Okay, doesn’t that just make a missionary’s mom smile? A big thank you to Bishop Johnson’s sweet wife for making cupcakes – and what looks like a very tasty Sunday dinner! And thank you to Bishop Johnson for sending us a picture!
. . . the only complaint I have is that is getting really cold here. It got down into the 70’s last week and it got pretty cold riding a bike in that kind of wild weather. Seriously though, I would appreciate it if you all could send me a sweater or two for when it gets down into the 50’s. But it climbed back up to about 90 for the last few days, so it’s still a little toasty. I think of Alisa every time we leave and change the air conditioner. When noone is home we are supposed to leave it at 85 and 78 when somebody is home. It feels pretty warm sometimes but we don’t want to run up Sister P’s bill. And by the way, she is a single lady, we are allowed to drive or live with single ladies as long as they are over 65. And no special entrance, just the front door. She does have a washer and dryer and she even lets us use her detergent as well as any kitchen appliances so it is very good. The problem is that there is no time to cook. We made spaghetti with meatballs (which expired in October of 2010) and it took like 40 minutes to get it all ready so we have to eat very quickly when we cook. We found these Steamers things that are microwavable pasta and vegetable meals so at least those are healthy. I am eating my fruits and vegis, just a lot of goodies that the members unceasingly give us. Still haven’t gained a pound. We have a pull-up bar and a bar bell so I can still do some curls and stuff. Also, I am shooting for my MTC comp’s sit up record, I did 100 without stopping today. Just need to add-on 1000 to that. We do have a cell phone to use, but I hate having it with me. I leave it with Elder Barker as much as possible. We were on an exchange (I was with Elder Fagersten) and we got a call asking to come and trim some branches so the street sign could be seen. If Satan had a garden, it would be full of those trees. It literally had spikes as long as 3 inches that were so brittle and spiky you couldn’t even snap one off. Elder Fagersten said that everything in the desert wants to kill you, and I belive it. I have one permanently embedded in my shoe, luckily it didn’t go through into my foot. We had to cut a TON of branches off. Lots of work, but a major blessing, because that was only my 2nd time in charge of the area and I still don’t know what I am doing completely so we would have been doing a lot of tracking otherwise – which I do not feel like is using the Lord’s time in the best way we could. And, the ladies non-member son helped us so it was great to be able to talk with him a little.
On another exchange this week, I was with a Zone leader, Elder Hastings, who was Sarah Smith’s home teacher at BYU. We had a lot of success that day. We met a lot of really nice people. One of those people we met, An. . . asked us how we personally felt about gays and wouldn’t let us just give the church’s stance. He said if we gave him our opinion then he would set up an appointment with us. Eventually we gave in and told him we agree with and support the church’s stance and he invited us back that night. He has lesbian moms, but he really appreciated our honesty about what we believed. We explained that even though we believe in marriage between a man and a woman God still loves all of his children, despite the choices they make. He is not gay, he does not like the taste of alcohol, doesn’t smoke and does not like coffee, and we invited him to be baptized on Nov. 3rd, and he accepted. He is an awesome guy and we are happy to be getting him ready for baptism. We also met a lady named J. . .. We contacted both of these people on the street At first she said that she doesn’t like organized religion, but after talking to her for 10 or 15 minutes she was very receptive to what our church believes. She had some very similar views, especially about the trinity, that had always been a point of confusion for her in other churches. She does smoke, but she wants to quit. She came to church on Sunday and was impressed by how friendly everybody was. Those two I told you about last week, L. . . and L. . . are still in our prayers but we are concerned about how interested they are if they don’t get money from us. They clearly know their prayers were answered about being able to pay for their electric bill. We just need them to know that obedience and faith will increase their blessings by so much more. If people could see the changes we see in them when they start living right, I don’t think there is any way they wouldn’t be doing everything they could to be baptized. And yes mom, by the way, gun laws are different, no concealed weapons permit needed. R. . . has had his gun with him every time we have stopped by. He isn’t quite as interested though. I hope my last email didn’t lead you guys to think I am not wanting to be out here or am letting discouragement get to me, I just got frustrated by the way things were going overall. That is the thing that has hit me hardest so far, is the blessings that obedience brings. S. . .’s baptism went well on Saturday, except the pianist was terrible. Yep it was your’s truly. I had about an hour to learn how to play two songs. The first one went pretty well but I kinda butchered the 2nd one. Shoulda listened to Mom and stayed with it! I only played because it was an emergency though. One quick cool thing I wanted to show you, the secret 3rd verse to called to serve:
Called to serve in Phoenix Arizona,
Teach the people, take them by the hand into the
Living waters, that the barren desert
may cease to be a thirsty land! (D&C 133: 29)
Phoenix, Arizona! Where we baptize and confirm
Phoenix, Arizona! Where obediently we serve,
We are a preach my gospel mission,
And love the spirit that it brings,
We love and live the Book of Mormon,
Testimony of our King!
I love that. Really threw me off when they sang another verse. Everything is going great though. Keep me in your prayers!
Love and miss you,