September 14, 2015
I have kind of a lot to say this week.
Let's see...I'll start with the less than awesome. One, I will be surrounded by endless cornfields for another 6 weeks. That's actually not that bad though. First, Elder Baum is coming to Yuma with me, and he and I are already good friend. Second, I had a nice moment when we were driving through the middle of nowhere, just looking off to the side as the sun set and the wind rushing through the corn rows and...I just felt happy. When else will I be somewhere like this (answer: never, because I will never live in an area like Yuma)? When else do I get to spend hours driving to go and share the gospel with people, have dinner with members in a tiny town no one has ever heard of, and try rocky mountain oysters? For those of you that don't know what those are, they're cow testicles. And they're gross. So that was disappointing, but now I can cross that off my made up bucket list. Anyway, I just felt happy that I was at least doing something good with my life and something unique.
The second semi bad thing is that our last lesson with Martha didn't go well at all. She started off by saying that she did do the reading... but that she feels like we worship Nephi and put him above God. I tried to (and did) tell her multiple times that that's not true at all, but she seemed pretty set in her mind that we worship Nephi. It didn't help that the majority of the scriptures I gave to help show her that's not true were found in one of the 4 books of Nephi. So we kind of left on a bad note, but we'll continue visiting her and seeing if we can answer her questions.
Third bad thing, it is official: I live in an 180.25 square feet motel room. We placed bets as a district on how small our apartment is, and that was the official calculation. By placing bets I mean we said that whoever was farthest off would pay for the tape measure but I actually just already paid for it so it was whatever.
Actually, I think this entire week was filled with bad and good things inseparably woven together, I'm just getting (slightly) better at finding the good. We had an investigator come to church! Her name is Misiel. She was the lady that called us about English class, her phone was disconnected, I wrote her address down wrong, and we lost all hope. Then this week she calls us out of the blue, we had an appointment on Saturday, and she came to church! The bad was that the topic this week for sacrament was visiting and home teaching, which doesn't apply to her at all--yet--and the third and longest speaker was talking super fast, which makes it really hard to translate. The second hour went well, since we had a special class in Spanish for her. The third hour my companion and I sat in during relief society and translated for her, but I soon became really frustrated at my inability to try and tell her how the old people of the church (that was the topic) really tie into her life right now. Not that that's irrelevant or a bad thing, but I've had investigators and former investigators tell me that they felt like we didn't talk about Christ that much in church, and I felt like that Sunday was a good example of what they had said. To top it off, I accidentally spat on her leg when I was translating, so that was...wonderful. She was really nice about it, and at the end she said that she plans on coming again when she is off work, and I think that she was sincere about it. We should have a lesson with her in another work when she is free.
The final good and bad thing that happened this week was that we had a lesson with Paige and her parents to introduce the church a little bit better to them. The lesson itself went well (Paige suggested that we teach them the first lesson, which we taught to her a week ago), but then they shared their actual concern which was some things, some incorrect and some not, that we believe in our church. They had some really deep questions, like the true definition of exaltation. Our ward mission leader kind of danced around that question, and I referred them to finding out if the Book of Mormon is true first or not, but I think we did the best we could. It's really frustrating and difficult when I'm in a lesson with a companion that doesn't really care what happens since he's leaving the area and with one that I can't trust to teach well anyway. It reminds me of my own flaws and imperfections and how frustrated God must be with me sometimes (see Elder Holland's talk in April 2013, "Lord, I Believe". Also refer back to me spitting on Misiel). The lesson finished with them not wanting her to attend church since they want them to continue to attend their church as a family, which I can't argue about, and honestly not knowing what would be best for them. We'll continue to pray for them and see if we can figure out what would be best to tell them. Sorry this is so long, I just had a lot to say.
Dinosaur...things? we were cleaning the tools in this massive shed
More dinosaur things
Tools. Largest collection in the world of barbed wire fence making tools, if I remember right.
District Dairy Queen photo
A fabulous jacket I found in the thrift shop basement
A letter from someone at the Parish Inn old folks center. He's...a little senile