Tuesday, September 23, 2014

AI DDA HEE Week 2 out of possibly 6

OK very exciting week. 
In Idaho everything is kinda sparse. Houses are usually farther apart and towns aren't huge. But my area is actually pretty populated. Because of that there are a lot of Mormons. In our area there are definitely non members but there are even more less active members. So we rely a lot on members here but a lot of the members aren't really in to missionary work. So it is kinda slow at times especially because we are working in an area that was not really being worked on before.. haha
Alright so Monday we didn't have very many lessons or anything planned so we went and pulled up sod for 4-5 hours. They are laying a sidewalk in a park area and we helped set it all up. It was a huge job!! I really enjoyed it and thought it was a good activity but there were no nonmembers there. But we helped people and that's what matters! It was a fun time and we got Jimmy Johns for doing it not that we expected pay or food but it was nice. After that we went back, showered and headed to a dinner appointment with Stake Patriarch Hall and his wife. We have had a lot of salads here. And we had another. But the dinner was nice and they are friendly. 
Then we met with J. Williams who is a total biker. As we were getting to know him his was cleaning his leather chaps because he had a date that night and was riding his motorcycle. Haha but he is awesome and really wants to improve his life. He is on parole and he won't be off for 2 years but he says he has already been baptized and they are trying to find his records. So we are crossing our fingers and praying because he can't get baptized if he is on parole so if he already is that is a great thing haha.
Tuesday we had exchanges and they weren't too bad. They were sorta silly because they put me with an elder who has only been a missionary for like 2 weeks more than I have been but he has been in the field for a while longer. Anyways, he is a Spanish speaking elder and I am not and I went into his area.. So we had some Spanish lessons but none of them went through, which is sad. But I couldn't have helped anyways so I guess for selfish reasons it was a blessing haha! We taught a kid about our age named Jesus Castillion and he spoke perfect English so the lesson went well for me. He committed to be baptized!!! YAY! Plus the whole day we got the car and that was nice because my legs are always tired from walking all day. But exchanges were good. 
BUT THEN. I returned to my apartment only to find we had been invested by gnats! The previous missionaries had left a bag of rotting potatoes in the drawer and gnats came in force. Our apartment smells of broken dreams and hard times. So we spent forever cleaning and had the housing coordinators, Brother and Sister Wilkins, come and hook us up with cleaning supplies and good vibes. That takes us clear into the next morning all the way through comp study. 
After cleaning and trying to fix the bad smells that dwell, we got picked up by our district leader Elder Cooley, who is awesome and a really great guy, and went to do service for an older lady. My companion and Cooley's companion went to trim her bushes and Cooley and I took out a full fledged rose bush! It took a while and I received a battle wound or two but It was good fun and we got the best of the bush. Soon after defeating the bush we returned and got ready for dinner. 
We had dinner planned with the Ribiero family but when we arrived she told us her husband was not yet home from Brazil, which is where they are from, so we could not eat inside. So we ate in her backyard hahaha it was funny. She has three little girls and they are all awesome. Sister Ribiero has a super strong accent so sometimes she would ask us how to pronounce a world or in Portuguese ask her little girls how to say it. They all have perfect English and Portuguese so she asked them for help a lot haha. Anyways, dinner was good! We had fish and for dessert she gave us this guava thing, that looked like a cube of jelly, with cream on it and it was super good! It started raining a little so we finished and headed on our way. 
Our Mandarin appointment was next but we had to wait for Brother Maughn, who is in the stake, to eat dinner. So we played basketball and I beat my companion in Horse somehow because he is pretty good at basketball and I have -9 skill points. But that was fun. Sadly when we finally made it to our Mandarin appointment the guy couldn't meet with us so we had to move the appointment to Sunday. (get excited for that part)  
We had an appointment with the Burton family but they canceled as well so we will meet them for the first time this coming Wednesday. The parents aren't at all interested but they want their daughter to choose for herself so they are super supportive! We are stoked for that! 
Fray-da-hey! This was the hardest day this week. We had dinner with these Old People who really liked talking and feeding us sloppy joes at 1:30 in the afternoon Laugh out loud. So that was odd and we couldn't find anyone else to feed us so we ordered Jimmy Johns haha. Gotta love the Jimmy Johns.
Then we just explored the zone and walked around for ages and no one would talk to us. I got home and was super tired but not sad or anything. I just determined I had to work extra hard in the next few days. 
Saturday was a good day! We studied the stress book for part of comp study and had a good laugh. It is a good book but some of the things are sort of silly. We went to a burger joint called Shakas and it is inside of a gas station so it was weird at first but they make dang good stuff and missionaries eat for free so it was awesome because I am down to 4 dollars of my mission funds haha. On this particular Saturday there were like fifty garage sales! So we went to a few because those people have to talk to us! I bought a storm trooper and named him "5 million" because that's how cool he is. 
That night was the Cedar Ridge Ward potluck in the park. On our way there a mildly obese lady called out to us. As we approached her she explained she wouldn't get paid for a week and had no money left for gas and that she needed some.. SO we gave her like 16 bucks which explains why I have only 4 dollars.. haha but she was kinda not all there and kept saying she wanted to kill her ex-husband. She said she knew it was illegal so she would let God punish him for her. so we were like alright well do you want to get baptized?!?! And she was kinda interested haha so we got her info and what not and went to the potluck. At the potluck they had squash and I ate a ton of it and it was well. 
Later we went back to the Homeranch ward area and talked to a few part-member families. We met with the Brown family for a while and only the Husband isn't a member but he let us share a message and pray and they gave us cookies! Then we knocked on the Quick's door. We had their address down but no info. An approximately 16 year old girl dressed rather scandalously answered the door and we talked to her for a little and though she was beyond awkward she did seem a little interested. She gave us a number but when we texted it it said it was a land-line so we think she gave us the home phone but it was still successful though a little odd. Then we saw a kid who looked about 14 in a black wife-beater and pajama pants walking around with a little chihuahua in his arms and it was funny looking. 
Sunday! This was my most favorite day. We woke up at 5:30 for a meeting with all the ward Mission leaders and it was good and not too long. Then we waited for the Homeranch ward to start. Bishop Hillam is awesome and had us bear our testimonies and introduce our selves to the ward and it was great! After that we headed to another ward and did the same thing because we asked if we could. Then we went back for lunch and I had giant pretzels. Then we taught Brian Peterson again and it was awesome! He is a good guy and is really trying hard to come to Christ. We discussed scriptures and stuff for a while then headed to the last meeting. Brother Maughn spoke in that meeting and he mentioned us and talked about the guy from China he found for me to teach and it was AWESOME! That ward is the least missionary minded so its kind of hard to work with them. 
Immediately after the meeting, Brother Maughn drove us to the MANDARIN MEETING! Yongteng is an awesome guy! I'll be sure to get a picture with him soon and send it to you all. He let us in, offered us tea (which we declined) and had us sit down. We talked about a lot of things and all in Chinese! I was surprised that I could get a general understanding of what he was saying and we actually conversed a lot about the church. He has read the Book of Mormon! But he read it more as a work of literature than as the words of God. But he is very respectful and loves Christian religions. Today I am teaching him the difference between Mormonism and other Christian religions! 
Then we went to dinner with a ward member and a less-active guy named Robbie Hall picked us up for a devotional. He has had a hard life. He is covered in tattoos and has a pony tail and drives a super cool black camero. He is awesome! He was baptized young so now he is just trying to really keep the commandments and he is really good about going to church and is always willing to learn more. We are having dinner with him tonight! 
So this week was awesome! I loved it and I know that the Lord has blessed me and helped me so much already. I believe I was called here for a reason and whether or not I help that Chinese family I know that my ability to converse with him will at least plant some seeds. I love you all And I am so grateful for you and your prayers! 
-Elder Christensen

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