Monday, July 25, 2016

Week 79

 This was a cool week. So I went on a few exchanges, the first one was with one of our zone leaders. His name is Elder Stone, he is super cool and actually taller than I am, which is kind of weird for down here. He's like 6'5 I think. It was pretty fun, I expected it to be like okay, I'm you're leader and I'm going to teach you what you're doing wrong and what to change and stuff, but nope. We just hung out and had a regular day of work. It was fun though, he's a great missionary. We had a lesson in spanish, we met a new guy who is now our investigator, his name is Jose. He's from Mexico, which is pretty exciting up here in the North, I love teaching in spanish, it's not like easier or anything, but more satisfying? The spirit is the same but I just feel cool or something idk. I realized how much I've been lacking on my spanish study. There is a spanish study program that the mission does and there are three parts to it, and I haven't focused very much on it during my mission. So I'm trying to repent for that and work harder on completing it. Hopefully it will improve my grammar. Grammar is the hardest part of any language I'd say. I don't even know how English grammar haha.
      Then I went on a second exchange! Two in one week! But both of them were in my area so it's not that much different. I went on the second exchange with Elder Horne, one of my sheepies. He's a sweet little guy, from a small town in New Hampshire. Pretty cool, he's like your neighbor. He's super different haha, he likes to clean, currently patches the walls in his apartment, likes to listen to Mormon Tabernacle Choir, sings hymns at random times of the day and is overall very happy and bubbly. But if he feels the spirit or gets upset he is very quick to tears. It's interesting. So that was a fun exchange. I was expecting all these things I'd heard about him to make the exchange be really hard for me, because I'm prideful like that and still quick to judge. I learned a lot on the exchange from him, it was actually really nice. He does those things because he loves to have the spirit, he taught me lots about having a good attitude. It turned out to be lots of fun and we had more in common than I'd thought. What a nice opportunity to get corrected by the spirit for thinking poorly about someone.
     I learned how to play cricket! There are lots of people in Kingsville from India because of the University here. Honestly, there are so many. Right now I'm in the campus library and everyone around me except for like 4 people are from India, and one of them is Elder Stewart. They're super nice, they all speak english, although with their accent sometimes I can't understand them. And they're super polite, they call me sir and are pretty willing to talk to us and answer all of my dumb and sometimes probably racist questions. So next to our apartment we have a tennis court and they like to play cricket there so you dont have to chase the ball, they just hit it low so it doesnt go out. And we went and played with them. It was pretty fun. I got to pitch, we played with this almost like a tennis ball kinda deal, but a little heavier. And so I thought I'd show em the fire and throw it really hard. And I was striking them out and they were all laughing and stuff and so I was all thinking I was doing good. Until finally someone asked me to not throw it so hard because the area we were in was too small for that kind of pitching. They said they throw it lightly and try to strike them out by putting spin on the ball, since you have to bounce the ball on the ground and then they hit it. I was again, humbled and felt really dumb. But it was fun and they all invited us back, stupid white kid. 
     Yesterday was pioneer day, don't know if you guys knew that. I didn't know that was really a thing, apparently like only Utah and California and Missouri celebrate it or soemthing. Church was pretty interesting, we were asked to do sharing time in primary, which of course we didn't prepare at all. It was on temples so we just talked about how cool it is with lots of enthusiasm and the kids paid attention. Then the next hour, the teaches came and found us again and asked, did they ask you to do the older kids sharing time too? We said, "Uhhh.. no" and then we found out that we were supposed to do both. So we went back in and talked about the temple with the older primary kids. It was pretty fun. We read some of the promise in D&C 109 and got them all pumped about being "surrounded by the glory of God" and "armed with power". It was really fun. Also crazy how deep the doctrine is in primary, all the kids knew what the ordinances were that are done in the temple, they knew what a covenant was and everything. I was blown away. 
      We had a family of investigators show up to church this Sunday. We met them on Saturday, they ranted to us about basically their whole lives and then after they were about done telling us their life story they asked us, well aren't you gonna preach to me or something? We just laughed and said we prefer not to preach, but to have discussions and help people improve their relationshilp with God, and he asked if we ahd a church and we said yes, wrote it down for him and he gave us his word he'd be there. I had high hopes, but at the same time I doubted he'd show up with his family. I've heard that a million times, I'll be there, you have my word. But then before church started, they all showed up, dressed nice and big smiles on their faces. I was excited and nervous, because I didn't know the topic of the talks. Then it was announced that it was pioneer day, i was crushed, I thought, well.. they're doomed, they wont understand anything and will think we're crazy. The first speaker was a youth, so she talked about the dates and read off her paper and sat down, the second a sister so she talked about her family and her geneology, and the last her husband. He noticed we were siting by a family he hadn't seen and our faces in our hands and being a returned missionary I guess saw what was going on. So he taught about the start of the church, leading up to the pioneers and related their sacrifices to us in our lives, and it was really great. And it made the other two talks make sense to someone who'd never heard about the church before. After sacrament meeting they had to go but were all smiling and the dad told us, you might just see us here next week, I really liked it. And shook our hands. I didn't know what to say. I feel bad doubting that they'd feel the Spirit in the Lord's house.
       Sorry there are no pictures, I left my backpack with all my stuff in Alice the beginning of the week, so I have been biking around with nothing and borrowing my companions scriptures and stuff, it feels wrong without a backpack. 
   Thanks for all your support mom, to me, and nathan and dad and scott and everyone, you're awesome. Have a great week! I love you!

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