Week 21 – Bike Wrecks, Elder Sarki and C Heights
Hey y’all! I’ll still write up an email for this coming week for everyone that I don’ t get to talk to but it’ll probably be a little different. I hardly know the ward yet so I’ll talk about it next week but the ward missionaries and ward mission leader are awesome. We work with them a lot and they know everyone’s needs and it’s amazing.
Curse you for going to the new Chick-fil-A to get Peppermint Shakes! I’m so mad. Almost everyone that emails me from back there has at least some pictures from Chick-fil-A. So mad. You also saw Rouge 1! But don’t tell me anything. 🤐
The people here are not as nice to us as they are in Chico. On my first day a Romanian guy that asked the church for a Book of Mormon asked what it was about. When Christ in the Americas came up he straight up said “No”. You are wrong. Let me tell you why “Then he spent a half hour explaining why he went off on a few other things too. This was the first person I met in Citrus Heights that wasn’t a missionary and he couldn’t understand elder Sarki because his accent is so thick, so I was on my own. I ended up just telling him to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it so that he could “prove us wrong”. He was also saying that Jesus said in the scriptures that he wasn’t perfect. I was like, oh really. Where does it say that. He didn’t know.
The area here is a lot smaller. Tiny compared to my last area. It’s like comparing Rhode Island to Texas.
At this point our apartment is decked out in Christmas lights and trees. We even have some of those Christmas light candy cane things.
So in the new zone we have two people from my MTC district which is awesome. I love them both. We have elder Clark from Chico zone that came down with me and we have Elder Pirir! I am so happy to serve around him again! So it rains a lot harder here than in Chico. We finished an appointment and it was raining so hard that we couldn’t do anything. Like we ride for 20 seconds and we were drenched. By the time I had gotten home both of my water resistant coats I had in were soaked through. But that’s not the worst part. We hadn’t even been riding for a full minute (and thus it part of the reason that we had to go back home). We made a turn and it was so wet that I half hydroplaned and half just skidded out. I wrecked hard. Both of my tires slid our from under me and I did the thing that people do in motorcycle crashes where they slide out and put the motorcycle on the ground as it is sliding. So I am sliding and the bike is on the ground sliding and I’m on top of it for a second then it hits a crack in the sidewalk and launches me. I fly like 4 feet and landed on my backpack then roll into a flooded street with like 3 inches of water. I was just sitting there in pouring rain in 3 inches of water. I though I broke my iPad because I landed in my backpack so hard, but it was safe. It was so bad. But my bike isn’t very scratched up and I’m ok. Just scraped up. I don’t even think there was blood.
So I got your (Mom and Dad) package this week. Got in on Friday. I put it in the apartment and we were off so didn’t open it till right before dinner. What I found made me incredibly happy. All those pictures from the kids were awesome. Once again I made them my Christmas decorations. I’ll send the pictures in another email. The 7 layer cookies were amazing. Sister Montegue in Chico tried making some for me, but they weren’t as good. I was so happy when I got them. It is officially Christmas now! And of course the blue sharks and cinnamon bears. Thank you so much! So awesome. But then there was the flash drive. Thank you! Just the flash drive felt like my Christmas present. I have been trying to listen to the Motab Christmas CD that I brought with me, but it’s scratched just like all my cd’s. They don’t last long when you have no way to protect them. I can’t wait to get to the John Bytheway. Elder Sarki and I have been listening to a lot of Hank Smith this week and now we have more of the same type of stuff! Thank you. Truly, the Christmas Motab is amazing. Brings me back to my childhood. Then there was the one new Nashville Tribute album. It was awesome. And that basically made my life. There is that one song on The Work album that’s called “I Believe” that when I was a greenie really helped me to be bold and speak out. But the cd is scratched. Now I have it back. So that’s awesome. But then I found the biggest surprise of all. The Nashville tribute Christmas album. I had no idea that they had a Christmas album and I was so happy. So amazingly happy. It’s a good album. That’s so cool. Once again, thank you.
So one of the the families we loved in Chico had a son leave for a mission that all the missionaries are close with. James Montague. I’ve been emailing him and of course in his first week in the MTC guess who speaks at his devotional? Elder holland. 😑 Needless to say he got lucky.
I like the new apartment. We have a washer and dryer! It’s amazing! Haha.
Had another Hank Smith moment. Not as deep this time. Me and Elder Sarki were in our beds and we were listening to him and we were bot doing stuff in our iPads. Both going through gospel library or checking the weather for the next day and area-book and stuff. Hank Smith told a really cool story and it was awesome and such a spiritual moment. It just made me stop and calmed me and I just listened for 10 minutes. When he stopped, it was silent. I heard Elder Sarki just say “Wow”. I looked at him and realized he had heard the same thing. I had forgotten about him and thought he was still on gospel library but his iPad was off too and we just sat in silence for a few minutes. The Spirit was really just there. Hank Smith talked about this guy that had to see the bishop and cleaned up his act, went on a mission and got married in the temple. It’s was like wow that’s so cool.
So every Saturday we teach a lesson with President and Sister Marston. It was really cool. Not only did we get to do that, but we teach this lady outside of the mission. So we get to leave the mission and we even went to the store outside of the mission. I felt so free😈. Haha. I’m sure you got the picture/text from when we were walking away and Pres. suddenly said “Alright, we need to take a selfie” and he handed me his phone(he is trying so hard to use technology as much as he can). I took the picture and he said to text y’all. I was like ok sure. He told me what to say and I wrote it and sent it off to y’all and Elder Sarki’s parents. I gave the phone back and he was proud of himself and said “Because we are a tech mission”. Haha. I love Pres. He’s the best.
Elder Sarki is awesome. He is so funny and we are just like friends. That is awesome because we actually like each other. I have had love for my past companions but I really like Elder Sarki as a person. We click together. We mess around with each other and we enjoy it. No bad feelings. At all. He is from Nepal. Moved to Utah about 6 years ago from a refugee camp in Nepal. Was converted and baptized and is on a mission. He is doing really well for his situation because there is a language barrier. So he can’t teach too well because his accent is really really thick (it sounds like he is from India) and his English isn’t the best. But he can bear testimony and he resorts to that which is great because that’s what’s important. So it works. It’s hard to understand him a lot and I’ve even had to teach lessons by myself because people can’t understand them if they aren’t from the U.S. But we just get along really well and we work hard and freeze in the cold together and it’s great. It’s just so fun.
Listening to John Bytheway reminds me a lot of Merritt (Merritt falls asleep listening to him). I just always think of her when I listen to it. 🙃
There is another companionship that lives a few doors down in our complex. We are just going to pick up and take Christmas over there and spend Christmas together. We’ll go to church in the afternoon and spend dinner with some members. But the morning and day will be at the other missionaries place.
So last night I had dinner with the guy that built the stake center. in East Vancouver Stake. I mentioned Portland and one thing lead to another and he ran around the country living all over the place and building stake centers. So our stake center happened to be one of them. He didn’t design it but he did everything else. Made sure everything was done right and oversaw it all. Small world.
So, I can’t tell when Elder Sarki is joking. Not many people can. He told me that we were being picked up for church at 6:30 (this is when we would be picked up in my last area) and so when I woke up at 5:45, Elder Sarki sits up in bed and says go to sleep, they’ll be here at 8:30. 😑. C’mon. I didn’t even get back to sleep.
Well, sorry for the giant email. I’ll keep it shorter next week. Merry Christmas!🎄🎁⭐️🎅🏿 Luva!
Week 22 -Tim McGraw, Call Home and Turkeys
Hey y’all. I know I just talked to y’all yesterday, but here is the usual update on how everything is.
So, we walked out of Walmart on p-day and this lady was still trying to fix her car so we stopped and helped her. We replaced her battery. Two cool things happened. First of all I was able to see how far I’ve come. One of the missionaries with us had only been out 6 days and while we were fixing the car she was really energetic and loud and asked what we believe in. So we threw the greenie under the bus and left it to him. Eventually, I kind of helped him out. But to see the difference between this greenie (he did a great job by the way) and where I was at was huge. It kinda just showed me how I’ve come a long way in my teaching skills (thankfully, I have improved a bit). The second thing that happened was that this lady was very strange and she kept hitting on me a lot. Ha! She kept saying that I looked the best out of us four missionaries and that my hair was awesome and that I looked like the leader of us missionaries! Ha, ha! Then she started almost hitting on Elder Pirir. It was crazy. But she was so thankful and she took a picture and posted it somewhere because apparently we did an awesome job.
The Mission Christmas devotional was great. Got to see a lot of old friends because it was half of the mission. I got to see my trainer, Elder Duseigneur. That was awesome. There were awesome songs sung and cool testimonies borne and the Spirit was there. Pres. is the best. Love him. You’ll see why in one of the other picture emails.
I got that picture from Dad this week of everyone in the kitchen. I couldn’t help but notice that Merritt still has -1/2 hours of yard work, while the other kids have a ton of hours.
So there was an awesome letter package thing from the ward that I got. Funny story about it first. Elder Ford had gone down to the mission office because he went home. He is an awesome guy and so fun. He kinda looked out for me a little bit as a greenie and we got along really well. I got the letter and apparently he had gotten ahold of it when he was in the mission office and had written on it. There’s a picture of it in the other email but he was”dying” (going home) so he used the term “from the dust”. It made me happy and I got a good laugh. But anyways the letters were awesome. They whole ward wrote a ton of letters and sent them in a package. It was so awesome. It was one of those moments that makes a missionary unbelievably happy. I opened letter after letter from people whose names I hadn’t actually seen in a long time. The letters were so cool and I love the ward. I miss y’all. So awesome. Side note here: Brother Pallo’s letter was awesome. You rock! And also, sister Pablo mentioned that Gage was going to propose? How did that go?
We went on exchanges this week. It was insane. I was with Elder Quist. We had a ton of fun. A lot of fun. He is the best. We are awesome together. So we had to exchange in the afternoon early because I was supposed to be back for dinner the next day. Well it’s kinda bad, actually it’s pretty bad but it’s not our fault but the exchange lasted over two full days. We started messing around on a ukulele and he pulled out a harmonica and we ended up doing three Christmas songs really well. So we went to a retirement home and played for people. Members and not. It was awesome. It got a lot of people to get some Christmas Spirit. We ended up being able to contact a less active family that hasn’t seen the missionaries in 6 years and she was excited to have us come over and now she is set up to see the missionaries a lot. So cool. We could say that we had an over 50 hour exchange. We did that service all day so it added to the time. So it was bad and it was insane, but it was so cool.
Now for the turkey story. While on exchanges there is this one place a ton of wild turkeys just roam around. So we chased them. Yeah, it was fun. We got a video of it. Then we got on our bikes and there was another flock of geese. I think flock is the right word. Oh well. But we charged them on our bikes and we almost hit some of them, there was this one that flew way up in the air. Like 30 feet up and it was so cool.
So Christmas was great. On Christmas Eve we had a baptism. I have only been here for two weeks but I was thrown headfirst into it. It was hard to organize and make sure everything happened but I’m so glad she got baptized. I got to see my last two companions and that was awesome. I miss them. It was weird because I was off because I had three companions with me and I kept getting mixed up who I had to stay with. It felt like I was still comps with all of them. Yeah, then that night we had dinner at a members house and they had emailed my parents and asked about any traditions that we had for Christmas eve. So for dinner some of the stuff we had was the same stuff that I had every Christmas Eve back home. Then after dinner we went back home and our District Leaders had half the zone over at their apartment for games and a fire. We were going to read the Christmas story from the Bible and have a testimony meeting but people had to leave before that. After they all left we pulled mattresses off of beds and put them in front of the dying fire and slept at the district leaders place. It was awesome to have four beds on the ground in front of a dying fire and falling asleep. In the morning we all threw our stuff on our beds and opened presents on our beds in front of the fire. So cool. I am so thankful for all the people who think of me during Christmas and loved the gifts that I received. It was awesome. A small little Christmas morning that I loved. Originally we were going to be at our own apartment but we did this instead and we went to a members house in their ward who everyone refers to as the mission Mamma. She loves missionaries and so we went over to her house for breakfast and had a huge nerf battle with their kids and then I FaceTimed my family. That was weird. But awesome. They all got a little bit older. Dixon is talking a lot better than he used to but he is still Dixon. Everyone just has things that are coming up and they are growing up without me. I loved talking with them though. My Mom kept petting me on her screen. Haha. Then we went to church and that was cool on Sunday. Yeah, on the mission it doesn’t matter much if it’s on a Sunday or not because you do almost all the same things as you normally would. So I got lucky to have that this year. Then Elder Sarki called his family. It was crazy to see him talking to them……in Nepali. So weird but so cool. Then we went to a members house for dinner and had Tri-tip. So it was a great Christmas.
Another long email. But that’s good, right?