Letter from Aug 17th 2015
Hey you guys. How are you doing? Here's how I am!
We went to the C's this week to teach a member lesson. Last minute they invited us to dinner as well. It's funny how Sister C makes even the simplest things into an eloquent meal. We just had sandwiches, grapes, chips, ex. But there were different kinds of meet, cheese, lettuce, bread, and anything else you can think of to make a sandwich. Then, afterwards, they were kind enough to volunteer to take us apartment hunting downtown because we found out that we are having a mold problem in the basement of the house we are currently living in. But first, we wanted to share with them a lesson about Christ like Attributes. We showed the Mormon Message called "Christ like Attributes," and we all talked about what insight we gained from that. Then we read 3 Nephi 21-27, 33 with them. Sister C said the first verse,
"21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;"
was the one that stuck out to her most. She said that it really hit her hard because she had never thought about how we really do know exactly what we are supposed to be doing, because we have either grown up in the church, or been taught all the things that we need to do. But more than that, we do the things that we do because the Savior did them first. Everything we strive to accomplish is because of the example that Christ set for us. I know this to be true as well. We saw Christ heal. With enough faith, and knowing it is the will of our father in heaven, He uses us as his instruments to still accomplish these kinds of miracles. We saw his kindness. The first and great commandment He has given us is to love thy neighbor as thyself. He was kind and charitable to ALL people. Regardless of race, age, gender, or situation. He showed them kindness and love. And we should all strive to do the same. Because it is my personal belief that in the Kingdom of our Father, there will be no unkindness, no grudge-holding, and no hostility. We saw Christ sacrifice. Not only did Christ sacrifice his time, his efforts, and everything else for us. But he sacrificed his own life. He had singleness of purpose, heart, and mind. Everything he did was in regard to the Father or us. And we need to remember that. How could we not want to give our all to the one person who granted us everlasting life? It was such an eye opener for me. The simple things we think about and study go so much more in-depth when we combine them with our testimonies and strive to increase them. :)
So.... House hunting is hard. Especially when people are not specific. We called the mission office after we were informed that we had mold (or the beginnings of mold) in our basement. They told us that we had about 1 WEEK to find a new apartment, get a lease going, and move out and into the new one. Talk about impossible. But what am I saying? Everything is possible when you include our Heavenly Father. We were praying night and day that we would be able to make this happen. The lofts the C wanted us to look at were majorly expensive. They were okay. But they weren't the best things I have ever seen. I mean, they had nice appliances, but the layout itself isn't anything impressive. Plus, you'll NEVER guess how much they cost per month in rent. $1225!!!!! Isn't that insane?! We informed the mission office, and I could've sworn they choked on the price. We were pretty sure they weren't going to go for it, but the cheaper and smaller apartments weren't available until September 1st. Luckily, a member of the ward called us the next morning and said that she had heard we were looking for apartments. She took it upon herself to call her old landlord and see if he had anything available. He said he did, and he only goes by word of mouth. So we went over to look at the properties. The one we wanted was so cute and pretty big! We asked him how much it was going to be per month with utilities, and he said it was going to be $595!!!! A steal compared to the other place and for about the same amenities and inclusions. Plus, he said he could start the lease and have us move in on Wednesday, hopefully, this week. Plus, he said he is a furniture collector, and anything that we didn't have, he would lend to us, no cost. That is a whole lot of pluses. When we told the mission office about it, they laughed in unbelief and said they would love us to come work in the office for them because of our efficiency. Nice little pat on the back. :)
This week we were able to teach our investigator, R the Law of Chastity. It was probably the most awkward Law of Chastity lesson I have taught on my mission. Only because we were pretty sure that previous to that, she had told us that up to this point in her life, she had participated in some of those things. Knowing this, made it way more awkward to bring up. Sister H just started laughing. It was so funny. She just laughed along with us until she knew why we were laughing. Then she didn't think it was that funny. That feeling of awkwardness definitely did not leave the entire time we were there. At first, she even said that this is something that she doesn't know if she could do. We explained how the atonement and our father in heaven are there to help us along the way. By the end of the lesson, she did say that she would try her best, but that it would be hard. We told her that a lot of the commandments that Heavenly Father gives us are hard, but so worth it in the long run. Keeping in mind that they do come straight from our Heavenly Father, we remember that He knows all that has happened and will ever happen. So He knows what is best for us and most beneficial for our lives. She agreed. But it was soooo weird. I have never felt that uncomfortable about that lesson. I guess it doesn't help that she is pretty close to our age as well. So we understand exactly what her concerns or points of view are. :|
We got our own little taste of Christ like service and charity this week as well. There is a returning member that we go see about once a week. She just got a new apartment, (the one we helped her move into last week), so we met there. We told her we want to try to work with her through the things necessary to improve so that she can go to the temple for the first time. She has been baptized for 3-5 years and has never been. So we want to help her get there. We went over the baptismal interview questions with her, which are similar to the temple interview questions, to see what she is doing well and what we can help her with. Once we found the concerns or things she wants to work on, we started talking to her about how she could accomplish those things.
This week, we got a call from a member of the ward. She was wondering if we could come to her daughters business, a greenhouse, to help clean it up because she was closing shop. We figured, if it wasn't too far away, it would be fine. We googled where it was, and it was only about 4.3 miles away. We got on board and said that we would help. But then we put the map on street view to see what it looked like. This is no ordinary greenhouse. Take the one by grandma Deinstadt's and multiply that by like 60 height wise and weight wise. Sister H got the job of sweeping the entire warehouse, Elder E was weed whacking the whole time, and I got put on moving fixtures and furniture with the Elder C and some of the members. My strength comes in handy sometimes. We were there for about 2 1/2 hours among the spiders, dirt, and mice and we were wrecked when we came home. We were filthy dirty. But it was so nice being able to render so much service to the member. At first, it was us, the high priest group leader, a member of the bishopric, and the elders that showed up. But after about an hour, a lot of ward members showed up. And it ended up being really fun! They had donuts and water as well. Luckily, because we were starving. When we got home to shower, Sister H wanted me to give her a haircut. She said to cut it straight across and only take an inch off. But me being me, I had to cut it to where it was healthy. So it ended up being about two inches. But I have to give myself a little credit. It looks pretty good. :)
We went over to a family in the ward this week to share a message with them. They just got sealed in the temple a few weeks ago. So we wanted to follow up with them and see how everything went. I told them to pay attention to the mirror in the sealing room especially a couple of days before they went. They said that they kept an eye out for it, not that you could miss it, and that was the thing that really made all of them cry. I was so happy to hear that they had such a special experience. We shared one of the new Mormon Messages with their family, "Bearing our Burdens with Hope." The mother started crying and they talked about how they needed to pay attention to the struggles they are having, and count them as blessings. It reminded me of something I have learned on my mission. Heavenly Father is always willing to help us, if we will simply take the initiative to ask him for help. I have had so many experiences on my mission that have taught me that I really can't do everything on my own. Something I definitely cherish.
We had zone activity today. Poor things don't know how to plan one. Now it all makes sense why we didn't have one the past two transfers. They didn't tell us what we were going to be doing or where it was going to be until late last night. Then we had to scramble to get a ride, and we ended up paying him $10 in gas money each so we could even get there. We showed up an hour late because of traffic only to find out that three sets of missionaries went to the wrong address, in a different city! But it was still fun. There aren't many pictures because all we did was play signs and watch some elders walk on a tightrope. Then two hours later, the sister training leaders finally showed up with the food so we could all eat. But it was still fun to socialize with people.
As you can tell, we have been working a lot with members this week because we are struggling to find people to teach. But it has been a really good week.
I did get your email about the mold in the apartment. And I thought it was humorous that you signed it "O ye of little faith." Because that is what the first experience is all about.
It sounds like you had a ton of fun at Shaver Lake this time. We will have to go in another couple of years so Beth and I can come too. All the water sports sounded like tons and tons of fun!
I didn't know you were going to go to Bishop. That sounds like fun. How did you run into your old babysitter? That is so fun!
I can't believe Beth is going to college already. That's nuts that we are basically running the same course at this point.
I did get the package that she sent with the garments, letter, and treats.
I am soooo glad Parker is doing well and so excited to find out that he is a zone leader there! He leaves pretty soon for Kentucky, doesn't he?
The work is going pretty well. Like I said, lots of member work. But if you guys could pray that we find more people to teach, I would really appreciate it. We are going to have to move the baptism on the 29th because she didn't come to church yesterday and she isn't sure she is still fully committed because of some of the "rules" we have to follow. But we are holding out hope for the 6th. My companion is good. She is just so funny sometimes. We went to a park for a barbecue and some games for P-Day today. I can't believe it is 103 degrees! That's insane! You are taking the heat and I am taking the humidity.
No worries. I got the advice for the genealogy stuff. So thank you for that.
I have to go pretty soon. But I will try to email more pictures next week. I'll try to get some off in the next few minutes if possible, but I will see.
Love you to the ends of the Milky Way and back!