Friday, February 27, 2015

'ello Govnuh...[Feb. 23, 2015]

Lake Shawnee. Where to begin.... Well, it's my area and I have already met a lot of the members, because my last comp (in Kaw Valley, which happens to border part of this area) served here a few months ago, so we saw a lot of them again...including Ben, who I think I mentioned before. He has been to a few of our appointments and he bought us dinner one time. At dinner we were sitting down and he looks over and in a knee-jerk reaction exclaims, that's the effin (edited from what he actually said) governor! The man sitting in the table next to us looks up and decides to wisely change tables. Ben just laughs and explains the governor made a lot of budget cuts, especially to schools, so he is not so well liked with the Kansans at this point in time. Ben is a convert that my last comp introduced the church to. He was high at the time (when he first met my comp) and has a crazy conversion story. He is probably the coolest recent convert you could meet.
One house we have been to belongs to this awesome lady named Sister Jackson and she has 3 kids and her husband is deployed. She works at Petco and she has a ton of reptiles....(yaaaaay).... I only screamed about three times during dinner with geckos flying everywhere. I found out later that they actually have a cello (1/2 size, but I'm not complaining), so ironically, I can't wait to get back there.
Lake Shawnee Sisters haven't had any investigators come to church in the past 3 and 1/2 months, but we had one on Sunday, so that was sweet!
I got to go to Debbie's baptism on Friday and it was so AWESOME! She is so prepared! I think at this point I should just find out all the Debbie's in the area and visit them. Anyways, to compile all of Debbie's conversion, we met her the second night in Kaw Valley at a member's home. The member invited her to Meet the Mormons via email and she went with her. She invited her to talk with the missionaries and Debbie was like, "Well I'm probably not going to convert, but I'll see what they have to say...haha." We started teaching her every Thursday at the member's home and we sent her daily texts with scriptures. She was eating it up! Her trial of faith was whether she should continue without her teenagers also in it as well, but she received her answer that she should. She got baptized!!!
Our Zone has 10 Missionaries, 3 Districts, 2 new, never been District Leader District Leaders, 3 Trainees and 1 never been Zone Leader Zone Leader. It's gonna go one way, or the this will be interesting.

Me, Debbie, Sister Mitchell (last comp)
Sister Hansen (her trainee/new comp)

Sister Budge (member we had dinner
at/with Debbie on Thursdays),
Me, Debbie, Sister Mitchell,
Sister Hansen, Brother Budge

Elder Ives (District Leader that went home)
Elder Mcgee, Elder Stum,
Sister Mitchell, me, Elder Hunt


Monday, February 16, 2015

Goin' Around this Roundabout...[Feb. 16, 2015]

Soooo, my companion got a training packet and my potential to go to Debbie's baptism on the 20th started to seriously dwindle. Since, she will stay to train someone and I will be cast off the island. I actually was freaking out a little bit, but my freakouts aren't as bad as they used to be....sticky notes weren't flung in the air like they were in Goodland when I found out that was about to be closed.
The Elders are hilarious, but they were starting to drive me insane.
"Hey, can you meet us at the church?"  "No, we are in North Topeka, ain't no one got miles for that." Wait, why do you care about miles you aren't going to be here?
Then at dinner last night the lady was like, "Oh my goodness you should come over for p-day and we can play games and cook food!" I was YES then one of the Elders was like, "Wait, you're not going to be here." I threatened him with a fork...
Then we were asking her her favorite part about her mission. She said going to the baptisms. Thanks.
Well, I fasted and then the miracle...uh miraculously....came through. The APs called Sister Mitchell to tell her her trainee...and then we asked where I was going? and they said Lake Shawnee...which is in Topeka. So I totes am going to make it! I am so happy! We called Debbie and she was so happy she got goosebumps. Lake Shawnee is struggling a bit right now, so it'll be tough and with my track record it'll be closed in 2 transfers, but we're going to thrash the crap out of it.
Last Monday, we had dinner with this young family and the mom got out some cool whip and said oh it's still little girl was like Frozen?...and a little boy gave a loud rendition of "Let it Go". Then another little girl was like, why does no one give Elsa balloons?-- Because she let's them go. It's an obsession.
We had lunch at this place called Pie Five and it was so good! It had the same vibe as Chipotle except with pizza and you could put whatever on it. Then I was sitting down eating my delicous chicken tomato alfredo pizza and Tongue Tied by Grouplove came on and I felt like my ears were bleeding. It was the strangest experience, because it was the one song that I listened to the most before I came out and haven't heard since I left. It's like someone calling you by your first name...ahh!!

My new comp is curly haired sister in back.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Pool Party: It was a Cool Party!...[Feb. 9, 2015]

Well the miracle of the week was that the Elders' investigator in our Ward got baptized. He is a whopping 495 pounds with understandable bum, knees, and hips. For two weeks, the Elders have been on a hunt for something for him to wear in the font. We miraculously were going to the temple, so we got a 5x suit from the font there....but not so miraculously, because it didn't fit. They ended up having a member make new pants.
The night before we were asking the Missionaries how they felt towards the baptism ,and one said, "Normally I am excited with butterfly's and everything, but this is a different kind of nervousness." The Elders are two sticks and our Mission Leader was planning on baptizing him with the Elders catching him and lifting him up. I was so excited to see how it would didn't.
They first tried with chairs, but the chairs were too tall. So, we took a little intermission where one Bishopric member came out of the font with suits and told a couple more burly Elders to suit up. Then, with one Ward Mission Leader, one Bishopric member and 3 Missionaries, they attempted to baptize him. But, he was so scared and he half screamed; which, is not so cool when you are about to go under water. He came up coughing, and it was a mess.  So, they attempted one more time, and I prayed in my head SO HARD. Well, like one intense spiritual trust fall that 495 pound man got completely immersed, and he came back up a new man. It was fantastic and we couldn't help but ring out an applause! It was incredible!!

The temple was also an awesome experience. Such a blessing we can go there! After we did our session, I was lucky enough to be one of the first in the celestial room. It was so cool, because slowly, one by one each of my fellow missionaries came in and each time they came in, in my head it was like, "Yes, they made it."
Funny story...but not...the night before the temple I realized that I didn't have the phone with me and we could NOT find it. At first, I was like, aw man, we can't talk with anyone. Then I was like, Aw YES, we can't talk with anyone! I didn't realize how much stress that thing gave me. I figured it would come back somehow...which it did...but that night, before the temple trip.  The phone is our only alarm, so that was scary seeing if we would wake up. But after waking up for 7 months at exactly 6:30 every day, it was not a problem.  It ended up being in the driveway of our dinner  appointment the night before.
We also had another miracle. We were able to put an investigator...who coincidentally also is named Debbie...on date. Exactly one day after transfers...yay...send in prayers that I stay here! We also have our District ex AP talking with President about it. So, fingers crossed. We have been teaching her since we first got here.  She was the investigator we met the night we got here at the member's home. We have been texting her every day scriptures and she eats them up. She loves the church. Her only hold up was her kids weren't so hot about it and she doesn't want to get into something with out them. But we told her how she will be a fantastic example for them, and we made a pro/con list for her. After a giant group fast... she's getting baptized!

Baptism as written by Elder Mcgee:
"So, it's the day of Raymonds baptism! Me, Elder Stum, our Ward Mission Leader, and Raymond are all dressed in white and the baptismal service has begun. We struggled to help him down the steps and into the baptismal font. When he was finally in the font we were relieved, but we had no idea what kind of struggles laid ahead. Attempt number one was very unsuccessful. As we tipped him down into the water, for some reason he inhaled and kept his eyes wide open. He started to panic. The look on his face was the essence of fear. So naturally, the moment we heard gargling we brought him back up. That's when we knew we couldn't do this alone. I summoned another Elder, whom is our District Leader and is known by the name of Elder Ives and the 2nd counselor in our Bishopric. We told them to put some jumpsuits on and hop in! Once the five of us, not including Raymond himself, were in the font we were ready to get this guy baptized. After one more failed attempt, we were more determined then ever! Third time's the charm we got this 495 pound man fully submersed! We all smiled from ear to ear and Raymond was  entered into a covenant. Doesn't get better than that folks!"
Also, I found out that there was no trust fall! Elder Ives kicked out his legs as he went down, subtly enough that we couldn't see, but it must've taken the leg strength of a pro soccer player.

Ward Mission Leader, Man being baptized,
his Wife, Elder Stum, Elder Mcgee

Elder Mcgee and Elder Stum
fitting into his pants.


Monday, February 2, 2015

Teardrops on my Guitar...[Feb. 2, 2015]

Every three months 1 or 2 zones get to go to the temple (Kansas City or Oklahoma) and there is about 10 zones. So the likeliness of going is not very likely, but luckily I am in one of the two zones that gets to go this quarter, so I get to go tomorrow! I am so excited it is hard to focus, but I will try.

Last Monday, I got my hair cut by a member of the ward who is a hairstylist...come to find out she really specializes in mens hair...she cut my layers just a tad too short and didn't frame the front, so in the end it came out looking like I had a mullet. Sister Mitchell (my comp who is a certified hair stylist) fixed it a bit, but there was no way going around it. Bangs. At first, I was like, "Oh hello awkward teenage years, hows it goin'?"...but then I straightened them and I took a gander in the mirror and I was like wait...I don't know? So I'm considering the bangs...let your opinion be heard and email me cuz I can't decide. They can grow out in like 3 weeks, or I can keep them the way they are.

We are teaching a lady who is a mom of 2 kids on missions and she has 2 boys at home. Her husband is like the biggest teddy bear and they are all converts...except for the mom. She goes to church every week and she even is in Cub Scouts. Really she is a mormon in all aspects, despite the fact that she has never been baptized...and oh yeah she also doesn't believe in God.

She had an experience over Christmas where she prayed for the first time and a miracle happened that made her start thinking, but she still has so much further to go. It's almost like she is scared to acknowledge the faith that she does have. She really is such a phenomenon, we asked her last night, "Do you have any desires that you look forward to?""Do you ever think about what happens after we die?" DIDN'T TEACH ME THIS IN THE MTC! We learned we just have to be more bold and start where she is at.

On Weds. I lost my magnetic name tag...probably just flung off at some stop when we left the car. I didn't have it for the lesson that night...super awkward...we were about to chalk it as a member present...just kidding...we actually did cuz we actually had a member with us.

I had a dream last night and I had just gotten home and I was like MAN that last 11 months flew by! I told my companion in the morning and we had a good laugh, because it really feels like the past 7 months have flown by that fast.

We had our District Meeting this morning (cuz the temple is tomorrow :]) and one sister shared this testimony (background: they have had a really rough (number wise and everything else wise) past couple months) and last week everything went so many miracles. She was saying the only thing that changed was her attitude. She kept trying to do better and was stressed so bad and just having a really rough time. She finally just decided to not give it all to the Lord and be happy. Then everything started coming. I totally went through that when I was in Goodland, and she articulated exactly what I went through, so well. I realized that even though I did just give up all that stress and not worry about how "I" was going to get the numbers, but what I could do to serve the Lord better, even though I did all that...Goodland just wasn't ready and it was time for us to serve else where.