Investigators, Riding Goats, Perfect Hair, Testaments, Giving Money – Bryson On His Mission – Week 40

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Hey there.

I had a pretty good week.  First off, we had two really solid investigators. Both were going to get baptized. This week, they both moved out of our area. Erica, who is very solid, moved to Tacoma, and Norman moved into the sisters area.  Elder Smith, the guy I want to room with, knocked into her the day after Erica moved up there. She came to the investigator session of stake conference, and then came back for the main part. Craziness. And Norman was found by the sisters. They are going back there this week.

At church, the sisters were going to have two kids from their basketball team come to our ward because their ward was too late. They showed up late, so we tell the sisters to come back to church. The two teenagers were pretty immature. We take them to gospel essentials, and then I remember….. Law of Chastity day. We walk in, and they had been having a very spiritual conversation because there weren’t investigators in there. Well, that changed. The two guys started making crazy comments. “She didn’t want to date as a teenager? That woman is crazy!” They would comment about wearing protection, or stupid things. We missionaries just sat there and shook our heads, trying not to laugh. That was a crazy Sunday school!

We had a great fireside. Elder Goodwine, the red head, is a pretty cool guy. Sat next to him on the way to Elma. The southern part of our mission is beautiful! Elder Muirbrook gave a testimony and it was so weird to hear him talk again.  All his little things he does when he talks brought back memories.

We moved a few chords of wood this week for an elderly lady. She had goats in her back yard and they were really annoying. They always stood right where I needed to put the wood. I tried to ride one.

Erica, our investigator, is funny. I only taught her a few times. Elder Smith, was joking about me. He said, “How is Elder Jones? Is he a good missionary, or even as good as us?” She laughed and said, “He reminds me of a carpet salesman. His hair is always perfect, and he has a permanent smile on his face. He is always smiling.” Glad to know that I am a carpet salesman.  Now I know what to do with my life.

Missionaries memorize the Testaments, and Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration. I think I already told y’all about that. Quotes are in every conversation. Elder Muli was watching it while I was reading something, and I realized that I have almost the entire thing memorized.

I think I know who the Three Nephites are. One is Coker Micheal, the man whose house Lincoln Elders live in. Number two is the guy who is Jacob’s dad in the Testament, and he is Joseph Smith’s father in the movies. Number three……. I am thinking the ROCK.

You come up with great things while knocking for so many hours. Elder Muli’s bike was broken this week so we walked a lot! We have games with kicking rocks. Rock golf is fun. We play a game where you have to switch off every kick. So you try to kick it in a puddle so the other guy has to walk in the puddle and kick it out. I am scared we will break a windshield. We have had some close calls. You know life is good when your day is considered great because you found the perfect kicking rock.

We had dinner with the ward mission leader. He confirmed my thoughts. He HAS NOTICED THAT MISSIONARIES AND WARD MEMBERS DON’T KNOW EACH OTHER ANYMORE.  Sorry, caps lock. We took a while and tried to figure things out so we can change that. So, hopefully we will get somewhere!

Wednesday night, we split knocked with the Samoan elders. It was pouring rain so hard that every inch of me was soaked. Then we went to the church and gave two church tours. Elder Muli and I killed some kids on the varsity team from the school, while we waited for our church tours. In church clothes!  All of their homeboys were laughing cause they got beat by two Mormon guys. Elder Muli is great at basketball.

Right when we were about to leave, a guy pulled up to the parking lot. He had a thick southern accent. I miss it. But he said he needed help. He was supposed to meet at this church so he could get gas money to continue on to his job which started at 4:30 am, in Sacramento. If he didn’t make it to the job, he would lose it and wouldn’t retire in 18 months. But, being a country boy, he had rarely been in a city, and got lost for three hours. He kept saying how confusing Tacoma is ( I feel his pain.) We have gotten pretty good at telling who is lying and who is real, cause we get these people all the time.

We were trying to find the Bishop. During that, he told us all this cool stuff “My name is cornbread. They call me that cause when I was 6, I ate an entire pan of cornbread and half a gallon of milk.” “I am known in 27 counties as cornbread”.  Apparently, he is from Kentucky and has some really cool property in the Appalachian mountains. I felt like he was telling the truth. Some of the stuff he was saying is hard to make up unless you actually are from there. Who knows.

So we weren’t having luck contacting anybody, and he needed to go. Then Elder Muli said he could help out, and then something amazing happened. I offered him money. I know, I have promised myself never to give money to the homeless or strangers, because from my experience, they will all use it on drugs or they are homeless because they are probably lazy. Plus, I hate giving away money. I haven’t done it in my life. Y’all know it. I don’t think I bought a single present for anybody my entire life, except maybe that Captain America underwear for Dad (which, for the record, has never been worn). I am soooo selfish with money that I won’t spend it on my family whom I love. Even on Christmas. Now, when I am poorer than ever, I suddenly have a desire to give up my money to help someone in need. I was willing to live on Ramen for a month to help a guy out. I was really surprised at myself.

Luckily we found a different solution. Isn’t that crazy though???!!! Who would have thought. I wrote it down as a defining moment in my life. I never would have done that before. (he had also said that he has money, but because of a few things that he explained he didn’t have it with him, but his family can send it right now. I believed him. I know it sounds sketchy.)

It has rained all day everyday. Except one beautiful day. We work out at the gym everyday and I feel so good!

One thing that makes you grow, is walking down the street and generally being disliked. Most people at the doors dislike us. It is really hard being disliked so much. It kind of gets you down, having to constantly be on your guard. That is one of the few things I am excited to leave behind. I look forward to walking down a street, and talking to someone and not get flipped off because of my white shirt and tie. I just want everyone to be nice and be friends!  Now I kind of know what it is like to be a minority and not accepted in a place.  Good thing I know that I am doing the right thing. This sounds kind of angry. I don’t mean it to be. Just a point I’d like to make. I still love the people of Washington. Not everyone is perfect. Washington is sooooo pretty though. All missionaries talk about is how excited we are for the wonderful summer.

I love you so much. Joseph Stanley, who is the guy in our ward that’s about to go on a mission, took us go-carting. It is soooooo much fun. I love him! He is one of our best friends out here! There is a girl in our ward who is going to New York City Spanish speaking, and she is really great. We do a lot of missionary things and teaching with them.

Y’all, isn’t it crazy that I will be 19 soon? I just remembered that I have a birthday. Bama sounds beautiful. I miss it.

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2 thoughts on “Investigators, Riding Goats, Perfect Hair, Testaments, Giving Money – Bryson On His Mission – Week 40”

  1. I think the reason people react so strongly, most of them, when seeing the tie and suit, is the combination of formal clothing and religious zeal. Sometimes I have thought that if your dress wasn’t so formal it might help some. I often thought that Jesus did fairly well because he was poor and dressed very simply, in clothes that the other common folk also dressed in. I never understood the suit and tie protocol actually. You work hard, Bryson. It sounds like you are learning a great deal. Hugs, Aunt Peggy

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