Monday, June 18, 2018

18 June 2018

So this week was just a whole bunch of finding. On Friday we went out and knocked all day, but we found some really cool people. And 8 of them! We started out in the morning trying to knock in the only apartments close to us in our area, and we found some cool people then, including some people who are vacationing here from Honduras. It was pretty cool. It's getting a lot harder to find people right now because of the World Cup. People aren't answering the door, refusing to turn off the tv, and just generally not paying attention. In one house we asked them if we could turn off the tv and they said sure! So they then just turned down the volume. So helpful. It made our job much harder because the Spirit isn't quite as strong with two Hispanic announcers going crazy on tv. We'll still keep trying, but it's also hard to stay focused with a soccer game going on behind you. We have a few investigators who we've been trying to work with, but they're very Catholic. And believe that "anybody who talks about God is good, so it doesn't matter where we go." You don't know how often we hear that. We have to really go on in the Apostasy about how none of the churches were true and taught the doctrine of men, and go way in depth (with an object lesson on priesthood authority being lost and restored) with the Restoration to have a hope of them understanding what we're trying to say. Still, it could be worse. We're still finding alright. And in other news, we're going to have a new mission president in July, the son of Elder Holland. That'll be cool. Also, random moment from last night: we were visiting some of our investigators with our Ward Mission Leader and one of them wasn't answering, so my companion told him to "use his magic knock." So he knocked and opened the door. He told us that he thought that it was still locked, but it was funny nonetheless. We don't think that they noticed, but they did answer the door after that and we had a good lesson. So he does in fact have a magical touch for knocking doors!

That's all for this week! 


 ​The sorts of things we do out here. Yes, Mom, it's perfectly safe. Mostly.​

​It's been getting toasty out here. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

11 June 2018

*This week's title brought to you by Elder Lowe.

Thanks Elder Battraw, 
This week was rather eventful despite me actually not knowing what went on in the wonderful life of Elder Battraw, but knowing him it was probably very inspiring, and dramatic. I can imagine that he must have talked to lots of Hispanics and knocked lots of doors. He's still trying to find more people to teach, but is really excited to be able to spend some time with friends on P-day. Hopefully His Lesson With Jose goes well, I don't know if he's teaching a Jose, but he probably is, so for now we will call him Hermano Lopez. He has also probably been eating too much because Hispanics love to feed you a lot, which makes Elder Battraw kind of self conscious, but he get's over it.
That's all the news in Elder Battraw's life from the perspective of Elder Lowe
Back to you Elder Battraw

Thanks a lot Elder Lowe! 
So yes, that was the brain child of Elder Lowe. Lovely man, isn't he? We started off the week by destroying a pair of my pants. A very eventful game of volleyball that was. We had a FHE with some of our investigators and then we played some volleyball with a really high net. I could barely touch the top of it jumping. Apparently that's just how they do it in wherever they're from, I forget. I spent some time and patched them today, but I'm not too sure how well they'll hold up. 
Sorry, I don't have much emailing time today but we also had a talent show as a zone activity today. Some were interesting, like drinking 3 water bottles in 10 seconds and then throwing it up again. On purpose. Not many people liked that one. We also had a watermelon smashed by our zone leader's head, and I juggled uneventfully. Sorry, I don't have more time this week, but that's what zone activities do!

Monday, June 4, 2018

4 June 2018

For some reason, my email is limiting me to sending this to 4 people, so spreading it to others who'd like to hear would be great.

This was probably the hardest week that I've had so far in my mission. Friday was really the hardest part of it all. We've not found many investigators this week, and so we had a big day of tracting planned out. 7 hours of it. From this, we ended up with only 8 doors being opened at all, 3 Hispanics, and only one of those was interested at all in learning more. However, Saturday helped make up for that. It was one of the best days I've had out here. It started out by going out tracting from 10-12 and not being able to find anyone who would open the door, let alone Hispanics. So we decided to go store contacting. We found a little Mexican store, and walked around it for a minute. A girl who worked there walked up to us and asked if we needed any help. (In English) I responded in Spanish asking the price of a drink. She told me, but then commented on how good my Spanish was and asked how I learned. We then talked about how we were serving missions for our church and taught her a bit about the Restoration. She wasn't super interested, but we gave her a card with the church address and time it started on it, as well as our number. As Elder Hull was checking out, the lady at the counter asked us how we learned Spanish and so we went through the whole missionary spiel again. She immediately turned to the girl we'd been talking to earlier and said something to the effect of how she needed to go to church because she hadn't been in a long time. She then told us to give the first girl a card from our church, and then she demanded that the first goal go to our church and how she would go with her.  We think she was the first girl's mom, but we weren't sure and didn't ask. They didn't make it to church this week, but we hope they'll make it soon. After lunch, we went out to go knock some more doors, but decided instead to go and visit someone who we hadn't been able to get up with before. As we're walking down this trailer park, an ice cream truck is driving by us on the street. Right after he passed us, he leaned out the window and yelled, gesturing to the other side of the truck, "Hey, c'mere!" Fearing getting yelled at, but hoping for ice cream, we walked around it. Inside was a Hispanic man dressed as Mario who asked if we wanted slushies. We told him that we didn't have any money with us, but he said, "Es gratis!" We glady accepted our free slushies. As he was giving us them, a little kid who Elder Hull recognized as the investigator's nephew walked up to get some ice cream. We asked if Christian (the investigator) was home and he told us that he was. So we went and talked to him about baptism, and he said that he would read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and Joseph Smith and if he should get baptized. That was pretty great. We also found out that his member friend was taking him to church the next day as well. We knocked doors for a while and then headed to dinner at the chapel, which was followed by a musical devotional from a missionary who had served here about 4 years ago. It was really good. Afterwards, we went back out to Knightdale and were about to knock some more, but felt like we should go visit someone else who had previously brushed off our return appointment. We did, and not only was he there, he invited us right in! We got to talk to him and his wife about the Restoration, and by the end he asked how could get a Book of Mormon. He was surprised when I handed him the copy I was holding, and promised that he would read and pray about it. He also said that he'd go to church. He didn't show up, but we have another appointment with him to check up with him on. That finished up the night! It was pretty great. 
Earlier in the week I went on exchanges with another elder in my district. It was pretty interesting. We only found one person who was interested, but we found some very interesting people. The first one we met was a Satanist. That was very odd, and neither of us knew quite how to respond to him. He said that he was too busy to talk, and wished us a good day. Of course, we could see the game running in the background. Very busy. Later that night, we got caught by a group of drunk and possibly high people. One of them kept asking us if smoking weed was a sin, another kept spouting off about how Elon Musk was a prophet because he was going to take people to Mars, and the other one was mixed between yelling at the prophet one about him not being a prophet, how what he liked to do was drink, smoke, swear a lot, and **** *******, telling us how he used to be a Jehovah's Witness but now wasn't, and him telling us that we hadn't answered his questions. We had answered them to the best of our ability, but they were really weird and didn't make much sense at all. We excused ourselves from that as expiditiously as possible, but it took a while to extricate ourselves from that. It was a mix between unnerving because it was a drunk man getting up in our faces and really funny because of the kind of things that the Elon Musk prophet one was saying, which also included how "weed couldn't be bad because they found it growing on King Solomon's grave." That was just a weird day. Other than that, I can't think of much more that happened this week. Oh yeah, we did  find an abandoned lawnmower thrown into a creekbed and Christian just had his bearded dragon hanging out on his porch. And the closest parking job I've ever seen without them touching. A thick piece of paper might not make it through that. 






Tuesday, May 29, 2018

29 May 2018

Sorry, this one is going to be really short. I have to type this on a phone keyboard today and I can't send it out to the whole group of people that I normally do. But yes, I'm back in Raleigh and it was tons of fun showing up and getting to talk with everyone again. What was really cool was one of my recent converts offered to drive a long ways just to bring us to his house so we can have dinner with him. It's great to be back! I'm actually living in and working in Knightdale, but we still go to Raleigh 3rd ward. Other than that, not much has been going on. We've spent a lot of time tracting and we found some cool people. We also have had to go to many more meetings now, but we finally have the whole district leader thing figured out. Kinda. We'll get it eventually. The picture is from an ancient artifact that we didn't know still existed, the rumored "Time Clock."

Monday, May 21, 2018

21 May 2018

So the big news of this week is that transfers is tomorrow, and I've already found out that I'm going back to Raleigh 3rd ward! I'm going to be in the 3C area that I've already served in, but only for two weeks. That was after the lovely bike crash that took out my trainer, and I'm going to be serving with my MTC companion again, which is really funny. Partly because that's who I was with for those two weeks as well. So it'll be very interesting being together for the third time, in the same area. The downside to that is that I'm going to be co-district leader with him. That is more responsibility than I want to have to deal with, especially because it involves me speaking a lot more in public than I like. Which is at all, so... I'm sure I'll be able to live through that. It'll be great! The way I got told scared me though. We got a text from President James late Saturday night that said to call him as soon as we could. Which either means that something terrible has happened or that you're going to train, have a leadership position or serve with someone who is generally known to be a hard missionary to get along with. None of those sounded desirable, and so I was just praying that he'd ask for Elder Turner. He did not. And that was when he told me that. But hey, at least I get to know how I'll serve with and where I'm serving, so that's going to be great.
In other news, we just knocked a whole bunch this week. It's been raining, so driving in trailer parks is more like driving a submarine. It's pretty interesting. We found some pretty great people who seem like they're going to have a lot of potential. We got to share the Restoration with them, and one of them was just so great. His name is Ricardo and he just seems perfect! The Spirit was so strong! There's a lot of stuff that's going to be going on next transfer here. 
And then just random stuff. 
 

These are the things that you see in Fayetteville.


Probably my favorite family in Raeford, the Rentas.


That pie that we won and finally got.

And the best piece of beef jerky that I've ever seen. This is because my comp felt pressured into buy it because the only exit that the store had was past the cashiers. It was pretty funny, but all he's done is hung it up on the wall, not eat it. In the package, of course.

Monday, May 14, 2018

14 May 2018

Well, Mother's Day was the only big thing that really happened this week, so... yeah...
Saturday was really the big day for craziness. We had originally planned to head to a city called Red Springs, but a member called us and convinced us to go to a flea market that he said there were a lot of Hispanics at. Because we're hurting for miles, we agreed. (It's only about 1/3 of the distance of Red Springs.) As we were walking up, I noticed that all of the signs on the fence were in Spanish, not English. So that was a good sign. We walked in and there were people everywhere, but there was an issue: They thought we were the police and would flinch and look away every time that we passed. So that made talking to people hard. We started talking to one person at a stand, but then she spent the next 15 minutes deflecting any gospely topics and trying really hard to sell me these home theater speakers. And she wanted $175 for them. They were not worth that much. So we made some really terrible excuses and walked away. We also got yelled at by someone as we passed by, from some Native American booth. Turns out that he's gone to our church a lot before and "was ordained an elder in our preistship." So that was interesting. And then we also saw someone nearly get shot, but that's a long story. Anyways, we also had a Mother's Day activity and that was weird. We ended up getting an additional 19 water bottles by the end of that, and trust me, we didn't have any problems with having enough water. That's the only picture that I have of this week, sorry. 
On Monday we had a Zone Activity, and that was fun. We did kickball and Ultimate Frisbee, and I ended up really sore. That was probably because I ran a few hundred yards with a 175 pound elder on my back. That kinda hurt. Other than that, it wasn't a very special week. Everyone skipped out on their appointments. Still trying to work hard. Just as a word of reminder, (because I know that Mom will forget) transfers are on the 22nd.

Monday, May 7, 2018

7 May 2018

Well, there isn't too much to report on this one. First, the vlog was discontinued immediately as I found out that it would take over 3 hours to upload the videos. And I don't have that much time. Soo... yeah. Anyways, with the week. So not much happened. The biggest thing that did happen was when we had the police called on us. Again. That never happened before Raeford, but now it's increasing in frequency. But we were knocking in some neighborhood and I saw a police car drive by and I mentioned to my companion that they had probably been called on us. A half hour later, two police cars came up to us and the officers got out. They were friendly enough, and asked for our ID. We had a brief chat, and it seems like whenever they check the plates on the car and see that they're registered to the church, they suddenly can relax a lot. I nearly gave them a card, but decided against it. It's just contacting on hard mode, right? Anyways, the only other big news is that I got a haircut. Nothing too crazy, but it was shorter than I had expected. Whoops. But yeah, it's not been too crazy of a week. And we broke a lightbulb. After our inspection. And tomorrow we have Zone Conference, so they'll be pictures next week.