Monday, June 19, 2017

June 12 - Last Zone Conference with President Johnson


Hey guys! I got my iPad back so I will be better at emailing today haha but thanks for your emails here's my week! 

Monday- P-Dayyyy... Monday was okay, we went shopping super fast then went to the church because I didn't have my iPad to email so I had to email from the computer in the church library  it felt like being back at the MTC haha. Well normally just the Pittsburgh missionaries come to the church on P-Day but for some reason every missionary in the surrounding 2 zones came to our chapel   it was super crowded, I wasn't a huge fan but it was fun to hang out with some new people  We played basketball and hung out outside for a little bit because it was sunny then this missionary who is kind of nerdy asked a couple of us if we wanted to play Risk(the board game) with him so clearly we went and played Risk haha I've never actually tried to play Risk before but it was pretty fun. After that we got ready for a Spanish Family Home Evening that we were having at the church that night. We had a pretty good turn out! We had a 2 or 3 of our less active Hispanics there along with the active families and they all brought food and we had a spiritual before and songs and it was good! Our group leader couldn't come because he had a meeting so I ended up leading everything and giving the spiritual thought while Elder Herzog tried his best to play the Piano  it all turned out good though, people had a good time and the food, of course, was delicious  

Tuesday- On Tuesday we had a lesson in the morning with Kayla, our new investigator, and it actually went super well! She had a lot of questions about how the church runs and things and she said that it was her goal to come this Sunday! We also taught her the Restoration and she had read a little bit of the Book of Mormon so it was a good lesson. After that, we started tracking down more less actives for bishop but we just ended up finding a lot of kids because they are out of school for summer but their parents are still working. We found good times to go back though. Later that afternoon, we had a lesson with Ricardo and Brother Lewis(Spanish group leader) and it went super well! Ricardo is learning super fast and he will for sure be ready to be baptized when he gets back from Mexico in July 🇲🇽. His baptism date is July 29th, so idk if I will be here but I'm excited for him. After that lesson, we were driving to our dinner appointment but Ricardo lives super far away so we were taking a weird route and we came across a brand new Panda Express on the side of the main road. So Panda Express is super rare in PA, idk why but it is  so missionaries always look for reasons to go when they are near one haha. So we are driving and we see it and Elder Herzog sees it and he's like "no wayyy we are going" and I was like "nah we have a dinner appointment" (even though clearly I was craving it too) so then I said "is it worth it to buy it and take a couple bites while it's hot and then put it in the fridge for tomorrow?" and Elder Herzog was like "Ricardo leaves for Mexico next week so we aren't going to be out here again until the end of July, yes it's worth it" then he hung a left in the middle of traffic and we went and grabbed 2 boxes super fast   it took less than 5 minutes so it wasn't a big deal and it was so gooood   I took a few good bites in car and then tried to save my appetite for dinner. Well here's the funny part, our dinner appointment was with the Cárdenas family and she always makes us a nice healthy Hispanic meal so that's what we were expecting when we bought Panda Express and ate a little bit previously to our appointment. Well we walk in the house and there isn't any food prepared and she asked us if we would give her husband a blessing because he's been stressed out lately so we did, and then we shared a brief spiritual thought with them. Then Sister Cárdenas throws a curveball on us and says that she wants to take us to a Chinese Buffet for dinner because she didn't have time to cook    so with Panda Express sitting in our car, we went to a Chinese buffet. I have no idea why all these Hispanic people love Chinese Buffets but this is the 3rd one I've been too with Hispanics since being here and they are all terrible. Just goes to show that God had a sense of humor. After dinner, we tried contacting a couple former investigators in the area but they weren't interested. 

Wednesday- Well I thought I would have my iPad back by now but I called the store and the part came in late then the next day they said they were busy so they didn't get to it so by the time Wednesday came around, I was pretty firm on the phone haha Dad would have been proud. If I were in the store that would have been one thing, but they couldn't see my nametag over the phone  Anyways, I'll finish that story later. We went and taught Dorothy in the morning and had a good lesson with her and she is great, she loves church so much. Then we tried some other potential investigators but didn't have a ton of luck. Then we went to Days for Girls and did some sewing service. Then we had dinner and FHE with the Reyes family. They are going to be sealed in the temple soon and I'm so dang excited for them. We had a super good dinner with them and they said they are going to find some referrals for us  After dinner we went with our group leader to a lesson that we were supposed to have with an investigator but she didn't answer so we ended up just tracting the rest of the apartment complex with him and it was actually pretty fun. We got a few people to answer and talked to them for a second about the Restoration. Then he took us down the street to a Spanish store and bought us some Mexican candy and we talked to a few people in the store. Then we went to another appointment with a less active who's father was actually the man who started the Spanish group. Well we went to this guys house and guess who answered the door... the dad of the less active(man who started the Spanish group). It was like in the movie Megamind when Megamind and Roxanne walk in and find Metroman alive and just chillin    haha the guy didn't even tell anybody that he was coming to town or anything. Anyways, I got to meet him, he's from Tiawana, Baja California. We had a super good visit with him and his son and we had no idea that he was going to be there. Our current group leader, the one who came with us, was super surprised too ahaha it was pretty funny. 

Thursday- On Thursday we played basketball in the morning   and then we went to a breakfast that we got invited too at a Ukrainian Orthodox Church  When Elder Halls was here, we went to this one guys house who was the Uncle of Elder Halls best friend growing up. So this "Uncle" is the arch bishop or whatever of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church here and when we showed up at his door he was surprised but realized who we were and invited us to his breakfast every Thursday as long as we don't proselyte. Well Elder Halls got transferred but I still wanted to go so we went and the guy was super glad that we came!! He said "when you guys didn't show up last week, I was kind of salty and if you didn't show up this week, I was going to call Salt Lake City myself"    so he was happy that we were there and we got to talk to some cool people and have a good breakfast! After breakfast, I finally got a call about my iPad. The manager of the store called me and said "Hey man we have your iPad here and it's completely fixed, sorry that it took so long. We want you to know that this isn't how we do business so this one is on us. You can come pick it up completely free of charge."  ✔️✔️ cha ching. So that was pretty cool! It was definitely worth the wait to get it fixed for free! Tender Mercy for sure. So I went and picked it up and it looks super good and I love the white screen and now I'm the only missionary in the mission with a white iPad . I will not be hesitant to recommend that place to anybody who breaks their device in the future because of how cool they were about everything and how good of a job they did. After getting my iPad, we went back to work. We spent most of the day in Southside walking a couple different streets near less actives and trying to find new investigators. We want a Hispanic Family from Guatemala and we are going to go back and try them again and we also talked with a couple less actives who claimed to now be Atheist. And we got a couple return appointments with some potential white investigators. For dinner we went over to the Dushku's house and had our Missionary Coordination meeting with them as well. It was delicious as always and good to talk to them. 

Friday- Friday was absolutely beautiful. It was our last Zone Conference with President Johnson so we were inside all day but Elder Herzog and I went for a run at sunrise overlooking the city and it was so dang cool   Zone Conference was good but it was kind of sad too. At the very end, we sang Armies of Helaman//Sisters in Zion as our closing song right after President Johnson's departing testimony and the spirit was so flippin strong my heck I lost it, i couldn't even sing the last line of the song. And President was just standing up on the stand and you could tell he was so sad to leave all of us and this place. Afterwards, we gave him and sister Johnson a hug and said goodbye. I will probably see him again because I live in Pittsburgh but there's a lot of missionaries who won't, so that was their last time. The conference was good though! Afterwards we went to ESL class and then we got some dinner and went home. 

Saturday- On Saturday morning we played basketball and then we went and did service for the Seppi family again. We started rebuilding this retaining wall in their backyard and at first I was super doubtful that it was going to work but it actually looks super good. We didn't quite get done so we will go back and finish it next week. They were super grateful though, we have gotten pretty close with them. After service we came back to the apartment and did our weekly planning and then we worked the whole rest of the day haha at first we were like okay let's go try these people because we said we would and then we will go to Cheesecake Factory for dinner(cause we hadn't spent any money all week). But then we kept knocking random doors and on our way to the Cheesecake Factory we kept stopping to try "one more person" and we kept finding people then pretty soon it was like 9:15 and we missed dinner . That's what we get for being diligent I guess lol. 

Sunday- On Sunday we had Ward Council and stuff in the morning and then church and it was pretty good, I spoke in the Spanish group sacrament meeting and it went well! During Ward Council we were talking about the Lizarraga family and how we were teaching Ricardo and about his baptism and stuff. Then Bishop was like "so I have a question, we have been sending missionaries to that house for like 3 years without any luck, how in the world did you guys get in?"  Lol I didn't even know how to answer that I was just like uhh idk we just did haha. Oh and Brother Seppi came to church! He's the one that we have been doing service for who has been less active!! The other Elders in the ward went home sick and they were supposed to teach Gospel Principles so we had to teach it with 10 minutes notice but it went alright. After church we went to dinner at the Whites house and it was pretty fun. They bought us Little Caesars pizza and crazy bread  I love when people break the sabbath for us haha After dinner went to our lesson with Rou, the Columbian Shakira, and had a super good lesson with her! She had read more of the Book of Mormon but she is stuck in the Isaiah Chapters of Nephi and she says that she's pretty confused. But she understood our lesson perfectly and she said that she wants to be at church on Sunday and that her son really wants to go! She is so awesome. At the end of the lesson, she sent her daughter to the store to buy us gatorades because it was hot out haha and she wouldn't let us leave until her daughter got back. 2nd time yesterday that people broke the sabbath for us haha whatever the Gatorade and pizza were both delicious. Well that's my week! Typed up on my uncracked iPad screen  thanks for your other emails!! I will go respond to them later!! I love and miss you all  oh and uhh PENGUINS 2017 STANLEY CUP CHAMPS!!!

Fancy place Elder Herzog got his hair cut. We waited a long time, but it was worth it!

View from Triangle Park. This is just up the street from our apartment.


View from our morning run. Gorgeous! 

Some girls from the YSA ward asked to take pictures with us. They are cool. 

Elder Herzog is a whopping 6'4"! He's awesome! 




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