Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 11 - Completed the first transfer -- still in Lebanon

Hey guys here is my week🌎❤️

The colors are so beautiful! 
Monday- So on Monday we went to Harrisburg to play basketball and hang out with some other Elders and the Zone Leaders. It was fun to be with some other people outside of our district! I met this really cool missionary named Elder Bell from Oakland, CA. He's insanely good at everything, basketball, volleyball, missionary work etc. I heard that he got a perfect score on the SAT too😳 he got called to this mission English speaking and then he taught himself Spanish on the street and through his Spanish speaking companions so they switched his call to Spanish speaking. So yeah he's pretty cool but we started talking and stuff and we have a bunch of the same interests and became friends pretty quick. But the sad part is that he goes home next week😔 After basketball and stuff we went to dinner with the sisters at a members farm house and they made super good hamburgers😍🍔 

I keep asking him for pictures and he sends great ones!

Tuesday- Tuesday was pretty normal, we just studied then taught Lloyd, our less active in the morning and it went good. He's been coming to church more and more lately the biggest problem is his health. He is like 500 lbs and eats absolutely terrible. He has mice that run around his house too and they distract me during the lesson! I will look at one out of the corner of my eye mid-testimony and it will stare at me then I look back at it and it's gone!🐀 They drive me insane hahaha rodents are a real problem in PA.  After Lloyd, we visited this lady from Haiti and she has the coolest accent! It's beautiful. I want to live on an island someday where everyone sounds like that lol. After that we were taking some pictures of leaves in the park and we ran into this guy from Dominican Republic and he doesn't speak any English and he's Mormon he just didn't know where the church was! So we talked to him and helped him out. God truly puts people in our paths! Then that night we went to the Boggs house again for dinner and then Brother Boggs dropped us off at the church afterwards for our ESL class. Unfortunately no one showed up for the class except for the teacher who's a female so she couldn't give us a ride home(mission rules).  So we had to walk home in the pitch black on a rural Pennsylvania rode 4 miles back to our apartment😅 But honestly it wasn't that bad! It was just a bunch of farms out there so there wasn't a lot of light and the stars looked amazing😍 so I actually enjoyed the walk! All I could see was the top of corn fields and stars for miles ✨⭐️🌟🌽  Idk if you guys have scene the spongebob episode where him and squidward have to deliver the Krusty Krab pizza and they walk in the middle of no where for miles😂 Anyways, spongebob starts singing songs that bug the crap out of squidward so I started singing the same songs to my companion and he knew exactly what episode I was talking about so we were laughing pretty hard😂 

Wednesday- Wednesday started the same as most, we just did studies then visited the nursing home crew as well as did some puzzles. At first I was confused as to why we were spending our time doing puzzles in a nursing home BUT the lady that we do them with, who has been less active, has come to church the last 3 weeks! So I guess it's working😂 Our other visits weren't anything overly significant, Sister Bord still loves me even though I haven't cleaned my iPad case so that's good hahaha. That evening we got a ride from a member and spent the night in Harrisburg because we had Zone Conference the next day and my companion had to interview someone for baptism there as well. (Because he is District leader) So we stayed with the Zone Leaders, it was fun to spend the night with them and their apartment is huge!! I hope I get to serve in Harrisburg at some point.

Zone Conference with President Johnson
Thursday- On Thursday we had zone conference and it was good, I got to meet some more new people too. For every zone conference we are supposed to prepare a 5 minute talk and they call on 2 people to speak, and most of us kinda spaced it. The topic was Revelation through Church Attendance so it was kind of a weird topic. But one of the Zone Leaders hinted to me that I might be speaking 15 minutes before the meeting so I hurried and prepared a talk😂 sure enough they called me to speak and it actually went super good! Everybody there told me I did a good job and one of the kids was like "I think you've mastered the art of 5 minute talks with 5 minute preparation." Hahaha the zone leaders thanked me several times and they said they prayed about it and felt like I was the one they were supposed to call on. Even though I hadn't prepared it yet🤔 but it went good and now the Zone knows who I am. 

After that we went to some Caribbean Burrito place and it was delicious😋 then we did service as a zone and I got paired up with Elder Bell so I got to hang out with him a little bit more before he leaves! They were looking for someone to drive where we were going and I was the only one with my driver card in my wallet so I drove a car for the first time in almost 3 months😬 it felt kinda weird but I didn't wreck so we're all good😂 That night we went and visited the Hernandez family and it was good, sister Hernandez needs our visits and I get Spanish practice and she gave us a gallon of milk🙆 I had to carry it home though lol that was hard. We talked to one guy who was sitting on his porch for awhile and eventually gave him a Book of Mormon! After a long but good conversation he started to bring up Trump and Clinton and I was like yup we gotta go😂 

He called this park, "Cannonball Park."
 I don't know if it's the same as "Tank Park," but sure beautiful!
Friday- Friday was good! We went to Brother Alva's and actually worked this time! We got a ton done around his house, knocked down a shed, cut shelves etc. His attitude towards everything in life has definitely gotten better since we started helping him with everything. He's had a ridiculously hard life so to see improvement in him is amazing! After service we visited Modesto. Modesto is doing good, he just needs his dang transplant. Pray for him please! He is so accepting of the gospel and always helps me with my Spanish! It's sad because he's in pain all the time and he's on a bunch of medication. But he says that our visits with him make him feel better than his medicine does. Missionaries:1 Narcotics:0  So that made us feel good😌 We showed him a piece of a conference talk and he was like "I think Nelson will be up there one day" hahahaha. He always tries to teach me new words in Spanish as well but I shouldn't listen to those Puerto Rican's because they make up so many words!!😂 por ejemplo: chinna (orange juice) parkiar (to park) mopiar (to mop) checkiar (to write a check) trockar (truck) none of these words are real words and the letter "k" is really not even used in the Spanish alphabet lol. Puerto Rican's man. That night for dinner we went to the Boyd's house and it was so fun. Their house is really far away so when they come pick us up they keep us all night and call it service(games). Hahaha so we had an excellent dinner then played some games and had a spiritual thought and stuff. It was the hardest I'd laughed in awhile, it was just a fun night.

Saturday- Borrrrinnnggg. We had a service project planned for the morning but the family bailed on us last minute so we did weekly planning instead and it took 10 years. Once we finally finished that, we went to some Mexican stores downtown and put out some flyers for our ESL class. Then we went to another families house and gave a lady a blessing and then we went to Harrisburg for a baptism. It was a fun little trip but nothing really significant happened😂

At a church in Lebanon
Sunday- Sunday was the same as most. We woke up early for Missionary Correlation meeting and Ward council, both of which were better this week! Then we had church and it was the Primary Program and somehow this Ward has a huge primary! I was impressed with their program. After church we visited Anil and tried a couple other less actives and set up some return appointments. Then we went to dinner at the Sorensons! It was delicious, and sister Sorensons made carmelitos just like ours🤔 They are such an awesome family, I can't get over how Utah they look😂 they just have that beautiful Utah-look to them, I can't really explain it but basically you can tell they're not from Pennsylvania hahaha They miss Utah a lot though because the parents grew up there but Brother Sorenson was saying "yeah I'd like to live in Utah but not every Mormon can just cram in there, the church needs to be strong here in Pennsylvania too." I thought that was kinda cool but be grateful because there's people who wish they could live where you live!! After the Sorensons, we went and visited Maria who is from the DR. Her husband is the one who doesn't like us but he invited us in and we watched the Steelers/Patriots game with him for a sec and we talked to her and she was very grateful that we stopped by. (I have a hard time understanding her Spanish though) Then when we were leaving her husband came outside and told us not to come back because he wants her to go to his church now. It's so frustrating though because she definitely prefers the LDS church and she knows it's true and ugh, so that's how the night ended🚶
Another shot of that same beautiful church :) 

Other Items I thought were funny/weird😂

1. Every time we walk into someone's house during the day and they have the TV on, they are all watching super old TV Shows from like the 1960's. Literally everybody!! They all watch these black and white TV shows about WWII or Cowboys or something else old, it's so weird! Like does no one here have Netflix or anything?😂 

2. Everyone smokes. I've never seen so many smokers before, part of the reason everyone has a front porch is so that they can smoke. No one vapes or uses E-Cigs here either! They are all just content with death. 

Scripture of the week:   Alma 48:17 - Why can't we all just be more like Moroni?

Anyways, thanks for your emails and stuff this week! It makes my week better when you send them💙. I will go respond to your other emails individually as usual💁 I love and miss you guys so much!

-Elder Nelson

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Week 10 - Autumn in Pennsylvania

Hey guys here's my slightly uneventful week😅😂 but I'm still gonna tell you about all of it, haha

The drive from Hershey to Lebanon PA. Beautiful Autumn colors! 
Monday- So Monday we went to a cornmaze and farmers market with a bunch of members from the ward so that was fun! Then we went shopping and went to dinner with another member family to this Wing place that was super good😍 After that we just walked around downtown for a sec and handed out some Book of Mormons.

3 Gourds for $1.00!
Tuesday- On Tuesday we started the day teaching Carlos(Spanish) and I spoke quite a bit! Then we visited a semi less-active lady who talked for an hour and a half about her life and problems. I was trying so hard to pay attention and listen but I was so bored, I don't think I've ever been that bored in my life.😅 We were in her backyard while we visited her and I was just starring at the grass and I swear I could see it growing. Occasionally I would nod my head and say uh huh like I knew what she was talking about. She was a very humble lady with a strong testimony though, it's hard to see good hearted people with hard lives. After that we went to our Ward Mission leader's house(the jockey🏇) to make some flyers for the church's ESL Class (English as a second language) so I rode around on his hover board talking to him about
Jockey races while my companion translated the whole thing to Spanish😂 Then we went to the Boggs house for dinner which was delicious. After that we visited another old African American lady named EJ who is so funny and we talked to her for almost an hour and a half. She has a
really strong testimony as well, she just has a lot on her plate because ladies like her get everything dumped on them.

The outside of their Mansion Apartment (as named by Carter)
Wednesday- We started off the day with a couple insignificant visits to less actives then we went and visited our nursing home crew. We visited Sister Bord who really likes me its funny hahaha. She is one of the ladies in the nursing home(the one who never knows what page we are on) and I walked in and threw her curtain(wall) to the side while I chewed on my nugget ice, that I always get from the lounge, and I stared at her for a sec and she just looked at me and rolled her eyes and said "sit down”😂😂😂. She's pretty funny and she always tells me that my iPad case is too dirty even though it's not. I always feel the spirit super strongly when we teach her though and I can't figure out why but our lesson/message was good! Then that night we went to an older members home for dinner then we came home and did language study and I finished Duolingo!

Thursday- On Thursday we had to drive to Harrisburg for interviews and district meeting with our mission president. It went good! It was a few hours but it was a good training. Once we got back we didn't have a ton of time so we went and visited the puzzle ladies! This time they gave me a 24-Piece puzzle and told me it was a little bit more on my skill level😑😂. They roast me all the time idk why I keep visiting them hahaha. After that we visited another less active then we went to dinner at the Fischer's house! They always spoil us with good food and we left a good spiritual/dinner thought with them. Then we went and visited the Thomas family with Brother Sorenson and it was a super good lesson! We just need them to come to church. Brother Thomas some how brought up trump and was talking about how he's such a good guy and would make a good president and we were just like yeahhhh I guess lol everyone here somehow brings up politics in the middle of every lesson and I'm not sure how ha they are good at it though.

Friday- Friday was another pointless service day with Brother Alva. He came and picked us up that morning and we went to his house and he tried to figure what was wrong with a car for 3 hours while we just handed him tools and hunted rats again.🐀 After several trips to the auto parts stores and 4 hours of doing less than nothing, he never did find out what was wrong with the car so we went home😂 it's okay though because no one ever talks or meets with us before noon anyways so it's not a complete waste of time. That afternoon we went and taught Modesto(Spanish) which I loved. We taught about the Plan of Salvation and committed him to pray about baptism. I love speaking Spanish there but they speak some terrible Spanish and Spanglish sometimes hahaha! When we got there he said "¡Yo leí mi pamfelto!" (I read my pamphlet) And I was like "¿ te significa tu folleto?" (You mean your pamphlet?) because pamfleto is a completely made up word😂😂😂 it's like when people just add the letter "o" onto the end of whatever they are saying and call it Spanish hahaha except thats what Puerto Rican's do sometimes 🙆 then later in the lesson Modesto was talking about something and he didn't know the word in Spanish so he said it in English and the word was successful, and I was like ”¿exitoso?" which is successful in Spanish and he was like yeah that😂😂 it was just funny because it was so backwards like I knew the word in Spanish that he only knew in English and usually it's the other way around hahaha Then that night we went to the ward party which was a chili cook off😋 but none of the chilis were better than Dad's💁

What weekly planning actually looks like
Saturday- On Saturday we got picked up at 6 AM to go help with a yard sale in the ward and it was definitely more pointless service. We were at the house for 6 hours and hardly anyone came and bought stuff. I think my companion and I moved one couch and 3 boxes the entire time we were there. I think people tell us they have service then they just come and get us to keep them company and they know we can't leave because we don't have a car😂 But it was a relaxing morning, I just played with all the various toys and gadgets in the yard sale and had
middle aged Mormon mom conversations with the ladies there about Diet Coke and what not. After that we got lunch at another pizza place haha then we walked all over the city. We decided not to use our bikes so that we could talk to people but we probably walked 6 or 7 miles and found 2 more people who want their records removed. 🙃 I don't think people really understand what that means, it doesn't mean the missionaries stop bothering you, it means that God stops bothering you. 😂 We also found a couple potential investigators and visited another less active who can't come to church so it all worked out. That night the moon was HUGE!! It was the biggest thing I've ever seen, it was like a tortilla was just floating in the sky🌝. I guess it was a super moon.

Missionary Seek and Find
Can you find: the corner of an Oreo package, a picture of Jesus,
an open Sour Patch bag, hand gel that substitutes for hand washing,
random papers from the last transfer... and two darling bachelors. 
Sunday- Sunday was similar to most days, we woke up and had our meeting but Ward council didn't get enough done so the bishop called for a follow up Ward council later that evening. I'm sure you can guess how thrilled the Ward council members were. Then we went to church which was good because more and more less actives are coming! After church we had dunch with the Nelson family😂 yeah they have the same last name. And the mom's name is Kristen!!¡¡ hahaha so I had dinner with Kristen Nelson, unfortunately not mom😔. She was actually really cool though, mom you'd be proud to share a name with her. After that we visited a less active and a potential investigator both of which went well. Then we went back to follow-up Ward council. Now this was one of the most pathetic things I've ever seen 😬 Nobody was on the same page, nobody wanted to be there, everyone was arguing, one guy got up and left half way through. It was so funny though. At some point the bishop was arguing with the ward mission leader and the bishop called my companion out like he was a witness to prove the bishops point regarding this certain topic. I was like this is not a court case??😂😂 Then they tried setting goals and this other guy threw a fit because half of the ward goals were completely unattainable haha it was a mess. Then after the meeting this guy in a loud voice said,   "That was awesome!! I love meeting where we get absolutely nothing done! Let's do that again next week!! Yeah!!" 😅 so that's how we spent the rest of our evening.

Letters from my home ward Primary children. Thank you!!
Other things-
1.) I'm able to recognize the spirit more and more in lessons which is cool, I just hate when my voice gets shaky hahaha

2.) Several of the men in the ward here are executives for Hershey. So they have a bunch of new candies that Hershey is testing out and they give them to us to try😂 Take-5 Mix is super good as well as Crunch-layer cookie bar🍫 (they are going to come up with a better name) and then Reece's With Pieces hit the shelves this last month and that one is really good😍 so go look for it at the store.

3.) I have not actually gained 20 pounds like I joked... 😂I've gained like maybe 10 and I really don't know where it's going😅 abs are still in tact, upper body is all good, pants all still fit the same lol maybe it's leg muscle from bikin🚴 so that's a mystery I’m trying to figure out.

Anyways I hope you guys all had a good week!! I didn't get really any emails until yesterday from you guys so all week I was like well I hope they're alive😂 all the people that email me were in one cabin together with no service 🙃 and my friends wait until today at noon to send theirs😂so I will go back and respond to the ones I did get!!

Love and miss you guys❤️

-Elder Nelson

Week 9 - A Great Week!

Okay so my recap for the week🎃

Monday- So on Monday night we went to a family's house and we had dinner and a little bon-fire in their front yard, it was really relaxing and fun. They live out in the woods kind of by themselves so we got to watch the sunset and it was nice and quiet except for the kids haha. We played some games and stuff afterwards. Every single kid on the east coast is obsessed with Pokémon, they all have a ton of cards and they all trade with each other and stuff. So I decided to start my own collection lol my companion started one in his first area and now he has a ton of cards from all of his areas😂 so yeah

Elder Aitken and Elder Nelson
Tuesday- On Tuesday we had district meeting and I gave a lesson on Christlike Attributes then we went on exchanges with our zone leaders and it was awesome! I went with an Elder named Elder Aitken and we had a blast, he's super cool. He had a car so we got to drive all over the place and try a bunch of less active members. We were able to set up some appointments for later this week so it was successful. But we also found one guy who gave us a signed piece of paper saying that he wants his records removed🙃 so technically we lowered the church membership by proselyting and finding, oops. Then we went to a little pizza joint that night for dinner down town and it was really good🍕😋

Wednesday- On Wednesday we did service for Brother Alva again but it was nothing too exciting💁 we just cleaned up around the yard and stuff we got to watch the hawk come back and eat some more rats so that was pretty cool🐀 then I got to see the rest of his pets. This guy gets weirder and weirder the more I learn about him😂 he has a 100 pound tortoise that just walks around his house in addition to his other pets. It looks like bowser, it's so big and it's still a baby! After service we went and visited Modesto and it went well. We started teaching him about the plan of salvation, I try to use a lot of Spanish but then he will just randomly switch back to English so it’s frustrating some times😅 then we helped a homeless man move all of his stuff into an apartment that we found haha not only do missionaries preach the gospel but now they house the homeless. After that we went to dinner with an odd member to another pizza place. The guy that took us lived in Russia for a few years with his friends and said he was doing "unofficial work" for the church🤔 but now he lives by himself here and is retired from the government. I think he's a spy, that's my guess. Then we went to Book of Mormon class which was nothing special.

Puzzles with my favorite old ladies
Thursday- On Thursday we had a lesson with Carlos and we started teaching him the Plan of Salvation as well. We hope to set him with a baptism date soon for the beginning of November. His Spanish is really hard to understand so I have a hard time during those lessons, part of the reason is because he only has a like 6 teeth. After Carlos, we visited our nursing home squad which consisted of Puzzles with the old ladies(one of which came to church!) a quick message with our multi-religious friend Robert and a visit with Sister Bord. She has had several surgeries in the last year on her legs so now she can’t walk because they are too short. Anyways we decided to read the first vision with her. She was having a hard time following along in her book but during our reading with her I was getting punched in the face by the spirit. I don't know why it hit me so hard but I was trying my hardest not to break out into tears while I read, my voice was getting all shaky and stuff and I was pinching myself in the leg to keep myself together hahaha it was bad but like really good at the same time ya know? The part that bugged me most is that while I was over there trying not to get sucked up into heaven, Sister Bord couldn’t even figure out where on the page we were reading😅 she should've just listened to us instead of trying to follow along dang it. Anyways it was a good experience for me at least and I think she benefited from it as well. She just appreciates that someone cares about her enough to come visit her. As we were leaving a lady in the nursing home came up to me and read my name tag then said "Do you want a Book of Mormon?" I was like "Hey that's my line!" Then she said "yeah I have one I'm going to take it to a thrift shop" so we told her that we have plenty and that she should try reading it then she laughed and walked off😂 darn it.

Fun at dinner with members
Friday- On Friday we went to help Brother Alva again but we ended up sitting around for 4 hours keeping him company while he fixed his neighbors boat trailer😂 I think he likes for us to come "help" him because otherwise he will just stay in his house all day and get nothing done. But if he comes and picks us up and we are there then he works! Even if we don't lol so my companion and I hunted rats around his yard and did some other 10-year old activities like throwing sticks at stop signs while keeping him company. However, his yard and house are actually starting to look pretty decent! Thanks to us💁 so maybe he won't get fined by the city for having a junkyard instead of a house after all😊 Then we had dinner with the Boyd's who are amazing! We played a game with them called Cards Against Humanity! It's super funny haha its like Apples to Apples but I guess there were a bunch of bad cards that they had to take out😂 After that we visited the blind couple and a few other people and then that night we walked around the city and handed out Book of Mormons.

Weekly "selfie-in-the-mirror" shot.
Perhaps for next week, we could wipe down the miror?
Saturday- Saturday we spent most of the morning doing weekly planning and our other studies that we weren't able to get to earlier in the week, then we visited Modesto again who was really sick. It was sad, I hope he gets his transplant soon. So we set up a different appointment for this week and gave him a blessing then left. Then for the first time in my mission we had dinner with a Spanish speaking family. I was hoping for some authentic Puerto Rican food but they went to the store and bought chicken😑 it was still good though. Then that night we went and handed out book of mormons again and talked to some people. We found one guy (thanks to me) who lived in the DR named Orlando and for 3 years straight he went to church then stopped going when he got married because his wife is a Methodist missionary I guess. Anyways he loves the Book of Mormon and is faithful and he said that we could stop by sometime so we got his number and stuff.

Sunday- Yesterday we went to church and we are getting more and more less actives back out! We got some more members to come with us for team ups this week so that was good. After church we did some studies then went to dinner with a family, nothing really worth mentioning. Then last night we rode our bikes 6 miles trying to find that guy named Orlando but I think we got the wrong number for his address because my companion and I both hear different house numbers and the one we tried knocking on wasn't him. So we are going to try giving him a call tomorrow and find out where he actually lives. I thought it was a pointless bike trip until on our way home we decided to try a potential investigator who we were close to dropping but then she answered the door! She loved our visit, and it was all Spanish and we talked about a few scriptures with her and she has a strong testimony but her husband is very anti-church. He wouldn't even turn off his football game while we visited with her. It was hard to focus with Odell Beckham dancing on screen followed by Kelly Clarkson singing hahaha but we had a good talk with her and hopefully her husband will loosen up a little bit by seeing how happy she is with the church. 🙏

Anyways that was my week! Thank you for sending me emails about yours❤️ I love reading them. Love and miss you guys tons💕

-Elder Nelson

At the "Tank Park"

Does this tank make me look hot?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Week 8 - More Rats and Some Bed Bugs

Hey! Alright so for the week, on Tuesday we did service again for Brother Alva. We have had to completely re-do his whole yard and garage because the city said his house looked too much like a junkyard. And he has a disorder that makes it hard for him to walk, he said it's like having the flu-aches 24/7,  but he still works super hard with us. Also, he bread rats and mice and had 10 snakes and like 10 lizards 1 Tortise and has 4 dogs and the city said he had to get rid of pretty much all of those too. Él tiene muchas problemas. I will talk about the rats later. Anyways so we cleared out his yard all morning and then they dropped of 5 tons of gravel which my companion and I smoothed out completely as the base of his new shed and then an hour later they dropped off the shed. It was the hardest I've worked in awhile, my back was aching by the end. Then we went to Funcks which is a local restaurant. It turns out this Brother Alva guy is the cousin of Tony Alva who is a world famous skater😂😂 I never made the connection. But they are pretty close I guess. After service we got to teach 3 of our less active families and visit a couple more as well, it was good! Usually we don't get into 5 houses in one night!

Carter and his "Trusty Steed"
So on Wednesday it was pouring rain and we rode our bikes everywhere and we didn't have umbrellas and we got so dirty. The tires from our bikes flip the dirty water from the ground up on our shirts so it wasn't pretty. But we started off the day visiting the Shopes who is a blind lady(who's a member) and her husband(Who is not a member) who is pretty much blind as well, he's got the biggest glasses I've ever seen. I'm not even sure why we put on church clothes to visit them cause they wouldn't  know. Thank goodness she has him to guide her around though lol it's not the safest thing but they love each other so that's good. We tried to teach them a short lesson but they kept going off on tangents and stories. They have been coming to church though so it's all good. Everyone in this town will talk your ear off, they could all talk for hours about absolutely nothing and old stories that have no point. So when we start to talk to them they start telling us everything about nothing and it makes it hard to teach. I wish they would all get together and talk to each other hahaha but they don't. Everyone just stays lonely😔 

Anyways so the next guy we visited was Anil. He is an Indian Man who we have to meet at Dairy Queen because he has bed bugs😂 he sounds like Apu from the Simpsons. But he is super solid and loves God and loves reading the scriptures but the ward won't let him go to church because of his bed bugs problem. I forgot that 3 Nephi 18:22 said "Ye shall meet together oft and ye shall not forbid any man from coming unto you unless he has bed bugs" 🤔So that has been difficult for us because there's not much we can do for him until the church lets him come because he can't afford to fumigate his house for $2000. Maybe we can bring him in a wheel chair and he will only sit in that wheelchair during church idk haha we will bring it up in Ward council this week. Then that night we had Book of Mormon class and Carlos showed up! And his girlfriend! She's a member but he's not so it was good to have them there! They were the only ones who came so we had Book of Mormon class in Spanish, but it went really well! The sister missionaries were lost the whole time but whatever haha so he is officially a progressing investigator.

On Thursday it was pouring rain again so this time we decided to walk with umbrellas but it was super windy and cold and our umbrellas kept getting flipped inside out. It was so textbook missionary, walking down the road in pouring rain, cars spraying you with water every time they drive by etc. I started laughing for a sec because of how classic missionary it was. We had one appointment in the morning which went well, it was just a less active family but we had to walk quite a ways to get there then we had lunch and then we visited all of our nursing home friends. We just showed them all how to watch conference and gave a message about conference. Then we let them talk to us about nothing for a half hour or so lol Thursday night was awesome though! We taught the Thomas Family and they haven't been to church in 6 years but they believe in the church and stuff they just don't feel the need to go. But Brother Sorenson came with us and the lesson went great! In fact Brother Thomas started begging for a calling to get him back to church! So that was really good, having a member present always helps.

Picture in Service Clothes
On Friday, we went back to Brother Alvas, this time to clean out the garage but a better word is probably rat layer. He had over 500 rats in there a week ago and it was the grossest thing I've ever seen hahaha you couldn't see the floor it was all rat poop and wood chips.🐀🐀🐀🐀 And he still has wild rats living all over his house. But we cleaned it spotless, I was in there for probably 2 1/2 hours straight and I started to lose my sense of smell, I had to walk out a few times to breathe. But it looks good and for the first time in several years there is a car in his garage!! 

After that we found this new guy that was a referral online and his name is Anthony and he seems really interested! We are visiting him again tomorrow. Then we visited Modesto who is my favorite. (The older Puerto Rican man) we read the Book of Mormon with him and I get to practice my Spanish there. Randomly he will start speaking English though it's pretty funny. Every time we ask him if we can say an opening prayer he says "I think it's Nelson's turn" in his  raspy voice. So I've said the opening prayer every time😂 That night we had dinner with an investigator and they made us a ton of sea food!! It was crab everything and it was pretty good!

Saturday we watched the first session of conference at the church then had lunch then watched the second session of conference at the Boggs home. They gave us a ton of conference snacks and made me eat food and then sent pics of me eating it to mom😂 after that we went to the priesthood session at the church with Brother Boggs and then we went home.

Sunday we watched the first session of Conference at the Gearings home. (Cafe rio family) They are very wealthy so we had an excellent breakfast and session with them. Then we watched the second session with the Franklin family who have  young kids 😅 then we had dinner with them. Then we had weekly planning and now It's P-Day!

My 3 favorite Conference Talks were President Uchtdorf in the morning Saturday session, Elder Oaks in the Saturday afternoon session and Elder Holland in the priesthood session! I will go back and respond to all your guys other emails in a little bit and send another few emails but we are going grocery shopping right now and we are going to check out this little skate/surf shop that I found!! 

Love and miss you guys 💙💙

Carter and Ibarra playing ball at the church

Saturday, October 1, 2016

General Conference

I wondered where Carter would watch General Conference. I don't know if they broadcast it at all the ward buildings...? He's far away from the mission home, so I figured they wouldn't go back there.  I was hoping they would be invited to a member's home. 

Whoopie pies and raw carrots -- best lunch ever! 
This afternoon just as the second Saturday session was starting I received these photos from a Sister in the Lebanon Ward. She had invited them over for lunch and conference! They had also invited an investigator family, but they didn't show up -- so the boys had tons of food! 

The kettle chips are made by a local company using fresh lard (is there such a thing as "fresh lard?") The homemade Oreo-looking cookie treats are apparently called "whoopie pies" and they are a local favorite. But the Sister said Carter was more interested in the raw carrots!!

I'm so glad they had a place to watch conference and enjoy lunch! I'm grateful for all those who take care of the missionaries -- especially mine!