written June 26, 2017
¡Hola, hermanos! ¿Que tal? Hoy quisiera hablarles de la semana que tuvimos. Era rara. Primero, hemos tratado de encontrar a Noé y María, pero la epocha de la cereza ya toma todo su tiempo. No hemos podido encontrarles en casa, o también es posible que estaban dormidos unas veces. No obstante, tuvimos muchas experiencias bien lindas, y el Élder West y yo continuamos a encontrar más adventuras cási cada día. ¡Nunca es aburrida una misión!
Hello brothers & sisters! How's it going? Today I wanted to talk to you about the week we had. It was rare. First, we tried to find Noé and Maria, but the cherry season now takes all their time. We have not been able to find them at home, or it's also possible that they were asleep sometimes. Nonetheless, we had a lot of really good experiences, and Elder West and I continued to find more adventures almost every day. A mission is never boring!
Pues, empiezo ya. ¿Piensen que debo hablar en inglés para todos que no hablen el idioma celestial? Sí, sí, yo sé. Lo haré, entonces.
Well, I'm starting now. Do you think I should speak in English for those who do not speak the celestial language? Yeah, yeah, I know. So I will do it.
Well, this has been a crazy week. We're trying to find more people to teach like crazy. The cherry picking season has completely engulfed the lives of a lot of the people we're working with, so we've gone into "finding" hyperdrive. It's going to be a crazy couple of months. This week was really... interesting. We've had a couple of really fascinating experiences and encounters. We'll see if I can remember any.
Tuesday, we helped out at the Food Bank taking people through. They were very glad to have our help, since we speak Spanish (we were the only volunteers there who did). We then spent some time trying to figure out and arrange a service project at the Hospital, but ran into way too much red tape. Grr. At least we were able to arrange so I can play cello this Thursday in the Hospital Atrium! We finally got the green light! That's going to be awesome. I'm planning on playing some Bach Unaccompanied Cello Suites, and we found a Less-Active member here who is a cellist and has a much nicer cello than any I've seen in the mission so far. It's not as nice as mine, but it's not bad at all. I'll close it up with a hymn or two (or three).
Wednesday we met a cool guy named Leo. To quote a portion of my letter to President Lewis:
He was investigating before, but just got too busy. However, we shared the message of the Restoration with him and he was really touched by it. He was shocked when he found out about our current organization, and how literally everything is decided by prayer and revelation. It really sparked something in him, and he wants the rest of his family to be involved as well. His family is out of town right now, and his work is going to make him super busy, but he told us to call him back after the 4th of July to set up another appointment. He wants to take them all to church sometime after that, as well!
Thursday we helped at the Food Bank again. Friday, we planned for this upcoming week and tried to find people. Saturday, we helped some local members of the church, Brother and Sister Swales, to weed their garden and make a dent in removing a seemingly infinite number of evil little weed bulbs (they never ended and it looked like we did absolutely nothing).
Earlier this week, a guy told asked us "Are you aware you're being deceived?" and proceeded to ask us "In the name of Jesus Christ, what is your name?" When we answered him, he said "Aha! And you think you're not controlled by a devil?" We were a bit nonplussed, actually. We almost didn't know how to respond, since I'd never had that happen before. We simply invited him to pray to know if what we shared was true. He then proceeded to do so, praying not only to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet, but asked that if we were wrong, that a "burden be placed upon our backs so that we might not walk." However, on the flip side, he also asked "If I am wrong, please place that burden on me." He also prayed and asked for the spirit to be with us and show us the way. His prayer was actually very, very sincere. We walked away wondering what was to come of that, if he really was sincere.
We then had a couple of amazing, super spirit-filled days when we felt especially guided. It was pretty amazing. I learned better how to follow the Spirit, and we had an amazing planning session on Friday. We also had so many interesting and weird things happen that we half expected to walk up and find a muffin in the middle of the sidewalk. We didn't, but that would certainly have blown our minds. Instead, we ran into a guy with a huge backpack who said he was doing "clandestine spiritual warfare". No idea what that meant, but it sounded like a massive conspiracy theory, mixed with a really cool spy/sci-fi movie, mixed with inter-dimensional warfare. It was... really interesting, to say the least. He looked and sounded completely sane, until you heard what it was that was actually coming out of his mouth. It was an odd experience, for sure. Oregon. He told us that he actually would really love to read the Book of Mormon, so we gave him a copy. Perhaps some good will come of it!
To explain the title of this email, Elder Niel L. Anderson, one of the 12 Apostles, invited the missionaries from our mission and the Kennewick Mission to memorize 10 scriptures from the New Testament and 10 scriptures from the Book of Mormon. Elder West chose as one of his Book of Mormon scriptures 2 Nep 9:50-51. He was reciting it out loud in Spanish, and there is a phrase that says "y venga aquel que no tiene dinero" ([come] he that hath no money), but I heard "y viene aquel que no tiene dinero" (a person with no money comes up). I then began saying "Y viene aquel que no tiene dinero: Holaaa! Hermanos! Como estan? Aqui estoy! No tengo dinero!"
(And the one who doesn't have money comes up: "Heyyy! Brothers! How are you? Here I am! I don't have any money!")
imitating a drunk guy asking for money. It was funnier if you were there.
I know for sure the Lord's hand is heavily involved in this area at this time. It is very clear, and Elder West and I are super excited for what this next week holds!
Love you all, and hope you have a great week.
Questions from Editor Mom:
How are you? - Wunderbar!
Does your blue suit still fit? - Yes, it does... what are you implying?
What are you laughing about these days? - Occasionally, scriptures such as 2 Nep and my personal favorite, Rom 14:2-3.
Also, we laugh about the little things, like when one of us says something funny or does a funny impersonation. It's pretty much a blast.
How are Noe and Maria and your other investigators? - Well, cherry season ate their lives. We're working on finding a time they can meet with us.
What are you doing for aerobic exercise? - Occasionally, karate, interpretive dancing, and fantasy swordfighting using a broom handle. I'm trying to be creative.
What music are you listening to? - Wellington's Victory, old English renaissance music, Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony, the 1812 Overture, Mahler, and Carl Orff's "O Fortuna", to name a few. We also occasionally listen to The Piano Guys, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, EFY stuff (it's not all trash, actually), Vocal Point, Celtic Woman, and many, many more.
Do you have bikes, in addition to the car? (Could you choose to use them if you wanted to?) - No, we do not. We just have the car. There are too many walking areas that are in desperate for bikes, so we're just nowhere near a priority.
Do you have enough work to keep you happily occupied? - Well, yes. The work rarely comes to us on a golden platter; we make the work.
How's your morale holding out? - Fantastical! While there are, of course, occasional dips and rises, depending on what's going on at any given time, our morale averages pretty good. It's certainly rising (based on no external influences, interestingly). We're excited for what this next week holds.