty rare for us. I decided to actually cook something! I made that vegetable dish that you gave me the recipe for Mom (the one you just learned how to make and you made for dinner group). Hermana Gibson loved it. In fact, I think she said that it had been "many a year since she had seen such an exemplary vegetable." She's a quoter like that. hahah i love her.
We had a baptism this week in our branch for an investigator that the elders have been working with for FOREVER. It was exciting to see him finally go under the water! and his whole family came to support him and they left asking for visits from the missionaries, so that's what we like to hear! Let me tell you something about Felipe, our newest member: He is a really really REALLY big guy. Nicest man you'll ever meet. Glowing about the fact that he got baptized. But HUGE guy. (I could insert a you've got mail quote here, but i won't...but mom. you know what i'm thinking. hahaha!) Anyways, we don't care about that. Elder Archuletta brought some white clothes just in case, and when it came right down to it, the Brother who was baptizing him really did need help! so that was a two man job. haha Hermana Gibson was laughing because when our converts are really really big like that, we have to borrow the XXXXXL jumpsuit from the temple. Turns out, Hermana Gibson has borrowed that jumpsuit for ALL of her converts except one! hahahahhahaha. I don't know what it is, but she just finds big people.
Oh mom, while i'm thinking about it, I've been meaning to ask you to send me something: I have a picture that I took when I was in Washington DC of the smithsonian castle. It is the brown castle-looking building on the mall. The rest of the buildings are white, you can't miss this one. But could you print whatever photos i have of that building out and send them to me? I know it's kinda weird but there is an hermana in this ward that feeds us dinner every sunday and she served a mission in Washington DC. I was asking her which was her favorite monument and she said that building, but she was all bummed because she never did get a picture of it. haha i thought that would be an easy dream to make come true. thanks for helping me out! She is amazing.
Alright...that's all for now. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESSICA ON FRIDAY! hope you guys do something fun. let me know if you ended up going to hna. cannon's homecoming or not. I'm sorry your plans for bear lake weren't really working out. Have a good week! thanks for your letters as always!
Hey everyone....and welcome back to so you THINK you can DANCE!
I just had to say that. haha I hate starting my emails. The greeting always gets so old. so anyways, now that that's out of the way, on to more important stuff.
First off, I got a really cute package in the mail this week from the young women of the Holladay 3rd ward. or maybe just the mia maids or something. but it was really funny. they each wrote me letters telling me how Spencer is going out with McKenna Tholen and how no matter what she says, it's true. They're together. hahaha then her letter was totally like "don't believe anything they say...it's not true!" it was fun. She said it all started because they were going around saying who they thought were the cutest boys in the ward and she said you Spence. I wholeheartedly agree. haha. smokin'.
Secondly, this is week six of the transfer. That means a couple things; first, we had to cut back on our groceries because we don't want to have a full fridge of wasted money at the end of the transfer in case we get transferred. It also means we're spending p-day at the broadway chapel with everyone there to enjoy the "nearly dead" missionaries one last time. Yesterday was stake conference so we were all there just barely and Elder Petersen found me and said that when I come, I need to give him my address because i'm basically dead! and so it begins... It also means that me and Hermana Gibson are going through our "lasts" together because we've decided to assume she's getting moved so that it won't be so hard on us if it really happens. hahah we're having some preemptive separation anxiety. I have no idea what's going to happen. This one is a tough one to call. Too many variables with a greenie coming out and all. Anyways. happy week six.
We had a cool miracle this past week with Manuel. He is scheduled to get baptized on the 12th but he's struggling hard with an addiction to smoking. This past week, when we got together at the chapel to teach him about the word of wisdom, we talked about getting a Priesthood blessing to help him break the habit. We had tried to get an Hermano to come to the appointment with us but it fell through, so we were just going on the faith that somebody at the chapel would be a righteous priesthood holder to help us out. (it was activity night) Anyways, when it came right down to it, he wanted a blessing and so I went to go find the branch president and saw an hermano standing outside the office waiting to talk to the president and I don't know what came over me but I just asked him if he could help us out. I didn't even know if he was in our branch. All I knew was he was wearing church clothes and I felt like I should ask him. Turns out, he IS in our branch. He's a high priest, and he got baptized about five years ago, after breaking a 25 year smoking addiction. He talked to Manuel, and then he and another brother were able to give him a blessing. Pretty powerful experience. He was so supportive and understanding and just sympathetic of what Manuel was going through. Plus it was awesome to hear him tell him that he could do it and that they were behind him! It's going to be tough, I don't know if he'll get there by the 12th but he's smoking a lot less than he used to. He's a good guy, and he's come a long way.
This was really a crazy week for me and Hermana Gibson. So last monday we went to NASA, right? That day it was about 70 F. The next day, it dropped to thirty five, and it kept dropping, until by Friday they had cancelled all our meetings and wouldn't allow us to leave the apartment on car or bike because there was ice all over the roads. IT WAS SO COLD! They finally let us go out in the afternoon but we were dying. 10 F with wind chill making it about 2-3 F they told us. We're just not equipped for that here. It was kinda funny though. It never even snowed or anything, just froze, but nobody went to work and the streets were just dead. school was canceled. it was ridiculous! the freeways were all closed down. I guess it's because they have no way to handle the ice so it's just too dangerous to go out on the roads. Makes me grateful for the simple pleasure of having machines that throw salt on the roads in Salt Lake. haha. but that was crazy. And by saturday it was back up to 60 F. Texas weather...
Hna. Gibson and I also had an eye-opening experience this week. On Tuesday, we were invited to attend Zone Leader Coucil. yes. The Zone Leader Council. I guess they always invite a companionship of sisters to it to represent the female side of things and get our voice out. So we were the lucky winners this time! That means we got to go to the mission home and sit around the living room with the APs, and about six companionships of zone leaders and just, you know...talk about the secrets of the kingdom! hahaha Finding! Teaching! and BAPTIZING the Father's Children! hahaha it was actually really interesting and we learned a lot. It's cool to be around the "cream of the crop" missionaries and hear their opinions on the work. Any time we said anything we had fourteen heads turned our direction and tons of attention focused on us. haha nerve-wracking. We also got to listen to them debate the topic of sweaters and whether or not they were appropriate for the elders to wear. They had a hard time for a while trying to describe a certain style of sweater and they were using all kind of hand motions and drawing patterns on their chests until Hermana Gibson and I shouted out simultaneously..."ARGYLE." hahah so I guess it's a good thing they had us females there. What would they do without us, right? haha. The best part was, afterwards, they gave us lunch and we got to eat and talk and I found myself seated at a table with TWO other U of U fans! I don't know if you appreciate how rare that is in a group of out-of-state, byu lovin' mormons. But it was incredible. haha.
I had a great "open mouth, insert foot" moment at that lunch. I've had a bunch of those lately. I told Hermana Gibson that she's going to think that I'm a huge ditz by the end of the transfer. Here's what went down: As the meeting was coming to a close, a young couple walked in. Turns out, the guy was a missionary in our mission who went home about a year ago, and the girl with him was one of his converts. . . yeah. . . so we were all thinking the same things you're thinking right now. I asked Gibson if they were dating or something and she just did the "idunno" shoulder shrug to me (i always ask her stuff as if she knows something I don't...then I realize that we're ALWAYS TOGETHER so that isn't technically possible. haha) but they sat down at the end of our table. fast forward about ten minutes and now I'm talking to U of U fan Elder Bernard, who was in my very first district in THE mission. He's telling me about his trainer, Elder Trappett (my very first district leader) and the previous Hna. Aune who have now begun dating! WHAT?! I know. I don't know what it is with this mission and dating eachother afterwards but it seems to be free game. Somebody forgot to tell them. So that makes it nice and awkward for all of us out here in the field still. When we hear about people dating back home I always feel like we look around at eachother and then inwardly shudder. haha. gotta love missionary relationships. So anwyays, I said, "they're going to get married." and he said "do you really think so?" and I said this doozy...drumrolll please...."well you don't go and date someone from the mission unless you're serious." which was followed by a couple splutters and coughs and then a lot of laughter from the happy couple at the end of the table. In my defense, I didn't realize they were listening and I didn't TECHNICALLY even know for sure if they were dating. haha but it was pretty funny. serves them right, I say.
But yeah, hahah it was a crazy week. hopefully this next week will be a little calmer. (If there is such a thing as a calm week on a mission.) We're putting together a musical fireside for our branch which will be on sunday so that should keep us hopping all week long. I'm excited for it though.
Hey I love you guys so much. and I miss you! Every day now I think about you guys and miss you. I finally had to replace all my family/friends pictures with pictrues of mission people so I don't think about it too much. haha. But i've still got one picture of you guys up and you're all just such good looking people! hahah. i love you. keep writing me. I dont' really deserve the letters but i really love getting them. Thanks for everything! have a great week!