Monday, June 1, 2015

1 June 2015

This whole week has been fun, bizarre, and pasta-filled. Tuesday morning, we helped a member, Sister Horner, move some old stuff out to the curb, before going to a lesson. This was not your usual lesson by a long shot. This investigator is actually on date, and is excited about being baptized. Well, today when we showed up, he was sitting in his garage with his dad, with the garage door open. As we walked up, we noticed three things: one, they were watching Cops. Two, that his dad was smoking. And three, the investigator, Mike, was super drunk and had a big pile of empty beer cans next to him. Literally over a hundred beer cans. Oh, and as we were talking, their chihuahua bit Elder Mackey. This was extra ironic, as Mackey had said that he wanted to fight a dog sometime before he went home, and hadn't been bitten ever on his mission. Not even thirty seconds later, a crazy, yet fortunate, coincidence hit. The dad was holding the cigarette in his right hand, so I tried to switch my iPad over to my right hand so we could shake left hands. That was the theory; what actually happened is that I dropped the iPad directly onto the chihuahua that was yipping at me. It was totally an accident, but I wasn't particularly sorry either. After we set up another appointment, Elder Mackey was nursing his wounds in the car when two sister missionaries wearing short shorts knocked on our window. They were from the Antioch Community Church, on a two week party mission from Texas. I say party mission because they were going to Disneyland and a few other fun places while here, too. Anyway, we talked for quite a while about the differences between our religion and theirs. Apparently, they are a nondenominational Christian church, who believe in the bible but not in baptism. Then, a guy came over from their group and said that instructions had come from on high to get them going. We exchanged cards and numbers before leaving, though. We'll see if they can come to our church. 

On Wednesday, we tried visiting a bunch of people in the morning, but no one answered their door. Then, we had lunch at Olive Garden with a former investigator who wanted to talk to Elder Mackey before he went home. She is a Christian with fairly standard views, and we talked for a while about where our religions parted tracks in the biggest way- the plan of salvation, especially the fall. Apparently, her church believes that the fall and Adam's transgression were the greatest tragedies in all history. The restaurant choice was interesting, too, in that we'd had Olive Garden last Wednesday and on Monday. Then, Elder Mackey started feeling sick, and slept till dinner. After that, we taught a Book of Mormon class with the third ward missionaries, about Lehi's vision and the tree of life. It was an amazing discussion! Finally, we taught Emily, our most progressing investigator again, and answered some fairly stereotypical antimormon questions that she had. She has a pretty anti mom, and got most of them from her. A lot of those questions played off of half a truth, and required a lot of explaining, like why the Book of Mormon had revisions made to it. While we were going into the class, we got stopped by the bishop, who asked us to visit a few people, too. 

Thursday was an interesting day. We had district meeting in the morning, then lunch. Then, we tried visiting the people that the bishop had asked us to. We quickly noticed that most of them had one thread in common- they were really old, and in hospice. One of the people had an enormous cockatiel, literally the size of a quadruple combination. We also did some service for Sister Lamb, helping to move a fridge, washing machine, and dryer. That only took a half hour, and then we had a late dinner, which took up the rest of the evening.

We had weekly planning on Friday, followed by another lesson with Mike, this time accompanied by the Euclid missionaries. Mike was sober this time, and we had the lesson in the backyard to avoid his dogs. We taught the plan of salvation lesson, and committed him to read from the Book of Mormon. We plan on teaching the word of wisdom in the next lesson. I wonder how he will take that... During weekly planning, we had tried to figure out who had taught Mike, and why he was dropped a year ago. Apparently, it was actually my trainer, Elder Wilding, and Mike had been dropped because when he was asked to take the lessons, he stopped going to church for three months. He's a bit of a special case because he lives in the Euclid ward, and only comes to Brea 1 because that's where he has a ride. We got full approval from a member of the mission presidency to teach him here, but we still plan on eventually transferring him to Euclid, so we are going to involve those missionaries as much as possible. Later in the day, we tried visiting some more people that the bishop asked us to visit. We only got to one, but we had a very good conversation there. Bro. Bradford is an active member who doesn't come to sacrament meeting because of health issues, and is in hospice. He told us that Elder L. Tom Perry was in hospice too, which was news to us. Finally, we had correlation meeting that night.

On Saturday, we just did a whole lot of service. We went to a part-member family's house to hang a shade and work on their fence in the morning, but before we had done much, we got a call. A move that we had been told by the elders quorum president was at ten, was actually at 8, and they had a whole house full of stuff to move and only two high priests to move it with. Granted, one of them, Bro. Rossow, rides his motorcycle everywhere and is stronger than your average lumberjack, but they still needed help. We showed up and started moving stuff out before being stumped by some large furniture upstairs. The member had a whole room full of huge pieces of furniture that all needed to be moved out. We got some of the smaller big pieces out by force and contortionism, but the bigger pieces needed more help than that. We ended up taking out the chair lift in the stairwell to make more room, but that took a long time and a lot of effort. Did you know that basically everything on them is made of solid steel and bolted to the floor? That let us take out even more stuff, but we got stuck again on one huge entertainment center. It was too tall to take out the door as it was, and too long to take it sideways. We ended up taking it out the same way it came in- in pieces. Moving in at the other end was equally fun. The path to the apartment was nothing better than a maze, and was easily a quarter mile long. We figured out a shorter path fairly quickly, but it still was quite a while. To compound the problem, we were trying to move the stuff from a five bedroom house into a one bedroom apartment. But it was done! Then, we finished up at the first place we were serving at, which included figuring out how the shade worked and reinstalling it a little lower. Finally, we went to transfer meeting at night, and killed time until transfer calls. As it turns out, almost everything in our district is staying the same. This means that, because Elder Mackey is going home this transfer, I'm likely going to stay one more transfer beyond this one to teach the next missionary here about the ward. That means that I'll be in Brea 1 for at least 7 1/2 months. I have mixed feelings about that. The members here are great, but the missionary work is pretty slow because area is geographically puny. On the other hand, by the time I get out of here, I'll know the area pretty well. Also, we went to another Italian restaurant.

Sunday, we had ward council in the morning, where we gave a quick report on missionary work. Then in second hour, we taught the Gospel Principles class. And in third hour, the ward had an enormous fifth Sunday combined activity, with us and the ward missionaries teaching. At Persian that night, we had a few surprise visitors, too. Normally it's us and the Brea 3 sisters, but today we had a member and two extra missionaries show, too. That was a lot of fun!

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