Monday, June 13, 2016

Week 34--Rattle Snakes, General Authorities, and Hna. Luevano!

Me and all my companions 
(except Hna. Streuling, who has gone home)

P-day was actually super relaxing and chill, which NEVER happens here in The Dalles. So it was very refreshing. I got the chance to practice piano for about 3 hours, which was so fun. I finally learned Clair De Lune. 

So we were at Emma's house (yes, the same investigator as last week when we ended up having to spend the night with the Hovinghoffs!). We sat down on the couch and started having the pre-lesson chit chat, like "how have you been? What was you're week like? Where are you in the book of Mormon reading?" etc. Then her dog, Sis started acting really weird... she was over by the corner of the room next to the couch where I was sitting and concerned about something. She'd get curious and slowly get closer, then back up really quick, after about the third time, it was getting really distracting. Emma was like "Oh, she's kind of a wimpy dog, it's probably just a cobweb or something." Then we got back to our conversation for like a minute before Sis growled and I heard a hiss. Then Emma jumped up out of her chair, screamed a swear word, and said EVERYBODY GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! IT'S A RATTLER!!  

We started heading towards the front door. Emma says "Go next door! Get the Hollands!! Get Jerry Holland!" (her landlord) So we ran over there, and of course he wasn’t home. So we thought, "Okay, we'll just call a member who lives here in town," but then we realized our phone was still in our car, the car was locked, and the keys were still inside sitting on the couch in the room where the rattle snake was! OF COURSE that would happen! So then, Emma said "FORGET IT, I'M GETTING THE MEXICANS!!" So she ran to her other next-door neighbor’s house, while Hna M and I just sit down on the driveway and hold on to the dog.

 Holding Sis so she won't go in and get bit

I took a couple of pictures, and pretty soon, this Mexican guy named Jose came out of the house with a big Machete! "Don't worry guys, I've dealt with rattle snakes before!" I was just cracking up so hard. This is too perfect, of course he has a machete. So pretty soon, Jim, Emma's adult son, came over, and said "what is going on?" At this point there was like ten people there--Emma, us, the Holland family (minus Jerry, of course) the Holland’s mother in law, Jose's wife, and now Jim! I just looked at him and said, "Oh, there's just a rattle snake in the house, no biggie." So then he ran in to help Jose. Pretty soon Jim came out holding a dead headless snake body dripping with blood, and then Jose came out, balancing the head on the machete. Then he dug a hole and buried it, because apparently it can still bite even with its head cut off.

SO that was fun! We ended up having a really good lesson about how Heavenly Father protects us in time of need, and how Sis pointing out the Rattle snake to us, was a way that He was looking out for us. Then we gave Sis some pizza and a belly rub. Dogs rule!

Pretty good day! We met a really cool girl named Idela. She is from Guadalajara. It turns out that she was being taught by the missionaries before, when she lived in Mexico, but then she moved to Arizona and lost contact with them. Then she moved here to White Salmon just a few weeks ago. She was so excited to see us! And we were even more excited to have found her. Mini miracle! 

Then, we had a lesson with our investigator, Tyler. It was SO good. He is doing so much better this week. His mom was there too, and so we finally got to find out why his parents are dragging their feet. They don't want to sign the papers for him to get baptized. they want him to wait till his 18th birthday, because that way, if down the road he decides he doesn't want to do this Mormon thing anymore, he won’t' be able to blame it on them... it was interesting but made sense. We were glad to have finally reached a source of the problems.

 Tyler's graduation party!

 Hna. M eating his head!

Travel time! SO this week we had a General Authority from the Church, Elder Daniel Johnson of the First Quorum of the Seventy, come to do a mission tour! So we woke up at 5 am and got ready, then we drove 15 minutes to Hood River and picked up Hna. Clark and Hna. Andrews. From there, the four of us went another hour or so to The Dalles. There, we met up with Elders Mercado, Woodward, and Gaeta. Then the 7 of us drove together in the Zone Leaders’ minivan for 2.5 hours to Yakima. It was so weird being there again! There, we met up with all of the Spanish missionaries from the southern half of the mission. I got to see Elder Buchanan, Hna. Aldrich, and Elder Harman! And I got to see Hna. Luevano!!!!!!! Also Elder Najarian and Gaburel, and at least 30 others that I was so excited about!

Then we split into three groups and got in these big vans to go another two hours or so up to Wenatchee. It was a lot of driving but so much fun, because Hna. Aldrich, and Elder Najarian were in our van so we got to catch up with them a little! It was pretty exciting. The best thing was that we got to have a special conference on Thursday afternoon up in Wenatchee for all the Spanish missionaries in the whole mission. That NEVER happens! It was SO exciting to be in a room with all the other Spanish missionaries in the whole mission! I got to see so many people! SO many friends that  I have missed! We had some great instruction from Elder Johnson, too. He was very boldly talking to us about how to teach people in the Hispanic culture, and some of the differences. He is actually from Mexico. He is white but has lived there most of his life. It was very enlightening for a lot of missionaries, especially ones who have never had a native companion. Something else that was cool was that Presidente Moreno from the Englewood branch where I served in Yakima was there! It was so good to see him! Elder Johnson did some role plays with Presidente Moreno, Elder Johnson (the missionary) and Elder Gaburel. We focused a lot on this analogy of tomatoes. The people we are teaching are like tomatoes. They grow green first, and then eventually ripen, and when they are red that's how you know they are ready. He said a lot of missionaries waste so much time yelling at green tomatoes to ripen, they ignore all the other tomatoes that are super big and red and waiting to be found! He said if we have investigators that we have been teaching for more than six months, we need to leave them alone for now, put them in the area book, and let them ripen for a while. Heavenly father will make sure their missionaries find them when the time comes.

There was a sister who stood up and said that she understands and appreciates what he was saying, but that if her missionaries had done that, she wouldn’t be standing there as a missionary today, because it took her missionaries eight years of teaching her before she got baptized. He said the missionaries would have re-found her eight years later, and she would have still gotten baptized, but the difference is that a lot more people would have gotten baptized too, because the missionaries wouldn't have been wasting all this time with her. It was really bold, but powerful and SO true! Then we all started to realize names of people we have to drop…for now.

After the Spanish conference was over, we got back in the huge vans and headed back to Yakima. There, I got to go on a mini exchange with Hna. Levano!!! It was SO FUN. It was kind of weird though, because I was with my first companion, in my second area. So it was like realities colliding! First we went to the Soto’s house for dinner. It was so fun to see them again. Then we had a couple of lessons. It was fun teaching together again and meeting some of the new investigators from my old area. Then I met back up with Hna. Marble (she had gone out with Hna. Dee) and we went to the English STLs’ house to spend the night. I slept on like the most comfortable couch ever!

We had the regular zone conference with all the missionaries, English and Spanish, from the southern half of the mission. That was really fun and inspiring, too. I even got to bear my testimony about a subject I have been studying about a lot lately. We had so much inspiration and revelation about our areas! after it was over we all went around and took pictures together with old friends. Then we got in one of the huge vans with Elders Allen, Bee, Flamm, Ence and the Hood River Hermanas and headed back for The Dalles. On the way we stopped at Miners, the famous hamburger place in Yakima that has burgers the size of your face! It was good, but expensive! While there I got to see a member from ROYAL! It was so exciting! I still miss that place every day. That was my little miracle from Heavenly Father.

As soon as we got home that evening, we gutted our area book. We started to go through every single person we have been working with and reevaluate. So pretty much we are starting from scratch now, but we feel very refreshed and good about it! 

 Riding in the van

 At the conference

 Me and Hna. Luevano! I have missed her SO much!

 More friends!

Three "Generations" ha ha 

 Elder Shugart

 With Elder Johnson (the missionary)

 With Elder Najarian

With Sister Hirsche!

Our first full day back, it felt like we were gone for a long time! first thing in the morning we had a service project with Cynthia, our former investigator. We got to see some baby mice! I actually wasn't freaked out by them, which was good. (Our house in Texas got infested once, and ever since then I've had a hard time with mice.) Hna. M and I got to help make Mexican hamburgers! They were so good. 

Good day but I woke up with a SUPER sore throat! I took some cold medicine, and am feeling a little better now, but still not amazing. Hopefully that will go away soon!
Well, that's it for this week! 

 Elder Ence and Hna M

 I got a copy of Ana's baptism program!

 Cute yard decorations at the Goodrich's house

We went to the hospital to visit a less-active member

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