Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Last Pics from Harrisburg

          With Elder Packard
 Waiting for the bus
 Friendly doors...
I made a snowman outside an investigator's home.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Everyone Hatin' on California

Did you know that people on the East Coast generally don't like California? At least some of the folks I've met here. I didn't really realize that people would be impolite about it, I assumed that people would just kind of acknowlege that I was from CA and deal with it. But when you're a missionary people kind of assume being impolite is just the general way to talk to you.
Last week we were trying this inactive guy named D who I'd never met. The only notes on the Blue-and-Green Sheet (our book that we put all our notes on) is that he's a cool guy we should try back. So we do! I knocked on the door and it opens to reveal a guy with a beard straight out of Duck Dynasty. He lives, by the way, in a house that appears to be made of cinder block and plywood, and he doesn't invite us in because the house has fleas. But anyways we start talking to D and he seems to be pretty receptive, so we start talking about the church and what things are keeping him from coming back and then all of a sudden, he just starts asking a bunch of questions about guns. I don't know very much about guns, so I told him so. I told him I was from California, he said "Well darn* right you don't freaking* know a freaking* thing about guns!" Then he just starts trashing the good state of California with all sorts of slurs and the like, none of which shall I print here, while I attempted to direct the conversation back to something spiritual. But he would have none of it, and was working himself up into a little frenzy. So I just told him, "Look, I didn't leave my family for two years to talk about Californian politics! If you keep asking me questions about this kind of stuff it's not going to get you anywhere. I came here to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ." He looked at me, said some other unpleasant things,  and then kicked us off the porch. He was a couple shells short of a full cartridge, if you get my meaning. But that's cool. Some folks just get upset a little easily.
There is going to be a baptism next Saturday! It's for J, the daughter of a recent convert. She's 12 years old, and she wasn't interested when her dad got baptized last October. Then her brother got baptized in January, and she gradually decided she wanted to be as well! I haven't really taught her because she lives in the other elders' area, but she wants me to baptize her! So that's coming up! It was actually supposed to be last Saturday but the weather was too bad for them to get out to the church. That family is really the most humble family I have ever met. The dad, R, has really bad diabetes so he can't drive. They live in a house without working heat and the mom abandoned them a few years ago. So he takes care of them, and he is so excited to do everything he can to support the church. So it is gratifying to see his family slowly recieve the gospel and decide to follow their dad's example. 
In other news, we really do shoot ourselves in the foot sometimes. We've been saying for the longest time how we need to get a team-up with one of our investigators for her to progress. But it has been so tough, and we've been trying, but we just hadn't been able to make it work out. But yesterday we had Brother A, who was a teenage convert to the church from Catholicism, join us in our lesson with J, our Catholic investigator from Peru. She really opened up to him, asked him questions she hadn't felt comfortable asking us, and he was able to bear his testimony and everyone felt the Spirit. J did especially, and my companion was able to point that out. I feel like it was a really important step that needed to happen, so I'm glad it did. Yeaaah missionary work!
~ Elder Wright

Monday, February 10, 2014

Photobombing senator

So this is me at the front of the Capitol. See that dude in the back with the grin and the silver hair? He's a senator of some sort. He saw us taking photos and went up and introduced himself, asked where we were from. I told him CA and he was kind of suprised, so we explained we were missionaries working here. he informed us he was Roman Catholic. When we tell people we're missionaries, they always tell us their religion, as if that should warn us from trying to convert them or something. Anyways he says "Lets get a picture!" So i hand my camera to that aide guy and we line up and smile and he snaps two pictures, he says. Well when I got to the car I realized the aide had screwed up and just focused the camera twice. So the only picture we have with this senator guy is the one where he is photobombing me. Oh well!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Whole Missionary Bubble

So we get to email today! We couldn't yesterday, there was a big old bunch of snow and it was still falling Monday. So everything just closed down. The roads were all right, but we couldn't get any members to come to the church so we could email, the libraries were all closed, and we even went to three different restaurants before finding one that was open. (Waffle House, by the way.) So that was lame! But we have a bit of time today! The weather is supposed to be really bad starting tonight, which is a bummer. I hate wasted time, but there isn't much you can do when you're housebound. I guess since you didn't get my letter yet, you didn't know the heat stopped working in our apartment. The apartment maintenance crew told us to just flip the breakers to get it going, but it is way busted. The breakers won't stay. So we told them that last week, they haven't done anything, so we're having slumber parties with the Zone Leaders upstairs while we wait. So that's been fun. The Mission Apartment Check Guy came by today and was aghast that we had no heat; he said he would make a bunch of calls. Not sure if that's necessary but I suppose we're fine with that.
So part of the whole missionary bubble is that we don't hear about a ton of things. I totally forgot the Super bowl was happening, though from what I've heard, the Broncos got torn up like Kleenex at a snot party. But I also forgot the whole Punxatawney Groundhog day thing. But I can tell you that it definitely feels like 6 extra weeks of winter.
Fast Sunday this week was pretty cool, it was dedicated for two things in our stake: moving forward the missionary work, and helping the West get some rain. So I'll pass it along that you did! That's pretty legit!
So in other news we had an investigator at church this Sunday! His name is R; he's from the Dominican Republic and he's living at a member's home, the L familia. Brother L is super awesome and friendly and active in the church, but his wife is pretty bitter about some things, and hasn’t attended church in years. She also doesn't like missionaries much; usually she slams the phone down when we call. BUT last Saturday was just a dynamite night! We had our team-up cancel last minute, so we were just calling all the brothers in the ward that we could think of, and Brother M agreed to come out. When he showed up, he was like, "My wife wanted to come along, is that all right?" All right? Man, it was a godsend! We've been trying to get the sisters more involved with the work, it's just hard to do because they can't come out with us the same way the brothers do. But we headed over to the L’s and taught R and Sister L the Restoration. The Spirit was definitely there and it was awesome, and they both came to church the next day! It was great.
But it gets better! We had one other appointment that night with the V familia, so we stopped by. She invited us in, and she was having a family reunion basically! Three of our investigators (if you'll recall, they all referred their family members to us) were there, J, M, and C, and all of their kids, and a bunch of other folks as well! So we sat down to teach probably 13 people. We talked about faith and showed the teabag lesson, which is hard to explain but it involves fire and is pretty exciting. So they were loving it, and then the M's, who were both Catholic before they converted, bore powerful testimony to everyone, who are all Catholic too. So they were all super pumped up and excited and it was awesome. That's what missionary work is supposed to be like, members and missionaries working together to do awesome things. The V family was so excited they wanted to participate in the ward talent show next month, and they're not even members! Yeah!
That's the highlight reel,
Elder Wright