Sunday, May 1, 2016

Week 10--Giving service in Lebanon (Missouri)

Monday was different from the usual Preparation Day. After doing studies in the morning, we went to help people move into their home. They won't be living here officially yet, but they had a lot of heavy things to take inside. We also did a hike with the zone at a place called Ha Ha Tonka. I never really know what to write about on Mondays since all I really do is prepare for the week buy getting groceries and vacuuming the carpet, and I know that's really exciting for some of you to know, but I don't find much pleasure in writing about it. At the night time, I was able to play Skip-Bo with a bunch of the members at the church. It was mainly seniors and recent converts who were there and we loved it. I never win games against them, though.

Tuesday was a lot more eventful. We started at 10 by going to a place in town where food by donation is stored and organized and then distributed. Our job, when we go, is to carry the boxes full of food out to the cars of those who can't carry it. I love doing it, but it can be awkward with the rule of needing to always see your companion, because sometimes with the timing of it all, there's only one box to carry and so the other person is less productive. It's not bad, though, because things get dealt with pretty well. There a lot of elderly people who go there for food. It was fun to meet the other volunteers there, because they are unique and funny and really easy-going. After we did that, we rushed over to meet with a member who is having a hard time getting over smoking. We talked with her about many ways she can find the ability to overcome her cravings and helped uplift her. Afterwards we went to the jail in town where we visit a couple people. It's quite an interesting situation, because we talk to them through the glass with the phone, and we hold it between both our heads so we can both hear, but that gets pretty quiet. Basically, we teach a less-active and an investigator that way and it's pretty cool. Later that day we met with a recent convert. We went over for new member lessons which began with the Restoration. It was a good lesson and I realized we should probably explain what priesthood keys are and she didn't know what those were so we did our best to explain and I guess she knows more than she did beforehand. Later today, we went to pick up a member to take to contact a referral we received from the less-active member we visited last week. Of course, we didn't know how seriously to take it. We got to the house, and the little kid was riding his scooter and we didn't want to seem like a couple of creepy dudes so we kind walked another direction but then we saw the father inside the garage and we waved to him. He came out with his wife as well, so the whole family was right there. Turns out they're looking for a church, so we invited them and they said they'd go. Afterwards we met with that member whom we brought along and had a lesson with him too.

This is the day I had my first district meeting in the mission. We got to know our District leader a bit better and also the other people in the district. After district meeting we had lunch at Dairy Queen which I wasn't completely happy about just because it tastes cheap even compared to McDonald's, but it's whatever. I enjoyed my time with them. After we ate, Elder Czirr and I went back home to change into service clothes and we headed out to a member's home and for about two hours we dug a hole in the rocks (I say rocks because in Missouri there isn't very much dirty in the ground compared to how many rocks there are) and we did this so she could put a shower or bathtub thing inside the ground to use as a tornado shelter because her home doesn't have one. The last thing we did was we met with one of the recent converts who is a really funny guy, who's name is Bro. Smith. he's a lot of fun to be around and so we got to meet with him and then we retired to bed.

Today was mostly weekly planning, because we are still improving on doing that a lot faster. Around noon we went to the home of a less-active member. She claimed that there were evil spirits in her home, and that her family is always fighting and other things as well that weren't great. I couldn't tell how honest she was being, but I know they aren't really following the commandments too well and that alone leads to such things. Anyways, she had me bless the home and so I did and that went relatively well and they said they felt calmer so I guess that's good. I didn't feel directed to cast anything out so I didn't find it appropriate to do so. Because I felt pretty weak and weird afterwards, I was quite relieved by the lesson that followed. We met with someone who was tracted into a while back. We taught him the Plan Of Salvation and he said it answered a lot of questions he had, and we made a return appointment to meet and talk about the restoration. He would have been taught the restoration first, but Elder Czirr didn't feel like that was what he needed. After doing that and some more weekly planning, a member of the ward took us out the subway and we ate fresh. It was really good and he's a really cool guy who reminds me a lot of the Ward Mission Leader from Toronto actually.

At 11 today we went to the home of a member because she wanted us to mow her lawn. She's older than some so she needed it. One of wasn't able to do anything while the other mowed so we'd just sit there and relax, then switch off. We did so for about an hour, then we finished up and went home to change into proselyting clothes. We had lunch at home and then we did some more weekly planning and had a lesson with an investigator and set up a baptismal date for her. Her boyfriend is gonna baptize her and as long as work doesn't get in the way, everything will go according to plan. At about 5, we headed to a member's home for a dinner appointment. It was really good, and afterwards we visited the home of a member couple. One was less-active, and we thought it was because she didn't go due to being uncomfortable because she smokes a lot and I thought she just didn't want to go. We later discovered that she had really bad pains in her shoulder but that she was better finally and she was planning on attending church on Sunday. We did, however, discuss how she can work on her addiction, because she really wants to attend the temple.

Today we visited with a member who lives at a nursing home. He's a really sweet guy and he has a lot of really good stories. Not a lot of people visit him so I'm glad that making the time to see him makes a difference. After talking with him for about a half hour we went and had lunch and made some calls to set up appointments with people so we could hopefully hit our goals for the week. Eventually we went to the home of the Ward Mission Leader and discussed the plan for the ward and the help we will need. We don't go to Ward Council meetings, but we do get to do this which helps the work move along. Perhaps the most significant time of the day though, was when we went with that same investigator and her boyfriend who is a recent convert to the church, and attended a nearby baptism. The spirit was felt strongly there and we had a good time. The good thing is that investigator whom we're teaching is already talking about being a member and being baptized in a way as if it's set in stone, so we're excited for her.

Sunday is a crazy awesome day! At church, I love seeing all the member and also investigators there, it feels so good seeing that they're going. The family that we invited wasn't able to make it, because work came up, but we'll try to meet with them hopefully pretty soon. AT church we talked about priesthood ordinances and demonstrated in Elders Quorum how to baptize.  After a good day at church we had choir practice which was pretty nice. I love singing and that's a fun time to do it. bro. Smith was our hero today. He came with us to two different appointments and then we met with him. One appointment was cool because we were gonna read from the 'For The Strength Of Youth' pamphlet with the kids and the mom, and Elder Czirr said the kid could flip to any of the pages she wanted, and previously we had planned to teach about friends. Surely enough, she turned to the section for friends. Afterwards we met with an investigator that (and I say this as kindly as I can) doesn't really grasp a lot. He's also a very dynamic character. Anyways, we didn't know he was serious but he told us last time we visited that he would give us pork steaks. Well, he delivered and we also ate beforehand. Elder Czirr was afraid od how the investigator would react if he didn't eat his biscuit, so Elder Czirr occasionally ripped pieces off of the biscuit and put them in his pocket. The guy also pointed a knife at me because I wasn't eating what was left of his steak. I knew he was joking, but Elder Czirr didn't so he kept whispering, "Just eat it!" Afterwards we talked with Bro. Smith about the temple garment, because he's preparing to receive his endowment. After having ate a bunch, we had a huge meal with meatloaf and funeral potatoes with some members here, and they're also very willing to give us any supplies we need such as toilet paper, milk, laundry detergent. The guy said we just need to focus on preaching and he'll take care of us. That was a great night and a great end to the week.

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