A fun way to end language study is translating our favorite songs.
(Anyone know this one?)
Well this week we found out what happens when you fast for two days (and only have member dinners in between) all your food starts to rot... More on that later.
P-day this week was pretty good and went by a lot faster with a third companion. We said goodbye and hello to a lot of people this week! Hermana Hull and I are the only companionship that stayed the same in the whole zone! Monday night we did Spanish work in Hood River, and holy cow it made me so homesick for Spanish work! We don't get a ton of it here in White Salmon I'd say it's like 70% English work and 30% Spanish. I've been praying all week to find some more Hispanic people to teach! Then on Saturday at our member dinner, the Maddens told us a couple of Hispanic families just moved in next-door and they don't speak a lick of English! Miracle!
Tuesday night we went to a Noche de Hogar for the Spanish group, it was so fun, and I loved getting to use my Spanish more. We had a birthday party for Sergio, including a peanut butter cake! Hermana Andrews said it was really good.
Wednesday morning we went to the Hood River building pretty early to meet the greenies! Hermana Andrew's new trainee is Hermana Young, from San Diego, she's so cute! And Elder Vejnar got Elder Hamblin, I don't really know anything about him yet, but hopefully today in P-day I can meet him some more.
Some members of our ward left to go to Alaska for a couple of weeks, so we are watering their garden for them while they are gone. It's nice because we have extra service opportunities, and they said we should eat the veggies when they are ready because they won't last until they get home. But I'm also nervous they will die!! I'm a bit of a black thumb sometimes! Plus it's been in the 100-109 range all week, so we don't want them to get cooked!
Wednesday night we did family history with Tyler. He loved it! I was so excited to get to share something I'm so passionate about. I love all the aspects of the Gospel, but we don't get to actually do family history with people all that often. It was fun. The ladies at the family history center showed us a few really cool features on Family Search that I never knew about, PLUS I found out I'm actually related to Elvis. So that was great news! Tyler is so excited to go to the temple soon to do some baptisms. Then we had dinner with Sister Carkhuff, she's a lot like Hermana Hull’s mom, which was weird but cool for Hermana Hull. She is super into natural stuff and healing and meditation, and has an incredible conversion story.
I'm related to Elvis, Walt Disney, Emily Dickinson, and
Amelia Earhart...so fun!
Thursday we went to Larissa's for lunch and to help her pack/prepare for her trip to Alaska for TWO MONTHS. I most likely won't be here when she gets back, so tonight we have to go over and say goodbye to her :( Last night I was just thinking about how long I've been here! It's really been a LONG time! And I still have 5 more weeks. Wow.
Thursday we had an exciting lesson with Max and our new ward mission leaders, Brother and Sister Madden (THEY ARE AWESOME BY THE WAY!) We had gone to the Madden’s earlier for just for a couple of minutes to ask a question and get their phone number (they aren't on the ward directory yet, because they just got back from a mission in Sweden) and ended up being there for a while talking, and so many of our prayers were answered! It turns out their family is just like the Hulls--one biological son and then two adopted kids, a daughter and son. It was so reassuring and comforting for Hermana Hull, especially, to get to talk to them about their family and their life. Just to know that someone gets you! It was so cool.
Friday was a weird day. Weekly planning went well, but we just felt off the whole time. It was like we felt something coming on. Also, it was a little overwhelming realizing that we only have two investigators right now, only one is actually progressing a lot, and he was going to get baptized this next week. It kind of felt like, now what? Then, right as we were going into the Halls' for dinner at 5 that evening, we got four text messages from Max (the one who was getting baptized on 8/27), and he said he needs to postpone his baptism until a little later when he can fix some things. His wife had started freaking out and feeling really uncomfortable with the Church again. I was a little bit annoyed and disappointed, but mostly confused, because we have invested a lot of time and energy into Jane (his wife) over the last few weeks. We did everything possible to make her life easier, help her make good friends, and teach her about the Gospel, as well, so that she will understand what Max believes. I was kind of in shock the rest of the night and had no clue what to do or say.
Saturday we decided to fast about it to know what to do. After some awesome lessons with less-active members (we shared the Character of Christ with them—my favorite talk!) we went to visit Jane and see what we could do to help/understand better/resolve concerns. It went really well, but afterwards we went to visit Max (they were both working at the time at their separate businesses, so we couldn't meet with them together,) and we realized how much miscommunication is going on between them right now. What they say about each other, and to each other is totally different than what we see or hear. We were starting to feel like we were getting too much in the middle of things so we needed to back out. We had texted the bishop the night before and he had gone over to talk to them right away on Friday night (since we were going into a member dinner an hour away,) and then on Sunday we also had a Zone fast with us 16 missionaries in the zone to know what to do. It's so cool how missionaries come together and support each other!
Saturday night we went to the Madden's for dinner and they made PULLED PORK!! Like, REAL pulled pork! He has a Traeger smoker and everything! We pulled in the driveway just as he was taking the pork off the smoker, and I seriously wanted to cry (Hermana Hull did cry.) We miss our barbecue!! It was amazing and SO delicious.
Then on Sunday, amid our second day of fasting (with the amazing dinner break in between), the Stake President showed up at church in our ward! We weren't expecting him. He actually asked us if he could go to meet Max with us after church. (Max was working.) It was pretty crazy, because I've never had a Stake President as a member present before. But we were like, “Of course!”
We visited Max and President asked him a lot of really good questions and gave some definitely needed and inspired advice. We came to the conclusion based on what everyone there said, and from feelings of the Holy Spirit that the best thing to do is to postpone the baptism for now. The church is all about families! The family is the center of Heavenly Father’s whole plan for us. We didn't want to drive a wedge between Max and Jane.
We do have some awesome news, though…Yesterday Tyler received the Priesthood, and a calling to be a ward missionary!!! We were BEAMING. I actually got really choked up, it's amazing to see the incredible progress he has made! The ward is so great and gives so much support and encouragement. Maria's son, Leroy also received the priesthood yesterday. That family has made SO much progress over the last two months. I was thinking about how they were my first transfer here, and now how they are now, and it's hard to believe they are the same people. The Gospel truly changes lives, and I'm so happy to be Heavenly Father's messenger and bring that Gospel to more people.
My favorite scripture this week: Doctrine & Covenants Section 75. I randomly flipped to it on Friday night when I didn't know what to do, and it's so good.
I love and miss you all SO MUCH.
10 Months, What the heck?!
She's Cinderella; I'm the ugly step-sister...ha ha!