|District leader training....they aren't capable of taking a normal picture so I figured why not?|
|The waterfall hike this morning..about an hour to get up then we went up the side and hiked up on top which will be the next picture I will send.|
Ok, first before I forget...Mom, most of the time I send pictures home. Other missionaries send them to me, and I send them to you. Can you make sure to save them all in a file on your computer or something since I don't have a copy of all of them except on my email? I'm sure you are already but just checking.
So, my first question: is correlation even a real thing? or is it supposed to be coordination and everyone mispronounces it? That is a big concern of mine. Do we get together to correlate? Because that's what everyone says, but it always says the word coordinate in preach my gospel. I figured that would be something Dad would know the answer to.
So this week has been better than last week; that's the good news. We went to Goodwood BBQ one night. I haven't had food like that in a while; that was awesome. We went for Elder Plowman and I's hump day mark, a little late, but we needed an excuse. Last week, somebody bought us four short sleeve white shirts which I had wanted some more of, so that's pretty cool.
Happy father's day to all of you fathers I didn't get a letter out to. There are a lot of good fathers that have influenced my life, and I appreciate all your hard work to be better fathers. I even got a father's day shout out from my son, Elder Senn. Last week, he called me one day to see how I was doing, and if I was being sad. What a great missionary! He is always worried about me even if he has the hardest life in the world. I don't know if I have mentioned this, but Elder Senn's mom and like six siblings got baptized last month, and his dad has a date for this coming month. He is beyond excited and tells everyone who will listen.
We had exchanges with one of the assistants, Elder Lew, this week. It went pretty well. It was actually the best day of work we have had in a while. That's actually too bad, because they go on exchanges and that one impression of the area helps them decide if the area should be split or not. We definitely aren't normally teaching several lessons a day like we did when he was there. We talked way too long that night, so of course we were exhausted the next day. That's never worth it...sleep is way too valuable in the mission field.
On Sunday, we realized it was father's day and decided to make some brownies for some fathers. So before that, I will give you the Ana and Angel update. Last week at night on p-day, we went by to talk to Ana to let her know we weren't coming by since the last thing we talked to her about was her getting baptized on Sunday. She said in those last couple days they had prayed together and read The Book of Mormon, but yes he was drinking. She said she still didn't know what happened, but at one point, when he was praying he asked for forgiveness if baptism really was what he was supposed to do. I guess we didn't teach repentance very well otherwise he would have realized that he needed to actually be baptized to fully repent for not having been baptized. They will figure it out. She said they even planned on coming back to church, but they didn't come this Sunday. Anyways, she knew why we couldn't keep coming by and understood, and I guess explained to him. So Sunday we made them brownies and a card and left it on their porch. They texted us that night and said thank you, so I guess at least they don't hate us.
We also made brownies for the bishop. That's really hard to do with how difficult he can be with us, but he is a hard worker and does care about the work and has good reason to not trust missionaries at all. Then that night we went to the mission office and picked up Elder Pyne! Elder Pyne left for Argentina the next morning after spending the night at our house making brownies and red velvet cupcakes that no one ate. We just made them I guess, because we had them so now we have tons of extra dessert. Oh yeah, and we have Butterfinger bars! Actually they might be gone by now, but they were soo good; thanks Jess and Tyson.
SO anyways, we went to go make the brownies and got our eggs out. It turns out if you put the eggs in the bottom shelf in the back of the fridge, they will freeze and crack. That's what happened to all of them. So we went to the old people next door and borrowed an egg and had an interesting experience with them. While the brownies were cooking, instead of studying, we went to go talk to him in honor of father’s day. He and his lady friend are in their 70's. They own both apartments next to each other. They have separate apartments and are what they call companions. They were married when they were young but then got divorced later down the line for something and then got back together to be companions/best friends. So we always see them together, but technically they don't live together. The way he put it was he said she went from his wife to his mother. She takes good care of him, I guess, but at this point, she wasn't home. She is a member, and he is not. We sat down, and he talked to us mainly. He used to be a philosophy, speech, and theology professor and is a big fan of C.S. Lewis and talked about him and his job the whole time. He said the one thing he could never get people to understand in teaching was ultimate sacrifice and how everyone spends so long deciding who is right that they forget about God. We gave him a copy of The Book of Mormon which he has read several times, and he agreed to read it. He has thousands of books he has read and is really smart. He also used to be a professional pool player. He told us to come by any time to talk and that "we could count it as a visit to our leaders since he isn't a member." Ha-ha, I guess he knows how it works.
SO we had ward council this Sunday. I didn't go, but Elder Plowman was pretty frustrated with it. Bishop still wants us to teach people outside the ward area, and you can't say much since half the members of the ward council live out of the ward boundaries; they just like going to Jefferson 2nd. We talked to our high councilman about it, and he just said he used to be a bishop, and it’s ok to do if the bishop wants. I don't know where to draw the line between telling leaders how to do their job and just letting them do whatever they want against church policy, so we don't really say anything since none of the leaders think that it matters to do that here. We talked to President Reyna about it, and he is aware and has been trying to fix it for years, but no one cooperates. I guess it’s a good thing they are going to church at all. In Utah, people don't really seem to care that that's a rule and just go to whatever ward they want. What are we even supposed to do or say to that? Especially if in ward council they tell us not to teach people in our boundaries that want to go to other wards. Of course, we aren't going to listen to that, but it's hard to have the ward completely against you. Some feedback for this would be good.
We went to Buffalo Wild Wings yesterday for unlimited wings. We were going strong. I had 18, but then needed to stop once we ordered the habanero ones. After eating four of those, we felt sick. Elder Crook killed it, though, with a whopping 38 wings; good zone bonding, ha-ha.
Vanessa and Liz should get baptized two Saturdays from now. Vanessa has been solid with the word of wisdom and praying, but Liz has been slacking and hasn't kept any commitments, but says she wants to get baptized. She still just talks about going out dancing and laughs about it, kind of a like a teenager does when they tell their parents something that they think they will get mad about. We asked her if she wanted Vanessa to be a 35-year-old mother one day and still be going out drinking and partying and sleeping around. She got that sad face she always does and said sorry, but then she always manages to go out again the next weekend. Either way, Vanessa is progressing, and at least, she will get baptized for sure. I hope Liz follows her and sets an example as her mother.
We had an awesome day with six less actives attending Sacrament Meeting. We have never had any before in this ward. We got all the Ortuno family to come-who were convinced they wouldn't for a long time. I guess they managed to ignore the mom’s comments and even brought her with them. They left after first hour but promised to stay for all three next week. Even Eduarda came. She is the one that said she had a dream of her mom being mad at her. So I guess that got her. The person that brought her is Juana. Juana is not a member, and she is the one who always goes to a different ward and who the bishop told us not to invite. Well she lives in the ward, so we brought her anyway, and she brought a less active, so he can't be unhappy about that. We taught Juana another lesson. She still can't wrap her head around one true church and on top of that her husband still has another marriage in Mexico so she won't get baptized for a long, long time, but at least, she goes to church. Then Berlai also came, but he slipped out during the prayer before we could get anyone to go say hi to him or before we could even talk to him. So the good news is this Sunday was infinitely less stressful than normal.
I kind of have felt like the last few weeks I’m lazy-ish. We are still working, but I don't feel excited all the time like when I first came out. Maybe that is normal around this time of the mission, but I feel like I should be more driven and excited to get out and work. Like I said, we are still working, but I feel like I am moving slower. Maybe I'm just becoming an old man.
The waterfall hike today was good. It took about an hour to get up then after that a few of us climbed around back to get on top of the waterfall and ended up overshooting and climbing like 200 feet above the waterfall. It was bien padre though to be able to see all of Ogden from there. Elder Gancho has been awesome this transfer. He still is Elder Gancho, but he seems to trust us a lot more and not always be mad at us. I know he still doesn't respect us, but that's ok. We have come a long way with him, and I think he is doing a little bit of missionary work sometimes so that's better than what we expected. There I go again with the lack of faith!
I think the biggest thing that I have learned this week is about trusting the Lord and leaving things in His hands. I need to be better about that and not trying to change the will of the Lord in my plans. I took the attribute activity this week, and I have big news. For the first time ever, charity is in the top four of my highest attributes. Patience still takes last place, but that's expected, ha-ha. So Elder Plowman and I have been working on virtue and being focused on our purpose and investigators.
I got overly stressed for a solid hour once Elder Plowman told me that BYU changed all the prerequisites for the business school and all the ones I took pre-mission are no longer required and are just "suggested." UUGHGHHHGHHHH. Good thing I don't have to worry about that for a while.
Well I think that's all for now. I love you all and hope everyone had a great father's day!