Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy birthday Fionnula and merry Christmas!

How are you doing?   Also, this time is going to be a short email so we have stuff to talk about this Christmas. I am kind of glad I missed the 17 hour car ride (we recently traveled to Amik's sister's graduation, a road closure changed our 12 hour drive to at least a 17 hour one), but then again I missed the Star Wars movie.   I heard from your emails that it was really good.   

Currently, we are having an interesting p-day.   This last week was pretty interesting.  We had a ward Christmas party on Friday.  We also kind of had service on Wednesday.  The High Priest group leader wanted us to help with cleaning out a yard that had a lot of overgrown plants.  Including a lemon tree. It smelled so good.   We were just taking the lemons off the branches and putting them into separate piles.  Every time I found a lemon that was nasty, I would just squeeze it and just smell the juice.  Then,  Elder Cook started puking so we had to stop. 

These last few days have been interesting.   Elder Driggs has been puking all night, so I went out with Elder Van Dyke to his doctor's appointment that was outside the mission while Elder Cook stayed with Elder Driggs. Also, Elder Van Dyke then really cut him self with a butter knife so he is going to the urgent care with Elder Cook.   At Christmas I will tell you about the werewolf we met at Panda Express who liked Joseph Stalin because of his mustache.  We also might be changing apartments this week because the north Bloomington elders are being transferred and Elder Cook and I will be taking over the whole ward. And getting a car.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

4 month mark (Dec 14)

It is weird to think that it  is almost Christmas because it just feels like autumn.   It is only raining all the time and kind of being slightly cold.  Nearly everyone is wearing cold winter coats even though the lowest it gets is fifty.   Yesterday Elder Cook and I gave talks in sacrament meeting.  We only knew we were giving talks at
about 5:00 Saturday night.  They were supposed to be about fifteen minutes long.  Mine was almost exactly fifteen minutes long.   Elder Cook was about the same, but he ran out of time.  The topic was
missionary work.  We were told we could choose the topic and we needed more lessons with members present.

Speaking of lessons currently this area is pretty much dead.  We have only one really good investigator who isn't even making it to church, so he is not that good.  Yesterday we went around and knocked on the doors of a few potential investigators while it was raining.   We walked and it was pouring rain and I felt fine.   I didn't even have my jacket on or use my umbrella.

Also, it sounds like you guys have had a great week and will be getting another great week coming. To celebrate Mom and Dad's anniversary we stayed in all day on Wednesday.   Elder Cook was really sick, really really sick.  So sick in fact that the next day he thought it was Wednesday for about half the morning.   Also, Tuesday night we went and helped serve at a relief society activity.   Also, while he was sick, I learned how to solve a Rubik's cube.

Sent from my iPad

I went golfing today (Dec 7)

Golfing is an interesting sport, but more on that later.  

First Wednesday,  not sure what President Van Cott told you, but I am fine.  (Wednesday was the day of the San Bernardino shooting.  Amik is in Bloomington, not far from San Bernardino.  But we did receive an email that afternoon from the mission home telling us that all missionaries in the area had been contacted and were safe). The only missionary hurt that day was Elder Cook, my companion, but that was from dropping a table on his foot.   

However, on Wednesday we helped one of our investigators move, kind of.   What happened was that she was told that she needed to leave before Friday, however, she had no place to go since the place she was moving to was not ready yet.  So we moved all of her stuff to a U-haul storage facility.  However, it was a lot of stuff.  It took two trips and we really filled the storage to the limit.  At the end we just throwing stuff into it and
seeing if it would stay.   The main thing about it was that it was seven hours long.   It was in the middle of the day at first,  so we could not get any to help.

Also, I do not know if I told you, but Elder Cook really likes Mountain Dew.  This week alone he had 4 twelve packs.  On the other hand,  I am getting really sick of soda and meat.   They were both good because when I was at home we hardly had them, but now we have soda and meat nearly every night.   I am starting to get a few favorites.  Panda Express is really good, and just down the street.  Also,  I have found that I don't really like steak that much.   I did however, have one really good Mexican steak that was made by non-member.  The husband of a less active, but that was in Banning.  I also really like chicken, pasta, and breakfast food since we hardly have that.

Besides that we also taught the young women yesterday like Dad did. The lesson was on missionary work so Sister Procter, one of the young women leaders, asked us four missionaries to give the lesson.   It was great and we gave out 15 copies of the Book of Mormon.  The young women all said that they would give the book to a friend or someone. We were also able to watch the Christmas devotional yesterday.   We were kind of allowed to.   We were only supposed to go if we got an investigator coming.  That day in sacrament meeting we got an investigator to say they would go.   So we went.   However, we got a text that said they were not going when it started and since we got a ride to the stake center, and our ride was staying, we had to, got to, stay and watch.  

Also, before I ran out of time. The golf trip. I believe that it is basically pool on a larger scale.  My highest score was twenty, that is good right? Also my lowest was six, which was Elder Van Dyke's highest.  Also, the best part was the carts.  Those golf carts were the first time I have driven on my mission. 

Sent from my iPad

Out with the old, in with the new (Nov 30)

The most eventful thing that happened this week was transfers.  So I will talk about that first. Elder West left Monday afternoon, 4:35and took a lot of stuff with him including his collection of 150 ties. I was hoping to get a few ties off him, but he kept pretty much all of them. I don't know if I told you this, but before I was companions with Elder West I had heard of his tie collection.  However, I did manage to get the two best ties of his by trading.
After he left I mainly just started to throw most off what was left behind in the trash.  

Tuesday I was with Elder Morgan.  He came out with me, and his companion, Elder Johnson, also left for home, which is why we were together.  We stayed in my area and biked over most of my area.   Since Monica has left we have been focusing mainly on finding, since our golden investigator is now a member.   Elder Cook and I have been going though our potential investigator list and getting in contact with them or dropping them when the address does not even exist or is all locked up, empty, and for sale.   

I also biked for the first time in rain on Wednesday.   Speaking of the weather it does not snow here, but it is apparently getting a lot colder than usual for California and everyone is putting on their winter coats. Thanksgiving was slightly odd because it really was like just any other weekly planning day.  We just sat around and planned what we would be doing for the next few days.  Then we went over and had dinner at a member's grandmother's home.  The turkey was the best part.  

We have been getting some good potential investigators as we have been going though our list of referrals.  The Book of Mormon and the priesthood seem to be the most unique parts of our religion and what gets most people hooked. However,  most people that don't like us say that we have a different Jesus or that we are satanists.  We are current teaching a free mason, who is one of our best investigators, while we are also teaching another investigator who thinks that free masons are satan worshippers and that the Mormon church was made by them.

Also,  Elder Van Dyke and Elder Driggs moved into our apartment, replacing the Spanish Elders.  Elder Driggs was in my MTC district and was the one that took Bayley's and my picture at the MTC.
Also, they are in the Samoan ward and they always have some interesting stories. 

Elder Reeder, Elder Fuller, Elder Wilson (He came out with me from Colorado), Elder Enright, Elder Morgan, Elder Schmucker (Zone leader) 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Transfers, temple trip, and a baptism

The email is a bit late because we just got word last night about who is being transferred.  I am the only one staying at this apartment. Elder Seeborg, the redhead who cut his own hair, will be staying in the same ward along with Elder Jewell, but they both will be getting different companions and changing apartments.  Elder Nielson will be moving a ward over and will also be changing apartments and be on bike.  Elder West is going home.  His departing devotional was yesterday and he will be heading to the mission home at 4:3O today.  Which is why this email is a bit late.  We did soccer and basketball this morning and now Elder West actually has to pack.  My new companion will be named Elder Cook and it looks like we will be all alone in this big apartment.  

The major events this week were a baptism and a temple trip.  The temple trip happened on Friday and we left early in the morning since our temple session started at 8:30.   Currently my area is only twenty minutes away from the Redlands temple. I wish that we could go more often than every six months.  Monica's baptism went
really well except for a few emergencies that occurred just before the baptism.  The major one was when we realized that we did not have the baptism jumpsuit since we both thought the other had brought it. However, the Reeds were able to bring it. The Reeds are a senior missionary couple that work at the employment center and live right across from our apartment in the same complex.   Also, from the time that we stopped filling the font up and sang the opening hymn, the font had sunk about a foot.   So we had to fill it up during the opening prayer and the first talk. Then the plug was also taken out after Monica was baptized so we had this giant sucking noise near the end of the meeting as it drained.  Also, while we waited after the baptism for Monica and Elder West, we had people write on index cards about how happy they were for her.  By that night we had a small picture book
with those cards and the baptism pictures.  

That night was the ward's Thanksgiving dinner.  We got seven non-members there.  Eight if you count Monica. Monica even made  pies for the dinner.

 Temple Trip

  We both wore purple ties to the baptism since that is Monica's favorite color.

We went to visit a part-member family in our ward.  This was our first visit.  They had a lot of pets.   One dog, two cats, three snakes, two lizards, a weasel, and a fish tank.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Puebla, Mexico

About the title, Amik's sister, Erin just received her mission call to the Mexico, Puebla North mission.

I guess the whole Enright family should work on their Spanish.  Since half the family went to a place where Spanish was the only available language or, in Bayley's and my case, was spoken by half, to 3/4, of the population. Congratulations, Erin on getting ready for a mission. You have around 148 days to learn Spanish from Kegan and Rhys so that your head does not blow up when you go to the Mexico MTC.  I have the date you leave on my iPad calendar.   

I am now in my last week with Elder West before he goes home the 24th.   So I will most likely be taking over the area, unless we get white washed out.  Things are going pretty well.  We currently have six on date for baptism.  One of them is Monica whose baptism is happening next week. She past her interview yesterday. Elder West will be the one to baptize her.  Also, yesterday we had another investigator come to church with us.  So we had Monica one side of us and Denise on the other side.  Monica also stayed the whole time again, Denise left
after sacrament meeting.  We got two of Monica's fellowshipers to give talks at her baptism.

Also, this week we had a zone meeting Tuesday and a zone conference Friday.  They were both about being on fire as a missionary and talking with everyone.  Which I still need to work on.  Also, yesterday we were walking to the park at around 8:40 pm because we were hoping to find a few potential investigators.  We did not find
any, but what did happen was funny.  As we were walking across the parking lot a group of about four guys, teenagers, yelled at us as they were driving by.  We did not understand what they said so we yelled back "what!".  We knew what they were doing, however, when we yelled back the driver turned into the parking lot.  This was not what the guy in shotgun wanted, so as they drove right by us he had his head in his jacket, not wanting to talk to us face to face.  They then went out and yelled at us again when they were safely back on the road as they went past us.  This is generally the case.  People yell at us as they drive by.  

Also, thank Brother Allen for the letter he sent.  He gave me my next ponderizing scripture just when I need it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Sunday to Remember (Nov 9)

I will get to the title later.    First, it sounds like everyone is doing great.   One thing I would like to get are pictures from this Halloween, Noah's braces, damaged Rhys (one of Amik's brothers is on crutches).   I will send a few pictures soon, since we have a baptism coming up.  Monica is going to be baptized.  We are just working on setting up the interview.  She is currently a golden investigator and I am getting experience on doing all the lessons that I am supposed to cover and not just the first three.  

Also this last Friday I had an exchanges with our district leader.   He was coming here and Elder West was leaving to his area.   Elder Fuller, the district leader, came with his bike and I took over our area for the day.  This was kind of stressful since I am very good at getting lost.   Even this morning we came out of Walmart and I had no idea where the car was.   However, Friday morning went well since we just stayed in till 1:30 since we had studies and Mission president interviews.  Funny story about that.  We did not know we were going to get interviewed until after we had already started exchanges so the Zone leaders had to bring Elder Fuller his suit. The zone leaders live in the same apartment and have the car. So that is why they brought it over.  Also one of Zone leaders is Elder Wilson who came out with me from the Colorado Springs airport.   

Now time for the story behind the title.  It really started out Saturday around four pm when Elder West got the text that he would be giving a 15-20 minute talk the next day. We found out later that it was because two others cancelled their talks.  We then went out and started teaching/finding investigators. By that night he only had two paragraphs.  Then in the morning before he started to write there was a major distractionin the apartment . (Also bear in made that the topic was on "how reverence helps me receive revelation".)  What happened was that one of the Spanish Elders got out of the shower and decided to give his own hair a trim.   So Elder Seeborg got the clippers and started cutting his own hair.   Then he came out and showed everyone what happened.  He now had a big bald spot in the middle of his head. It looked like a the head of a forty nine year old man trying to cover up the fact that he was balding.  So we had an emergency hair cut that Sunday morning.  Elder Jewell, another Spanish Elder, gave him a really short buzz cut.  And Elder Seeborg lost two pounds worth of his hair.   Then it was time for church.  This was when Elder West had to give his talk that was really not written.   All he really had was notes for a five minute talk.  In the end, I did most of the stressing.  Elder West just said that he had almost gone the whole two years without giving a talk at church. 

After church we got a ride back to our apartment.  Then we had to go to dinner.  We biked all the way to back to the church building.  Because the member lived right across from the church building.  Right across. After dinner we went to the church building wondering what we would be doing then because it was getting a bit late and the way back was a long bike ride with lots of hills.   Then we realized that the Spanish Elders were having their baptism right at that time.    So we went in and watched.   So I witnessed my first baptism on my mission and could not understand a single word that was said.  Except for the occasional English word or name that was thrown in.  

Now I am running out of time and I am going to get my hair cut.   Have a great day. 

Forgot some stuff: On exchanges this last Friday I did very well, but I did get lost on the way home.   What happened was that we were on the far side of the area and I was looking for the road that would take me all the way home.   But, what I forgot was that the name of the road changed.  So we biked past the road that I wanted and still kept going up. This continued until I found a street that I recognized.  But, that part was really hilly so I really worked poor Elder Fuller.

Elder West took this picture of me during our lunch break.     Those are the apartment's glasses.  

Erin is going to Germany (Nov 2)

^^^^^^ That is my guess. 

I really can't believe that it is already Halloween.   We had to go in early that night.  We were in at 6 and good thing too because that night we heard around six gunshots that night.  Also before that on Wednesday we went to help a member to move some stuff out of storage into a truck so that he could move it to Utah.  That happened in San Bernardino, outside of our area, so we got permission to go over.   However, when we got there with the high priest group leader, who drove us over, they were already done really.   So we just helped finish getting it all tied down.  Then we heard a gunshot and one of the other Elders who was in San Bernardino before said "welcome to San Bernardino".   

Besides that we have been getting a few more investigators, mostly potentials, and Monica came to church again.  This time with both of her kids, 4 and 7, though she did have to leave a before Relief Society.   Also this last week we  taught her the Word of Wisdom.  She has since quit smoking and drinking coffee.  She said that coffee was the hardest to give up.  This is mostly because she gets coffee free at work and she works the graveyard shift doing security at a warehouse.   Howeverr she was able to stop drinking coffee immediately, but smoking has taken awhile.   If it continues this way.  I should be having my first baptism in the mission on November 21.  The same day as the ward's Thanksgiving dinner.   Elder West will be the one baptizing her since he will be going home the following Wednesday.   Since he is leaving, I will must likely be taking  over the area so I have been trying to learn where everything is.  This is kind of hard since I have never been good with

We also should we getting a few more people that might be able to be baptized in the two weeks after Elder West leaves.   We just got one very good potential investigator yesterday who said that he did not have a church, but was looking for one.   His name is Luis and he has just gotten out of high school.    We actually went down there looking for a referral that we got, but the addresses that we were given were faulty and said there should be a house in what happened to be the freeway.   Past which was not our area.   We were able to get Luis's phone number and address and last name.  These are very important pieces of information that some Elders seem to forget about.  Just two weeks ago we had deflate/drop a few potential investigators because we had no way to contact them.   

When did Erin put her availability date for the mission?   What are everyone else's guesses?

PS Elder West says Erin is going to Russia

Dinner  at Bishop's

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Happy Birthday Aislin and pictures.

I would like to start by saying Happy late Birthday Aislin!  Besides that we did have a major service project Saturday.  Even though in the pictures I look a bit unhappy please know that I am happy.  The
service project was from 8 am-1:30ish pm with lunch and Breakfast in there.  We were laying cinder blocks at the back of the yard so that the sister can have a garden and keep the two small dogs from digging
underneath the fence.  

Also this weekend we were walking around a small trailer park going to an investigator's house when a lady started to talk/yell at us from the her window, keep in mind that it is night and that her house was completely dark when she started talking to us.  She told us that we were not allowed to solicit in the area
and that she knew what we were "the Latter Day Saints" she was telling us that she was going to tell the cops on us and that we were liars.  Elder West kept telling her that we were fine and that were going to see someone who knows us as we were walking by, while I was trying not to laugh.  However, she did made me jump when she started talking out of the dark. 

Also we got another investigator to go to church.  We did have around ten committed to come, but this one that came was just golden.   Her name is Monica and she has two boys, 4 and 7, that she said would be coming next week.   She stayed for all three hours and once was talking about how she wanted her sons to serve missions.
She is already on date for Baptism, since before I got here, but this was her first time at church.  The Spanish Elders got a baptism yesterday and ten investigators to church today.    Also Elder West got all his travel information this week and we are hoping that Monica will be his last baptism and my first in the mission, it's on the 21st of November.  

Besides that it sounds like everything is going well home.  It sounds like you guys are going to have a
really nice holiday season!  We got our information about what we are doing this Halloween and we are supposed to be indoors by 6:00 pm.  I hope you guys have a great treasure hunt and Halloween!    TTFN!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Happy birthday Aislin and Bayley!!!!

Yes I am in a new area with a new companion.   It is almost like I have four new companions since we are in an apartment with a trio of Spanish elders. The reason for the trio is that one was supposed to train, but the new
Elder decided to jump ship at the airport.   The new area is basically a city compared to my last area.  Oh, I forgot to mention, but the new area/ward is Bloomington, but How did you guys find Out? My new companion's name is Elder West and this is his last area since he will be heading home two days before Thanksgiving.   I have been able to learn a lot from him and he is just a great missionary. What's weird is that he trained Elder Van Dyke, the last six weeks, so he is like my step dad and my grandfather at the same time.  However,
we are not supposed to use those informal terms in his mission so I really should not have said that.  

Also, forgot to mention that this is a biking area so I am biking nearly everyday.   It makes this transfer a lot more interesting cause you get all these crash stories.   It has not even been a full week yet, but I have already had my bike handle get caught in a fence as I was going by, hit a pole,  and crashed into a tree thing.  Also since yesterday was my first Sunday in the area. I also gave talk in sacrament meeting like Bayley did. It was only an
introduction and bear your testimony talk,but it still counts.  Also there are two Elder sets in the ward and one of them was new too, so he gave one as well.  This Elder arrived in the mission with me.   He got all his luggage stolen from the back of the truck on the second day in the field.   They had to do an interview and left it for only a few minutes.  So he had wear what he had on for a week before his mom sent him some more of everything. 

Also the people we are meeting are really interesting.  One guy showed me the best way to lock up my bike so
that bike thieves like him can't get it.   This area has a lot more investigators than my last area with four on date for baptism when I got here and nearly 30 other investigators.   We had two investigators go to Sacrament meeting yesterday and we are working on getting a lot to the Trunk or Treat Halloween party on the 30th.
I now have to email my weekly letter to president Van Cott,  so that's all folks!

Sent from MY iPad!

I forgot to explain last weeks title! (Oct 12)

I remembered last Monday right after emailing that I never explained last weeks title.   The title was 'your ego is not your amigo'.  We have a lot of churchs around here and that was one of the things that one of the white church board things said and because Missionaries have little to no entertainment around here that was just really funny to me.   Also as you tell from the bottom of the email I now have the iPad that should hopefully last me the next ten years.  We were supposed to get them this last Tuesday when we had zone conference, but that did not work out since the iPads didn't arrive on the day before.   So I actually got mine on Friday when we were doing exchanges with the APs.   We got Elder Raff while Elder Teichert went to Redlands. 

Elder Raff had served in Banning before so nearly everyone knew him.  In fact, with him we were able to get past doors that would never open for us before.   We also went to the Diaz family with him for dinner.   The Diaz family is a part member family and Sister Diaz is a very good cook.  She is not as good as mom, but I only had one other dinner that matched mom's cooking and they are in-active too, except they are in Oak valley.   Anyway, the Diaz family is a really big family that really like the missionaries, and feeding them.  This is why nearly every Missionary in the Redlands mission know about the Diaz family.  Also when we went over for dinner they were kind of having a family reunion since one of the daughters was going down to Texas the next day and a brother had come from Texas to take her.  We also were able the to get emails for people that lived in Cabazon that we could not meet with. One family we were unable to contact because they never answer our calls and they have a big pit bull in the front yard so we can't go knocking on the door because it roams free around the yard.  The other was just that we needed his address.  

Also, before I forget, transfers are this Wednesday and we will be finding about who is going tonight.  Also, we had stake conference this Sunday and the missionaries were invited to the adult session Saturday night.   It was a really good conference and the Mission president was there. However, I don't know why the missionaries were invited because it was all about husbands and wives.   

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Your ego is not your amigo! (Oct 5)

This week has gone by fast.  It is weird because General Conference used to seem long, but now it goes by really fast. It has been an interesting General Conference weekend with the three new apostles. I have a lot of work to do while I wait for the next one in six months.  

This last week went by fast and we have finally invited two of our investigators to be baptized!  The couple were already engaged to be married when we started to teach them.  Their names are Luke and Bebe (Bibi?) and they are a member referral.  The member is his boss, office manager, and manged to take him to the priesthood session Saturday. When we see them next we will see how they are doing and what their answer is on whether they want to be baptized!  

Besides that we are currently trying to find more investigators.   Sorry this is short, but the next one should be longer since I will have my ipad and I will be able to read you emails at other times.

Monday, September 28, 2015

We survived the Apocalypse!!

This week was really eventful and I will explain the title near the end.   The main event is that we moved!!  We got a call Friday morning from President Van Cott who told us that we were going to move in with one of the Zone Leaders because his companion was going to be in Redlands with the AP's for awhile.  So now I am in a trio with Elder Van Dyke, my district leader, and Elder Teichert, said like  "tie-gurt," who is my zone leader.   We have also now moved into the zone leader's apartment which is really nice and big compared to ours.   

The reason for the title is the lunar Eclipse that happened.   Yes we saw it, but that is not the interesting part. Since the blood moon is mentioned in Revelations as being part of the signs of the end of the world, second coming, we had investigators and people that were freaking out.   We had one investigator tell us that "the Mormons on the news said this was the end."  He also said that he would come to church "tomorrow, if the world was still there".   However, he didn't come.  We also had another investigator that was super drunk when we had the lesson with him.   He was talking about how "this was the end" and saying that he had a devil in him and that he had cast spell when he was younger to make everyone like him, but now he didn't like it and could not revoke the spell.  When we were done with the lesson he kept texting us saying things like "he knows what you did" "in the house" "but he forgives you"  "this is the end"  We found out later that he had passed out and is now in the hospital's de-tox center.