Saturday, February 4, 2017

Week 35: In which I endure ice storms, make syrup, and attend a baptism

[written 23 Jan 2017]

The Adventures of Elder Adams: "The Week of Endless Planning"

Yep, just another crazy week here in Othello. Ice storms, cancellations, rescheduled meetings, accidental ice skating, new people, awesome people, and much, much more. Ha sido una semana muy, muy asombrosa y loca. Teniamos bastante planamiento, especialmente porque habian muchas reuniones que fueron movidos. Fue tan loco y divertido.
It has been a very, very amazing and crazy week. We had quite a bit of planning, especially because a lot of meetings were moved. It was so crazy and fun.
Entonces pues, entonces.
So well, so.
We had so much nuts stuff happen! First of all, we were supposed to have a big meeting Tuesday, but we realized we had scheduled it at the same time as mother nature's scheduled semi-centennial "Ice Party", so we rescheduled it to Wednesday. We found this out Monday evening. That meant that we had to re-plan the rest of our week, but we finally made everything work.
Thing is, mother nature party pretty hard with her Ice Party, and it was late in starting, so it actually didn't happen until Wednesday.  That meant that we had to reschedule AGAIN: for Friday. Thing is, Friday is when we do our planning for the next week, so we had to move our 3-hour planning session to Thursday instead. That meant we had to completely re-plan... AGAIN... the day before we spent 3 hours planning. Ugh. So much planning.  It involved a lot of calling people to move around our appointments, especially a lot of last-minute changes. The ice storm made it especially interesting, since a lot of people that were going to help us out cancelled, so we couldn't teach some of our people. It was kind of sad, but I'm also glad we were safe through the storm.
Also, I have recently been enjoying microwave waffles with my own homemade buttermilk syrup (made from the recipe you sent me). Thanks, it's delicious!

Now, to save time, here's some stuff on our investigators, as quoted from another letter (and edited slightly just to make it more relevant):

"Brenda and Crystal are still doing great, and we're still working with them a lot. They are technically not on-date any more, since 8 days ago Brenda had a single cigarette. That was 1 day less then 2 weeks until her date, so we had to move it. After that, she is still trying to figure out a situation with the father of her baby, so she didn't want to commit to another date until that is sorted out. As soon as that is clear, though, she's pretty much there.

Yolie/Nikita are also doing great! Yolie is now fully recovered, but Nikita is sick now. We can meet with them, but they didn't go to church again because of it. Except for church, we would consider them progressing super great. Yolie is using the Gospel Principles manual as a study and reference guide for her Book of Mormon reading now! It's awesome! She's getting super stoked, and is keeping all her other commitments (like the Word of Wisdom, even though she loved her coffee).

We also met a bunch of super cool people this week, and have a lot of new potentials and new investigators. Sunday, we were wondering what to do, and we had the impression to go to a nearby apartment complex. We had already knocked there, and no one had shown much potential. On the second door we felt inspired to knock, and a lady named Cicilia answered. There were 2 ladies named Cicilia and a guy named Audel inside, and the older Cicilia immediately invited us in. We entered, and they brought up chairs and turned off the TV. They hadn't really talked with missionaries before, because they're usually pretty busy and also usually pretty Catholic. After praying, we shared with them the message of the Restoration. They were blown away! They had never heard that the Bible had been changed, and they understood the account of the First Vision so much that one of the two ladies gasped in awe when she heard the famous words: 'This is my Beloved Son. Hear Him.'

They were very grateful that we took the time to stop by, and that we even gave them copies of the Book of Mormon. They invited us back, and we're going to return Thursday. We also met another cool Spanish-speaking (and Mixteco) lady named Juana who is now investigating and came to church Sunday!

Finally, Luz was baptized in a nearby area (3rd Ward, but Spanish, so 4th). It was a really beautiful service, and we were shocked when a former investigator of ours, Bri, walked in the door. She also came to church the next day. Bri, as it turns out, wanted really badly to be baptized before, but is still underage. Her parents are staunch Catholics and consider being baptized twice a sin. They're fine with Bri going to church and studying with the missionaries, but they are very strongly against her baptism. Bri, however, knows it's true and wants to be baptized. This wouldn't necessarily mean a lot, since we can't exactly teach someone a lot who we can't help towards baptism right now. However, we also learned that Luz, who was just baptized, is the sister of one of Bri's parents! In that light, we have felt that the time is right to try to work a bit with Bri's parents to try to help soften their hearts so that thy might let their daughter be baptized. If we can get that permission, it will make a big difference for Bri. We feel the way is to work with Luz, her aunt, so that their combined testimonies can soften the barrier. Anyway, we're going to give it a shot. Either it works or it doesn't, right?" 
I'm so glad for the opportunity to serve here in Othello, and I hope that we will be able to touch the people here and help make their lives better.
Love you all!
Elder Adams
[Questions from Editor Mom]

Are you getting white hair on your temples!!!??? :-)Um, no. I just asked Elder Steadman to check, too.

What are you reading for your studies these days? Have you read or started Jesus the Christ yet? It's pretty good. Did you take Articles of Faith? Does your mission have a study guide, or are you on your own to study whatever you want?
Okay, yes. So, I have definitely read from Jesus the Christ, yep. It's good light reading. I study mainly the scriptures and Preach My Gospel, but I also study from the approved missionary library (Jesus the Christ, Our Search for Happiness, Our Heritage, True to the Faith). I do, in fact, have Dad's old Jesus the Christ, which includes Articles of Faith, but unfortunately Articles of Faith is not approved reading. I have, however, gotten special permission from President Lewis to keep Dad's copy, I'm just not supposed to actually study from Articles of Faith. I did study from it some before knowing it wasn't approved earlier in my mission, but I don't any more. President Lewis did say, however, that I can use it as a reference, I just shouldn't say to myself "Oh, look at that! I feel like studying Articles of Faith today!" So, no. It's not even authorized to read during lunch break. I can just reference it on occasion.
How are Spanish studies coming? Are you enlarging your vocabulary? Have you thought about whether you will study German, Italian, or French when you get home, assuming you still want to study music at BU?I am working on it! We have a new and improved study schedule for the 6 elders here in Othello, and Elder Steadman helps us with grammar. I'm also trying to enlarge my vocab with the words you sent. After all, we have 1 hour to study Spanish almost every day.
Any more funny things to share?Um, I fell on my large, cushiony butt twice in the same day this week. Literally. It's been SUPER icey, what with a couple of large ice storms that swept through Othello. It's the perfect temperature for it. So, walking down the street, and I've had a couple of "Ohhhhhhh nooooooo!!!" moments. You know, when you're walking casually and realize your foot is suddenly not where it is supposed to be, and you are on ice, and you try to re-balance, but your other foot is also now in front of you in the air, and so are you, and then you are not. Very much not. I'm fine, it was just a fun-filled thrilling couple of seconds. Twice in a day.
BTW, it's fine to copy and paste from your letter to your mission president. Then, we get to hear more about other things that are going on, which is fun.
Cool, I'm glad you enjoy that!
Love you!
Elder Adams

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