Monday, March 10, 2014

10 March 2014

There have been three points on my mission where time has hit me. When I hit 6 months, when I hit 18 months, and this past week when I realized I had less than 4 months left. a;lksjd;slkdjfalskdjfa;lsdjh;fashdaslkndal,kjsdf;liasjdflknasdf;lajs;dpfjasdlngkdfpgjsd'flgkmsdflgjsdpf'gjsrsdflgjsdfljgksgf
That's the sound that I made when Elder Myler and I realized that. We've made a lot of jokes about it like, "the hotter it gets..." etc etc. Good thing neither of us are slowing down at all.
South Phoenix is insane hahaha. I love it here. Everything about it is awesome. Story time!
This past week we drove into a gated community on the golf course (the gate probably cost more than most houses here). We drove around, found a white Mormon family that is in the spanish ward, asked if they knew Spanish people in there, drove to the house they gave us, and on the way I noticed something...A 2012 Maserati Grand Sport! So naturally I pulled the car over and we went and knocked on the door. It was the race spec - big fat tires, double exhaust. Beautiful car. After some moving around inside and some whispering, someone finally opened the door. It was a man from Venezuela with very broken English. I asked if he would turn the car on for me and rev it. Nope. I asked if he would trade it for our Corolla. Nope. Finally we gave up and started talking about faith. He wasn't interested and reached out to shake our hands and say goodbye. He had a massive gold watch on. Four of his five fingers were cut off halfway and so he only had stubs.
I've also been picking up lots of Mexican slang words. They're the best. I used one with a member this last week and he started laughing so hard that he was crying. He was driving at the time and I felt a mixture of awkwardness and danger haha. Turns out the word that i used meant something TOTALLY DIFFERENT than what the person in Yuma had told me. It was a really really bad word haha. Oh well, you learn new things everyday!
Last week I wrote about the South Phoenix zombies. Well this week I need to correct that and add a new category to it. South Phoenix Witches! Elder Myler and I were sitting at an intersection, minding our own business, when Elder Myler leans forward and says, "look at those nails!" I thought he was talking about construction nails.
Nope. In the car to our left was a woman with 7" fingernails on one hand! And they were BLUE! Naturally I let out a shreiking cry and we drove away quickly but not before I could take a picture of it. For all of your sakes, I won't attach it, but it is disgusting hahahah.
And then returning to the previous topic: ZOMBIES! WE SAW A REAL ZOMBIE THIS PAST WEEK.
But first, some background. Elder Myler and I were finishing a split that we had done. I went with one member, he went with another. On our way back to the church we got a phone call from him and he told us that a truck had just driven into the house across the street from the church and it had resulted in a complete demolition of the house and an explosion! There was lots of smoke. He told us to meet at one of the other companionships houses so we took a different route and met there. It was 9:40pm - very late due to the traffic. As we get into our car and turn away, I noticed how dark it was. No street lights! That's ok though, we were in a car. As we turned the corner onto a dark street, the headlights of the car brightened a silhouette. A ZOMBIE! It was a man walking all by himself EXACTLY LIKE ZOMBIES IN MOVIES WALK! He was on the sidewalk, arms out to his sides at shoulder level, and stumbling forwards with his legs matching the height of his hips! I SCREAMED SO LOUD. I'm sure he heard me. Elder Myler stopped the car and I screamed "GOOOOOOOOOOO!" So we shot down the road! When we reached the end we looked out the back window and he was still walking like that, 100 yards behind us! We were laughing so hard all the way back to the house. It is the most ridiculous thing i have ever seen in my life
There are zombies here.
Speaking of fun stories, Elder Myler almost died this week. We are teaching a man who has two ferocious German shepherds. One bit a missionary three weeks ago right before I arrived. The house is enclosed with a fence. To knock the door you need to walk past the fence. Being a great companion, I let Elder Myler walk past the fence to knock the door. He did so very, very cautiously. Before he got to the door he looked around the corner of the house to see if the dog was there. He saw one chained up and thought he was clear. So he turned around. In a quick flash of fur, the OTHER German shepherd was all of the sudden at his side! Elder Myler panicked and RAN but for some reason not for the gate! The Shepherd went into pursuit mode, jumped, and bit his bag. Continuing to maintain my reputation as most-supportive-companion-ever, I closed the gate and locked Elder Myler in with the dog!
Pause. To justify myself, it was either he die or we both die. Survival instinct! Totally justified.
Continuing...anyway, so the dog is flying through the air biting his bag and a split second later the owners run out the door and scream at the dog and it runs away.
Elder Myler survived with no damage, except that done to his pride. We laughed awkwardly for the next few minutes as the owners got things under control. Good times.
This week we had a great week! We jumped from the 12 member present lessons that we taught last week to 23 lessons with members present! The mission is still really struggling with knowing how to use Facebook effectively. This last week we talked about how to teach and find people and Elder Myler did a great job! President Toone is trying to find a way to get me to go around the mission and train people but I don't know how that would work. We taught 15 lessons in our area and 8 lessons with members present on Facebook. That was a great week.
One such lesson was to a woman that lives in our area. She and her family went to MX for a few days so we taught them over FB! We used the relief society president as the member present and she did PERFECTLY! And now she's taking that excitement to the ward :) I try to give as many different people as possible chances to teach on FB with me so they can catch how exciting it is. I think I've used over 20 different members now.
While teaching that lesson on Facebook, Elder Myler got a crazy message. One of his family members had walked allthe way from Idaho to Phoenix (with a guitar) on a spirit walk. We read the message and had a good laugh about it.
It's March. What happens in March? March Madness! So, to spike some competition here in the zone we created a triple elimination March Madness bracket! It was inspired! Every week there are "three games." Each game, each companionship will "play against" another companionship (8 competitions per game) to compete in something. Monday-Wednesday the "game" is a combination of member present lessons+referrals contacted. Thursday-Friday is a "game" about new investigators found. Saturday+Sunday is a game about total at church, on date, and progressing. Those are some of the key indicators that we use to measure ourselves. After each "game" we will update the roster (which we printed 2 feet x 1.5 feet) and text out who each companionship will be competing against the next day. Each companionship created a team name. It's awesome. Everyone is super excited about it!
This past week I met a man named, "the Prophet Israel!" He sat us down and we had a non-contentious conversation about his beliefs and ours. He knows his bible better than anyone I've ever met. Let me rephrase that, he knows references better than anyone I'd ever met. As he talked to us I took notes of what he said. It was hilarious. These are directly from his mouth:
-"Moses and Jesus prophesied of ME!"
-"There is no such thing as a white Jew! The Jews were all black and it's only us blacks who will be in heaven!"
-"Leprosy just means their skin is white! All white people have leprosy!"
-"Black means clean, white means dirty! You all have a devil!"
-"Isaiah 53 is hogwash and was written by the feminist Pauline!"
-"King James (of King James Bible) lived before Jesus Christ!"
-"Satan is a bad booger."
-"Don't defend yourself because you have nothing to defend yourself with!"
-"Obama and I were buddies back in university!"
-"Russel Smith wrote the Book of Mormon!"
-"The whole new testament was written by a woman! Pauline!"
-"The first man [Adam] was made out of the blackest soil in the universe!"
-(paraphrasing) 'when Jesus cast legion (which apparently was originally LIGION) out of the swine they ran into the water! Every time you get baptized you get a demon! And getting baptized makes you RE-ligioned!"
It was one of the funniest and most entertaining lessons of my mission and despite him going off on us about being white and having leprosy, there were absolutely no hard feelings and we all left loving each other!
We had a man show up to church yesterday who has been anti-ing our members. He sat quietly through sacrament meeting and then when we invited him to stay afterwards he said, "I have to go - I am teaching a class on Hebrew and Greek in my church." Hahahahahhaha. He has a PhD but that was the funniest reason I've heard in a long time for not going to church haha.
As of today, all 30 test missions have iPads! That's over $2,000,000 of iPads! Exciting times!
Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for the letter this week! You won the competition of fastest to write me! And thank you family for yours as well :)
All is well here, I hope all is well there as well!
Have a great week!

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