Monday, November 24, 2014

LIFE GOES ON...[Nov. 24, 2014]

Well, remember about Kevin? He was the man we met at church (the Williams brought him) and he gave his testimony saying he read the Book of Mormon in two weeks. He got baptized last Saturday and it was a miracle. Mainly, because on Thursday he was supposed to have his interview, and I even reminded him the night before, and he forgot. Then Friday, he was having car troubles in the middle of nowhere with no reception, so we really couldn't get a hold of him. We thought he was backing out. Finally, Saturday morning he called and told us everything and our district leader was able to meet with him and talk marine with him (both marines). Everything came together. Debbie (his sister that we are teaching) came, and it was awesome. I swear we were best friends in the Pre-mortal existence, she is so dang funny! She's getting baptized Dec. 13.

Found out this morning that for transfers both me and my companion are staying in Goodland. Our district leader is turning into our zone leader. The lovely Elder Pettit is getting a new companion.

Let's talk about Elder Pettit for a few secs, I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but Elder Pettit's cousin was my stand partner in BYU Chamber Orchestra, meaning we were stand partners for a semester, and then for that tour in Europe. Elder Pettit, after he found out I was a cello major at BYU, asked if I knew Zach...uhh yeah. So that's pretty coincidental. He also reminds me a lot of my younger brother (pretty serious), and sometimes I think he gets a little annoyed with how much I joke around.
Example: We went outside and it was getting a bit dark, to walk Kevin and the Williams to their car after the baptism, and on our way back I noticed Elder Pettit was crouched on the inside and locking the door to the building.  So, naturally I ran up and into the door and Elder Pettit yelled and fell over. His companion walked around the corner like, what the....
Another Example: At district meeting last week they mentioned something Kevin said to them and I was like, "You talked with Kevin!?" They were like, "No, that was just in priesthood"...I was like, "Oh"...and then later we texted them about something and they texted back way later and they were like sorry it took so long we were talking with Kevin (just being a pain). They were supposed to have someone (Juan) get baptized as well on Saturday, so it was going to be a double baptism. But long story short, it didn't work out, but we didn't know that then. So I texted back, "Oh cool, how is Kevin doing?" They said, "Umm...Did you not see him? He told us you saw him." I said, "Yeah we saw him, he said he was offended by Juan's tatoos and wants a private baptism." They replied, "Oookay jokes over."

Me, Debbie (Kevin's sister) Kevin,
and Sister Fosselman

Elder Ballard (senior missionary),
 Me, Debbie, Kevin,
Debbie (Kevin's "friend" that he apparently
met 3 months ago that apparently
is a member that he didn't tell us about,
we are going to have to get
the full story later) Kevin, Sister Fosselman

Monday, November 17, 2014

Many are Called, but Few are Frozen...[Nov. 17, 2014]

 Well, this week was bundles of joy. Let me describe to you what tracting in sub zero weather feels like. Your extremities just hurt, especially if you forget to wiggle your fingers and toes, and your face loses the capability to make expression. It actually feels exactly like diving head first into the ocean on the Oregon Coast.
I don't have too much time to write, so I will just go straight to the funny stories.
Last Monday, we had dinner with our branch president. His wife asked Elder Pettit about his tie and if it had a story. Elder Pettit was like...well...not really, I guess I bought it at a thrift store. The branch president was like, "Oh that's why it's butt ugly." I don't think we will see that tie again for awhile...
The Elders also told us that after they invited one investigator to come to church he replied back, "Um, yeeeaaahhh there's a 99% chance you will NOT see me at church." That might be just funny in person, but I was cracking up and everything after that was a 99% chance I won't be able to do it.
We have the HARDEST time getting people to church, because our building is 30 minutes away and our investigators and less actives don't normally have reliable transportation. Well, this last Sunday was the Thanksgiving potluck, and we worked hard at inviting everyone like normal. But we finally reaped our rewards, this week we had 7 investigators and 12 less actives at church! It was fantastic! Our zone leaders didn't believe us when we told them! I wish their was a potluck every week!!
We had a zone conference thing with 5 zones in Great Bend last Friday where Elder Schwitzer of the Second Quorum of the Seventy was great! We also got a challenge that I also want to issue to everyone reading this no matter if you are in the middle of reading the Book of Mormon or if you have never read it before...that is to get your hands on those cheap paper back Book of Mormons and read the entire thing before Christmas and with a red pencil mark all passages pertaining to Christ and/or the atonement and all the green ones for faith/works. I started last week and it's seriously like reading a different book. I think because you take a bit of time marking it all up and that lets you think a little more about it all. It's life changing and I know that it will take a lot of time, but it will be so worth it. So go find your closest missionary and let them give you a Book of Mormon (you might have to coerce them and tell them you are going to give it to a friend afterwards or something) and DO IT.

[**She sent me a link to the calendar for studying until Christmas...drop me an email and I will forward it to you.  I couldn't figure out how to attach it to her blog (strange format--my slow brain).]
My sub zero attire.
For some reason animals are
 really attracted to my boots
and dogs just sniff sniff sniff that fur lining
 and then we went to this one less active
and his cat would run up and attack my leg.
 I would have to keep track of where he was
 and if he was missing
out of nowhere from behind
 he would just claw up my leg.
Those boots are just too cute,
so that's a burden I'll have to deal with...

Monday, November 10, 2014

I can be down, I can be blue, I can be violet sky...I can be happy, I can be bappy, I can be anything you like...[Nov 10, 2014]

Well, I think I hit the low point of my mission. Friday was zone conference and it was FANTASTIC, (we meet as a zone every month) but I think it's like every three months, the mission president comes down and we have an 8 hour meeting and it's super motivating--great for figuring out what you can do better.  Apparently, also a great way to shake germ infested hands.
Saturday night, I got the stomach flu and I slept all day Sunday. My companion spent the day watching 90's seminary videos and I think she watched The Testaments 3 times. We found out that 3 other people in our district were sick with the stomach flu and our district leader had a bad cold. For not proselyting 2 days (sick and zone conference) and being parked and walking 3 days (my comp used pretty much all our miles the first two weeks before I got there so we had to go way over miles and they made us walk, so we walked about 8 miles each day, I literally got a sunburn in the middle of November-the struggle is real) our numbers were actually pretty good. It's a blessing we didn't have to walk this week, because we would be frozen popsicles.  The weather told us that on Tuesday the high is 28 and low 5. Ahhh!
Oh, also some crazy awesome news we learned at zone conference--it was like a dream come true--they are doing away with designated drivers, so only one companion was designated to drive, but they said the church came out with a rule that a missionary can't drive for more than 2 hours straight.  So that means we have to switch off! I got to drive home (from Garden City, which is a 2 1/2 hour drive) it was my first time driving in 7 months! My companion was just mentioning the ride up here how she was getting sick of driving all the time and wished we could switch, so awesome! It's also good, because my companion is from California and has no driving experience in the snow and I delivered food in Utah for a year, so hopefully we won't die.


There's this random,
 wooden statue of liberty
 in someone's yard...

Monday, November 3, 2014

Where Seldom is Heard a Discouraging Word...[Nov. 3, 2014]

Well the beginning of this week was, in my companion's words, a shot in the foot. At midweek when we give our numbers, it was zero across the board and definitely not from lack of trying. Well, we didn't let each other give up and we kept on trekking. Then, the next day we got 3 new investigators...and the day after that 3 new people on date for baptism... and then the next day held the ultimate miracle...a sparkling golden investigator!

He comes in the form of a bald man named Kevin. He has a grey stache and he came to church in a white button up shirt, jeans, and a "ginormo" belt buckle, which he later explained he got from bull riding. He showed us pictures and let's just say he probably has to allow plenty of time when going through airport security.

He works for Bro. Williams (remember him from last week) he's a manure spreader and he was busy the past two weeks with a job, so we couldn't see him. But as we learned at church when he was sharing his testimony in sacrament, he read the entire Book of Mormon over the past two weeks. We taught him at the William's last night and he's on date for baptism on the 15th. He, of course in true back country fashion, chews tobacco, so he will have to quit that. But when he committed to do it on the spot during dinner, I extend my hand palm upward and he just shakes it and it's like it up, dude. We threw his tobacco away for him.

We met a couple tracting a couple days ago and we taught them the night before. Somehow we brought them up and the fact that he is a "tower"...and the main things he tows is flipped over semis. Then Kevin was like, "Hey, I know a guy that does that."....and I have just embraced the fact that everyone knows everyone else, so I was like, "Well is his name Tim?" He's like, "Yeah and he has a wife and two kids...yep." Then we said his last name they gave us last night and then Kevin was like, "No, that's not his last name, it's this." Goes to show that if you live in such a small town, you can't just give fake last names. Hopefully they will let us come over and see them again. Apparently, Tim is really good friends with Kevin, so I told Kevin to tell Tim he's getting baptized.

This is slightly embarrassing, but I'll share it anyways. So a few weeks ago the zone leaders called us and were like, "Hey this is Elder Johnson, I just got ET'd (emergency transferred) here." We were like, "Wait, what? Who did you replace?"  "Elder T." We then were like super surprised and everything. We mentioned it to the Burlington Elders and they were like, "Hey he didn't call us and they were kind of offended." Well, after that it was always Elder Johnson talking with us and getting to know us and stuff. We both didn't know who Elder Johnson was and we looked up where he was before and everything. Of course, district meeting happened and guess who was there...Elder T. He just pretended to be an Elder Johnson. Revenge is a dish best served cold. I have no idea how we're going to get them back though, so if anyone has any ideas, please share!

We have an investigator whose dad lives with her and he's a Pentecostal minister. He's a nice guy, but likes to get in discussions with us and the last one ended your Bible ladies! So we've been avoiding him because he's a pain (it's hard to avoid people in a small town, we ran into him at the gas station and post office). Well, on Halloween we decided to visit that investigator. So it was around 8 and dark outside, and we walk up to her house. (which btw is already legitmately looks like a ghost lives there and it looks haunted and she's asked for a blessing to be put on her house). Well there was this shrine thing on her walk way and a smoke thing and noises and spiders everywhere and bats flying. I'm just standing in front of this shrine thing and it's dark and I'm trying to figure out what it is and my companion turns back so I start to turn back. Then, the dreaded voice of the man we've been trying to avoid booms out so creepily, "Where ya goin' don't you want some candy!" Apparently he was sitting behind this table of a shrine, and he has this stringy grey beard. He was sitting in this couch that they covered with black fabric and he had this black hat on. I was standing in front of him for like 5 minutes before that and didn't figure out he was sitting right in front of me. SO CREEPED OUT! We got some candy out of it, so it was okay.

The sky is HUGE out here.

Barn next to the Williams.
Field next to the Williams.

We helped Bro Williams
tie shingles together to burn as firewood.
 The Elders were there as well...
let's just say it's not a secret
 I'm not photogenic...
it was cold outside....

They fed us after the service.
The elders real names are
Elder Jensen and Elder Pettit,
 but a less active lady we talked
with yesterday
 forgot Elder Pettit's name
and the fact that we call each other
companions, so she referred to him as
 Elder Jensen's "little partner"
teasing will ensue...