Monday, July 18, 2016

Week 8: In which I play a tiny cello, clean up a house, and meet Prospector Bob.

Hola! Estoy muy feliz en esta area. Wenatchee es fantastico, y los miembros de la iglesia aqui son persones incredibles. Mi Espanol is toda via no perfecto, pero siempre estoy tratando a aprender mas. Con la ayuda de Dios, yo se que es possible a hacer todas las cosas. Este trabajo aqui en Wenatchee es un milagro. Esta ultima semana, los miembros invitaron tres persones a asistir la iglesia! Esas personas sentieron inspiracion, y estamos muy entusiasmados para visitar con ellos esta semana.
[Hi! I am very happy in this area. Wenatchee is fantatic, and the members of the church here are incredible people. My Spanish is not perfect yet, but I am always trying to learn more. With the help of God, I know that it is possible to do everything. This work here in Wenatchee is a miracle. This last week, the members invited three people to attend church! Those people felt inspiration, and we are very enthusiastic to about visiting with them this week.]
Bueno, pero mucho de ustedes no entienden Espanol. Estoy un poco similar con eso. Voy a hablar en ingles aurita, pero yo se que es bueno a hablar mas en Espanol.
[Alright, but many of you don't understand Spanish. I am a little similar with that. I am going to speak in English now, but I know it is good to speak more in Spanish.]

But yeah, this week was pretty awesome. Elder Wunderlich is a really great companion, and we match up pretty well. He is rather musical, and loves everything about music. He plays bass pretty well, though I have unfortunately not had the opportunity to hear him as of yet. He's also a Star Wars fanatic, which, of course, is really nice. We know bits about different parts of Star Wars, so it's hard to say who is more fanatical (but, for the purposes of this email, let's just say it's me). He's from Colorado originally, which is pretty cool. We get along pretty well, as you can all probably imagine.
I'm going to be able to play a cello today! It's really awesome, but there is one catch: it's a 3/4 size instrument. Yeah, that will be interesting. I'm not sure how it'll go, actually, because that's significantly smaller and squeakier than a normal-size cello. Still, I've tried out some pretty small normal cellos, almost that small, and so I may be able to pull it off. Heh heh. We'll see. After practically accosting the poor lady who is in charge of special musical numbers in our ward, I was asked (translation: I asked) to play a special musical number in 2 weeks. It's happening! I'm just so ruthless at asking people to let me play cello that they'll start buying cellos to get me to stop pestering them! Yeah!
I kid, I kid. That would be awesome, though. The members are so awesome here, which you will know if you read Spanish (or if my mom is so kind as to actually translate/correct that bit I wrote in Spanish). I'm always working on being better, especially at sharing my thoughts simply. I tend to like to repeat things to be sure others understood them, which is sometimes good, but sometimes just not very helpful. The most important thing is that the spirit is totally there as we talk. It just feels different. The way the spirit feels is slightly different for everyone, but it's always this awesome, comforting feeling of peace, love, and inspiration. It's very quiet, but very strong. It isn't a normal feeling, either. It's amazing how often it is present as I am a missionary, with a quiet confirmation that I am supposed to be right here where I am, and right now.
I feel so much at peace here, despite the craziness of life. As I go from day to day, I am constantly being bolstered up. The joy inherent in seeing the joy of others as we meet with them is very, very strong. I feel a different, sincere kind of love for every single person I see walk by. I just see people; real, individual people. The message I'm sharing has made me so happy, I want everyone else to have the chance to learn for themselves of the joy it can bring. People often look at us and marvel at how many rules we follow, but those very rules help free us to be even happier. It's funny how that works, but I have seen firsthand how it is true.
This week, I've met so many more awesome people. We have done a whole ton of service for a couple of people. First, we went and helped clean up a house owned by Glen, who lives elsewhere, but rented his beautiful property here in Wenatchee out to someone. Guess what? He was notified later by the police here that the place was in utter ruins. Whoever rented the place totally trashed it. The shed burned down, the yard was literally only weeds and no grass, there was writing on all of the walls, trash filling the house, the walls were molding and fading, and everything imaginable had been inflicted on this poor house. The renters then abandoned it entirely. Glen then came back, on his vacation time, to clean it up. It was just truly awful. We helped weed the yard and tear down the shed and fence, both already demolished by fire.
A couple of days later, we helped a lady to weed her garden. The next day, we helped move rocks in another lady's yard so she could plant there. The day after that, we helped a guy named Bob (I'm not making this up) who has a huge black beard and likes to pan for gold. He had a hole that undermined his shed a bit, so we closed it up and filled it in. It totally felt like we were prospecting for gold or something. I have never come across a real prospector before, but I think I can say I now have. He even bought a pickax to help us dig. I didn't know before meeting him that there is actually a gold prospecting club here in Wenatchee. He had an old beat-up pickup truck filled with gold-findin' supplies. I mean, dang! Who would have thought there were still prospectors wandering the earth?
We ran into quite a few new people, and it's such a cool experience to share with them our message. Many people just decline and walk off, but when we get the opportunity to share a bit of our message, the spirit comes very powerfully. Peace, love for others, comfort, and happiness. Those are the fruits of the spirit. It's crazy sometimes when you realize you're not speaking your own words, especially when you don't really know what you're saying. You just open your mouth, speak what comes into your mind as inspiration in the moment, and feel the spirit confirm what has been said.
I love it here, and am very excited to continue serving here.

Now, for pictures! This is one of the zone leaders who lives with us, Elder Call. He's new to this area, but a veteran:
This is me sitting in a chair:
This is the view of Wenatchee from the church parking lot:
This is some of the members of the zone doing email:
This is my trainer, Elder Wunderlich:

Aaaand this is the other zone leader, Elder Brassanini. He's Elder Call's companion, and they both live with us.

I think that's all. So, until next week! Les quiero mucho!
-Elder Adams
[Editor's note: The following pictures were gleaned from the Mission blog, and one was received as a text message.]
The mission president's wife texted this photo to Tammy.
Ben with some of the other missionaries

Ben at a training session for new missionaries and their trainers
Ben at lunch at the training session (Ben is top right)
Mingling in the hallway at the training session

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