This week was awesome. I mean, every week is awesome, but this week in
particular was more awesome than most.
So, Monday was pretty much a bust. Elder Harrison had an eye doctor
appointment and so right after emailing we had to go to Wal Mart. Then
we had to rush to do laundry and go to appointments. P-Days stress me
out! haha. Then all of our appointments cancelled on us on the
doorstep, and so we spent the evening visiting some members of the
Ward who are less active. Sister Showalter needed a blessing and so we
were able to give her one. Then after that we drove out to Bedford to
have dinner and meet up with the Bedford elders for exchange. Elder
Anderson, our district leader, came with me. I was super nervous
because it was my first time alone in Altoona. I haven't been here for
long at all and suddenly I was expected to know my way around a city
the size of Vancouver. Thank goodness for the GPS!
So Tuesday didn't turn out to be as bad as I thought it would. I had
some solid plans and they went through! We bought cookie dough in the
morning because I promised a ton of people I'd make them cookies. So
we made cookies during studies and then went and delivered them. Then
the Claar family had us over and we helped Brother Claar level a hill
so he could put in a swimming pool. It took 2 hours longer than
expected... I'm still sore. But it was a lot of fun! Their daughter
told us a cool story about how she had a friend who had questions
about the church, so she sent him to mormon.org. Now he's meeting with
Elders in Florida! It was way awesome. So we helped them all make
mormon.org profiles. If you haven't gotten a chance to make one, you
all should do it for Family Home Evening! They are awesome, and it's a
simple way to do missionary work.
Also, tell my friends to check it out if they haven't. It's an awesome
website and they can learn a lot about our faith and get answers to
After that we had a great visit with the Keller family. Sister Keller
just recently got out of the hospital - she had a physical disability
before she joined the church that prevented her from walking well.
After she joined the church she tripped and broke both of her ankles,
but got a blessing before surgery. Now she can walk. She's still going
through recovery therapy, but her feet have been straightened and
she's back home! Since all this has happened, she hasn't been able to
attend church. Her husband joined the church in 2010 and she joined in
2009, so they're still pretty new to the gospel, so they asked us to
come over and teach them the missionary discussions again so they can
still learn and feel the spirit. It has been a lot of fun and the
Spirit is always felt strongly when we go visit. They are wonderful
Tuesday night, visiting with Roger and Katy, two of the people we're
teaching, was probably one of the most spiritual nights I've had in a
while. We taught about Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Holy
Ghost, and enduring to the end. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. She bore
her testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and how it has
changed her life and how she wants her children to see the change it's
made in her. It was awesome. We invited her to be baptized in August.
Later that night she called us and asked to speak with me. She said
that she was very moved by my testimony and knowledge of the gospel
and how kind I was and that she'd like me to baptize her. I was almost
moved to tears. With all the people I've taught on my mission who have
been baptized, I've never actually gotten to perform the ordinance. I
was very grateful and accepted. It was awesome. Now I'm excited!
Wednesday was the 4th of July. Elder Anderson taught a powerful
district meeting in the morning. We got to go to a BBQ with the Buck
family later in the afternoon, and then they joined us in teaching
Rebecca a lesson. We taught all about the Restoration. She is in 2nd
Nephi in the Book of Mormon and is loving it. We invited her to be
baptized in August and she accepted. It's been a great week!
We had to go in early on the 4th so that missionaries wouldn't blow
themselves up with fireworks, but we had a good night relaxing a
We had a great day on Thursday. In the evening we met up with the
Williamsport Elders and they drove us to Pittsburgh where we spent the
night. We had Zone Leader Council all day the next day and it was an
We had an interesting experience on Saturday...
We spent the morning fixing up the bikes we found in the apartment. We
wanted to start using them in our area to help the Zone save miles and
set a good example. Elder Harrison calculated the distance to Altoona
and then we set out! After a while, we found out that it was not 2.5
miles to Altoona from Hollidaysburg like he calculated. It was really
12.5 and he misread the GPS. It took us 4 hours to ride in. it was the
hottest day of the year. 102 degrees with tons of humidity. After not
riding a bike for a year, I was pretty sore. Once we got to downtown,
mike back tire blew out. Luckily I didn't crash. But that meant we
were stuck in Altoona and couldn't get home. We walked our bikes to a
member's house after realizing that there were no bike racks in
altoona and stashed them in their yard. We called and left a message
explaining why there were bikes in their bushes. haha. They were okay
with it. The Coleys are super cool.
Then we started walking around town and no one would talk to us
because we looked super sketchy, covered in sweat with messed up hair
and crooked ties. After that we got caught in a thunderstorm and it
rained on us really hard. But we kept on! We kept contacting and
trying to get in contact with less actives only to find that their
addresses didn't exist. But that was good to find out because we're
helping the Neuders update the ward list. At this point it was 7:30 at
night and we didn't know what to do. We were starving and hadn't taken
dinner, so we walked back in to town. Everything was closed for 4
blocks, so we gave up. On top of it all, Elder Harrison really had to
use the bathroom. He was super frustrated. I was feeling fine because
I knew the day was going to be funny the next day, but I didn't know
what to do or where to go. So we just stopped and knelt down on the
sidewalk and asked for help. This scripture in D&C came to mind:
"Whosoever receiveth you receiveth me, and the same will feed you, and
clothe you, and give you money." Then the passage in Preach My Gospel
came to mind: "You are sent forth to find them that will receive you."
We were tempted just to start walking the 6 hours home but after our
prayer we knew we couldn't do that. We turned around and started back
the opposite direction. We were told to stop and knock doors on this
one block of the city. The first 2 doors, no one was home. The third
door was answered by a guy wearing a Penn State Shirt and his
daughter. We introduced ourselves, and then Elder Harrison said, "This
may seem awkward, but we're stuck in Altoona. Long story short, our
bikes broke, we live in Hollidaysburg, and I need to use a bathroom.
Everywhere we've tried is closed. Could we come in and use your
bathroom?" He thought about it for a second, and then said, "Yeah,
sure, come in." So he let us in. While Elder Harrison was using the
bathroom, I got to know him and his daughter. His name was John and
hers was Sarah. I had scarcely started speaking when Sarah (who is 14
) said, "Do you want some strawberries?" I said sure! So she went into
the kitchen and cut up some strawberries. John said he'd get us some
water. Elder Harrison came down right as they brought out the food and
looked at me shocked. It was a literal fulfillment of the Lord's
promise. They received us and fed us. And it didn't stop there. After
we started teaching them about the plan of Salvation, Sarah ran into
the kitchen again and brought out a GIANT bowl of candy! "Take
whatever you want and as much as you want!" It was incredible. They
were super nice, we had a great discussion (it wasn't a full lesson
but it was a good introduction) and we promised to bring them cookies
for being so kind to us. They said we could come back any time. It was
We walked out feeling amazed at the goodness of the Lord and knelt
down right there on the sidewalk and said a prayer. It was powerful.
Then, down the street, a guy stopped us and said he used to meet with
missionaries and set up an appointment for this Thursday and told us
to bring him a Book of Mormon. Another miracle.
Right after that we got a call from Brother Durgin, a member in the
ward. He was just wondering if we needed anything. We said, "YES!
WE'RE STUCK IN ALTOONA!" He laughed and then came and picked us up and
gave us a ride home.
The last 2 hours of such an exhausting day made it all worth it. The
Lord definitely helped us and put us in a position to do some good. He
led us right to a prepared family. It was great!
Sunday, Rebecca came to church. She just loves it. We had a great day
and found two new people to teach. Bud is a cool old guy who smokes
cigars on his rocking chair on his porch and likes to joke around with
us. Michelle is a very nice lady who has two 16 year old sons (they're
twins) and was apprehensive about learning with us at first but after
our first lesson on her porch really enjoyed it and is having us back
So yeah, last week was awesome. This week got off to a great start.
The Senior Couple, Elder and Sister Neuder, took us to an Altoona
Curve baseball game. It's minor league baseball. It was a lot of fun.
Got to wear flip flops and shorts and a t-shirt and a baseball hat!
First time in a year. haha. I got SUPER sunburned. My feet got
sunburned except for where my flip flop strap thingy was covering.
We met with the Kellers again that night and it was awesome.
I love my life! I miss you all!
Have a great week.