Just checking in saying how I’m doing. So far the mission has been pretty alright. The first couple days were a little discouraging because I felt super inadequate and there were a lot of things that they taught people who went to the MTC that I never got a chance to learn. So now I have several statements, scripture versus, etc. that I have to memorize as I’m on the field. So I haven’t felt the most prepared. I have also had a hard time with riding the bike. I felt really bad because in the first few days, I got me and Elder Parsons late for a few of our appointments. Although I can happily say I have at least improved on bike riding over the past week. I’m getting a little more confident in bike riding, but I still have more to learn.
Wednesday was Transfer meeting so that’s when we all got our companions. It was kind of funny because it was almost treated like a gameshow where President Nattress and Sister Nattress would say, “Elder so and so…” and a long dramatic pause… “With Elder so and so!” and the two Elders would run up excitingly and hug each other and sometimes depending on the companionship, there would be gasps or laughter from some of the members. There was lots of energy in the room, but it was kind of funny. So my companion, Elder Parsons, has been in the mission field for about 11 months and he comes from Kentucky (although you wouldn’t know it, he’s never picked up the accent or speaking pattern). He’s been really good and has been very patient with me, especially in my bike riding.
We haven’t had to worry about making dinner at all because we were always able to eat at members’ homes. So far, we’ve been eating mostly pasta (no lasagna yet), although we had this interesting (polynesian, I think?) dinner at the Harratucu’s (not sure if spelled the correct way) and that was really good. All the families we really visited have been very nice and appreciative of having the missionaries over.
So far, most of what Elder Parsons and I have been doing was visiting families from the two wards we cover (Val Vista ward and Saratoga ward) and showing them presentations about the temple to try and get them to encourage their nonmember/less active friends to come to the Gilbert Temple open-house. This has gone pretty well so far. Everyone’s excited for the Gilbert Temple.
Speaking of the Gilbert Temple, I got to see the outside Tuesday afternoon and it looks really cool. It’s pretty big and I hope I get the opportunity to visit there again. I took some pictures and I tried to upload them, but when I tried to sign on to my flickr account, yahoo said that my yahoo email address has been deactivated. And now it’s telling me to create a brand new yahoo email address which requires a phone number. Kind of weird, not sure what’s going on there.
So far, the best day this week has been Saturday because Elder Parsons and I went over to the Hyatt family (a young family in one of the wards we cover) and did service for them from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM by helping them replace their floors. It felt good helping them out and they really appreciated it. It was actually kind of funny because Friday night we had dinner with them, which is how we found out about what they were doing Saturday and offered to help. So then Saturday morning, they fed us breakfast and then fed us lunch. So we essentially had breakfast, lunch, and dinner all at that home within that timeframe which was kind of funny. There’s still a lot more to do, so we may end up going back and helping out some more if they need it. But helping out this family I think was the highlight of the week because it made all the bad stuff I was thinking and feeling not matter anymore.
Oh yeah, and guess what? My very first Sunday out in the field… and I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting.Luckily Elder Parsons was kind enough to speak for 20 minutes instead of 15, so that gave me a little leeway since I felt a little unprepared for the talk (we weren’t notified we’d be speaking until Friday and we didn’t get our topics until Saturday) I think the talk went okay, but I felt very unprepared especially since I have grown so used to being able to use the Internet if I ever needed to look up resources or anything.
There should be some pictures at the Gilbert Mission blog with me as well as with me and Elder Parsons together, so hopefully that’s enough since I can’t upload pictures at the moment.
Anyway, things are going good so far.
Oh, and thanks for the popcorn, the letter, and the photo of the family. I really appreciate it.