Monday, March 16, 2015

16 March 2015

Last p-day, we went to transfer meeting. In this case, that's when all the departing missionaries get together and bear their testimonies to whoever show up. It's pretty awesome, but still sad because a bunch of missionaries are leaving, 19 this time. 

Tuesday, Elder Beutler, one of the missionaries who left the day before, had an after-farewell at a fish taco place. We drove out to Anaheim to meet up with him and his parents. The tacos there were amazing, by the way. Anyway, we talked for quite a while. Afterwards, we went over to a member's house to install their microwave. It's one of the 65 pounders that has to be put up on the wall, not just left on a counter. We took their old microwave down last week, and this is their replacement. We had to drill through tile to get the bracket that the microwave will sit on installed, but all the member had were drill bits intended for wood. Let me tell you, that was an experience. We had to lean on the drill super hard to make any progress, and probably ruined a few bits. The tile would get red hot, and the drill started smoking at one point. Even after we started a (small) hole, we had to enlarge it to get the toggle bolts through. Unfortunately, the biggest bit we had was still way too small. So, we just took one of the bits that had teeth on the edge, and ground around the sides of the holes. Once we had the bracket up, we started fiddling with the microwave blower motor. In the instructions, it seemed so clear- take it out, rotate it, put it back in. I wish reality looked like it. We fumbled around with the vents on it for a few minutes before a blinding flash of the obvious hit- we were supposed to rotate the whole motor, not just the vents on it. We did so, but it was all the time we had that day. Dinner was an interesting affair too- the member who fed us was a SWAT sniper who'd spent the day shooting machine guns out of a helicopter, not kidding. He showed up some pictures. Then, we had the craziest experience of my mission- knocking of 4 less-actives' doors, and having 3 answer and set up times to meet with us. In this area, that's like winning the lottery twice. Awesome!

Wednesday was relatively calm. We went to a train-the-trainers meeting. More accurately, Elder Wilding went to the meeting and I hung out in the foyer and talked with the other missionaries doing the same thing. I got to meet a few of the missionaries who had just came in and displaced my group as the newest. Then, we tracted a bit, but didn't see anything exceptional. An idea hit me- we see lots of statue things around here, and so I took a bunch of pictures. These are all from 45 minutes of tracting. 

There were quite a few more, but I can only send 5 in a single email. Later that day, we helped an 80 year old member move. She had some stuff that dated back nearly to the stone age, like a TV with a VHS slot. Oh, and have you ever seen those chair things that take you up and down stairs? Moving a couch down stairs with that in the way was a lot of fun. We also had a correlation meeting with our ward mission leader, who bought us Taco Bell, then asked us if we were eating healthy. Sure!
Thursday, we went to district meeting, where we discussed the new digital safeguard and opportunity training we had last week and how to apply it. Then, we visited two of the less active families that we'd talked to Tuesday. Well, one of them was an investigator. When we were talking to him, he was open to us for the first time in just about ever. This may have been because our ward mission leader had cut open his foot and stolen his cigarettes. The cutting open his foot was because by day, our WML is a podiatrist, but the cigarette taking was him being very active in helping the investigator quit smoking. He judged well, because the investigator was still sort of interested. Basically, he doesn't want to switch because he doesn't understand why he should, but at the same time he hasn't read the Book of Mormon. We're going to be visiting him just to read it with him, so that'll quickly change. The actual less active, a different family, had just received a call as ward missionary. That's exciting, because getting callings tends to do something to LAs. Hopefully, this'll get him more involved with the church. After visiting them, we finished installing the microwave that we'd started a while back. There were a few more misadventures, but we got it in. The member offered to go with us to visit investigators whenever, so hopefully we can do that.

Friday was pretty slow. I learned how to make an instant slushy by freezing a soda can, and learned that the App Catalog that we can get apps from just got a few more. I installed Duolingo and Quizlet, and am learning German now. It's deceptively easy, maybe because I just finished learning how to read in Persian and know how to learn a language after learning French in high school. Tracting that day was uneventful.

Saturday more than made up for Friday. During personal study, I started the book of Revelation. It's pretty dense, but I'm using a few Ensign articles that relate to it, plus the Institute study manual. I think I'm getting it fairly well, and it is super uplifting when you get to the end. For lunch, a member took us to Red Robin, and I had the best burger of my life. After that, we helped our ward mission leader, the podiatrist, to move offices. They had about ten thousand different files, all of which needed to be moved over. Apparently, they have to store records for 7 years after treating a patient, and we were only dealing with the most recent 3, the later ones being stored in his attic at his house. When we loaded up the first load, we went over to his new office. There, while unloading, his wife pulled me and another missionary aside, and dumped a big emergency box in front of us. Apparently, she had just dropped it, and needed it reorganized in some sort of order. This was very trusting of her, as the box contained a bunch of crazy chemicals and drugs- Valium, ephedrine, epinephrine, atropine, tigam, benadryl, tracheotomy needles, and much more that I didn't recognize. Sometime during the process, the WML told me that my feet are super, super flat and that I need orthotics. I'd been using arch support things, but when I showed them to him, he showed me how ineffective they were. After the move, we went back to the old member's house that we'd been helping Wednesday. She wanted some heavy furniture moved over to her daughter's apartment. I though, we can do that. Then, after getting to the apartment, we learned that it was on the second level of a complex, with really narrow stairs getting up to it that we had to carry an enormous couch over. We did it without incident, but there were some interesting moments, like when Elder Wilding backed into a  cactus.

Sunday was pretty typical. We had ward council at 7:30, then church, where we had quite a few investigators there. We also learned that our WML, a former bishop, had been called as the first counselor for our mission. That's good, but also sad, because he was a great mission leader. At 3 that day, we actually went to the assistant WML's house for dinner, and he shared a bunch of plans he had for increasing our teaching pool. He told us that he thought we could baptize monthly. That is very ambitious, as our last baptism was 5 weeks ago, and the one before that was 17 months ago. Later, we taught a new convert lesson, and had Persian class with the two new sisters. One of them is almost unnaturally good at it already. It took me three weeks to do more than just repeat what was said to me; she was picking out letters right at the start. I'm getting pretty fluent in reading, but I still have no clue what it all means. On the other hand, I am learning German fairly well from Duolingo.

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