Happy 9 month anniversary of my mission a few days ago!
And happy 20 year anniversary of my life today!
This is cause for a song!!!
Happy happy birthday, me dear!
Happy days will come to me all year!
If I had a wish than it would be....
A happy happy birthday to me from me!
Hmm.... now what else is there to talk about.... Haha
Well, conference was pretty great, eh? It's funny to look at my notes. Most people get about a third to three quarters of a page. Then with President Uchtdorf and Elder Holland, I don't think I'll need to read their talks in the Ensign because I essentially wrote everything they said. Especially President Uchtdorf's Priesthood Session talk! Holy cow! Women, read it when you can! Or watch it now, HERE. You'll thank me!
Hmm... missionary work. What have I done. Well, I guess first, it's worth noting we got Gila and Josef to come to the Sunday Afternoon Session yesterday! Gila, especially, was super impressed and was taking notes the whole time. David also came to both the normal sessions on Saturday, and was pretty impressed. (Although, we then had to spend some time convincing him that they weren't professional public speakers who cost a lot of money haha.)
Geez.... I can't think of anything this week. I'm really sorry haha. It's really weird to think I've only been in Warsaw for two weeks. It feels like it's been months since I got here! Plus, we've spent so much time tracting and contacting former investigators that everything kind of blends together. Holy cow... I can't think of any stories to share :( this is the worst email home of all time....
OH!! Here's a pretty funny story! haha I almost don't know if I should put it here, because a) I think it makes me a felon and b) makes it a little harder to advocate for money from home. But... it's so funny that I can't help but share it! We were at a less active young lady's house, and doing the coolest object lesson of all time. You take a bill of money and soak it in rubbing alcohol, completely covering it. This symbolizes baptism. Then, when the "fire of affliction" comes around - in the lesson, literal fire - but since you have been baptized you are protected; the bill is untouched by the flame. But what if you bring it to fire again? It burns up. UNLESS you renew the baptism (aka the Sacrament)! If you do that, you will be protected. Before I explain the rest of the story, here's proof that it can work
Haha so we were showing this lady why it was important for her to come back to church to partake of the Sacrament. I took a 20 out of my wallet, asked her if she would protect it if it was hers, doused it in alcohol, and burned away. Annnnnd then it turned to ash. No idea what happened haha. We had just learned how to do it the day before. And it failed. I couldn't figure out what went wrong, so logically I tried it again (this time with a one dollar bill).... annnnd it burned to a crisp to. To make it worse, we also melted her place mat haha. All in all, I ended up spending about $27 on this lesson when you include the rubbing alcohol and lighters we bought on our way over there haha. On the bright side, I think it was a pretty memorable lesson for her? The things I do for God's children!
Oh, another cool story! It goes to show that God works in the coolest small and simple ways to make His work go forward. We were driving to a member's house for dinner last week, and Elder Kelly randomly asked to stop so we could tract a street. It was, in all honesty, a really run down street and I wasn't too optimistic. Well, we knocked every door, and only had one follow up appointment. It was with a young lady who we didn't say much more than we're missionaries before she told us she was really busy and that we'd have to come back later if we wanted to talk to her. We set up an "appointment" for the next morning. When we went back, not surprisingly, she wasn't there. As we walked back to our car, though, this big guy tried to get our attention as he walked towards us. "So, you're the new elders, huh?" he asked. Clearly, a statement like that got us intrigued. Apparently he'd met with the missionaries at some point in the past (we really don't know when), and had enjoyed their company but never advanced too far. He said he'd been to jail for a couple of years, though. And, in his exact words, "I need to get my life back in order. I need to get baptized." To make it even better, when we went back to meet with him once (even though now HE wasn't there), his sister who lives next door called out the window, "Hey, can I have one of your books in English?" Haha what!? We asked her if that meant she had one in another language, which apparently she did - in Spanish. She just only speaks a little Spanish, and can't read it hardly at all. But for the past year or so, she's been having a friend read it to her and help explain the parts that she didn't understand. I have no idea what will come from either person, but there is no question we were lead to that street. That chain of events is too remarkable to be coincidental!
I dunno, we really are working hard, I just can't think of much else to tell you about. David is progressing well, still. He's kind of hard to teach because every question we ask him just leads into a story from the past, 95% of which we've heard a dozen times. But, he's definitely grasping bits and pieces, so we'll just keep on repeating things. Plus, he's already more active than a lot of the branch, so that's a good sign!
I guess I can just explain a little more about Warsaw. The outskirt areas are really a lot like Freedom. Very, very rural, with more farms than people, just about. Then there are a few small towns, like Castile and Pike, where there are people, but a lot of them are old and very set in their ways. Warsaw, itself, is the most unique to Freedom, though. It has a big, old-school Main Street that is pretty cool. Wow, that was the most pathetic explanation of the area, ever. That told you just about nothing haha. Pretty much all you need to know is it's really rural, except in Warsaw itself, where it is kind of like a traditional old small town. We've had some good luck tracting, though, which is definitely a good sign as far as the type of people here. Anyone willing to listen to a couple boys at their doorstep must be reasonably nice people! Plus, we've been getting referrals, galore! I think we got about 15 in the past two weeks! That is pretty crazy, and definitely is a good sign about the involvement of the branch here. And we have the coolest senior missionary couple I've ever met! Their name is the Woodworth's, and I don't even know what to say about them other than they are incredible! I've butt heads with a lot of the couples in the past, but these ones are legit! Plus, Elder Woodworth is actually originally from New York, and pointed out that there is an opposition in all things; so, since there is definitely some of the greatest wickedness and hardness in the nation out here, that automatically means there is some of the strongest untapped spirituality in the nation out here. Quite a different message than I've heard from a lot of the westerner couples haha. People who have spent their whole lives in Utah struggle out here sometimes haha. But the Woodworths are just great!
Umm... that's about all I've got. I'm on a huge spiritual high right now from Conference, though, so I'm ready to just go baptize the world! Haha we had a couple lessons last night, and you could DEFINITELY tell the difference in how we bore testimony yesterday compared to even two days before. Should be an exciting week!
I love you, but I don't miss you!