Lobster Bisque, Sandbags and Missionary Science
Hey y’all! I loved getting all those videos and pictures in the photo share throughout the week. That made me seem a lot closer to y’all. That’s how I was hoping it would work out. It really is one of the best ways to communicate small things throughout the week.
I can’t believe that the Pond froze over that much. I died laughing out loud when I saw the Morgan’s landing car crash (only because of the inside joke, not the crash). I’m sure Elder Sarki thought I was crazy. I’ve been hearing from so many different people that the weather is so bad back there. So crazy.
It was cold this week. Cold and wet. Like below freezing. In California! Oh man it sucks being on a bike. Those waterproof pants have been saving me. It rained a lot. We spent all day Friday preparing for it. Apparently what happens is it floods really badly, if it rains hard. So if you go to a few places like city hall and a public park they come and they dump truckloads of sand. A ton of people come and fill bags and bags of sand up with sand and you use those to protect your house from flooding. So we probably filled about 80 bags of sand. Probably more. We were there for like 4 hours. We filled the bags of the few families that we were there for then just started helping people that were here. Then we went and dropped some off at some people’s houses and stacked them against their house. It was raining all week. Pouring (for California) and there was lots of flooding. It’s still like that right now. We got rained in a few times. Our mission president says to stay if it gets too bad.
Cool miracle happened a few weeks ago that we didn’t know about. When Karen got baptized she came into the building and she heard some people playing the piano. She had a hard time getting baptized because she was in and out of the hospital and a lot of things but she made it when she walked in she said that she heard someone playing “Heart and Soul”. You know which one I’m talking about, right? She said she knew her parents and grandparents were there. She could feel it. Her parents passed away before I was even born but she knew that they were there for her baptism and that was the sign of it because that was the first song that her parents taught her and she would always play it with her grandma. The cool thing is that all the missionaries had gotten there a little early that day and we were hanging around. My trainer started messing around in the piano and that was us playing. The day before at a lesson with someone else we were talking about how God uses people here on earth to accomplish miracles and sometimes it’s something that is insignificant to them or they don’t mean to do it but it is a miracle to someone else. I thought it was exactly that because we were just messing around on the piano. It was her miracle.
Steve, the guy that keeps feeding us took us out to dinner. A really fancy dinner. We got there and realized how fancy it was and felt badly but this guy has a lot of money. So that comforted us a little. That was the best steak I’ve had in my life! I probably won’t ever have a steak like that again in my life, that’s how good and expensive it was. Top 2% steak in the country. He was saying: “No, I’m taking you to this place because y’all have done so much for me (we have done service for him several times a week for the past two weeks, but he doesn’t have to repay us!) and you haven’t had a good steak before, so you need to try it.” Needless to say it was amazing. Elder Haddock and I (we were in the MTC together. I love him so much) keep just randomly saying “That was a good steak” dreamily when we are together because we keep thinking about it. Oh man. The waiter said that they had an excellent Lobster Bisque. Two other missionaries and I froze and looked at each other and tried to keep it in (From Studio C). We all wanted to order it but it had brandy in it. Dang it! We kept asking if it could be made without it.
I started working out this week. Actually last week. I hope I will get buff. Haha. Yeah I am the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life and realized that it was all going to my stomach. My shoulders are still as skinny and bony as ever. So I hope to make it so I am less skinny up top and more toned on my stomach. It has worked a little bit so far. But it’ll take time.
So we were able to get in contact with this family that has a less active mom and non-member boyfriend that live together and they have two kids. One is nine and wants to be baptized, but the dad is iffy in that. The younger daughter is six. They are a handful. They haven’t seen the missionaries in a while but love missionaries. The second they walked in the door the younger one ran up and hugged me and I had to peel her off of me because were aren’t supposed to hug children (Playing it safe). She wanted to read “The God Book” (The Book of Mormon) and she made me sit down and start reading it. I hadn’t even started reading when she made everyone stop and say a prayer. So, we did and I showed her the picture of Jesus in the book. She kept jumping up on my lap and I kept picking her up and sitting her back next to me. She even jumped on my shoulders. When we left I went to grab my bike, thinking I was safe and she came running out and almost jumped off the deck and I had to stop her. She wrapped her arms around my neck and gave me a huge hug. As I was finally able to pull away she grabbed my neck again and planted a big kiss on my cheek. That was one of the craziest visits ever. It only lasted about ten minutes because they had to go. It was so crazy! (First of all, I would have loved to see Corbin dealing with this. I can see it really freaking him out to break the rules and with a little kid. Second, we have had our own kids do this exact, same thing to missionaries! So cute!) As we finally biked away, Elder Sarki said: “Oh man, you just broke so many rules!” 😑 Thank you for rubbing it in Sarki. While we were there she said the best quote of the week. She asked “Who is the bad guy for God?” And I said “It’s Satan” and she said “Oh, that’s right” Then she paused and said “Why doesn’t God just kill him?” I had no idea what to say. I couldn’t explain that to her. I was also stunned by what just came out of her mouth. So funny. It was so hard to keep my laughing quietly.
So Elder Sarki’s iPad broke. The touchscreen won’t respond. He’s been so bored. At night or if we have a lull for a few minutes he is used to being time on his iPad. Now that it’s broken he just sits there and clicks one of those counter things that count how many people come through doors or whatever. Or he finds some other meaningless thing to do. So funny.
Our District Leader and his companion found out how to fill up one side of the sink by running the water down the other side of the sink and putting soap in it. One of them stuck their heads in it and played with the Bible’s. They recorded it and they called it missionary Schoenberg and posted it on the Citris Heights photo share. Then a few days later they posted another video of missionary science 2.0 and the shook up a Soda and stabbed it with a knife and it went everywhere. Then a few days later they got some Pepsi and Mentos. They made missionary science 3.0. So it was all good and it was awesome but then the ZL’s posted a video of missionary science 4.0. They had a watermelon and one of them held it and the other one punched it to pieces. So because they did that it opened it up to the entire zone to make missilery science videos. Now people are starting to do cool things with nature like whirlpools with water bottles stuck in them and just anything cool like that.
There is this house that has a less active sister in it. We went to teach her and there was an investigator that spends a lot of time there that lives in Stockton. He wants to be baptized but needs to get married first. So he just moved into that house for good so we picked him back up and are working on him and his sons. And we picked up his wife as an investigator too. His wife has an aunt that just moved in there too and she seemed really interested. We watched Meet the Mormons with them and we are meeting them three times this upcoming week. So we picked her up too. Wow! And there is another house that came back on the radar that has two investigators. One of them loves the church and has wanted to be baptized before. We just have to rekindle that. Their daughter is nine and wants to get there too. So it was a good week.
So I had to comment on Dad’s family discussion e-mail on the difference between hope and faith.
For my whole life I had never been able to understand why we needed hope. When I came out here I was talking about it with my trainer because we were practice teaching and he saw that I didn’t understand it. We had long conversations about it and he tried explaining it but I couldn’t understand why hope was necessary if we had faith. I kind of understood hope as in between faith and belief. I saw it as having faith in something good and wanting something good to happen, but not acting. It just didn’t go together in my head. And so my trainer said to me “We teach this stuff. How can you teach people something that you don’t know?” He said that I needed to pray about it and study about it until I understood it. It wasn’t until about a week later that it clicked on my head. We were stopping by the church on our bikes to got to the bathroom and I was thinking about it ant it all fell together. I explained it to my trainer how I understood it in almost the same words as Dad used. Hope is wanting something that we don’t have control over because of others agency, whether it’s another person’s or God’s. It all clicked! I have a close friend of mine that has had the church mixed into her life but is not a member. In the MTC, I got the prompted to have her meet with the missionaries. She went through most of the discussions and was excited about it at first but then kind of lost interest. She told the missionaries that she was mainly doing it because I asked her to. So that sucked. But my point behind it is that since day one on the mission I have prayed for her every day that she would become interested in the church and I have never stopped doing that to this day. I realized that that was hope and not faith. The outcome didn’t rely on my belief and works. It relies on her agency. I don’t know why I had the prompting to have her do that if it didn’t work out, probably because it planted a seed, but it showed me that I have hope for that. So that’s how I finally was able to understand it. It was a pivotal point in my mission because I was receiving knowledge for myself directly from the spirit and I thought it was cool.
I hope that made at least a little bit of sense. 🙂