Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mama Rika Picture and Missionary Update...Funny Directions & Another Dislocated Shoulder

Sorry for the belated updates!  Life is crazy!

Love Bug calls this little Star Wars guy, "Santa".

Ready to go on the pioneer trek!  Aren't they handsome?

Waiting for their ride.

With the neighbor twins who are also decked out in pioneer clothing.  (I was in my pj's so I didn't go out to get a good picture.  lol)

Missionary Update...Letter # 1

Well, I think this had to be one of the craziest weeks on the mission yet.
We spent the majority of our pday at R's house. We played ping-pong, played the piano, ate lunch, and emailed the family. It was a very enjoyable day. Usually our Pdays are spent in the library emailing, and at walmart shopping, but neither of those happened.
Back to work! We had a district meeting out in Welch, WV. The Zone Leaders were misinformed about where we were meeting, and after about an hour of searching they finally found us. It probably would have been a lot easier for them to find the place if they didn't have to rely on West Virginia directions and a misleading GPS.  
Example of WV directions:
"Go up to the stop light (there's only one in Welch) make a right turn. When you see the green tree next to the broken down truck, make a left. After about 3 'farsees' (a 'farsee' is equal to the distance of as far as you can see down the road) there should be a Pentecostal Holiness church on your right take the left fork. You should see Ed outside, if not look for the dead raccoon we hit last week. Look up on the hill and you should be able to find it from there."
Well, when we finally finished our District meeting, we went on exchanges with the zone leaders out in Blacksburg. It was a little bit of a drive, but we got there in time to have dinner with a member family. It was interesting since their house was still out of power from the storm. We ate in the dark, but they whipped up some grilled chicken and some fresh watermelon for us.
Wednesday                     JULY 4th!
In the morning we moved mulch for a less active member in the Blacksburg ward. We got a lot more done than she expected. After which we contacted some referrals. On our way back to Richlands, we drove through Virginia Tech's campus, that was kind of fun to do, it reminded me of all the fun times up at BYU
When we got back to our area, President McClure (the branch president) had E. Stoven and I, as well as the H's over for 4th of July dinner. While we were waiting for the food to finish cooking, Pres. McClure broke out a disc, that we through around for a little bit. I tried to show off a bit and throw a nice I.O. forehand between two trees. Well... I misfired and shattered the disc when it slammed into the larger of the two trees. Woops...
Nothing super crazy happened on Thursday. We tried to help a member move her lift chair to a truck outside, but it started raining cats and dogs so we had to wait till later that evening. We also had dinner with some nonmembers who work at the food pantry a lot. They were very kind, and graciously accepted a two copies of the book of mormon.
Friday was our Ammon day. We had service practically all day long. We worked at the food pantry for most of the morning it was a pretty slow day there. We got some pictures of it, since we knew transfers were coming up fast.
Immediately after we finished at the food pantry, we had a member drive us up past Rosedale (30-40 min drive) to help a family move into the branch. It was right at the border of the branch, the stake, and the mission. They'll be a really strong addition to the branch, especially since we just had two other families move out of the branch. That took up a good portion of the afternoon, and we finished off the day by having dinner with the C family. For our spiritual thought, we watch "The John Tanner Story" It was pretty good, if you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it.
 At about 9:15 in the morning, Elder and Sister H picked us up, and we drove out to Deel (30 min drive) to help a family move out of the branch. We were able to get the majority of the big stuff before we had to rush back to prep for the Honaker festival. We were lucky enough to have Elder G (a senior missionary in Princeton) come down and show off some of his paintings. The paintings were about different Book of Mormon stories and we were able to catch a lot of attention from people because of it. We as missionaries would show the people the paintings and explain them and slowly lead them closer and closer to a table loaded with Copies of the Book of Mormon. Then we would give them a copy to read for themselves about all the paintings they just saw.
It was a unique and very effective way to teach about the gospel. We were able to give away 20 copies of the Book of Mormon in 5 hours or so.
Well, the power was out at the branch building, so the H's drove us out to Bluefield ward to go to church there. It was kind of weird meeting in a regular building with more people. After the long drive, we got back to our area and visited a few families till about 9 o'clock.
We hadn't had dinner yet, and Elder Stoven had to report numbers, so we ended up going to bed later than we wanted. Well, As I jumped into bed my shoulder dislocated. We called the medical coordinator who called the mission president who called my parents. After Elder Stoven gave me a blessing, we hobbled over to the car to drive to the emergency room.
They were pretty quick about getting me into a room in the ER, but it was a good 3 or 4 hours before they were ready to relocate my shoulder. When they finally were able to put me under and try to pop my shoulder back in, I started fighting against the drugs,and wouldn't relax. They put more drugs in me to try to get me to relax, but that didn't work and they had to have 3 nurses and Elder Stoven hold me down so I would stay on my back. The Doctor, after about 20 min of trying to put my shoulder back in, finally decided to call a surgeon and an anesthesiologist to operate on my shoulder to get it back to normal. When he left, I quit fighting, and curled over on my side and went to sleep. Well, about 5min after he called, I started waking up. I asked E. Stoven if they had popped it back in, he told me that they hadn't yet. I rolled back over onto my back, and when i did so, my shoulder randomly popped back into place. I slipped back into blissful sleep.
Elder Stoven Rushed out to the hallway and called the nurses and doctors in. Sure enough, the shoulder was just fine and had popped itself back in. The doctor then looked at E. H, the senior missionary who showed up to support us, and said, "You must have said a really good prayer."  It was about 4 am before we got back to our trailer and got to bed.
I guess technically most of what happened with my shoulder happened on Monday morning really early, but I'm not going to worry about it.
The rest of Monday was spent saying goodbye to different people. We figured that E. Stoven was leaving, so we tried to visit those people who he'd grown closest to. We had lunch with the C family, and we had dinner with Sis S and her son B.
In the middle of dinner, we received a phone call from President Pitt. I answered the phone, and he made sure everything was going well with my shoulder. After which he informed me that he wanted me to train a new missionary in the upcoming transfer. He also said he would like me to be a district leader. It was a lot to take in all at once, and I'm not sure everything has really hit me yet. I'm sure I'll figure it out soon. :)
We also found out that E. Stoven will be heading out to Roanake to work with the Young Single Adults out there. He'll do great out there, but will certainly be missed here in Richlands.
Needless to say, This week has been crazy
Elder Connole 

Transfer week! This week had a lot of changes, New companion, New assignments, and New investigators. And all of this was done singlehandedly! The excitement never stops in the rolling hills of Richlands Virginia.
Since it was transfer week, Pday was switched to Tuesday. We found out Monday that E. Stoven was leaving on Wednesday, so alot of Tuesday was spent saying goodbye, and packing. We had a little more excitement in the ER right after we emailed home. We received a call letting us know that one of the branch members, D,  had fallen through the floor of his trailer, and was currently in need of a blessing. We rushed over to the ER, and we were quickly ushered in. As we walked to D's room, we also saw that Sis F (another branch member) was in a different ER room. We gave Dan a blessing, and then rushed over to see Sis. F and make sure she was ok. To top it all off, when we were finished there, we headed up to another floor of the hospital where a different member of the branch had just had her tonsils removed.
3 members all in the same hospital all at the same time. Plus, I was in there Sunday night/Monday morning for my shoulder. If they don't know who the mormon missionaries are, they must be blind or something.
Transfers! Busy day.
 We brought up a bed and a desk to transfers, donated from branch members, for mission use. It took a while longer than we expected, so we ended up being almost an hour late to transfers. Thankfully, everyone else was at least a half an hour late, so we didn't look that bad.
We at lunch at Ryans (buffet style food), and I met my new greenie companion, E. Guthrie. Come to find out, he's from Phoenix Arizona! Yea buddy! I find it funny that the senior couple missionary, the H's, are from Casa Grande, Arizona, and I grew up in Queen Creek, Arizona. E. Guthrie is a good missionary with a strong desire to work hard.
After we settled in we went straight to finding and teaching. Set up a few appointments, visited a family that recently moved in, and taught a less active member.
First thing in the morning, E. Guthrie and helped out a nonmember with their electrical wiring. You learn all sorts of things on a mission. Afterwards, we taught a lesson on prayer. He accepted the message well, and also accepted our baptismal invitation. We have high hopes for him and his wife.
The majority of the rest of the day was spent with making phone calls to the other members of the district, mostly to find out how their area is doing, and see what ways I can help them out. We also had our weekly planning session. It took a long time to get everything done.
We went tracting right after dinner, It was E. Guthrie's first time. I'd forgotten how hard it was at the beginning of my mission to talk to random people about the gospel. He did pretty well for a first time. One of the doors we knocked on, the guy took one look at us, shook his head and shut the door. We had a a good laugh about it and gave out three copies of the book of mormon right afterwards.
I had an appointment with the chiropractor to help readjust my shoulder. That guy works wonders! My shoulder is healing about 4 times faster than the previous three times it's been dislocated.
We visited a less active member, and hope that we'll be able to meet with the rest of her family soon. We also followed up with a referral from the honaker festival we did last week. He was very exited to meet with us, and he had read a couple chapters of the Book of Mormon already. He's got 4 kids, but is separated from his wife and living with his parents. When we showed up, he told us his parents were old baptist and didn't want us to step foot in their home. Since it was raining we didn't couldn't have a lesson on his porch like we had planned. Instead we had our lesson in our parked car. It was E. Guthrie's first real restoration lesson, and he got a unique environment to teach in.
The lesson went really well, and he accepted our baptismal invitation. We also set up a ride for him to make it out to church. Unfortunately he called later and said he had a good friend die, and needed to attend the service the next day. However we should be able to expect him next week.
We had a couple of lessons fall through in the morning, but the day ended on a high note with a great lesson with R.
R showed up at church, and E. Guthrie and I gave an impromptu lesson on prayer for Gospel Principles class. Great day at church. Later that evening we visited a part member family. They're coming along well, and we are excited to see their progression.
That's all for this crazy week love ya!
Elder Connole

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