Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Week 62: In which I eat a Philly cheesesteak, pulled pork, and blackberries.

Normal Week #62

Well, another week has slipped by. It's pretty crazy how they do that, isn't it? July is almost over!

This week, it was pretty normal. Let's go day-by-day, shall we? Just for variety, I'm going to try to remember and recount in detail what we had for dinner every day.

Monday: Monday, we tried to find people to listen to us. We also tried by a lot of potential investigators. Almost no one was home, but I do think we were able to talk to Tarsicio for a little bit (he's an investigator who is now preparing for baptism; wait, that's a spoiler) or maybe his mom, I don't remember. I'm pretty sure I had a peanut butter sandwich (or maybe cereal, I'm not quite sure) for dinner.

Tuesday: Tuesday we went to Zone Conference, which is a big meeting with many of the missionaries in the mission. It was really amazing, and we learned a lot about how to better work with local church leaders to help bring more people unto Christ. Afterwards, we visited a baptism in Goldendale, had dinner at Dairy Queen (I had a spicy sandwich thing that was pretty good and a Butterfinger Blizzard), then talked to [some investigators] in Goldendale. To quote a small part of my letter to President Lewis: 

[One of our investigators] is really quite stubborn, as it turns out. He's not sure he wants to follow God, since he feels he's already made a lot of really big changes in his life (which is true) and, while he knows there's more, feels he's pretty good where he is. He just wants to be normal, not do bad things, and have a family. He doesn't want to do bad things, but isn't sure he really wants to do good things. However, [his wife] really wants him to have a stronger relationship with Christ. He's also willing to listen and makes progress, it's just he does it very, very slowly.

Wednesday: Wednesday we checked the boxes we set around town. We tried to find a lot of people, didn't find them, tried to have a couple of lessons, they fell through, and  then had correlation that evening. Not especially eventful, actually. We had dinner at Spooky's with Brother Anala (a member of 1st Ward). Spooky's has really yummy sandwiches, and I had a Philly.

Thursday: Thursday, I went on exchanges with Elder Hanson. He and I tracted (knocked doors) in the morning, ate lunch and studied, and then visited George, a teenage boy. We decided to stop visiting George after that visit. Mainly, it's because George isn't actually interested at all. He's studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses, though, which he apparently likes. He doesn't want to actually do anything, though, and is always super uncomfortable when we visit. So, we decided just to give the poor kid a break. We helped out at the Food Bank that afternoon, and they are awesome! The Food Bank here loves us missionaries now. They are so grateful for our help, and we're grateful for the opportunity. Even more service opportunities are springing up thanks to them! After the Food Bank, we went to dinner with Sister Stensen (she lives in 1st ward and is a really nice lady). We ate amazingly yummy pulled pork sandwiches. That evening, we tried by a bunch of people and none of them were home.

Friday: Friday we planned most of the day, tracted, had dinner with the Collins family (an awesome family who moved in recently). We ate KFC and assorted salads (pasta salad, fruit salad, potato salad, etc.) We finished it all off with cake and ice cream.

Saturday: Saturday we went to Dallesport in the morning, and met Carlos and Sandra! They're new investigators, and we're going back next Saturday. They had a lot of questions about the Plan of Salvation. The rest of the day, pretty much nothing happened. Well, that's not quite true. We went on an expedition waaaaaay into the boonies and found Stephny, a less-active member. We ate dinner Saturday with Brother and Sister Rowe. He's on the Stake High Council and he's also Stake Sunday School President. They're really nice and like classical music, so they asked me a bunch of questions.

Sunday: Yesterday, we prepared for a bunch of meetings, had the meetings, then went to church. After Church, we changed and went to dinner (church lasts from 1pm-4pm). Dinner was with the Wagner family. Brother Wagner is the Ward Mission Leader for 1st Ward. After that, we tried to find a bunch of people, but they weren't there. We did set up a couple of appointments for this upcoming week, though!

Elder Jensen is awesome! The two of us are getting along quite nicely. He has a great spirit and is really, really, sincere.

Love you all! Now, if you'll excuse me, we're going to go pick some blackberries.

Elder Adams

Questions from Editor Mom

!Hola mi hijo querido! ?Que tal? - Muy bien, gracias! Que tal usted?

Did you get your package? (Dad and I had fun decorating it.) - Yes, we did! It was super fun! I vaguely remember having those Botan rice candies before, because they have the edible wrapper. That was really fun, thanks!
We sent Ben a package for International Friendship Day, covered in "international" stickers.


Do you think your sick day might be related to the restaurant that didn't pass health code (just a thought :-/) Sounds a bit like it might have been food poisoning, just saying. - Um, I'm actually not sure. It never even occurred to me, la mera verdad.

We saw a picture Sister Lewis took of an Elder who was wearing pants that he had ripped out and then sewn together with white thread. Funny. Really funny. Please tell me it wasn't you. :-) - Okay, I'll tell you it wasn't me. Do you want the real answer? It wasn't me. ;-P
Here is the picture in question --

How was zone conference? What inspired you? What observations/comments did you make? Did you enjoy reconnecting with anyone? - I loved Zone Conference! We drove up there ourselves. I don't remember what comments I made, but it was great to see Elder Tapia again. He's a Zone Leader up in Yakima now! I gave him a tie, so we can now match. I was particularly inspired about how to find more people and work with Ward Leaders more effectively. There were some really great trainings on that, and it was really enlightening.

What have you been learning from your studies? - That I get really tired when studying. Also, I've been reviewing a lot of the doctrine taught in Preach My Gospel in the missionary lessons. I'm trying to condense all the information there into what we call "Lesson Plans". They're really, really handy!

Are your brown shoes slip-ons or do you have to tie them (in case we have to replace them at some point)? - They're tie-on. Also, I can get by with them fine now, but I have realized since I last told you about them that the soles are disappearing. They're wearing through, and there is now a rock snugly tucked in a hole that has been worn through the sole. Actually, the rock is very helpful, because it reinforces the sole a bit more.

What have been your biggest challenges this week? - Being tired. I have been so, so, tired. I am getting unbelievably tired the longer I am on my mission. I'm still pressing through, but man! I'm tired. There haven't been too many challenges other than being tired, actually.

What has brought you the most joy this week? - I don't know. It's pretty great to find a couple of new investigators, which we did! It's just nice to see people you're trying to help be happy actually be happy for a change. That happens on occasion, and it's great!

Are you doing anything fun for P-Day, like have you seen the Stonehenge thing yet? - Nope, but we plan to go pick blackberries today. That should be fun/delicious.

Is it a rule to stay in your area for P-Day, or can you go anywhere in your district, the mission, etc.? What are your boundaries? - Generally, our boundaries are the Zone. We shop all in our area, and then go to Hood River with the Zone Leaders to join the rest of the Zone there.

How often do you have to call your district leader? Every day? Do you ever have to call the zone leaders or mission office? - We don't ever have to "check in" or anything. We call our district leader often enough to clarify things, coordinate between our areas (we do that with the zone leaders as well), and do other various things that further the work. We hardly ever have to call the mission office unless there's a glitch or issue with the apartment, Tiwi (box in our car that yells at us if we drive badly), or other assorted things.

I love you! I'm looking forward to hearing from you, as always! - Love you too, Mom! Bye!

Pictures from Zone Conference

(First, a movie of everyone waving.  Spot Ben.)

Ben and his companion, Elder Jensen:

Group Portrait of the zone conference:

Ben making a comment:

Ben the helper:

Ben putting away the chairs:

Ben and his companion, Elder Jensen:

They have a tradition of standing on their chairs to sing thanks to the volunteers who made lunch:

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