HEY!! HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE! How was everyone's week? It definitely wasn't the best week for me, but oh well...I knew week 11 was going to be tough and that's exactly what it was! It started out with exchanges with my favorite Elder in the district, Elder Hamp. He's funny and still gets work done!
On our "4 hour knocking spree" we talked to this guy outside of his home. He quickly said "I already know it all! You guys are WAY too young to be teaching, especially to someone like me. You need 10-15 years of Holy Bible experience like me to go out and spread the word." Then as we continued to talk to him he was just trying to make us feel dumb by asking questions like, "how many starts are in our Galaxy?..." After we guessed he said stuff like "Wow really?..there are 500 billion" and more dumb questions like "how many galaxies are there? (No one knows that) “Do you even know how many books are in the Bible?" And my personal favorite "do you know when the letter J was invented?...the 1700's". His whole goal was basically to make us feel like idiots. Then he yelled at us because we stopped paying attention, because we were already late to an appointment, saying "how much do you learn in a day? Not much I assume! I'm trying to teach and you guys don't even listen. You go pretend to help people while I go do actual work at a JOB". In this case it's kind of hard to be loving towards people like that, but you just got to push through it and laugh at it later on!:) Be an example.
Sorry for the rambling on about those experiences. This week has been full of them. It was a rough week because I was in charge of ALL finding, contacting, planning, and teaching situations, while my trainer sat back. He also made me delete the picture on my iPad of Ryker, Tinlee and I at the Provo Temple, yup.. But...that's week 11 in training for ya. LUCKILY this is my last week of the transfer!! Almost there!!!
You may remember me talking about our investigator Jesse in the past and how he was on a roller coaster in his health with his lung cancer? He would have his good days and his bad. The last time we met with Jesse he looked at us, said he knew his health wasn't getting better by any means, but he wasn't going down without a fight. Last Sunday night his neighbors took him to the hospital because he wasn't breathing right. Shortly after arriving he passed away. We had no clue until we went to check on him a few days after. We could tell because his ramp to his door was missing and then the neighbors told us everything. I just want to thank you all for the prayers for him! It made me sad to think we weren't able to get through all of the lessons, but I know Jesse is happy where he is with no more pain to deal with! It was expected and he put up a fight for sure! It’s not every day that one of your investigators pass away...but I'm thankful for the opportunity I had to meet him! And his last words to us as we left his home a few days before were "I really appreciate you guys coming over" this work is changing lives. And although he didn't get the full message, he had that faith and love for his Savior, I know he will continue learning and is in a much better place and state than he was before!
Sorry, I didn't want the email to turn sad, but I have to keep this thing current and that's kind of a huge thing that happened this week. Week 11...man you're putting me through the wringer haha! Anyway, it’s just a lot of teaching, finding and biking going on around here! Nothing too new other than that! I don't want to leave DeLand!... YET at least! The ward members are awesome! Their faces become familiar and it just starts acting like your home ward! You make friends with people in the ward! I just hope the wards continue being cool!
Even through this painful week, we had some amazing things happen. Specifically on Saturday! Miracles were just all around!!! First off, we rode past a big carnival that was happening in downtown DeLand and talked to some AWESOME people!! We found a lady that needs some service. Next we started biking home and met a guy who Elder Cooper and his last companion talked to months ago, but never contacted after that.. And he was SO interested to hear the message now! YES! Then on our way home to lunch, a sweet family having a birthday party in a park invited us over and gave us lots of water and we ate lunch with them! We found out they were not active members. So hopefully we can teach them or just be that example. And to end the night off, we had a Tri-Ward "Fall Fling" and met MORE awesome people, handed out candy, played games, overall just had a blast!!
Thursday marks 3 months of being on a mission!!! WOOHOO! Time is starting to really go by!! Once I get a new companion, I'm sure it'll go even faster!! MAN!!...I can't wait!!! I'm nervous to be the one that knows the area and people more than the other, but it's alright. Week 11 has really helped and it has to happen eventually!! Overall not that bad of a week! Next Tuesday is transfer day so be ready to hear about the new companion and stuff! Weather is finally cooling off in the mornings. In the low 60's! So that's pretty awesome.
This week we talked a lot about faith in most of our lessons. So might as well share a little huh?:) Faith is important. It's something you don't focus on, but is needed so often you might not realize. Farmers plant their crops only to have the faith that they will grow. Faith is the foundation to everything we do, although sometimes our faith can be hanging by its last thread. We should never lose the hope.
"Your path will at times be difficult. But I give you this promise in the name of the Lord: rise up and follow in the footsteps of our Redeemer and Savior, and one day you will look back and be filled with eternal gratitude that you chose to trust the Atonement and its power to lift you up and give you strength. No matter how many times you have slipped or fallen, rise up! Your destiny is a glorious one! Stand tall and walk in the light of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! You are stronger than you realize. You are more capable than you can imagine. You can do it now!"
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf
This talk is AMAZING! It brings hope to me, knowing I can have those moments that no matter how many times I do slip, or something doesn't go quite right, I can pick myself up and continue on my way! Thank you all for everything, all the prayers, thoughts, emails and letters. I love and appreciate all of you!