Alrighty, so this week was okay. Tuesday was pretty much second p-day. After we were done emailing we went out to the Williams' to eat dinner with them and the sisters. At first Brother Williams wasn't home so we, the elders, had to wait outside until he got home from work. He was running way late though It was delicious. I like Brother Williams. He sang in the top choir at BYU-I. They were like the BYU Singers but for Idaho. He's got a great voice. We talked about choir tours and stuff. Their dog is awesome and reminds me of Dakota. He would keep putting his paw out for you to shake and didn't like it if you weren't holding his hand. haha! After dinner we went to the Washington Ward's Addiction Recovery Program. It is really cool to be involved in that. They asked us to start attending and participating so that we'd know how to help investigators and so we'd be able to invite them and get them involved. It was good. Deeply spiritual. Sister Pitzer, one of the facilitators, said this: "The strength that we get from the Lord is the strength of inner peace. That peace allows you to endure trials without having to turn to artificial substances. You won't need anything else, because you are enough for God, and he is enough for you." Great thought. After that it was time to go home and that was our day.
Wednesday: We woke up and made a cake for Sister Cohen. It was her birthday! We were out of vegetable oil so we had to run to Shop 'n Save (across the street) to buy some. When we came back we realized we had vegetable oil. Oh well! Anyway, we took the cake to district meeting. We had a beautiful district meeting that was definitely inspired. I had planned to teach something else, and I started in and taught the first half, and then half way through someone asked a vital question and the Holy Ghost gave me the words to say. We got into a very deep discussion about the 3 pillars of the Restoration (Christ's Church, the Apostasy, and Restoration), the 3 pillars of the Plan of Salvation (Creation, Fall, Atonement), and the 3 Pillars of the Atonement of Christ (Garden, Cross, and Tomb) and how one's faith cannot be made perfect unless they understand those things fully. Then we finished with the planned material. It was like there was fire in my bones. Because I'm going home, I feel such an earnestness to communicate my knowledge and the desires of my heart to the other missionaries so they can improve and grow. I was very passionate about the subject matter. It went really well and the other missionaries thanked me for it afterwards.
We had cake afterwards. We didn't have enough candles so Sister Cohen's cake only said "Happy Birth." The Day candles were missing. It was funny. We said goodbye to the Waynesburg Elders. Then we drove back to our apartment and we dropped the sisters off. Dan met us an the apartment complex and we drove with him to the Evergreen Personal Care Home where we sang and played hymns for the old people and then had a spiritual thought. We talked about the ways that God shows his love for us. Then we went around and spent time talking with every single one of the residents. Dan really enjoyed it. It was good for him to get out and serve. He just recently got the priesthood and he's been anxious to be out and doing good things. We had a great conversation with him on the ride home about the need for members of the church to set good examples for the world. He's such a strong convert. He's going to do great things for the world and for the church.
After that we had a lesson with Amy and Nathan. Nathan is a sharp kid. He wants to get involved in scouts. He is 12 and he loves the outdoors. We had a lesson on Dispensations and Prophets. Brother Long met us there. He is so awesome. He magnifies his calling like a boss. He's a great ward mission leader.
At 6:30 PM we left for Venetia, PA. It's 30 minutes from our apartment. We were excited because David finally agreed to let us come teach him a lesson without his friend Heather being there! He wants to get baptized and said he wanted to start doing it on his own and for himself. He had us over for dinner. He made us 6 pounds of London Broil Steak. It was delicious. We only ate 3 pounds, and he packed up the other 3 to send home with us. Then he started asking us questions. We had a lesson planned but we never got to it, and we didn't mind. He asked, "So, what exactly do I need to do to be baptized? Do I need to memorize things? Do I need to quit smoking? Is there an interview? What's up?" So we walked him through the whole process. We went through the baptismal interview questions and it was probably the funniest and most touching interview I've ever done. David is the epitome of humility and faith. He really has a desire and he wants to do it for himself. That day he had friends from high school come out of the woodwork and criticize him for meeting with missionaries. He was disappointed by that, but he stood up to them and said, "You don' know what you're talking about. The missionaries are genuine, they are normal 19 year old guys, and they are changing my life and teaching me about Jesus Christ. It is nothing but good. Don't knock what you don't know." Half way through our lesson, his niece and sister in law showed up. They were laughing because they never expected to see mormon missionaries over. He said, "Well, I am serious about it. It's not just a joke." Then he told his niece to take a picture of him with us with her phone and to post it on facebook so that everybody would know. He's such a cool guy. We had a great lesson. At the end of the lesson, David asked me to baptize him. He asked for a blessing and we gave him one, and then he knelt and said the prayer. There are no holier knees than those that belong to him who prays.
Thursday: Thursday was a rough day. I wasn't feeling good. I haven't been sleeping well lately and my allergies have been killing me during the day. So I was feeling especially sour. We had a lesson with Isaiah. We watched Man's Search for Happiness. He liked it. Then we took lunch. I slept. Then we walked to Thomasina's and had a lesson about the Word of Wisdom and receiving a calling in the church. She is so cool! We told her, "God always hears and answers our prayers, but it is normally through another person that he meets our needs. Have you ever had someone come into your life who was an answer to prayer?" She said, "Yes!" We said, "Oh really? Who?!" And she said, "YINZ!" And smiled really big. I LOVE HER!
We spent the rest of the evening looking for lost sheep. 75% of all the people we tried no longer lived there. So now they're REALLY lost. We gotta track them down. It was interesting tracking them down and driving all over town. A car definitely helps speed up the process.
We also got a text message from a girl in the ward. Her mom, sister Schumacher, was in the hospital. So we had the privilege of going and giving her a blessing. She was very happy to see us and we had a good visit. She was discharged the next day.
Friday: We did weekly planning. It was actually a really good planning session. We're meeting most of our goals for the transfer. After that we made cookies for a lady we tracted into weeks before. She said that she wasn't interested, and I said, "Would you be more interested if we made you cookies?" She laughed and said no. We made her cookies anyways. It was nice. Then we visited a ton of people. No one was home. We tracted. Everyone was mean. We practiced our spanish. It was great. Friday pretty much sucked.
Saturday: Saturday was much better. I wasn't feeling good at all, but I hung in there. I slept during lunch, trying to get myself feeling better. Then we went out into the 95 degree heat. We had a short lesson with Darrell. I love that guy. We watched a mormon message about the purpose and content of the book of mormon. As we were leaving, he said, "You guys coming back next week?!" I said yes. He said, "Alright, good!" Then we went and visited the Klenzing family and tracted around in their neighborhood. After that we went and had a great lesson with Isaiah on Ether chapter 12/Faith. Isaiah really liked Ether 12:11. "Wherefore, by faith was the Law of Moses given. But in the gift of His Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled." Isaiah said, "Ya know, it was by the faith of men that Jesus Christ was sent and the plan of Salvation, you know, the plan of God, even took place." Deep thought from Isaiah! I love that guy. We watched him beat his friend Jim in chess. Jim was killing him and it looked like he was going to win, but then Isaiah put him in check mate with two moves and two pieces. It was awesome!
After that we had dinner and then we drove to Bishop Young's home and talked to him about the lesson we'd be sharing with David. Then we went to David's house. Heather was there too. We had a wonderful lesson about the Plan of Salvation. Bishop Young and David have had very similar experiences in their lives. Both lost their fathers. Bishop Young's dad wasn't a member of the church. He lost his dad when he was a few months into his mission. Bishop Young said, "My plan was to go home and to share the gospel with my dad and baptize him. But God's plan was to take him home. I was in an interview with my mission president when he broke the news to me. The first words out of my mouth were: do you think my dad can see me now? My mission president said yes. And within hours, instead of mourning, I was out testifying of the Plan of Salvation and finding people to baptize. Because I knew that every time I bore my testimony, my dad could see that. And I have full faith that he has since accepted the gospel in the Spirit World." David said, "That's where I went wrong. I didn't know the gospel, so instead of turning to Christ I turned to drinking. But now I have hope, and now I'm changing." It was a great lesson. We got half way through the plan of salvation and ended by testifying of the atonement of Christ. David and Heather had made us pies and they sent them with us as we left. Bishop Young told us on the way back to his house that he was very impressed with our teaching ability as missionaries.
Sunday: Church was great! David and Heather and Isaiah came. We had a great lesson in gospel principles on the Spirit World, which David loved. We are meeting with him tonight. After church we went and studied, and then the Prices had us over for dinner. They made pizza on the grill! Best pizza ever! You guys should learn how to make that. Afterwards we went and administered the sacrament to Sister Klenzing. She's in the hospital. We also gave her a blessing. Then we had a lesson with Sister Stroop. She has had some terrible things happen the last few years and has lost faith in god and hasn't been active. We've been working with her. The Spirit was there as we answered her questions and boldly invited her to receive personal revelation like Enos did. "That's the only way you can know, Michelle." So true. You can only come to know God through revelation.
That was my week. Mostly I was just sick or getting rejected. haha! Nothing too special this week but there were miracles along the way. Hopefully my last two weeks are better!