Wednesday, July 16, 2014

First week of trade-offs

How's it going everyone?                                                                                                July 14, 2014
So this past week was a pretty dang good week, other than the fact that you were all at Lake Powell! But once Saturday came around and I knew you were all home, I was pretty happy. ha. 
So on Monday we partied pretty hard on P-Day. ( even though it should be called P-8 since we only have 8 hours off.) We studied and then e-mailed, then Elder Finlayson and I played an intense game of P-I-G. Neither of us could make a shot, until the other one did, then we would make a half-court shot to answer the other, it was clutch stuff. After that we went to the mall and ate Taco Bell, then Elder Hess had to get his watch re-sized. After that we went to Grove Park which is like half a mile down the street from our apartment and played soccer. It was super fun, nobody else really plays, so I do work, but it is a ton of running, which can only help me improve my bod. haha. So after that we went over to Blake Schrode's house. He is what we call an "etern-i-gator" He is super nice to the missionaries and always expects us to share scriptures with him. He is super into sports, so we have some great conversations. His hobby is painting miniatures. He has over 150,000 of them, it is insane. The miniatures are of like sci-fi characters, Elder Hess and I are actually painting our own miniatures with him right now, it's pretty hard though, since I'm not very artistic...
On Tuesday we had a bodacious day! We were teaching and had appointments literally the entire day. Which was RAD.( I hate that I just used that word) We first went out to Joe Booth's house. We helped him rearrange his furniture, then taught him about enduring to the end. I really emphasized with him to always be enduring to something, that way things don't seem so insurmountable. I used a quote that President Hess told me before he left, "Life by the inch is a cinch, but by the yard it is hard." It has really helped me with my mission so far. Then we taught Ben Guffy with Bro. Cannady, our ward clerk. We taught him the 10 Commandments using hand signals, then talked about obedience, which is the first law in heaven and to everything, especially missionary work! We had Bro Cannady share his conversion story about giving up alcohol and coffee, so it was good to have him to relate to Ben. After that we went to Blake's house to continue to paint our miniatures, and it "just so happened" that the Brazil vs. Germany game was on!!! I got to watch most of the first half, and my jaw was on the floor the entire time, Germany just throttled them! It was so embarrassing. We sorta felt bad about watching it afterward, but we did give him one of the Family: Proclamations. We then got shined (when we have an appointment but they aren't there) by Nick Gagarian, our 13 year old investigator who blew up his toilet. So after dinner we went and taught Curt and Patty. We are never able to actually teach a full lesson to them since Curt loves to get off subject, but I don't care, I love Curt and Patty Cormier, they are my favorite people!
On Wednesday we met Elder Anderson and Finlayson at the park and played soccer in the morning, after that we just traded off from there. So I was in the other Elders area, the Midland 1st ward, with our District Leader Elder Anderson for the day. We had a pretty solid day. The first two doors we knocked we got a return appointment with a guy, he was the first person to actually let me inside! and then had a really good conversation with this girl named Mercedes, her dad is Muslim. After knocking doors for a while, we got shined, but then knocked more doors. We met a Brazilian guy named Marcelo who we asked if we could come back to meet with him, and he was like "yes of course"  We don't really know how well he understood us, but it was cool. We had dinner at Bishop Ostergaard's house. We had curry, mango sticky rice, then super doughy brownies that rocked, it was a good meal. After that we taught a guy named Brendon with an RM. He was really smart in the Bible, since his parents spent the first half of his life as missionaries in Africa. He said he sorta liked the stuff we shared with him out of the Book of Mormon, but didn't think it was true. So the I bore my testimony about the Book of Mormon and told him that the only way he could really know that it is true is to read it. After that we met with a girl named Alexis, with Sis Keil. So Sis Keil isn't actually a member of the church, but makes all the sacrament meeting programs and stuff, she is just non committal. That lesson went pretty well, we mostly talked about original sin, and the fall of Adam, and the 2nd article of faith.
On Thursday we played soccer again, but this time the Zone Leaders woke up super early and met us there so we could play 3 on 3, which was really fun. Elder Stevenson was actually pretty good, he could sorta hang. :) So after that we showered and got looking nice so we could go to our Meet the President meeting. President Jacobsen is awesome. He is super excited and intense. He pretty much spoke about working hard and being obedient, which is what everybody does when they are new. But he related a ton of stuff to football which I thought was cool. He even showed us this football video which was pretty motivating. His wife shared a cool quote with us "You are better than you think you are". After that Elder Hess and I did studies and weekly planning, then we got picked up and went out to see his cousins, who were visiting her parents, who happen to live in our area and are less active, I don't know how "legal" it was, but they were really cool. After that we traded-off with the Zone Leaders. Elder Stevenson stayed here with me, which meant that I had to "take over" the area. So we went down to the Tridge and PC-ed. We were on fire, everybody was talking with us. Then we got picked up by the Henson's and they took us to Pizza Sam's downtown, which was really good. Her son was there, and he flies Chinooks in the Army, he has been deployed for a total of 58 months!!! But he won't be deployed anymore since he got a new job. After that we went and met with Curt and Patty. We taught about half of the Plan of Salvation and about halfway through the lesson Bro. Jones, Sister Cox and Procopio brought over Heather, who is a recent convert and is going through a divorce and having a super hard time. I was able to give her a blessing. I was pretty nervous since it was my first one ever, but it was amazing how the spirit guides you! After that we knocked on this one door of a couple of drunk people who were crazy. Then on our way out, we saw Nick, and set up an appointment with him. So we had to bike all the way home from Curt and Patty's since we don't have a car this week, I'm a legit missionary now. ha. 
On Friday we had another solid day. Elder Stevenson and I studied and practice taught the Plan of Salvation which we were going to teach Brian. Then we went down to the Tridge for a little bit. We then pedaled over to Brian's. He is 18 like me. We taught him the plan of salvation and it went really well. Then when teaching the part about the Atonement I used 3 NEPHI 27:19-20 and extended the invitation to be baptized, and he said...............YES! It was super cool. We then taught him about priesthood authority and what baptism means, it was an awesome lesson. After that we stopped by Ben's house and taught him the Word of Wisdom, since he just needs to quit smoking so he can be baptized. He even gave us his cigarrettes which was really cool. I even got to give him a blessing which was really cool. After that we knocked doors. We met a sweet potential investigator named Sage. She already knew a lot about the church and her only issue was with Joseph Smith, which we can work with. We also knocked on this one door where the lady answered and when she saw us she started banging on the door yelling "I have my God, I have my Jesus!!" It was nuts. After that we traded back and Elder Hess and I were reunited. But I really liked being with Elder Stevenson, he is a super cool guy. That night We taught A-aron who is Brian's friend. He has a lot of really deep questions that are pretty hard to answer. It was a good discussion though. Then we met a really cool family at the Tridge, and we got their info. The mom was really religious and even wanted to read the Book of Mormon after I explained it to her.
On Saturday we got up and headed straight over to Bro. Jones house to do service with Curt Cormier. I started off the day by digging a hole. Someone had already started digging and had gotten pretty far, but then I dug for about an hour and a half, and got the hole 8 feet deep, it was pretty hard to get out. hah. After that Bro. Jones fed us a breakfast of champions. It was buttermilk pancakes, blueberry syrup, whipped cream, apple sauce, milk, grape juice, and bacon! It was SO GOOD! After that I helped Bro. Jones plant a tree, then spent the rest of the time helping Elder Hess and Curt bust up the concrete on Bro. Jones back porch using a sledge hammer, which we called "persuasion," it was really fun. We were there for like 5 hours. After that we biked home and got ready. Then we biked over to Nick Garagarian's house. We had to wait for like 30 min for him to get there. But we taught him the Restoration, and he asked us when he could be baptized before the lesson was even over which was awesome. We set him for August 9th, same as Brian. Then we went over to Curt and Patty's for a little bit. Curt showed us his tie collection and gave us about 10 ties, which was really cool. After that we headed over to Bro. Jones house and he fed us pizza, which was really good then we just studied the rest of the night.
Sunday wasn't too eventful, except we went to a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall! We got invited so we decided to go. It was really cool, once we walked in we were just attacked, everyone was so nice and friendly to us. The first 30 min a guy gave a sermon, then the next hour and a half they read from their magazine "The Watch Tower" and then two guys would go around with microphones on boomsticks so people could comment and answer questions, it was sorta weird, but cool. After that we studied. Then we had dinned at the Smith's house and taught a short lesson on the Restoration with them. We then PCed at the Tridge the rest of the night. We met a group of Taiwanese people who were really nice.
So far today we have grocery shopped, studied, and played soccer, which got a little too competitive....
This week was really great for me and I needed it since you were all partying at Lake Powell. 
You should check out Moroni 7:33. It is a great verse on faith, just read the whole chapter, it rocks. I love and miss you all a ton and think about you constantly. I love you.

Elder Chalmers

This is the note that Elder Stevenson left on the cigarettes that Ben gave us, we put them in Elder Hess's desk.


Service: digging a hole


Vintage Missionaries

Elder Hess and I at the Tridge

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