!Hola, mis amados amigos y familia! Estoy animado para comunicar con ustedes hoy. Inserio, siento que las semanas realmente son dias. El tiempo que uno tiene en su mision is tan, tan corto. Entonces, quiero hacer mi mejor para ayudar a los demas cuando tengo el tiempo para hacerlo! Les doy gracias por sus oraciones y apollo.
Hello, my beloved friends and family! I am excited to communicate with you today. Seriously, I feel like the weeks are really days. The time one has on their mission is so, so short. So, I want to do my best to help others while I have the time to do it! I give you all thanks for your prayers and support.
So, you are all probably getting anxious who know what is coming up on this Wednesday. It's transfer time! It's always an interesting time for all of us. It's a time of change: sometimes we change companions, sometimes we change areas, sometimes we only change the other missionaries around whom we serve, and sometimes we change everything! So, having started with that, I've just built up a lot of anticipation to know what is going to happen. I'm just going to make you wait, heh heh heh. No spoilers! And you aren't allowed to skip! You have to read it all through! You are allowed to guess, though. I won't ruin all your fun.
So, this has been a very interesting week. Analy said she's too busy to talk, which is really sad, but we came across two more awesome people! One of them is Jessie, and she's super awesome. She told us she is trying to figure out what church, if any, is the same one Christ established. In other words, she just wants to find the truth. She has a very strong desire to learn and study as much as she can to find out, and was very intrigued by how Joseph Smith was asking the same question. She has a lot of questions.
The other person is Rafael, who I think I may have mentioned earlier. Anyway, he read in the Book of Mormon, and even marked some parts he had questions about so he could ask us! It was awesome! We just sat down and tried to answer his questions as best as we could, and he ended up deciding that the Book of Mormon needed to be a subject of much more serious study. He wants to read it with the Bible, find questions, and have them answered. He is, like Jessie, determined to do whatever it takes to find the truth.
Finally, I saved the most special story for last. This was a very emotional moment for me. You may remember about Kenia, who Elder Wunderlich and I taught nearly 4 months ago. We saw many miracles to help bring her closer, and she did indeed come a very long way. However, you may also remember that Elder Aguirre and I tried to contact her for a long time with no success. She was the subject of many long and heartfelt prayers of mine during that time. I prayed simply that she would be given another chance. I knew that she would, but I also strongly felt that her other chance would come as she was taught by another missionary. It wasn't going to be me; I had already done my part and had my chance to help teach her.
Well, in the time of the Lord, my many prayers have finally been answered. As Elder Boren and I prepared to go back to the apartment one evening to plan and prepare for the next day, we happened to be standing on the same corner as her house. To my shock and surprise, I saw a familiar red truck pull up and park in front of her house. No way! It couldn't be! Could this be the second chance I had been praying for? As Kenia got out, she started walking towards us. I did my best to keep my mouth from dropping open. We then just said hi for a minute, and she told us her life had gotten crazy and that was why it was so hard to find her. She told us a day and a time we could come back and talk more, and then we said goodbye and she walked away.
I was stunned. I went back that night and prayed in great gratitude. It was a very emotional moment. However, I knew that my time in Wenatchee was at a close. Even though I am a different missionary and a different person than I was before, I knew that it was not to be me.
I then received a call Saturday telling me that I am going to be leaving Wenatchee. I will be going to Othello, in the Othello Zone, to both the 2nd and 4th wards. That means I will be doing missionary work for everyone there, both English and Spanish, with my new companion, Elder Steadman. I have heard great things about Othello! Elder Call, who is leaving today, used to serve in that area. He was very excited to hear where I was going, and told me his time in Othello was by far the happiest three transfers of his mission. I am very sad to leave Wenatchee, but I am equally excited for this amazing new opportunity! I know it's where I need to be.
Well, I'm out of time. I guess it's time to stop talking and get to work!
I love you all so much,
Questions from Editor Mom:
Of course, we want to know how transfers will affect you and the others in your apartment, but you already knew this. - Um, yeah. Sorry, spoilers. One thing you can know, though, is Elder Call goes home today. He finished his two years already. What?!? I know.
I've read of missionaries decorating their planners. Do you decorate yours? If so, what do you use to decorate it? - I occasionally do, and I use different things. I'll see if I can send you a picture of my most recent one.
Have you been able to play the cello? Scales? When I can find time (which is rarely), I usually do practice scales, yes. The other Elders don't get why, but that doesn't matter. I know why, and I know it will improve my ability to bring the spirit when I play here.
Have you had any apartment inspections? If so, how did you fair? - Not yet. The next one is, I think, this next Friday. It's really soon.
Have you been able to return the cello? - I have indeed returned the cello. It's all taken care of.
How's the weather? Has it snowed? Rained a lot? - Weather is cool! It hasn't snowed, but it has rained an unusual amount this last transfer. It's not normal in this area, even this time of year from what I hear.
Are you keeping good records of your investigators for the next elders that are in your area? - We do our best. We don't really track areas we've tracted out, as that's mostly passed down orally. Same with contacts, but we do sometimes write down a little unofficial list to help future missionaries out.
?Que tal el espanol? [How's Spanish?] - !Es excellente! Estoy muy contento con mi abilidad a hablar, pero obviamente tengo que mejorar. Usted puede ver eso, probabamente. Constantamente estoy aprendiendo mas cosas y palabras. He aprendido muy, muy rapidamente, especialmente por mie tiempo aqui. Muchas personas me dicen eso. It's excellent! I am really content with my ability to speak, but obviously, I need to improve. You can probably see that. I am constantly learning more things and words. I have learned, very, very quickly, especially for my time here. Many people tell me that.
Do most people in your area live in acceptable conditions? - Pretty much. It depends, I suppose, on your definition of acceptable, but there are not really any places quite like, for example, the townships in SA. People occasionally live in corrogated metal trailers, which is even more common in other areas, but our area is pretty much in the heart of the city. Conditions are usually at least acceptable, by my reckoning. Not that there isn't room for a lot of improvement, of course.
Do you have a Latino grocery store in your area? Or any other cultural indications that there are many Latinos in the area? - Oh, yes. We have 2 little Mercaditos grocery stores. It's super awesome! We also have some really, really good taco trucks. I love, love, love, love, love horchata. I can't get enough of it. Plenty of little Taquerias, too. Elder Call got a sombrero at another place in the mission, Othello. He served there a while back, in the Spanish-speaking 4th ward.
Where are the people you meet who are not first generation Americans from? Mostly Mexico? Other countries like Guatemala, Colombia, etc.? - The vast majority of people here are from Mexico, and a large portion of the Mexicans are from the state of Michocan. Also Nyarid (or however the heck you spell that place. No idea.)
Any thoughts of composing a mission song to submit to the Lewises? - Not really, not yet. Perhaps later.
PLEASE SEND PICTURES. :-) LOTS OF PICTURES.- I know, I know! I keep forgetting my camera when I email. Also, last week we emailed from the library. But that's not really an excuse, because I still forgot my camera.
Have you gone on any more hikes or done anything else for fun on your P-Days? - Um, not really. This transfer was Halloween, which was weird, and also the Temple Trip, which was weird, and a bunch of other abnormal days.
Have you gotten a flu shot? - Nope. I still have no idea; I forgot to ask. Uh, sorry about that. Bad memory sometimes. These weeks fly like nothing else. Time just runs by like really bad diarrhea. Okay, maybe not the best simile, but it'll do.
A brief story about Ben from his companion's blog:
Questions from my brother RileyWhat is your most embarrassing experience and funniest?Off the top of my head I can't think of any embarrassing experiences. I'll have to think of some and get back with a story next week. I think the funniest ones are when we say the wrong word in Spanish. We all get to have a laugh and it lightens up the mood. One example is as we were talking to some people they asked if we were the Mormons and Elder Adams said that that was just a pollo (A chicken) when he was meaning to say apodo (Nickname).
Here is my stylishly decorated missionary planner:
A few photos of us digging underneath Bob's house:
A few more pictures without labels: