The big news of the week is...
Ok, the real big news is that we have someone on date for June 15th! He came to church for the first time yesterday and really really loved it. Sometimes it seems like the hardest part is getting them to church. We've been working to talk about church with them from Monday to Saturday so they know we expect it all week and not just tell them on Saturday night. I'm pretty confident he will get baptized but we will have to talk on the word of wisdom since last night he told us about his past with other substances. Probably won't go into detail here on that but he gave us a little of his life history - it could be a movie.
But to rewind to earlier in the week... On Monday I realized that my the fabric that covers my belt loops is wearing off and is white. So in a stroke of inspired GENIUS I colored over the white part with a sharpie. Ta-da! Good as new.
We went to Carls Jr this past week and I ate a hamburger (only the third time on my mission) and root beer for the first time. It was weird haha. That's not a big part of Mexican's diets.
President Howes changed the district meeting calendar. For the next 5 weeks, instead of training, as a mission (but individually) we will be reading the Book of Mormon focusing on the Doctrine of Christ. It has been awesome to reread it focusing on one topic. I've learned a lot. We read from 9-11:30 and from 11:30 to 12 we share thoughts on what we read. Everyone else commented on the overall theme being "faith" but I found tons more instances of "enduring to the end." I guess that's something I need to work on.
My favorite spanish phrase is, "no manches." Literally translated it means, "no stain," but in mexican slang it means "no way!"
We had interviews with President Howes this past week. These were his last interviews before he goes home. I was prepared to ask him some intense questions but instead, for my last 15 minutes with President Howes, we just talked about ties haha. It was a fun conversation and culminated with him trading me a tie and me giving him the one around my neck. He doesn't trade ties very often and I made sure he wrote on the one he gave me. He told me that if I ever saw him wearing the tie I gave him in a meeting I can't say, "hey, that's my tie!" Guess that means it passed the test.
This past week we were biking around talking with people and this guy on a bike biked past us. We followed him and tried to talk to him. He said, "NO BRO, I'M RUNNING, I GOTTA GO!!" and biked really quickly ahead. Unfortunately for him we were biking the same way. After about 15 seconds of bike sprinting (word?) he slowed down again, looked behind him, saw us again, and started pedaling as quick as he could again haha. This happened about 3 times. 11 months ago I might have thought it was uncomfortable but I live for those moments now.
We talked with someone this week who lives in Maricopa, where Elder Myler is serving. I got to call him to pass it off to him and it was fun to talk to him. Love that guy. Near the end of the call he said, "oh, I have a referral for you!" Sweet, I thought! He gave me a name then the address. The address was, "866 u-s-m-e-l-l." He pronounced it oosmuhl. I read it out loud to him and said, "that's a street!?" Then I realized that it spelled out "you smell." Ah, gets me every time!
We get to go to the temple on Wednesday for the 7:30am session.
We were hoping for a new car this past Wednesday. On Friday night the APs texted us and said, "will you be at home at 9? Stay focused!" I was so sure we would be getting a new car! Turns out it was some sick joke haha.
We stole a dog this week.
Maybe stole is the wrong word. We were walking around a trailer park and there is always this little pug that never moves so I approached it to see if it was alive. It got up and ran at me. Thinking my life was in jeopardy I got ready for the worst. 60 minutes later it was still following us around. Eventually it ditched us to chase a cat but we're hoping it found its way home. The trailer park isn't that big.
In that same trailer park we ran into someone we had seen before. She told us about how she wanted to change and would have to quit smoking after her surgery. I told her that if she wanted to change she would have to start now. After some pushing and prodding I convinced her to give me her lighter and in return I gave her a picture of Christ. Victory! The lighter is now a trophy on my desk. That's the second lighter I've taken.
I have reached a milestone. I've gone four weeks now without getting an "aggressive driving" or speeding violation. I've been a little more careful since I'm yellowlighted and if I get more violations I'll get red lighted and not be able to drive haha. It's probably Yuma's fault. I got four aggressive drivings in one day once...and I didn't even drive crazy!
We OYM'd a woman this week who was very quick to tell us that at death the family is dissolved. She told us all of this in front of her kids. We don't get that point of view very often but I've heard it all. Thanks Queen Creek!
I talked to the first white Jehovah's Witness this past week that I've found in Chandler. She was very quick to attack Joseph Smith. I don't think I've ever met one who went at him so quick. We managed to keep it a cordial conversation and she went on about some court cases about plagiarism and the Book of Mormon. I found it ironic that that was her argument since they believe all government is corrupt. Keep in mind this entire interaction was less than two minutes. She brought up the God's name thing and I asked her just a question, no more. My question was, 'if we're supposed to pray to God by calling him Jehovah, then why didn't Christ do that in any of his prayers.' She couldn't answer the question but that was fine since I wasn't trying to attack her. I offered her a pamphlet which she declined then asked for some of their literature to study. I like to understand the people I teach. She returned a few seconds later with a copy of a magazine with their basic beliefs.By the end of the conversation we both respected each others beliefs and she had a better opinion of LDS missionaries. It was a nice exchange. I read it that night and used their given scripture resources to see how they support what they believe. But after I had studied their basic beliefs I left knowing one thing: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the fullness. The member that was with us for that OYM wasn't happy that I took their literature but I see no problem.
It's really hard to teach a lesson with cockroaches crawling all over the place. We have a lot of investigators in this one area and there are 50x as many cockroaches as people. Ahhhhh.
For some reason there is a store in Chandler that sells Hot Tubs. I can't imagine why. There is always a "SALE" sign outside.
It has been really interesting to serve in different wards and see how the members react to new investigators at church. From what I've seen, the Spanish wards are far better. The great great members introduce themselves to the investigators, sit with them, and socialize with them. They walk them around and explain little things to them. I love the Spanish wards but I wish I knew how to play piano haha.
[From mom: interesting to see that last comment.]
Thanks Eric, Annie, Sister Hines, Natalia, and Mom for the letters this week!
I got locked out of my account again for refreshing too many times. Lost the story about eating fish and getting sick (fish ew). and some other comments.
Thanks so much for all your support!