This week started off really slow again. Nobody would talk to us, and it was really frustrating. But good news is it picked up! Last week we had a passover lesson with the french elders and it was all in French. So i just sat there with my thumbs up not really sure what to do haha. But it was good. We also went to the pizza hut buffet, twice. so that always makes for a good week.
We had a crazy Tuesday as well. We were at the bus station and we had missed a bus by like 2 minutes so we had to wait another 30 and there was this lady that came in and yelled "I just want to tell all of you that Jesus loves you, even though all of you are sinners and might go to hell, Jesus still loves you and there is a chance for you" but thats not even the best part. After that she walked back and forth through the hall singing this creepy song in a really creepy tune. So we took the next bus that came. Then later that night we went to a member's house to set up an appointment, and I have never met this family before.We got there and we are talking and he says want to see my snake? Without waiting for our response he goes upstairs and comes back with a 6 foot python and I just about peed my pants... I freakin hate snakes! But he didn't force it on us, plus I made sure Elder Ripley was always between me and the snake ;)
We received a lot of advice about our missions from a guy that got back 6 years ago and it was really great! I knew that it helps for life, but the way he explained it shed much more light than what I had thought about previously. It was really good and I will probably think about that for a while.
This week we had a mission wide fast for more people to teach. So's not just this area, it's the entire mission. After the fast we had time to visit two potentials who had been contacted in 2009. We went and what do you know, they were really interested. Then the next day we did a lot of tracting and got 5 more potentials with return appointments that they set up without us prying. So I Guess Fasting Works Eh? Its a really great thing that we have and it really built my faith and my testimony of fasting because I have been in this area for 4 months, and it has been really dead. But it picked up immediately after, which was really cool.
In other news, we have 3 dinner appointments this week while the Spanish and French elders who cover the entire city have a couple from our ward as well as the entire city. It must be pretty rough being a foreign language elder and getting fed every day. Its really frustrating when the ward doesn't feed you or even the sisters. It's times like these where I am just fed up with this ward, but I'm sure it will pick up. As President Hinkley's father put it "Forget yourself (or dinner appointments) and go to work." I also touched a snake yesterday at the same snake house. So yeah I'm pretty much on top of the world. Today I am going to wear American flag socks with my obama t shirt for pday. And it has nothing to do with the fact that my comp is Canadian... We also got told that our religion is silly and that Joseph Smith just made up a bunch of silly stuff and made a book...with his 3rd grade education and writing it in only a couple of months.... Plus we were told that we can only read the scriptures, the missionary library, and talks by general authorities. So we can't even study the teaching of the prophets books, so that is really going to be hard for me. I'm a peackock you gotta let me fly! haha jk
But I was able to have really good studies this week. There is a quote from Elder Holland that I really like "The atonement will carry missionaries... When you struggle, are rejected, are spit upon, cast out, and made a hiss and byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known... You have reason to stand tall." So that is how I am going to look at things when we have a rough day. I also really like that Hinckley quote that i shared earlier that I found in Our Heritage. I was able to read that this past Friday/Saturday and it is a really good book!
We were able to go to the temple today(that's why p-day is today) and it was such a great experience! I love being a missionary! My zone leader asked me on exchanges how I keep going in this dead area and not just give up, and all I could really tell him was there wasnt a reason to give up yet. I was put in this area for a reason and I am grateful for the things that I have learned here. I have learned even more patience and perseverance which I know will definitely come in handy later on.
Keep it Real!
These are my zone leaders. They are both from Idaho in case you didn't get that already.
That's exactly what you think it is. A tub in the front lawn. It's a really nice addition.
See any joy in this picture? This is where we go to be happy.
There is this English dude that seriously wears this... so naturally I had to get a picture
This is one of the reasons I love the Anderson family. Their kids made us valentines.
I can't believe I have been out for 4 months now. Some days it seems like I've been out 4 years and others like 4 days. But it's been a good 4 months. I feel likeIi have really learned and grown a lot. As of right now I can't even imagine 4 more months, but I've heard it picks up.
This week we decided to shake things up a bit. We have been trying different tracting approaches because regular tracting is just plain boring. So we did one where the comp comes up with a word that you have to use in your approach and whoever cant do one loses (obviously the word couldnt be super hard) so we use words such as quiet, and same, and savor and stuff like that and do you want to know who won, not that it matters but I think it's funny, yep it was me. I won with the word habit. So that was fun but not very effective. So another thing we have been doing is finding by the spirit. we say a prayer to know where to go and what to say. So we tried and we both had completely different ideas. But before that will work completely we both have to wake up on time and stuff like that. I have actually gotten pretty good, but he for sure needs some help. So we put an additional light in the room and at 6 30 I turn it on and shine it at him. It seemed to work this morning so we will see how that goes.
We had a really interesting experience on Tuesday. We finally met with our one investigating family all east Indian and well it was just really weird. We started out just going there to set up an appt. with the dad, whose name is Alfred and his son answered and said he wasnt there and then invited us in. He said his dad would only be 30-45 min. so we decided to stay and talk with him. We came to find out thatall of the sons names are Alfred so we were really confused. Eventually we ran out of things to talk about. Then the mom came down and gave us juice and chips, so we kinda had to stay longer, I mean it's juice and chips we are talking about. Then she started talking about her faith in Jesus Christ so we were like great! Then she turns on the tv and shows us this pastor dude that she follows and shows us one of his sermons or whatever you want to call it. iIt was all in hindi of course so we didnt understand a word. But she looked back on average every 4 seconds ( i counted) to make sure we were still watching. so we were super uncomfortable. Then the dad finally comes home and we were relieved but then he went and took a 20 min shower so she turned it back on! So weird. Finally he came down to stay and then the people on the tv started praying so the mom looked at us and said pray. pray. and we were like ummm we dont really feel comfortable doing that. but we didn't say anything so then the son explained that meant we could share a message and I know I was really relieved. so we shared a message and headed out. on the way out the dad handed us an envelope with something about a rock in the description so we were like sweet a gift! we left and later opened it and came to realize it was tithing.... he had given us his tithing money. Soooo yeah we'll have to return that. But at least it won't be hard teaching them about tithing! It was just a super weird experience.
It's amazing how people trust missionaries even though they dont know us personally. Like the Spanish family we helped had only known missionaries for a week or 2. The other day we went to a less actives that we had never met and he vented on us, hard. He had a really messed up life but I was just amazed that he shared that with us. It was tear jerking honestly listening to all the crap he had gone through. But we now have someone we can work with!
Saturday was again really busy. we didn't even get to eat breakfast or lunch. But the city counselor came to our church tour so that was great! While we were there I heard the funniest thing I have in a while. This guy was talking about how his wife was stressing over when her baby was going to come and here is the quote of the week. "Hey you were the one that planned it, I was just there for the show." Haha I thought it was hilarious. He also knew where Yucaipa was so that was cool.
Stake conference was super good. it was all about missionary work. so maybe our dinners will pick up again and members will start giving referrals. hopefully anyway.
Does anyone have any advice on things to talk about with someone who has absolutely nothing in common with you? IT makes for a really long day when you dont have stuff to talk about.
Also I won't be emailing till next Tuesday due to our temple p-day. Our p-day next week is changed from Monday to Tuesday so we can go to the temple.
But anyway, keep it real!
Elder ThompsonThey gave the Meadows missionaries the comfy chairs because we are in a walking area.They gave the Meadows missionaries the comfy chairs because we are in a walking area.
Zone Training - They gave the Meadows Missionaries the chairs since we are in a walking mission.
Definitely taking credit for calling the Seahawks winning. Ask anyone who know me. and I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that they are my team... but yesterday was pretty depressing. Seahawks in the Superbowl and I can't even watch; plus no one would meet with us because they were watching. And you really don't appreciate food until Fast Sunday.
But, can I just say I love being a missionary. The friendships that you create with other missionaries and members is so cool. This last week I laughed harder than I have laughed in a long time. I also had the two longest days of my life since day 1 and 2 of the mtc. It was super cold and windy and I kept slipping, like a million times (but not falling) and eventually i was just done with it. I said screw it we're going bus contacting. My comp is a rather weak individual so I can basically get him to do anything I want.
The week did pick up though thank goodness. We met with a couple of less actives and got in with one for the first time since I have been here. So hopefully he can progress and eventually return to activity. We also contacted a referal, which came from one of the only missionary minded families(shocker), and it turns out he was really interested! Only problem is he and the less active don't speak very good English, so we have to pass them over to the French missionaries. It's fitting because our ward is not ready to receive new investigators. Bishop said athat was the reason he felt work was so slow in this area was becasue the ward wasn't ready. So that's pretty frustrating. But thats ok, we are working on it. Dinners stopped as of yesterday so we are back to 2-3 a week. So that's fun, but I guess its a good thing noodles are cheap!
Saturday was probably the best day out of the week. We ended up with 4 lessons taught (to members of course) we were suppose to get a less active that day too but it fell through. So Saturday went by super quick which was good because I am getting tired of slow days. We met with a Filipino family last at like 8 and of course you can't get out of a Filipino house without getting fed with more food to take home haha. They are the best! This week we met with another black family which was so cool becasue they are so cool! But we shared the testimony of the Book of Mormon by Jeffrey Holland and the dad started crying, so that was really cool. That is still by far my favorite Mormon message.
Studies this week were good. I read a lot in Jesus The Christ, The Old testament, New Testament and Book of Mormon. my plan is to finish all of those and all the missionary library at least twice by the end of the mission. I have already finished True to the Faith and Our Search for Happiness, so that's good. The only exception is the Old Testament. I am only going to read that once haha.
I studied about Mary and the miracle of her pregnancy. In Jesus The Christ, Talmage explains that it wasn't a miracle in the sense of a happening contrary to nature's law but of the higher law. The higher law is something that the human mind sometimes fails to comprehend. He then says that Jesus got his traits, both human and godly through the ordinary operation of heredity. Then he reiterates that it was Not in violation of natural law. So I have a theory, but with my limited resources as a missionary, I'll just have to leave it at that.
I also studied up on faith. We can't expect an immediate solution to our problems. We have to trust that with God's help, we will get through and grow from every experience. But faith is essential. If we have the faith to move a mountain, don't be surprised if you are given a shovel. That being said, faith is certainly essential in moving a mountain. But that will only happen if it is in accordance with God's will. Try to put your faith in God's will rather than a certain outcome and you will see his hand in your life.
I read a lot about the law of Moses and i thought it was hilarious for having to put in a law about men lying with animals. If any lie with a beast, they shall surely be put to death. Who the Junk is going to get the hots for an animal???
In other news there is actually someone here who has heard of Yucaipa! But only cause he lived in So Cal for awhile. Also I got questioned by the cops at our apartment! The Spanish elders dropped something off at our apartment while we weren't home. SO they went through the sliding door since it doesn't lock. On their way out, someone saw said they calling the cops and they took off. Why? I don't know. SO yeah they came and questioned me bcause my comp was cowering in the back haha. Whatever, I'll take the lead.
I don't really have a quote for this week.
On that note, hopefully you peeps in socal get some rain. Take ours. I wouldn't mind.
Now that the weather is back to frigid temperatures, it is once again really slippery. This week, the weather went from -11 to +6 then +8 to -20. so yeah that's been fun. But it makes it very very slippery. and when I slip and fall I make it count. So don't be surprised if I come home with a broken leg or something, because I always seem to fall hard haha. This past week I fell and it felt like I got 3 feet of air. By the way that quote is from Napolean Dynamite for those of you living under a rock.
There is a sister missionary in our district who thinks she is the smartest thing ever, and I'll admit hse is pretty dang smart. But she kinda throws it in your face. So this weekIi had the wonderful oppurtunity to stump her. Challenge accomplished!
We had a lot of our appointments with less actives and potential investigators cancel this week. One of them had set up and appointment with us for Tuesday at 8 pm. so we showed up, they opened the door and a wave of weed smoke flowed out at us. He said he would invite us in but they were just sitting down for dinner... not jumping to any conclusions... but I could make an educated guess that wasn't what they were doing.
This week we had the opportunity to go up to Whyte Ave for my comps doctors appointment. It was so cool! It was the city kinda feel with the busy street and lots of people on the sidewalks to talk to. I just felt so comfortable in that situation. My comp of course did not. He doesn't really like awkward situations either, so I hope we get to teach the law of chastity together. I think that would be funny watching him. But there were older buildings and yeah stuff like that. I forgot muy camera naturally so that was rather unfortunate. But it was really fun. I hope I get to go to that area or down town during my mission.
Also, we made one last ditch effort to find our keys. We looked for a couple of hours but couldnt find them. So someone must have picked them up and now we are hosed until we get new keys, if we get new keys. Afterwards, to cheer myself up and unfrustrate me we went out for lunch with the Zone leaders. We went to Quizmos and I'm pretty sure that was the first time I have ever been there. I felt like I had been living under a rock myself! I was rather impressed with the quality of the food even if it did make me gassy. I didn't mind but my comp did haha. Luckily we didn't eat out a whole lot this week. We had a dinner appointment everyday this week and we have a dinner scheduled for everyday next week so that is good. I was getting tired of frozen waffles for dinner.
We also spent a lot of time with the Spanish missionaries helping them move some of their investigators and members. it was so cool I got to practice my spanish! I wish I could have gone Spanish speaking here but who knows maybe I'll get switched!
This ward is a really cool ward. But it can be extremely frustrating. For example we went around to almost all the members trying to set up an appointment to get the comp introduced more formally and they would say oh yeah we will sign up for dinner. So we were like cool. Then Sunday comes and they sign up for the sisters... I was pretty upset about it. Times like that just makes me feel so done with this ward. But we have a lot of cool members. We ate with the Ords last night and Bro Ord is this nerdy computer programmer type of guy but he is super cool. And he didn't do too bad on his eternal companion if you know what i mean. I was rather impressed. Then there are the Higgonbothams who we ate with Monday. They told us how they really like Mcdonalds and then 2 days later we saw them there and they paid for lunch! Then there is Bro. Siakaluk. As soon as we walk in the door he gives me sports updates haha. Then he told us how he is on this weight watchers diet now and he is all about the points haha. Quote of the week comes from him "I can't believe you gave me juice" to his wife being sarcastic. Apparently juice is a point killer.
This week during our mormon.org time, I watched two really great videos. One was about Elder Nelson being completely calm when his plane was hurling to its death and the other was about this old couple who still find ways to serve each other even with their severe health issues. They were called Mens Hearts Shall Fail Them and Enduring Love. I would recommend them. Also very important is learning and teaching by the spirit. I have definitely seen a difference when I have the spirit as I study or teach then when I don't. Completely different cases. I came across the story of Joseph in the OT and it is one of my favorite stories, especially how he forgive his brothers. also i was able to come across Alma chapter 5 and it is Alma basically being Elder Holland. If you read that or listen to Elder Holland's talk and you don't feel the spirit, you are doing something wrong. There is no way an uneducated young man could have "written" the Book of Mormon, and then stick with their word in the very hour of death and blaspheme before God. They Would Not Do That. Must mean it is true. If you don't believe so read it for yourself and ask God. If it wasn't, iI wouldn't be wasting my time out in a frozen wasteland filled with "brown people" as the Canadians call them. The Book of Mormon is true and you better believe I know that. Give it a chance ad you will see. As a representative of Jesus Christ I can promise that.