Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Nov. 2, 2015 in Catawba, South Carolina

Hello :)

So this week was absolutely killer crazy fantastic wild! We were super busy almost all the time (except for Tuesday), and we saw lots of good stuff. For the most part, this week was super rainy due to the other hurricane that apparently came close to land, so we bundled up and went a-walking. 

Monday: Had p-day and went to that citizens building we sent pictures of last week. We also stopped by a little farmers-markety kinda store except it was in downtown and bought delicious chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate covered toffee. Then on the way out I was stopped in my tracks by a glass bottle cheerwine soft drink that screamed in my face "buy me!" It was so annoying that I decided to appease him and bought him. Then just to show him who was boss, I drank him. He was delicious.

After p-day, we went and taught some investigators named A___ and A___. It went well except A___ is being kinda stubborn. He says he wants to know the church is true because it would be fantastic if was, but he won't do anything! He openly admits that it is cause he is lazy and church is boring, and it is driving us nuts. We are just trying to help him understand that if he wants to know, he has to do it.

Tuesday: As mentioned above, we didn't have much going on Tuesday. So we went out and tried to contact lots of potential investigators. We saw like 1 person briefly, but at least we tried. It was super wet and kinda cold, and as we were standing on the side of the street, a truck hit a huge puddle and splashed us. But it was funny for the most part, and we laughed about it.

Our dinner was good though, the family (who actually live in a different ward but are assigned to help out in Catawba) took us to a local deli style restaurant and it was delicious. The man's mother came as well, and she is Pentecostal, and we had a fun little discussion about Christ washing the Apostle's feet, the 3 kingdoms, and corrupt preachers. That night, we went out with our Bishop and visited the A___ family and had a super good visit with them! We are going to start giving them the missionary lessons.

Wednesday: We had district meeting, and then taught a couple people with members. We taught M___ and reviewed the baptismal interview questions with her. She is coming along, but there are still some things she isn't sure about. Unfortunately, she is having some health issues, so we can't see her again until Wednesday. It was a good day in all, and I got to go out with a fun member at night on some visits and he told me all about Stalin (the Russian general guy).

Thursday: Absolutely rushed crazy day! We had 3 member present lessons, 1 recent convert lesson, 1-2 other lessons, and no time left for weekly planning. One of the other lessons was with a lady we met out in Van Wyck, and as we were teaching, her 2 teenage daughters showed up with their friend and we talked with all of them. We are going back by in a week and a half. That night, we had a lesson with a woman named R___ who actually lives just down the hall from us in our apartment building. She loves to go on vacations, so we talked lots about the west. She is the most solid person ever though! We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and she loved it. She has been reading the Book of Mormon, and in the closing prayer said she is excited to be baptized! The only hold up is that she works on Sundays, but she is talking to her boss this week about coming in for the night shift so that she can attend church. She's the best! Please pray that it will work out and she is able to come to church :)

Friday: We weekly planned, and at night we got to go to the ward Halloween party/chili cook off. They asked us to be the judges, so this is the 2nd official chili cook off I have judged this year. The Catawba's know how to cook, and I liked this one a lot! Judging was hard, but the one chili that won had super delicious smoked pork in with the beans and everything. Turns out the member had stayed up until 2:30 the night before smoking it, so we were glad we had chosen him ;) Then all the kids went around the church building and trick or treated, and Elder B___ and I got to hand out candy at our door. I kept asking the kids to do a trick instead of a treat, but none of them would, so I took it upon myself to do the tricking for them by juggling the candy and then tossing it into the kids buckets. "Consider yourself tricked, kids!" It was a good time.

Saturday: Halloween! Wasn't much different from any other day, except that we had to go in at 6:00 so that we didn't get mugged or framed for any Halloween mischievousness. We got to borrow some board games from some members though, so it was fun.

Before our curfew though, we were able to teach like 4 people, including a members friend who lives down in Lexington, SC. He had already been taught before, knows the church is true, and has even stopped smoking, so he will get to be baptized soon we assume. He was great! We also got to see some other friends. One of the people we ran into I had actually met before over in Rock Hill! So there is a member family in Rock Hill named the Y___'s who have a daughter who lives in Catawba with her husband. When I was in Rock Hill we got to help the Y___'s move their mother in law/grandma into the Y___'s house, and this family was there too. Anyways, I realized just a couple minutes into talking with this man, that he had been there and that we moved a 500 pound gun safe together. This obviously made us homies so he said we could text them and come by sometime. It was funny.

Sunday: Went as follows: Church (my favorite thing!), choir practice (my favorite thing!), walking to an investigators house in the rain (my favorite thing!), eating dinner (my favorite thing!), and then taking R___ to a fireside in Charlotte done by President Alexander (my favorite thing!). It was a super good fireside too, and helped R___ lots.
This was my favorite part - President Alexander gave us an assignment.
He asked us to write a book about ancient Tibet, we can't be older than 23, and can only have taken 3 years of formal schooling. We aren't allowed extra research. It must be 3,000+ words and we can only use 1 unpaid scribe to write it all. We must describe 2 main groups of people, and cover their religion, their politics, their geography, their economy, their monetary system, and everything else about their society. It must include 50 war chapters, 20 historical, 70 doctrinal, 50 with visions, and 20 chapters about Jesus Christ and his personal ministry among the people. We have to make up 280 completely new names. It should include allegories, parables, poetry, and it has to sound like it has been translated from another language. We have to use about 24 different writing styles spread logically throughout the book, as if multiple people wrote it. Archaeology research for the next 180 years must support this book. We have to have 3 witnesses who are respectable people in the community claim that they saw an angel with the book, and they can never deny that which they said. It must include a promise that if anyone reads it and asks God in faith, they will receive a witness that it is true, and it will change their lives for the better. Millions have to try this promise and receive an answer. We have to watch our followers be persecuted and killed. We will be persecuted (just like Jesus), and at age 38 must willingly give our own life to protect our testimonies and this book. You have 65 days to write, good luck..

Yup, pretty obvious that it is true. And the best part is that I have felt that spirit too, and know it is true. 

One other thing happened on Sunday. One of the members of the Church was the chief of the Catawban Tribe for 30 years. He gave me an official Catawban Indian name this week, it's "red woodpecker." Pretty cool to get an Indian name!

Anyways, so that was the week for the most part, honestly it may have been the busiest week on my mission, or at least close to it. I am excited for whatever comes this next week! 

This week I have decided to ponderize Shiblon, in Alma 38:2-3. And now, my son, I trust that I shall have great joy in you, because of your steadiness and your faithfulness unto God; for as you have commenced in your youth to look to the Lord your God, even so I hope that you will continue in keeping his commandments; for blessed is he that endureth to the end. I say unto you, my son, that I have had great joy in thee already, because of thy faithfulness and thy diligence, and thy patience and thy long-suffering among the people of the Zoramites.
I love this chapter, and am super excited to ponderize it! Anyways, thanks for all the stories! I sure love you, y'all are the best!

Elder Red Woodpecker Branch

There is a cemetery behind the church building.

Halloween at the C___'s home.

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