January 22, 2014
So get this one everybody. I can’t remember my nephews and nieces but when Dad wrote me saying that the 49ers were playing the Seahawks this week I immediately remembered, “Ah, Jim Harbough and Pete Carroll don’t like each other. I remember after a game once they didn’t shake hands” and then I read on and Dad told me that they didn’t like each other. Ha. I’m afraid that’s not something to brag about. I can remember two NFL coaches’ relationship but I can’t remember whom my nieces and nephews belong to. Whoops. Anyway, I was dreaming this week. It was a good dream I remember but I can’t even remember what it was about. I think like everybody was making the house a big mess and I was trying to clean it (I know weird dream huh?) but it just kept getting dirtier and dirtier until it almost filled up my whole vision. And then I moved to the kitchen and all the sudden there it was. I looked down and BOOM the perfect, right size, golden brown flopover. (A flopover is a creation that came to us from Mark’s family. To make one you coat a skillet cooking spray and put refried beans on one side of a flour tortilla. Next you sprinkle the beans with cheese and fold the tortilla in half. Put the tortilla on the skillet and let it cook until it is the golden brown that Kyle describes from his dream. Then “flop it over” and cook the other side. Serve it with sour cream and another one of Kyle’s favorites “El Pato” hot sauce.) The flopover was just sitting on the skillet, waiting there for me to eat. I kid you not – it was perfectly golden. Every single bit of it too. What a great dream. I’ll remember it forever.
Well anyway. It was a good week here! But something strange is happening. So Staci has informed me that there is a new season of “24” coming on. (I think I have mentioned in the blog before that Kyle and the rest of our family love the television show “24.” The finale broadcast was on May 10, 2010 but they have announced another season starting this coming May.) Well get this. In our teaching pool right now, we have a Michelle, a John, a Kim, and new to the teaching pool this week…MANDY! (All of these are names of characters on the show.) I’ll tell you more about how all of them are doing but those are just the ones that I can think of off the top of my head. It’s been a long but fast week. The weekends as a missionary are just so untradeable and this weekend was no exception. It seems like things are starting to fall into place here. The days are long, the finding hours many, but I just can’t remember them. I know what I have done but I’m re-energized and ready to do it again.
That’s cool that the open house for the temple has started! (We had told him about the Gilbert Arizona Temple open house.) I heard the governor went and good things are happening! I can’t wait to see it! The temple went good today. (Kyle wrote later in the week because he and his companion were assigned t go to the temple.) I didn’t change next to any General Authorities though so that’s kind of a let down. But this time the session was just missionaries and like one guy with his wife. Turns out he went to Stapley Junior High, (the junior high Kyle’s older sisters attended) moved, then served in the Mesa Mission, and now knows a missionary that he went to school with and that I served with in Cheung Sha Wan! What a small world. It’s crazy. And the funniest thing is I never even asked for his name! The world is just so small!
I’m glad Bauer found a bed too. Going through old things does have its benefits! Mom sent me a bunch of pictures and wow did I take a drive down memory lane. Just some crazy stuff!
I brought some old toys out of the storage unit and set them up so that the grandkids could play with them in the playroom. Our dog Bauer, (also named for a character in “24”) immediately went to the doll bed, jumped up on it and has called it his own ever since. I also sent Elder Kyle a couple of pictures of toys he loved when he was a little boy.
This week was a great one. The week went by pretty fast. It is still a lot of finding but lately we have been “running into” more contacts and teaching more lessons on the street. I have no doubt in my mind that these past two weeks the Spirit has led us to meet more people than ever before. Finding is great. There was one point, about two weeks ago where I wasn’t thinking about “giving up” per-say, but I was doubting myself and probably just going to lower the expectations I have for the area and for myself. But then at that moment, when I read in “Preach My Gospel” that lowering expectations only decreases faith I told myself I am going forward not backward. I made some personal sacrifices and a companionship one (not going to the place for finding that will just distract us) and put the rest on the Lord. Ever since then I feel like no matter what the problem is, I am ready to take it on. I love them now actually. There is a lot going on, but I’m ready for more. I feel like I’ve had more energy for the work than ever before. I want to go out. As I was praying one night, I thought, “I just want to keep going right now. This is great stuff I’m doing. I know I need sleep, but I just don’t feel like it.” Everyday from about 8:30 to about 10:30 is just go, go, go and I feel like I’m not wasting any energy. It’s a great feeling.
We had two great experiences while finding that turned into gaining new investigators. We were finding and in both instances we stopped because someone just started looking at our nametags and read “Jesus Christ.” There is just no better conversation starter. It’s truly a miracle to see people stop you because they wonder what is the thing you are wearing on your suit. These two experiences, with both Mandy and Brother Wong, testified to me again of the promise that Heavenly Father truly is leading his children to us. Those kinds of experiences haven’t happened to me too often on my mission and I just think “finding would be so easy like this” but those are the times when I have to remind myself of how we got to this point so that someone wants to stop and talk to us, for two days in a row nonetheless. Heavenly Father is watching out for Elder Welker and me.
This week was a great week at church as well. Even though we had a couple people not show up, and then others that came late, it was still a great week. We had a new investigator named Kim last week – a member referral by Brother Chan the returned missionary. At first, we thought her interest wasn’t that big and this week Brother Chan couldn’t come with her to church. We thought this might keep her from coming, but no! She came – early too! She made good friends with at least two people in the ward. It was a little rough because her boyfriend broke up with her during church, but she said, “It’s alright. I’m at church!” Her interest is a lot bigger than we originally thought. We invited her to be baptized and before we even finished the full question she said she would! She just wanted some time to pray about the date. She still doesn’t know too much about anything, but this is just an awesome start.
John came after church because he couldn’t wake up. We had a pretty open… or rather, bold discussion about 10 commandments, more specifically keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go since he could get easily offended – after all it was Sunday and he had plans – but to my surprise I could feel the love coming out of our mouths (Mine, Elder Welker’s and the fellowshipper’s). It was very soft but an even greater than normal feeling. He accepted the challenge for living the 10 commandments. The other companionship saw him while he was running and before they even asked he said, “I’ll see you at church next week.” Awesome! We also talked more about baptism. He is a little confused why we want him to get baptized so fast since his other church after 2 years of going didn’t mention anything like it. He is doing well.
Before I forget, we went on exchanges with Tai Wo. They are doing okay, except Elder Halvorsen has a bit of a temper. He got mad at Elder Lau and punched/broke his desk. There is a really big crack in it. We talked a lot about focusing on the work and he is a good listener I think. He asked questions to see how he could improve. Maybe the punched desk made him rethink his relationship with others.
Thanks for you for your support family! I love you all very much and every single one of you are just great. There is no better time to serve the Lord than now. I love it and can’t wait to keep going. Talk to you on Monday! (Unfortunately he meant “write” instead of “talk.”)