Monday, February 6, 2017

Week 37: In which I meet Elder Fordham, survive Rottweilers, and enjoy coconut empanadas

Holy Tamales!

Holy Tamales! This week was super nuts. I don't even know where to start. Should I pick dogs, policemen, coconut empenadas, careening down Death Mountain on bikes in the snow, or eating a full chicken? I even almost forgot saying goodby to Elder Steadman! I also forgot introducing you to Elder Fordham!
Wow. Okay. Deep breaths. Let's start at the beginning. Pues, primero Elder Steadman ya se fue a Yakima para predicar la buena palabra alla. Vamos a extranarlo mucho, pero conocimos a este Elder Fordham! El es muy chido.

Well, first, Elder Steadman has now gone to Yakima to preach the good word there. We will miss him a lot, but we got to know Elder Fordham! He is very cool.

The night before Elder Steadman left, I ate an entire chicken. You already knew that, but you probably didn't know that we both ate them like bosses. Yeah, that's right! It was after a lunch getting a Grand Mac at McDonalds. Now that's impressive. Also, contrary to popular belief, neither of us felt sick. We just felt really, really full.
Then, transfers happened. Hello, Elder Fordham! *crickets*
We did missionary work for a couple of days, which was normal except our phone kept blowing up with messages from what seemed like half of Othello. Everyone wanted to talk to us... all the time! Even in the middle of lessons! I guess we're pretty popular around here.
Saturday, we went to the half of our area that is not technically within town limits: Little Mexico. Man, that was an interesting day. Story time. So we were walking down the street, and I saw this house that we had never knocked because it was guarded by two HUGE and FEROCIOUS rottweilers. This people didn't go for the chihuahua army. We can take those.
Anyway, I didn't see the rottweilers out front, but I was still super scared to open the gate and go inside. Man, one of those things could have eaten us both in a single bite! Okay, that's definitely an exaggeration, but they were huge. In order to test and see if they were there, I loudly shook the metal chain-linked gate several times to attract them if they were home. They didn't come, so we felt secure enough to risk it. Heh heh. Dumb.
Both Elder Fordham and I probably had our hearts pounding about 4 million miles every minute for a couple of seconds as we stealthily stole across the realm of these mighty beasts. It seemed like an eternity before we were secure behind the inner fence and knocking on the door. Success! The lady answered, and immediately asked if we spoke Spanish. We both answered that we did, and she then told us something that chilled me to my bones: "Wow, you about gave me a heart attack! Please never come in here again! Those dogs out there bite!"
Elder Fordham and I nervously chuckled, thinking they weren't home, and began to explain why it was so important to us to brave dogs to talk to people. She, however, destroyed all confidence in my fence-shaking abilities when she told us the the dogs were most definitely home. She wasn't super interested in our message, but was in shock that we were so brave and macho.
She then escorted us out to help protect us, and was shocked again when we said we shook the fence. She told us even the littlest thing attracted those dogs. We then testified of modern miracles and prophets, and left her to her dogs. Holy cow, that was scary.
We then later got invited in to a Mexican Jehovah's Witness Block Party with Coconut Empanadas. The empanadas were delicious.
Finally, an excerpt of my letter to the president:

Without going into details, Brenda has a big heart. She decided to live the law of Chastity, but felt apprehensive about making her boyfriend choose between her and his other girlfriend here in Othello. Long story short, she asked him to either marry her or leave, many crazy things happened, and she has now kicked him out for good. He showed his true colors just yesterday and the day before. He can't even legally go back.

However, this whole ordeal completely broke Brenda's heart. She has been through a lot lately, especially because she still cared about him and wished he would marry her. However, in the last few days, Elder Fordham and I have learned a great deal about the laws of justice and mercy, the atonement, and of the trials of our faith. It's not every time that the trial of our faith is a big, dramatic event, but such circumstances perfectly illustrate how Heavenly Father sometimes has to break us down to build us up. She has passed through what we hope is the worst of her trial of faith, but she sounds like a completely different Brenda as a result. She is now focused on the well-being of her kids, and she is excited for a new and brighter future. She is doing great!

Finally, another miracle happened within her family. Christopher, her son who never seemed interested (although we saw more interest in him than he wanted us to think), asked Brenda what he would have to do to be baptized with her and Crystal. He promised to listen to us, and we will begin working towards preparing them now... as a family. They are ready to move on to a bright, bright new future. It has been especially clear since we met them that the Lord is especially mindful of this family. It's a glorious thing to comprehend.

I love this work, and I especially love the people here in Othello. I am excited to watch as Brenda and her family make their final preparations to enter into this covenant with God and start fresh as a family. They will be so blessed. I know that whom the Lord loves, he chastens. He loves all of us, and we sometimes feel it. I love the opportunity to serve here at least one more transfer with Elder Fordham.
I love you all, and hope you have a great week!
Elder Adams

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