Sunday, May 14, 2017

Week 50: In which I teach karate, visit three drunks, and color my scriptures


sent 8 May 2017

Buenos dias!

This has been a pretty exemplary week. For exercise time, I've started teaching Elder West how to do some karate, specifically Sanchin, which is the first Kata from Uechi-Ryu. It's been fun. He's getting really good!

We have been teaching Jorge still, and he successfully quit smoking! He's now reading the Book of Mormon every day, and said that if he gets an answer, will be baptized on May 27th. We're pretty excited! He didn't come to church, which was really sad, but we're still working with him to try to prepare him. We're also working on finding more people, with an increased focus on that this week.

Some interesting things happened this week. First of all, we knocked on the door of what turned out to be 3 super drunk people (not violent, just super stereotypical). We ended up talking to them for a while, trying to get away so we didn't lose time (which is precious as a missionary). However, it was pretty priceless. One of them got super emotional and told us: "Consider me... your father. Anything I 'ave, just come overr and I'll give it to you. Srrusly." He liked us a lot, and said a weird sort of prayer for us. It was pretty entertaining, even though we were sad these three men had been brought down to that low (they said that's what they did... all day... every day. They just sat around and drank beer.)

We also had a crazy conversation with a lady named Chloris. She was awesome. She was a self-proclaimed atheist, and asked us a ton of super hard questions. She had pretty much every intellectual concern in the book (there isn't really a book, as far as I know). Elder West and I had a really fascinating conversation with her, and invited her in the end to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.

Quote of the week (we have a quote wall):
West: Have you taken your meds yet?
Adams: No, but life is so much more fun without meds!
West: Actually, that's true.

(Don't worry, I did in fact take my meds)

Love you!

Elder Adams
Questions from Editor Mom:
Hope you've had a good week. Did you get the package with the boots? Do they fit? - Yes, they do! I was worried at first, because I hastily tried them on with really thick socks. However, I soon discovered that they are just perfect! I'm wearing them right now.

Are you finding a pool of investigators there? - We would, except we're not allowed to swim. Yes, we're finding some more people. We're working on finding some people who will more often keep their return appointments, though. That's the biggest struggle right now.

Do you notice any cultural differences between Oregon and Washington? What differences do you notice, in general, between New England and the Pacific Northwest? - It's drier here, but that's not the case further towards the coast. Most of the mission is a lot like Idaho, terrain and weather-wise, and many people here are really conservative farmers. The Dalles is the most liberal place I've seen here, but is still pretty conservative compared to Mass.  However, I would describe The Dalles as pretty much a mix between Wenatchee and Lowell. It's the place most like home I've seen so far. Not a lot of really profound cultural differences, except for the obvious differences in Hispanic culture and a slight tendency here to be a bit more wasteful with stuff, but that's not very profound. It's just less environment-oriented (like tons of recycle bins and stuff), and more farming and industry-oriented. 

Any interesting insights in your studies? - Well, I decided to read the Book of Mormon through again and color-code certain things by highlighting them.
When God the Father speaks: Yellow
When Christ speaks (or is directly quoted): Red
When the Holy Ghost speaks: Light Blue
When Angels speak: Dark Blue
When Christ, or the Messiah, is directly mentioned or referenced: Orange

It has led to some crazy insights, in combination with conversations as a companionship and with others. Mostly, it is insights about teaching simply, the way the Spirit works, and other zany things.

BTW, because it's a companionship made up of Elder West and me, our conversations about how the Spirit works involved discussions about Flatworld. It was fascinating. It made a lot of sense, answering some questions of ours (which we both individually had) and being confirmed by the Spirit. It was pretty crazy, but given the explanation I just gave, probably a lot less crazy than you are thinking.
Funny stuff? - Well, we talked to three drunk guys for half an hour. That was pretty funny. We were trying to get away the whole time, but they liked us too much and didn't want to let us. 
 They were honestly hilarious, though.

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