Hello everyone!Thanks for all your emails you sent. I really appreciate them!
This week has been good for the most part, but there were definitely challenges later on.
On Wednesday, we were able to do some service for the Raia’s. Sister Raia’s daughter (less-active) was moving out of the house so we were helping packing all of her things from the house into the moving truck. It was really good that we were there because there was only Sister Raia, her daughter, and then the daughter’s mother-in-law (non-member) that were there and the guys were off doing something else so it was good that we were there to help with all the lifting and whatnot. They were very appreciative of the help and it was good because since the daughter is less-active and the mother is a nonmember, it gave the two of them a good picture of how missionaries are and gave a good image for the church.Saturday, we went out to help the Zimmerman’s. Sister Zimmerman is a member, but her husband isn’t (although you wouldn’t know it beforehand because he’s very “LDS-“like) and we were helping cleaning the tiles in all the house which took a good 5 hours.
This weekend has been very difficult because it rained for three straight days… What was bad was that one of the days, I was wearing a short-sleeved shirt, so I was pretty cold riding the bike around. And then when we park our bikes, they had to be out in the rain so the helmets would get wet. So each time we’d put on the helmet, there’d be water that splashes down. And on Saturday, Elder Parsons and I were riding down a dirt path and I fell in the mud and got my slacks and shoes all muddy. That wasn’t fun. I was actually feeling pretty miserable at that time and felt very discouraged.Then came Sunday and the first ward we visited was the Val Vista ward. And the first talk felt like a response to how I was feeling Saturday night. It was a sister who was speaking on gratitude and one of the key points that stuck to me was being grateful for our adversities and struggles because they help us grow. I’ve known about this principle before… shoot, I’ve done a talk on it on multiple occassions in the past. But I haven’t really thought about it again until that talk. And then after that talk was a special musical number, “Count Your Many Blessings.” And the lyrics to that song felt like a confirmation that I wasn’t in the right spirit last night when I was stuck in the mud. So that was really good.
So far, we haven’t really taught any investigators at all, but what has been really cool about doing service is that doing service for the various families actually progresses in missionary work. Each time we’ve done service (except for Joe Zimmerman since he’s not a member) have immediately thought of various friends and neighbors they could share the Gospel to and invite to the Open-House. So far, we’ve been really pushing the members to inviting their friends to the Open-House since it is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Gilbert and really for Arizona in general.
For Thanksgiving and for the day after that, we are planning on spending the entirety of those days visting member’s homes and showing them a 10-15 minute presentation on the temple. Those days really seem to be the perfect days since everyone will be in their homes with a lot of family (or they’re out of town visiting family, but anyway) so hopefully that goes well. We’re also going to be having Thanksgiving dinner at 1:00 PM… kind of more of a lunch, but I’ll take it.
Anyway, that’s all the highlights from this week. I’m now uploading the photos I’ve taken of the Gilbert Temple and a picture of Elder Parsons’ and my room.
Oh, and I forgot to mention this last week, but from last Wednesday through Friday, we lived in a small apartment that the church rented out. But then that Friday, we moved to a house in Liberty Square that the church rented out. It kind of sucked because I had unpacked everything and then I immediately had to pack it all again, but the house we’re at right now is really nice. It’s a lot like a regular house with a garage and backyard and everything. It’s also nice because it’s a mile closer to our zone than the previous house was.
Anyway, glad to hear from you and I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.