Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Week 9--Toronto to Missouri

There isn't a ton of stuff to write this week due to transferring to a different country, and most of it was traveling. On Monday after doing some sports and saying goodbye to people, I headed home and we finished writing some notes for the next Elders, Elder Spencer and Elder Dick. It's cool that two missionaries in the ward are serving the same area of Toronto, and then we're going to the same American mission afterwards. Elder Dick and I were both called to the Arkansas Bentonville mission. That night we finished up our notes and then went to bed. 

Tuesday is Transfer day in The Toronto Mission. We packed up and left to the stake center and I said hello to one of the missionaries from the ward back home who has finished her mission in Toronto, Sister Jensen and got to say hello to Elder Dick who is starting. It was pretty cool. After a sweet dinner I spent the day with some Spanish missionaries and we tracted most of the day, and finished with a great dinner from members who came from El Salvador originally. That day was pretty interesting because I didn't have a great idea of what they were saying in Spanish, but there were some words I understood and I would pretend I knew what they were saying and would chime in every now and then. I did learn how to say "I am a missionary for The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints" in Spanish. I've also learned while in Toronto quite a few phrases from different languages. Some Mandarin, Spanish, it's pretty fun. 

Today is the day I flew out. Since the time I left home, and after this point in time, I have experienced 5 plane rides in the space of two months or so. It's brutal. On the first flight, I talked with an atheist scientist lady for the two hour flight and she was interesting. She reminds me of some of the people I know. Anyways, that was cool, and as I was leaving the plane a man started talking to me and I realized he was a member and that was great because I had no clue how to navigate through the Atlanta Airport. We talked a bit and realized that he's from Arkansas and is going on the same flights exactly. He helped me out a bit, and when I got onto the plane, I saw another member a few seats away from me and a few sister missionaries who were 100% greenies. I started talking to the guy on the left of me, and found he was from California. I was like, hey my dad went on a mission there and we talked a little bit about why I was there on a mission and stuff like that. Eventually we all got to the mission home and met the mission president and his wife. They're great!

This is the transfer day for the Arkansas Bentonville mission which is really convenient. I met my follow-up trainer, Elder Czirr (pronounced zeer) and he's only been out for 6 transfers which is about 7 months. There's a funky mission culture in this mission that is, we have to wear a part in our hair. It's going to take some taming to get my hair to do that, though. Today we met with some of the people in the teaching pool and there are some great and interesting people. It's going to take some getting used to. I want to make this an effective mission, so it's going to involve doing things that are tough. I've also found that we have a dinner appointment every day. Our fridge was packed full of leftovers and there was so much that we had to throw away a couple garbage bags full because they was already gone bad.

I've been really sleepy lately and it hasn't been super easy having a ton of things to do. I met some more people like these teenagers in the ward that are a lot of fun. This morning we did some service for a couple in the ward, by digging up rocks out of their farmland and afterwards they made us an amazing lunch. I was in heaven but every time I get a meal like this I realize how much I'm going to need to work out. I haven't needed to do more cardio in my life. I might have to just eat tuna for breakfast to stay in shape, who knows. At supper a member met us at subway and we had some dinner there. I love subway. Sweet onion chicken is blissful. At the end of the day we met with a recent convert. She's a bit older and she has trouble with smoking, and we're encouraging here as we go.

Today we met with a man in the ward who isn't fully there, and he lives on his own so we visit him every week, and it sounds like the missionaries here have been doing that for a while. We had a good time chatting and then it was time for his lunch and it was time for ours too. We later met with our Ward Mission Leader and talked about the ward and our efforts in it. His wife had me fill out information and take a picture because apparently all the missionaries do. We did a bunch of tracting and met a few good people who actually had family who are LDS and they said they would read the Book of Mormon. We eventually went to a less-active member's home and knocked to see if they were home. They hardly are home, but much to our surprise he was home and we got them at the perfect moment. I call that a transfer miracle. Later in the day we met with a returning member and his girlfriend who is investigating. She is gonna be baptized but they have to get married first, and they do have a date for the marriage. It was really good. The man in that relationship was the one doing the cooking and it was delish. We had some cake pie and then we headed home for some daily planning. 

Today we got to church and greeted people. They didn't have enough people for the sacrament so Elder Czirr helped out with that and I was at the door. It was a great meeting with nice talks, and we along with the men in the ward sang and that was fun too. After church we ate some lunch and then went with a member to drop by a bunch of people who are either less-active of returning and we talked with one member who hasn't been in a while and I felt like that was good for him. He seemed happy to see us. When we were all done that, we went to the home of one of the families in the ward and they made a lovely dinner. They have a great family and home too. We had with us a recent convert of about a year. He just advanced in the priesthood and was able to give a blessing today. It was different for him, and there were corrections to be made, but it was really good for him because like everyone else, he could tangibly feel the priesthood power as he did that. It's an amazing thing to experience.

Mom found some photos on the Arkansas Bentonville Mission blog.

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