Hey guys! Thanks for your emails Here's my week!
Monday- First P-Day in Pittsburgh! We started off the day just cleaning up around the apartment and emailing and then we went downtown to Carson St. where the 412 Shop is located. I guess at one point in time, Carson St. held the record for most bars//pubs on a single street in the world!! Pittsburgh has a lot of people in town right now with St. Patrick's Day coming up They have a huge parade here this coming weekend so there's a bunch of people here preparing for it! So we went to the shop and I got a couple T-Shirts then we took a pic by the Southside Graffiti mural because we live in Southside so we had to take a pic there. Then we went over to the church and played basketball for a few hours and then we walked around and saw some things around the different universities and then we went to a members house for dinner named the Hamiltons and it was good and then we went to our ESL class. English class that night was a success! The 2 guys from Honduras that we found last week and invited to ESL actually came! We had a good group there
Tuesday- On Tuesday we were on exchanges. Exchanges are kinda weird with a trio but our District Leader, Elder Chafin came with Elder Halls and I and Elder Condie went with Elder Chafin's companion to another area in Pittsburgh. So we started off the day just finding some people in the morning and we set up a few return appointments. After that, we had a lesson with our investigator named Jim and it was good. When we first got to the lesson he was super stressed out about life and stuff but after we talked to him for a little bit and read some scriptures with him, you could see the spirit calm him down. It was cool! He said he wants to go to church this week as long as it's not too cold so we will see. Then we went to contact a media referral named Dorothy. She is like 70 years old but she was pretty sweet, we had just requested a bible but we had a cool lesson with her about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon and she invited us back next week and told us that she would read the Book of Mormon After that lesson, we had another lesson with an investigator named Erica but we needed a male from the ward with us so that we could go in her house and the only guy we could find had to bring is son in order to make it work. So instead of bombarding her house with 5 people(because of our trio), we decided to go on emergency splits So Elder Halls went to the lesson with the ward member and his son and I went with Elder Chafin(our District Leader) to go see other people. So I pretty much had to lead out the area after only being here for a week It was good though! When went to contact another referral who we thought was named Matt but we knocked on the door and a guy answered but he had no idea who Matt was. He read our tags and was like "Jesus Christ huh? Here talk to my wife, she likes Jesus!" And he pulled his wife over to the door and she started talking to us She was so cool though! These people have a family and they have 4 kids and the wife looks like a Mormon mom from Utah, like she's all put together and stuff! It was sweet but kinda weird because why the heck are they living on the ghetto streets of Pittsburgh?? So we talked to her for a little bit and told her who we were and stuff and had a good conversation about church's and Pittsburgh and families etc. Then we asked her if our message is something they might be interested in hearing or learning more about. She said no and that they were okay but luckily we are super sly and we kept talking to her for a little bit and then I pulled out a Restoration pamphlet and explained what it was and what we believe and she took it and said that she'd read it. Then she asked us where our church was and we gave her a card with the address and she said she just might go check it out this Sunday! Then her husband came back and said that if we are ever doing service, he'd love to help and he gave us his card. So it ended up being a really cool visit even though the original referral "Matt" doesn't exist This family was cooler anyways. I guess we were in a pretty rough and dangerous area because as we were leaving, the family told us to be careful like 7 different times hahaha oh well After that we went and found a couple more people and set up times to go back and then we met back up with Elder Halls at our dinner appointment. We had dinner with the less active lady named Janet from Mexico and she made us super good authentic Mexican food with little corn tortillas and chicken and everything then we had a good spiritual thought with her and then we went to Spanish Ward Council at the church. It was kinda cool to have a group Council in Spanish, like sharing your ideas and stuff in a different language. It's definitely a fast way to learn more. After the council, we exchanged back and got Elder Condie and then headed back home.
Wednesday- On Wednesday we woke up and went to the Reyes house to help them with their family history and to find names for the temple. They are planning a trip to go to the Columbus Ohio temple this next month and I want to go with so bad! The temple is Anyways, our appointment with the Reyes that morning went well! We got their accounts set up with names and Sister Reyes made us arroz con leche After that we had a lesson with an investigator named Kayla and it was alright, hopefully she shows more promise and desire in the future but she invited us back! Later that afternoon we did service at a giant Presbyterian church. All the missionaries in the area go on Wednesdays and honestly what we do is make reusable feminine hygiene products for girls in Africa and the middle east and stuff lol because it's not like they can go to the store and buy tampons. So it's actually kinda cool that this church does this We just cut out fabrics and sew them together and stuff ✂️so it's not as weird as it could be hahaha I just try not to think about what the fabric is going to be used for in the future. After that they gave us a cool tour of the church well I guess it's more of like a cathedral or castle cause the thing is gigantic, it was pretty sick. Then we went to dinner at a members house named the Burtons and it was alright and then we went to a lesson but it got canceled so we went and found some more people in the area instead. of the farthest point of the Pittsburgh West Stake and we technically work with some Spanish people from that Stake so it's a stretch but we are going to ask President even we can go anyways
Thursday- On Thursday we woke up and went to play basketball and then we had District Meeting at the church later that morning. After that we tried a couple people in the area and set up return appointments and then we we had a lesson pretty far away but it was right next to Blue Slide Park and we still hadn't done studies yet so we just decided to study there because it was a super nice day out! I know you guys don't care but it was so cool to be sitting on the block where Mac Miller grew up and to be sitting in front of the blue slide that he sat in front of! Except instead of writing raps, I was writing lesson plans. After that we went to our lesson with this crazy less active Spanish lady haha and then we went to our dinner appointment with some other members named the Merkleys and it was decent haha. I can't complain because all the English people in the ward here are either students or super young families just out of college so they don't have a lot of money to be feeding us anyways so we are grateful for whatever. After we dinner we went to our lesson with Jessica and Wilbur. We taught them the rest of the Plan of Salvation and then invited them to church again. It seems like all of the hispanics around here after to work on Sunday's because their bosses pretty much abuse them because they are all illegal. It's a tough situation.
Friday- On Friday we had a service project all day with our recent convert from Peru named Raymond. He took us to a Chinese Buffet in the morning and it was actually surprisingly good! They had all you can eat sushi!! it wasnt the best sushi but I could pick whatever I wanted so it was still good Then we went to his house and tore our his carpets and painted his walls and stuff. After the service project we went to a lesson with an investigator named Jorge! This was my first time meeting this guy but I'm excited about him, he shows a lot of promise and desire. I think this was only his 2nd lesson with the missionaries too, he just said that he wants to find the true church and we told him that we can certainly help him with that The only problem is that his doctor said that he's not supposed to leave the house if temperatures are below freezing because of his asthma or pneumonia or something I don't remember but it was super cold on Sunday so it didn't work out for him but we still have another appointment this coming week. After our lesson we went to try a couple people then we went to our dinner appointment at the Cárdenas house. They are another cool Spanish family but they don't even eat with us they just make us food and then just leave us in the dining room by ourselves hahaha. It worked out though because I still wasn't even hungry because we ate at the buffet earlier that day so I didn't have to eat anything cause they weren't there to see me anyways and usually Hispanics are refilling your plate before you're even done with it. After dinner we hurried over to our ESL class because our teacher wasn't going to be there so we had to teach it. It was good! We had some new faces and I feel like we do a better job than the normal teacher because we actually speak both languages lol.
Saturday- On Saturday we woke up and played basketball again and then we spent the rest of the morning doing Weekly Planning. I hate weekly Planning with a passion but it has definitely helped me figure out this new area because there is a lot going on here. Later that afternoon we had a lesson downtown and it was right after the huge Saint Patrick's Day Pittsburgh parade. IT WAS NUTS!! Carson Street was insane, there were so many people. It was a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. We could barely get through the streets, everybody was super drunk and just roaming the streets it was straight up like the Walking Dead. When we got out of the car I actually felt like one of the sons of Mosiah walking into an apostate Lamanite city. You could hear people yelling and swearing and partying and everything. Eventually we got to the lesson and actually had a good lesson with a less active member and her friend was there and he sat through the whole lesson and participated too! After that we went home and finished weekly planning and then we went out to dinner with the rest of our District because we didn't have an appointment. We went to a restaurant called Piadas Italian Street Food and it was delicious but not worth the price for what you got. All the college kids love it, it's basically like an Italian version of Chipotle or Cafe Rio. Later that night we tried to go visit a couple people without much luck and then we went home.
Sunday- Sunday was good, we had studies and whatever and then we went to normal Ward Council. Before Ward council the Northside Elders came up to me and told me that they found the address of Wiz Khalifa's grandma in the area Book!! We finally found it!! Haha so we are going to pay her a visit because she's actually had a couple lessons with the missionaries before. And if nothing else, we will get some free Khalifa Merchandise haha It was my first time attending the normal Ward council and it was absolutely hilarious I love it. It's just a bunch of College kids running the ward haha I don't think anyone in the bishopric is over 35 years old. They all just joke around because it's not like they have a lot to discuss anyways lol I enjoyed it. Then we had our church meetings but we stayed downstairs and attended the Spanish branch. We had a good turnout this week! Elder Halls gave a talk in Sacrament meeting and Elder Condie played the Piano and I translated the talks LIVE into English for the Branch President's Girlfriend who doesn't speak a word of Spanish. She attends the Spanish services just because her boyfriend (The Branch President) is there haha but at least she's going to church so yeah I had to live translate and it was my first time doing it but she said I did a really good job haha. It's hard to focus on the message of the talk when you're translating but oh well. Then we went to Sunday School and priesthood. I absolutely love going to Sunday school and priesthood in Spanish, it's so cool to learn about all of the deeper doctrine and stuff in a different language. After church we went home and made ourselves some quick dinner and then we headed out to a lesson with a new investigator named Sergio. We had an okay lesson with him, it's hard to know how interested hispanics really are. Most of the time they let you in because they think their family should hear "la palabra de Dios" (word of God) but they don't plan on taking any steps forward we'll see though. After that lesson we tried a million more people but none of them answered so we just went home and had language study. So that's my week! I will email you guys throughout the day, don't forget about me even though it's spring break. love and miss you guys tons!!