Hola! It's tough to know for sure, but I think that this past week has been the best week yet of my mission. I got my visa (happy/sad, Copper Crest ward keeps getting better and better) and I'm scheduled to fly out on the 28th for Argentina. We didn't start out the week with nearly as much planned as we would have liked, only a few lessons and meals and splits with Andre on Wednesday and with our DL on Saturday. Now that I think about it, I can't think of what happened in the week before Saturday, not much unfortunately, but Saturday made the whole week.
The night before, we initiated splits with our DL, Elder Long, and his companion that he's been training, Elder Patterson. Elder Long came to our area with Elder Jack and I, and Stowell went to Long's and Patterson's area with Patterson. After Morning sports with our zone and the Elk Horn Springs zone, we helped with service in the area of some other Elders (Corcoran and Cipriano) and then rushed back to our apartment to do personal and companionship studies and prepare for our one appointment, because of the lack of time we had to push back my language study to later in the day.
The one thing that we had planned for the entire day was a lesson with the Tuft family. The Tufts are a super cool older couple that are super missionary minded. Two weeks ago, we had dinner with them and their daughter was there with them and we all had dinner together. The Tuft's daughter is in her 40s and has been inactive for a few years, but two Sundays ago, Brenda (the Tuft's daughter) and her fiancé attended Church. "Cool, cool," is pretty much what we were thinking and that only elevated when Brother Tuft told us that Sunday that he'd like us to do a lunch/lesson for Saturday. So, with our DL, that's what we did just this Saturday. We headed over to the Tuft's at 11 for lunch (sloppy joes and tater tots with fudge for dessert, everyone always feeds us dessert). After Lunch, we moved to the living room and taught the first lesson which brought the Spirit super strong into the home even though it was something that Brenda could still remember much of from when she was younger. As the lesson wound down, we were discussing the Book of Mormon and we would usually extend a commitment, but I could tell that Elder Long and Jack aren't planning on it because Brenda's read it before obviously. Elder Jack was asking Brother Tuft who he would like to say the closing prayer when I felt more than heard a voice in my head that said, "Heck no! you're not ending this without committing her, get her to read that book." I don't usually bulldoze right over people talking (literally or metaphorically) and interrupt, but that's exactly what I did. I asked Brenda, even though she knows the Book and what's in it, if she would be willing to read 3 Nephi 11 that night and pray about it. Though she said yes, it wasn't a real yes. To quote exactly, "I think so, maybe not tonight, but sure." Same voice in my head, "Heck no!" I told her it would only be one chapter, not too long and it was awesome.
"That doesn't sound too bad, I can probably read that."
"Heck no!" There was a copy of the Book of Mormon on the coffee table that I immediately picked up, turned to 3 Nephi 11 in a heartbeat, and pulled out a pass along card to mark it. I showed her the place and where it was marked and told her that she could just pick up the Book of Mormon tonight and flip right to where I had marked it, then it would be right there for her. THAT is when I got the yes. We ended with a prayer and said bye and such and it was awesome.
After our lesson, I decided that I would do mi studio de la idioma a bit later and instead find and visit less actives or in-actives since we were already out and on a bit of a spiritual buzz. We weren't able to really get to meet with anyone and it was kind of a bummer, so when we ran out of people to visit, we made our way to the apartment for my study time before we headed off to a stake activity for dinner.
Right outside the apartments, is the highway. There's the road that we drive to get to our apartments, Skypoint drive, a chain link fence, and then the highway 95 on the other side. As we turn the corner on our way to our apartment, there are two cars stopped on the road, one on either side of the fence and on the highway side is a woman holding a baby talking to a woman on our side of the fence. Elders Long and Jack and I all looked at each other and pulled ahead to flip a U-turn and end up next to the car. Elder long was in the passenger seat and rolled down his window to ask if they needed help. The woman on our side of the fence was a Member, who immediately asked if we had an appointment we were headed to. We said no. She said that was good. The woman on the other side of the fence was bone dry, out of gas, nothing. The member then said that she would stay with the woman if we could go get a gallon container of gas from the nearest gas station and bring it back. We did so and eventually drove onto the highway on the other side of the fence to help fill the car up because she couldn't figure it out. After we had helped her on her way to find a gas station to fill up, we felt good and headed back to our apartments. Not 20 yards into the apartment complex, was a lady moving into a new apartment to whom we also offered help who, contrary to the norm, accepted gratefully and we helped her move in and invited her to the up and coming Gladys Knight fireside that will be happening here in which Gladys Knight will sing with and direct her choir and bear her testimony. I won't be here for it, but it sounds awesome.
Without time now for my language study, we headed to the stake activity which included high priests, single sisters, non-members and make your own pizza. I swear, everyone (slight exaggeration) here seems to have a their own pizza oven trailer. So we all made our own pizzas and I ate one (their should be a picture for that, I think it was a 16-18 inch pizza, somewhere around there) and because not as many people showed as they had expected, we got a lot of extra pizza to take home and also to deliver to the Sisters in our zone at the request of our stake leaders. And then we got back to our apartment late to find Patterson and Stowell climbing the balcony into our apartment shortly after which we closed splits. Whew! It was an awesome day.
Now, about Argentina. this week, before I can leave, I have to head over to the police department HQ (out of mission) to get fingerprinted. Look at IMG_0770. That's how most of my fingers look right now (I don't know what from or why), but it's a little bit tough, to the point of being impossible to get a fingerprint from a finger that looks like that. So we'll see if I leave the 28th or not, depending on whether or not my fingertips heal and allow me to get finger printed. I may stay a little while later just so I can actually get those fingerprints because I am quite literally not allowed to go without those fingerprints. As Elder Stowell likes to say a lot, the power to either leave or stay is at my fingertips. I guess if they do heal in time I will be on an airplane this time next week, whereas if they don't, I'll be emailing and letting you know that they didn't heal, we'll see. Weirdly painless blistering/peeling on my fingers or not, being a missionary is the greatest experience ever and whether in Argentina or Nevada I'm having a blast. The best is talking to people in convertibles at stop lights, I have a copy of the Book of Mormon that I have prepared to hand out the window at a red light if the situation demands.
|Mysterious finger injuries.|
|A street called Rhett (If only I had a sign that said Link).|
|I'm standing next to Britton, who's mission call should come sometime this week and Andre is in the middle, then Elder Stowell and Jack. Oh yeah, that's Kait in the background, she's another recent convert.|
|Little laminate that is in one of our church buildings here about the sacrament trays.|