Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 12 Happy Halloween

This week has been crazy and somewhat frustrating, but with every day going by, I know it's getting better as I serve the Lord. Let me start off my letter this week by answering some questions that I've been asked:

How is the work going in Stillaguamish?
Let me just tell you that Stillaguamish is the name of the ward, and the city I am in is Arlington. Sorry for not clearing that up last time. Compared to the work in the YSA ward, the work in Stillaguamish is way more frustrating. In the past few weeks we have lost 2 investigators and only gained one. The members don't help that much when it comes to referrals, and we are trying everything to make sure we can find new investigators. It's not easy. The problem is I can't apply some of the same stuff we did in Bellingham here in Stillaguamish. The area is so big and spread out so we can't tract anywhere like I could in my last area. Members don't give referrals when we ask, and missionary work doesn't get focused on enough for anyone in the ward to really care about it. We have to do the work ourselves and try and beg the members to help us. None of our investigators now are on date, and it just keeps getting harder and harder. But my companion and I have some ideas to use towards getting those wheels to turn in the ward.

Do you get fed dinner every night?
We get fed EVERY SINGLE NIGHT by members. We haven't had one day without a member feeding us, and I've been so grateful. We had someone in the ward go to each classroom and tell everyone to sign up, and they did. She has a missionary out, and she and everyone else understood how the members should help us when it comes to dinner. That's so much of a change from my last ward. I'm so grateful for that!

How are you managing your cleaning and laundry and cooking now that you aren't with Sister P any more?
Really? That question is so easy. I did it a ton while in the MTC. I can do it on my own anytime. That was just the plus side of living in my last area, but now that that responsibility is on me, I don't mind so much. We have a washer and dryer in our apartment, and that's always great to have.

How are you managing living with the other elders?
Haha! Oh boy, this other companionship we live with is so much fun! Elder Lindsey and Elder Poulson. We all get along so well, and I'm grateful that we do because I have had some Elders that I didn't get along with so well before. But that's okay. It's in the past. Anyway, they are so much fun. We joke around so much and have a great time.

Do you like being in a family ward or do you miss the YSA ward?
That question is a tender question. I do miss the YSA ward a lot. There were a lot of things there that I really miss and I wish I could keep having in my life, but as we all know all good things have to go away sometimes. The family ward is great, however. There is such a good bond in this ward, and they do so well with making everyone feel welcomed. 

How has the weather been? 
Very gloomy  🌧🌧🌧☁☁☁🌧🌧🌧🌦🌦🌦💧💧💧🌂☔☔ Sorry, I got distracted, but lots of rain and just foggy days. I don't mind it one bit.

Are you pretty excited to be an LDS missionary for Halloween?
Heck yes I am!! Haha! Today is so crazy! We have p-day all day, and then at 6 we have to stay in our apartments and do something productive. So it's like p-day all day, and I already got my laundry done! I'm so pumped!!

Anyway, now to how my week went.

Last Monday I had a great p-day. We played racquetball in the morning, then worked out, had studies, emailed home, did shopping, then went and played wallyball. Then we went back home and had dinner with the Anglens. They have a missionary out in long beach California, which is really cool because I know a couple of elders from the MTC that are also serving there, so I hope all goes well for him. We had a really good dinner though. They have a drum set, a piano, and lots of guitars!! I got to play all of them, and I felt like I was in heaven!! It was so much fun. Then we went home and planned for the next day.

Tuesday was a good day! We visited a lot of people and picked up one new investigator. Her name is Buddy, and she is a former investigator in the area. She came up to us on Sunday and asked us to teach her the stop smoking program. I was really excited because this was my first time teaching it, and it's so cool how it works. We haven't heard back from her to see how things are going, but we're going to go follow up with her sometime this week to see how she's doing. We are praying for her and hoping she can quit so we can teach her the lessons too.

Wednesday we had zone meeting. It was really cool because Tuesday we had planned out a role play with Brother Brown, a family search worker who showed us all how to help investigators get involved with family search. It is something I feel this ward really needs a lot so we're going to do it more. It was cool because he gave me clothes to dress up in to play the investigator, and I acted so funny when we did it. It was so much fun. Then after zone meeting we had a luncheon with Brother Brown, and he fed us sourdough waffles. They were the best! I think I ate 3 whole ones. They were so good. After that, we went and visited people, and then we also had the trunk or treat that night. We got to judge the chili that was cooked for it. It was so much fun! Elder Stoddard and I had a great time.

Thursday I went on exchange with the district leader, and we had a blast. His name is Elder Qubalio, and he is such a great leader. We went and visited a lot of people in Arlington, and then we drove up to Darrington, and trust me, when you're behind the wheel, that is the longest drive in the world having to make that trip all the time. It was his first time in Darrington, so when we got there, he jumped out of the car and started looking around and acting so happy while I put my head against the wheel and said, "Longest Drive Of MY Life!" I banged my head against the wheel until he asked if I was ready to go. Don't get me wrong, I love Darrington. I just hate how far of a drive it is. We had a lesson with Alex. Funny story. We put him on date that lesson only to find out later that he wanted to drop us and not be baptized. It made me so sad because he was doing so well. Some just use their agency in the wrong way, and it messes up there lives some days... but that's okay. We still had a good day. After that, we visited some people and then headed home to exchange back with Elder Stoddard.

We went to the food bank and helped there, weekly planed, and then visited some people. Nothing big.

Saturday was a great day. We helped with the old folks place and bowled with them. That is always fun. It's great to see all the old folks roll the ball down the mat and make strikes every now and then. Then we helped with a move with a new family in the ward, the Berrys. They had a lot of stuff to move. It took about the rest of the day to help them, but we had to leave them in the middle of it for dinner and stake conference adult session. That was really good. The focus was about family search and how as member of the church we need to do it. Elder Foster of the 70 was there, and he instructed us. It was a great session.

Spaghetti and eyeball dinner before adult session of stake conference
Sunday we had stake conference, and that was great too. There is so much spirit in this stake, and I really got to see it during this session. The main part they talked about is that families can be together forever, and as we help others realize that, we can work to help our family too. After that, we visited a lot of people. Then we had dinner at the Glenns and carved pumpkins. It was so much fun.

Carving pumpkins
Elder Hammond's "Flash" pumpkin

Well, sadly I'm running out of time in my session, but i'll try to be quick with my spiritual thought. 

Elder Craig C. Christensen of the 70 said in our last general conference, "Because Joseph was a prophet, we have more than a window into heaven--the very doorway to the eternities is open to us."

I know that this is true, and I testify of it everyday that he helped bring to pass the restoration. It was needed for all mankind, for all eternity. Brothers and sisters, if you don't have a testimony of Joseph Smith yet, then you need to get one. He is a big part of the reason why this church is here. I know that he was a prophet, and I know that my redeemer lives. Because of Him, you can know too. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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