Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mama Rika Missionary Moments

From August 12:

We had a baptism this week! That always makes it a good week.
After the usual pday stuff up in oakhill, We went to the mall.  E. Peterson wanted to purchase some cleats. We found out there was a music store at the mall, so we decided to check it out. E. Peterson played guitar a lot before his mission, so he was as excited as I was.
I was pretty stoked when they said I could give the pianos a try. I shot straight for the 1936 baby grand. phew! It had such a beautiful sound to it, the type that only old pianos have. It was in fairly good shape for how old it was. I just wish I had $4000 to throw around. so I could've brought it home with me. Someday....
Oh yeah! We also went to go teach a part member family. I say "we" but I really mean that E. Peterson did the teaching. Basically for an hour or so, I managed to keep her two crazy kids occupied while E. Peterson taught the restoration. I was only able to catch clips and phrases of the lesson, even though I was sitting right next to him. I guess it went really well because he invited her to be baptized, and she's working toward Sept 14th.  I was a proud papa that day.

Tuesday- Wednesday:
Well, lets see here, I went on an exchange with the Oakhill elders. I began packing my things around the time the other elders showed up. However, E. Wagstaff wasn't feeling well, so I ended up staying at the house with him for a few hours while E. Peterson and E. Williams went to some appointments.
To make things more complicated, one of the Travelling assistants, E. Syndergaard (yes, people mess up his name all the time. think "cinder block" mixed with "crossing guard": "Cinder guard") came to the area as well.

Thankfully, by the time he showed up, E. Wagstaff was feeling better, and E. Williams and E. Peterson came back from their appointments. So, E. Williams and I headed up to Oakhill, while E. Peterson took charge of the area with E. Syndergaard and E. Wagstaff coming along.
While I was up in oakhill with E. Williams, we found 3 new investigators. and taught several lessons. It was good for their area
Throughout our exchange, I would get phone calls from E. Peterson asking for directions on how to get to our investigator's houses.  But the good news is that they taught a bunch of lessons, and they found an apartment for the sister missionaries who will be joining us in the ward next transfer.
Anyway, we exchanged back when G got her baptismal interview.

Somewhere on Thursday, we ran into a bunch of drunk people, one of which we actually started teaching and are seeing some progress with.
We had zone meetings on Friday. We were held up in dead stop traffic for over 45 min right before the last toll booth coming into Charleston. Apparently a Semi crashed and caught on fire. They were scraping the remains of the engine off the asphalt when we finally were able to drive by.  Guess what the semi was transporting that day. Pigs! We were hoping to also find a backed up lettuce-and-tomato truck right after we heard that news. I'm sure we all could've used a BLT after that long wait.
G was baptized! Yay! It was a good service.
I was the one actually performing the baptism.The first time we tried, I guess I neglected to say the word "amen" but the witnesses didnt' catch it at first. So I unplugged the font, and went to change. Well, Bishop came in and let me know that we did it wrong. My initial reaction was, "it's such a little word, I'm sure the Lord understands" And that's what I told bishop. Afterwards I felt pretty uneasy about it. I didn't really feel at peace until I learned that we were going to re-do the baptism.

The font had drained quite a bit by this time, so we started filling up again. We finished the rest of the service, and then re-did the baptism when the font was full.  I'm glad we did. I think the spirit was trying to teach me that the Lord's house is a house of order, and that we need to do things the correct  way. It was a good learning experience for me.
G was confirmed by Elder Peterson. That went well. We also got caught in the rain sometime during the day.
Well, that's it for this week, We're shooting for 21 member presents and 10 at church this next week. It should be a good one!
Love Ya!

August 19:

E. Peterson and I decided, in an attempt to not deplete our diminishing mileage allotment, to not go to O's apartment (a drive of 40 miles round trip.) This meant that we would not see our missionary buddies for the day, nor would we be able to use their free laundry machine. But, even with this in mind, we figured that the exchange of less money and more miles would be worth it.
So we stayed in Beckley. We searched around for a suitable laundromat, and found one down by the shopping center. We grabbed a bite to eat, then headed in to do our laundry. The amount of money it cost to do our laundry exceeded that of what I originally thought, but I was still willing to give it a try.
Well, we put our laundry in, and started them up, and then realized that we forgot to purchase any sort of soap/detergent. Unable to stop the machines for a moment, we rushed up to the counter, and bought a couple of packs of soap and poured them in the dispenser. Crisis averted. We were a little concerned that the soap might not get down to the clothes since we put it in late, but it didnt' seem to have any adverse effects.
About 15 min into the cycle, we were informed that the main water line broke, and was flooding the back rooms. So they shut off all the water and we had to wait until the repair man came and fixed it before we could restart our machines again. That was somewhat annoying.
And to top it all off, after we had put our clothes in the dryer and started it, the lady at the counter informed us that those machines dried about two times slower than the dryers on the other side of the room. grrr... It was a long day at the laundromat....
After the laundromat, things got better. We were able to take a member out with us to 3 appointments.
 We taught our Haitian investigator at the library that morning. Thank goodness for google translate!
I was really impressed with one of our members who came out with us. He lives out in Hinton, and drives about 40 miles one way to get to church every week. He drives similar distances to come out and teach with us. What great faith! I've learned to appreciate the sacrifices that are made by faithful members such as him. We taught a couple of our regular investigators with him.
 I must have been pretty tired Wednesday night because my Journal entry was only a couple choppy sentences long. "We saw a lot of people today" This was followed by a list of the names of the people. "Got a lot done"
We had a long plannning session on Thursday. I started going nuts toward the end of it. I felt like the kid who was forced inside on a beautiful sunny day to practice his unwanted piano lessons. The one who gazes longingly out the window watching the neighbor kids playing baseball in the street. It was really great to get out when we finally did. I just love being amongst the people, wherever they may be.
We had a great dinner appointment with the B's. They invited the A's to come over. (The A's are an older couple and bro. A is working toward baptism.) Sister A is such an energetic, cute old lady, and she often has her "old person moments" as I call them. For example randomly in the middle of our dinner conversation, she looks right at E. Peterson and says "You know, you'd look really cute as a sailor." There was a short moment of silence followed by domr roaring laughter. E. Peterson eventually replied with "I beg to differ, but thank you anyway."
Later that evening we went over to M's house. We have been meeting with him for a week or so he's in his early 30's. He explained through his tears that he'd done many terrible things in his life, and that he was to the point that he couldn't even ask God for forgiveness. It's hard to see a grown man cry. 
We discussed  forgiveness with him, and read alma 36. E. Peterson invited him to pray right then and there. He prayed with such earnestness, and was so sincere and real. Afterwards, we explained the importants of making restitution and he committed to start that weekend with his dad. I hope it goes well.
 We volunteered the soup kitchen, and E. Peterson set up an appointment for the next day with a guy he met there named P.
Later that evening the Mx's came out with us. G was baptized last week, and her husband has returned out of inactivity. They were so perfect for our lessons. G did such a great job at fellowshipping another of our investigators, and Mk did amazing at our next appointment. He bore a powerful testimony of tithing, it was so good that basically all E. Peterson and I did was say "yup, we agree. J (our investigator) will you live the law of tithing?"
Saturday was awesome! We taught one of teh best 1st lessons I've ever taught. We had an investigator named P. We got to know him for the first little while, then taught an awesome, awesome restoration lesson. He was so excited to get his own copy of the book of mormon to read and pray about. Hopefully he'll make it to baptism.
Church was great! We had a bunch of people there. In fact, people were looking for an empty seat anywhere. It was exciting to see the increase in our sacrament meeting attendence. Picked up a few new investigators that day. President PItt came into town to interview one of our baptismal candidates, in the end, president suggested that we wait for a little while longer before we actually have him baptized.  In the end we all felt like this would be a good move. so we'll wait off a few weeks.

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