So last Tuesday we had picked up the Salem Elders for a meeting, had a nice lunch with them and then while we were driving back to drop them off...Got rear ended! Minor Damage. Everyone was ok. We were at the front of a 4 car pile up. But most importantly, IT WASNT OUR FAULT AND I WASN'T DRIVING :D.
On a two lane highway a car in front of us had stopped to turn left, so we stopped behind it, as did the car behind us, the next two cars however were following too close and we got rammed from behind. The funny thing was that we had just dropped off the check for the last accident repair THAT MORNING. What a drag. But we managed alright and besides putting a stutter in our days plans we managed alright.
This past week was not a typically exciting week aside from that. We had a good schedule with lots of appointments and things to keep us busy, but nothing to spectacular to speak of. I'm really excited to keep working with Emery, The older Gentleman I told you about last week. He's very interested in learning more and has sincere desires to know the truth. Really thats all anyone needs. We are just trying to help people to find out if our message is true or false. It matters less about "I think this" or "Well you think that" Because thats all opinion. Truth is just what things are. If people would talk to us with that in mind and really just have a desire to know the truth then things would be so much easier for us, and them! As just about any missionary will tell you, bickering about points of doctrine don't get you far, its about having true and earnest desires to find out what God wants for his children, or finding out if there is a God. But yes I'm excited to continue teaching seekers of the truth!
Also I'm getting really excited about this upcoming week. I've already got half of the week planned out, which is good because it means we wont have to spend time thinking of how best to use time! And Also we have General Conference this week and its going to be Awesome!! To make it any more awesome than that, Kim and Jason should be getting baptized Between the morning and afternoon session of conference and I'll get to see them go under! THEN WATCH MORE CONFERENCE! -As a missionary it doesn't get much better than this so I'm pretty excited for that- I hope everyone at home gets a chance to watch it and to hear what a Prophet of God has been directed to say about whats going on in the world and what we need to do to overcome it.
But my times out for the day so I'll get going.
I love you all! Miss Everyone Tones!
Hope to hear from Yall Soon!
I feel much better about our work this week. I think that though there is only a slight increase in our numbers, we accomplished much more and are set up better for the week to come! Numbers don't really matter anyways, but they have to have some way to track the work we're doing so we report on how many lessons we taught, investigators who came to church, new investigators etc. But I think if we keep on the same track and continue to increase our efforts the numbers will follow!
Last Monday for Pday we went bowling...again. I am going to be a pro bowler when I get home. Haha well at least now I can bowl above 100... Its cheap and we often can't agree on what else to do. If I keep this up I'm going to have to invest in a bowling arm brace and my own ball. I saw a guy show up in a lane next to us with a suitcase and 6 matching custom balls...Help me if I ever get that hard core.
That night I went to my 3rd empty nesters event. I am really going to miss that when I move out of the area. They've got some sweet...more experienced? members there that are such great people and are so fun to be around. Not to mention I'm going to miss some of that cookin, as well as the Banjo pick'in, Guitar Strum'in and bluegrass sing'in music that they play.
We actually spent most of the week on foot. Remember that small crack in the front bumper of the car that happened on Christmas? Well this week we finally paid for it. We dropped the car off on Tuesday morning and didn't get it back till mid-day Friday. It wasn't all bad. We did have a few appointments that we had to walk quite a ways to get to, but all that walking was good for me. I feel like I have more energy when I'm on my feet all the time and not just driving around.
It was also because we had to walk that we found a new investigator! We've been doing alot of praying in our district for new investigators. Its been a few weeks since we've had anyone nwe who's let us teach them. But we had to walk to a dinner appointment and arrived in the neighborhood an hour earlier than we needed, so we decided to tract it out. On the Last door before we arrived at the members home we had someone let us in! In our area I've never had anyone let us in so willingly and I was half shocked when he said yes. It just doesn't happen that often! But as we found out that he's known many good Mormons for years and he's done a bit of research and is pretty open to talking about it. He's the nicest old man ever. He spends most of his time going around and helping out all the widows do yard work and making sure the sick are taken care of. I can tell that he's been being prepared for years and we were led to find him this week. So I'm super excited to be teaching him! Its good that the Lord gives us such blessings, especially because after the dog I met tracting last week I needed a good Tracting experience to keep me motivated. And thats just what I got!
Friday we did exchanges with the Zone leaders and this time I was moved to their area for the day. They cover the downtown section of Roanoke, which also includes most of the ghetto. So I was immersed into an entirely different culture of people just a few miles from where I had been working. The cave springs area is the richer part of town and there are very few black people living there, but it was just the opposite working in the projects. There are certain trade offs between the areas. In Cave springs we almost never find people who will listen, while downtown you can find 4 or 5 new investigators in a day, but quite often they are not reliable and its super hard to set up appointments with them. But I really liked working there because I was able to give away 4 Books of Mormon, almost more in one day than in my whole mission yet combined! And I got to meet some crazy sweet people. Not to mention Elder Leah, my companion for the day, worked me like a dog, which felt good. They have so many appointments that they don't often have large gaps of time between them so its go-go-go.
I'm getting super excited for General Conference coming up during the first week of April. I love it because not only do I get to hear the Prophet's voice and be spiritually recharged, but its a great opportunity to invite others to do the same. Most people have access to the internet and can watch it online in their homes fairly easily. It makes for a very easy door approach and invitation. Also I'm very eager to hear what the Prophet has to say about the events going on in the world these days and how we can be prepared. Though I'm often troubled by what I hear from people about the news of the world, I'm comforted that I can learn from the Prophet how to be safe and prepare adequately.
Anyways, I've got to run again! Hope everyone is doing well! I sent out a bunch of letters these past two weeks so hopefully some of you will be getting them!
What exciting news I've been hearing from home. People getting home and leaving for missions all over! I can't believe Logan will be home and Tyler is already there! What madness! it still seems a world away for me, which I guess is a good thing cause I still have much to do. .
This past week has been on the slower side again, But I'm determined to see that this week we have a drastic rise in our numbers. Elder Conger was suffering from a cold most the week and a few days of rain had interrupted some of our work but I wont let that stop us this time!
Oh and I feel like I've come through a rite of Passage among the Elders in the WVCM. I got mauled by a dog!! We were tracting and everyone out here has these "Invisible fences" which include a wired perimeter and a shock collar that lets the dog know when its crossed the line. So we were working in one of the nicer neighborhoods on a high hill over looking the valley. Seemed nice enough. Till we walked up to a house with a mid sized dog sitting in front of it. Upon our approach the dog became excited and waited for us to cross the shock line. Then its demeanor changed some what and it became a little less friendly looking. It barked and charged us a few times. Eventually I convinced it to come up and smell my hand. I was even able to pet it for a moment. But once we started knocking on the door it changed moods again and decided to try to forcibly remove us from his turf. The woman who answered the door was on the phone and motioned that she was un-interested. I think the dog picked up on that cause it started to attack my pant legs. Upon seeing this she half heartedly tried to assist me in moving to the edge of the lawn where the shock collar took effect. Luckily the dog didn't really seem intent on causing physical harm, and only took target at my suit pants, which now have a nice pair of holes torn in both legs near the ankles. Luckily for that dog, Its owner was there otherwise it may have had some marks to boast. In any case thats just part of a day in the life of a missionary haha. Hopefully next week I'll be able to procure a success story from tracting.
I can't really think of anything else to exciting this week. Its Empty nesters again tonight so that should be fun. I'm looking forward to a new week of opportunity and finding people to share the gospel with. I know there's nothing else that can help people live more fulfilling and happy lives. As for their dogs...well I might have some other suggestions...
I'll leave you all with one of my new favorite sayings from the south I saw on a sign:
PS. So how's the temple building going back home? I can't remember exactly when its going to be done. Send some pictures and let those returning elders know I love them!
So There is a lot to cover this week. And SO LITTLE TIME TO GET IT OUT! So this might be brief.
Ok Lets start with The funniest part of my week. We had some Elder Stay with us again while they were waiting for training the next day. They are awesome Elders and hard working. Even helped us get some goals and finding done! But one of them has a slight problem when it comes to sleeping. That is that He's a sleep walker. And Let me just say this, There is sleep walking, and there is SLEEP Walking. The difference is that in the latter of the two the sleep walker lives out his dreams in real life as completely different characters according to his dreams. Luckily we were warned that this could happen by him prior to sleeping. But no Warning could have prepared us for what we saw that night. I was awake from 4:30am on wards and from that point until just after 6 Both Elder Conger and I, As well as the Elders Companion experienced a series of 9 completely different dreams. And the Elder who's dreams we were living had absolutly no control, nor did he remember anything upon waking. A Brief summary of the dreams. A small Child hiding from Tiger wolves. A man planning to infiltrate an indian camp by practicing Indian Dances. a creature who spoke only in clicks. A mother of 3 children. an auctioneer, a blind child and so forth. Each dream seperated by a space of unconsciousness. Incredible. Would not believe it unless I lived it.
Great thing Number two this week. An Update on Jason and Kim! So a few weeks ago Jason and Kim Moved into the Salem Boundrys to a home much safer and more secure for their coming child to grow up in. We've been over to visit with them a few times with the Salem Elders and have had wonderful lessons. They are so Humble and such honest people. They want to do the right thing so bad. Jason Even sold a vehicle that he loved because he wanted to be able to make sure his son would have everything. Such a solid couple. They went to Church for the first time on a Sunday and Loved it! Jason told me he wanted to be as involved in the church as he can. They have a baptismal date set for the end of the month which I'm sure they'll make so long as Kims baby doesn't come early! He keeps on saying how grateful he is for having us stop by and teach him and how much we've been a blessing. But the Truth is that seeing him and Kim make these steps and the blessings that have been given to them are such a great testimony to me of how much the Gospel Can changes peoples lives for the better. There is so much love and joy that comes from living it and that I can even be the smallest part in leading them to this lets me know how important it is for me to be out here. I love it.
And Finally for the third most Wonderful thing to happen. STEVEN'S GETTING HITCHED!!!! I'm So stoked for him! (My Bro) Even though I kinda had the inside scoop that there was a pretty good chance it was going to take place I was still fillled with such joy to read his email this morning. I can't wait to welcome Kim and her Boys into the family!
I truly have been blessed with such a great family. A mother who's given me the gift of her faith. A Father who's taught me to work hard and supported me in everything. Sisters who are such great mothers to their kids and a Brother who's going to be a Fantastic Husband and father!!! There is such Joy in the family. I can't even begin to discribe how much I love all of you and I love that our Family is growing in both Numbers and Love for each other.
With that I am out of time and will talk to you all next week.