Monday, May 9, 2016

I Got Transferred...A Cabin, a Lake, a Storm, No Power!

Here is the installment from the last part of April...

My new area is the greenest place I have been thus far. We are actually opening up an area that has been a dual area for a number of years. My new area has a small branch of less than 30 active members. I had an uber long drive down to the new area, I left my old apartment at 6:30 in the morning, and finally got to my new area around 4-5 in the afternoon. Long day on the road, but on the bright side I did get Sour Patch kids, Twizzlers, and some other candy....All gone in a day or two....well, maybe 4 days. Don't have diabetes, yet, so I'm good :j

My companion and I have a cabin. We live pretty much where our branch president lives. He owns a trailer park, and he built a cabin just for us to stay. It's awesome. It's pretty fun to be in a see a ton of bugs, we have to climb a ladder to get into bed. We sleep over the bathroom and the kitchen. Our oven and stove doesn't work at the moment...our branch president is working on it. He's a really cool dude. The fridge was empty, as was expected seeing that we opened up a new area. My companion and I went on a shopping spree to grab lunch food for all meals. We have a furnace, but we don't have an air-conditioner quite yet.

The church is also very exciting. The LDS meetinghouse used to be a Baptist Church...then the Baptist Church became a mortuary, or a morgue. Then it became the LDS meetinghouse. The chapel pews have crosses on the sides. The baptismal font is also in the front of the chapel. It looks really cool. The church is one of a kind. The people really love us, though. Our branch president is happy to feed us if they are not his family has fed us each night since I came here. His family is super cool. The food is delicious, too! We then share a spiritual thought, which is great because the branch president's mother is not a member of the church. She loves the church and has been to many church history sites including the Hill Cumorah and the Sacred Grove

Church was super exciting. A whole lot different than church usually is. We have a reverence hymn at the beginning, then an opening hymn, and we continue on the meeting. The sound speakers for the stand are actually only at the stand. So when you speak, it sounds loud to you, but to the people in the back, it's difficult to hear.

We are doing a ton of finding in this new area because we have basically no investigators. My new companion is from Utah. He has been out for six months.

Our area has a huge lake in the middle of it. We are in the middle of two towns (about 10 miles to each) leaving us with a ton of miles used because those are the two closest cities, and we have people we teach in other towns that are about 20-50 miles from us. It's actually really fun. We get to cross the lake every day. We have no choice, too. It pretty much surrounds us. We have a ton of less active members that we see, but not close enough to keep ourselves busy. We did meet some cool members one Sunday at a linger-longer (It's theme was Italian food...mmmm. It was quite delicious). They were from Orem, Utah.

I misplaced my camera after videoing the village where we live, so no pictures for a little bit. I know the camera is somewhere in our apartment or our car, though, so it's okay, it's not hopeless.

We had a tremendous thunderstorm hit close to us. It caused a tiny tornado 5 miles north of us, but no fatalities from it, so we're good. We were out of power the day after from 8:00. I was showering at the time, (The thunderstorm kept us awake because of the large amounts of rain that hit on our roof. It was the loud, so we didn't wake up to our alarms in the morning.) So, I half showered in the dark. We were without power until after 10:00 in the evening. We're linked to the power station up north, so the thunderstorm damaged something. Some of our food went bad, but it's okay. We got sick of the salami, and there wasn't much other food in the fridge. We actually had to get a ton of food on Friday ("pay-day" for us) because of the spoiling of the food. My companion took pictures of us in the night with no power, and trying to light up the cabin with two flashlights, because my camera was lost in the darkness of that night. It was super awesome, but I wasn't able to read anything for the evening, which I love to do.

We were able to meet up with an investigator with our branch mission leader. He was able to relate to our investigator in many ways, because they were of the same age group, they had experienced similar trials, and they both loved to garden. It was a really cool visit with him.

We also visited with a family and taught them two lessons. Both lessons were wonderful. We were able to teach some of the kids that were involved in a baseball team, and they provided some amazing insight. The second visit, we were able to answer some of the dad's questions about the church. He asked questions about polygamy and if the Book of Mormon was changed, etc. Some of his questions may have arisen from him reading stuff about the church on the internet. Nevertheless, he did not want to contend with us, they were honest questions, not the other kind of questions used for arguing. We were able to answer all his questions as I have experienced similar questions to his. It was a really spiritual visit.

We tried to find some good OTMing places (places where you could see a lot of people) nearby, but no luck, thus far. We were able to find a service opportunity where we helped clean up the town. It was good.

Sundays are absolutely amazing, with great church services. We were able to help a member on the computer (well, my companion helped him. It was a one-person job). I was looking through an old LDS hymnal that the member had...It was super cool. It had songs that weren't in the one we have today, the songs were named differently after the first couple words, such as, "Count Your Blessings", it was titled "When Upon Life's Billows", and "If You Could Hie to Kolob" had a completely different tune than the one we have. It was sweet.

After we helped him, we had a lesson with the assistant branch mission leader and his daughter. We then had dinner with the branch president and his family. We had delicious grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. We watched the John Tanner story with them. Finally, we went to help the Branch President finish working on our stove...well, he hasn't finished it quite yet. The flames are still too high.

General Conference Thoughts...and Other Things!

My parents are still trying to get "caught up" on my missionary blog. Here is the installment for the first part of April.

General Conference was amazing!!!! I loved every minute of it. I had just gotten another study journal as a gift, so I started writing notes on General Conference. It was so cool. My questions that I brought got answered, and my answers got questioned, etc.

I loved President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk in the morning session of Sunday, and President Henry B. Eyring's talk at the VERY beginning of conference. :D we were going to go to the church to watch the Saturday afternoon session, and entered the church around 2:55 (1:55 for you guys). Well, the video to set up General Conference wasn't set up. My companion and I started to flip. We said a prayer, and called a couple people a couple of times. Didn't work, so we decided to just barge in on a family to watch Conference with them...if they were home. So we traveled there and knocked on their door around 3:07 or so, and they beckoned us in. We enjoyed Conference with them :D. It was cool.

Someone quoted the last part of Part III of Handel's Messiah in the Conference...Last session, somebody who wasn't an apostle. It was so cool! :D

I did two baptismal interviews. The sister missionaries are amazing. We were trying to get our investigators to a baptismal date, but we weren't able to visit with one, and another hadn't been keeping commitments. We got a new potential from going to his house. He started to read the Book of Mormon. Other than that, we tried to reactivate less actives, get one member to quit smoking, and set up exchanges with elders in another town. It was really fun :j.