Monday, June 19, 2017

June 19 - Father's Day

Hey guys! Here's my week!   
Monday- It was a pretty good P-Day! It was super hot though, like 90 with humidity. We took some pictures in the morning then went to the Dry Cleaners and the grocery store. Then Elder Herzog wanted to get his haircut at a legit barbershop  so we went to the highest rated one in Southside. We sat there forevvver even though there was only one guy in front of him. They are perfectionists though so they take a long time. After that we went to chipotle for lunch and then to the church to play basketball and hang out with some people. The Assistants and 2 other Elders came to our church to play us because they wanted "new competition" and we beat them 3 games in a row  hahaha it was fun to play with them though. After that we went to this store called "Daily Bread." The rappers that have come out of Pittsburgh have ties to it so they wear their stuff in their music videos and at concerts. It was a cool little shop and it wasn't too expensive. Next door was this Supreme store and they are known for being expensive because they are designer. Well they teamed up with North Face and made the coolest overnight//backpack that I've ever seen but it was $300   it was so sick though. After that we headed to dinner with this family named the Taylor's and they are super cool. The mom and her sister group up surfing and they were both there so I talked to them like the entire time. The mom's sister was actually a lot like Chelsea and probably only like a year older than her, I should've taken a picture with her. After dinner, we went and got a Birthday present for one of the Reyes daughters and took it to them. They had a big party at their house and they invited us but it was the same time as our dinner so we stopped by late and their old boss was there and he started asking us questions about our religion and things and we ended up having a little lesson with him. It was a perfect evening though because the sun had just set and we were sitting on this little Hispanic porch near downtown Pittsburgh and then guess what, I saw a firefly!!! We were talking to this guy about Jesus and then I was just like "¡Mira!" and I ran over to it. It was so dang cool, it was pretty big too. The Reyes were laughing at me but it was sick because I had never seen one before  I guess they're all over Mexico though haha. Anyways, we ended up getting that guys contact information! And then we went home. 
A pic from inside our apartment. We study with Bro. Curry in the evenings.
Elder Herzog outside our apartment
The local paper. I love Pittsburgh news -- there's so much culture and stuff going on!
Cafe Rio Pork!! Best dinner ever
Tuesday- Tuesday was fine, it was super hot in the morning but cooled off later in the day. We taught Dorothy about temples because she is preparing to go do baptisms. We had the lesson in Brother Stoddard's home and he was able to help her set up a family history account and stuff. After our lesson we went and tried to see a few people but we got slammed in traffic. We were eventually able to talk to a couple people. We starting talking to this one girl in the street and we asked her about church and stuff and she was like "nah I'm good I watch TV church" bruhhhh that can't be a real thing. But people actually tune in every week to watch church on TV or on YouTube. I was dumbfounded. What's next? Like yeah I have cancer but I'm just gonna go to the TV doctor then I'm gonna get my haircut at the TV barber. We already have self driving cars here in Pittsburgh and I realized that we are slowly becoming those one people from the movie Wall-E that live in the big space ship   After a few frustrating visits, we got to our lesson at Jorge's house and that actually went really well. We taught him about Prophets and about Thomas S. Monson and showed him a video clip of the Prophet speaking. He is starting to develop a stronger testimony of the church, it will just take time. After that lesson we tried doing some Hispanic finding and so we followed our gut//spirit//the clues of hispanics and we ended up finding a Brazilian family haha they spoke Portuguese but they also spoke some English so it all worked out. They said they'd be interested in us stopping by another day though! After that, we went to dinner at Chik-Fil-A with a member named Jill and it was delicious   

Wednesday- On Wednesday we tracked down a million less actives and finally almost finished the list. We just work on less actives during the day because it's hard to actively find investigators and Hispanics between the hours of 12-5. But we actually found a lot of stuff out likes who's moved, who's not interested, who wants us to come back etc. We came to one apartment complex and it was one of those where you can't get passed the 2nd door without someone letting you in. Well we started pressing the intercom button and we didn't think it was working so then Elder Herzog pressed every single one of the buttons and the door unlocked  so we open it and go in and everybody from the first floor is out in the hallway saying stuff like "did you get a ring?" "Someone ring you?" "Yeah me too" I was trying so hard not to bust up laughing, we just quickly boarded the elevator before they could confront us. Then 2 people got off the elevator heading to the front to see who rang them hahaha but we got up to the less active member's apartment and she had just recently had a heart attack and was going to have to move soon and needed help so she was glad to see us! After that, Elder Herzog turned to me and said "after 22 months on your mission, you learn how to get into places like that" He's a wise man. After that we headed to Las Palmas and talked to a younger guy from Guatemala and gave him a Book of Mormon, I could actually see him calling us. Then we went to Days for Girls to do some service and I learned a new skill on the Sewing Machine   then we went to the Dushku's for dinner and brother Dushku made the best chicken wings I've ever had   they were so dang good. I love going over there. After that, we went to this street over on Southside that we knew had some new Hispanic families. We came to the doorstep of this first one and this middle aged Guatemalan man was sitting there with several beers and he tried talking to us but I couldn't make any sense out of the words he was saying in English or Spanish, he was so far gone. Then he started bawling and we couldn't really figure out why, then he told me to give him my book, which was a Book of Mormon so I did. He had to have been on some heavy drugs too or something, it was clear that something wasn't right because he actually looked like a fairly put together guy, it was sad to see. I didn't feel super safe so we left and went to a different house and this Hispanic lady answered and quickly grabbed her kid and told her to talk to us and the kid was like "sorry my mom doesn't speak English." So then I looked at the mom and said "Por eso hablamos español." She smiled and let us right in haha she actually has a nice house and like 3 kids. We shared a little bit about the Restoration and then asked if we could come back later in the week when it wasn't so late and she gladly agreed.   she seemed super cool though, I'm excited to go back! 
Thursday- On Thursday we went for a super nice run over sunrise and then we went to District Meeting. It was pretty good. Then afterwards we exchanged and it was my turn to go to Swissvale(a different part of Pittsburgh) and Elder Herzog led out the Southside area. Swissvale is a walk area so I was back walking and taking buses again haha. We started by heading over to an appointment with an investigator that we had in a members home and it went really well. The investigator was actually at Dorothy's Baptism and she is set to be baptized the first week of July. After that lesson, we went with a different member and saw a few less actives and helped him see his home teaching families. Then we went to dinner at the Ford's house and it was delicious, they are super good people they just have crazy kids   I had to do the spiritual thought and it's always a rough time getting the kids attention and keeping them focused but I feel like I did alright. After that lesson we took some buses over to a different neighborhood and tracted out some people there and then we started walking home. But then we got caught in the worst rain storm ever, I actually had my umbrella because I figured it might rain but this was nuts. We got absolutely soaked from head to toe. The Swissvale Elders live at the very top of this super steep long hill and it just destroyed us, we may as well have jumped in a pool  I was trying my best to stay positive but it was just all around bad lol. I was most bugged because I was wearing the pants I had just gotten back from the dry cleaning the day before  so they were looking all nice with a crease and stuff but by the end of the night they looked like soaking wet soccer sweats. The Elder I was with still has some greenie fire and he just kept saying stuff like "Man I love this, isn't this awesome?!" "As a kid I used to dream about days on the mission like this, this is so much fun." It sounds sarcastic but he was dead serious.  I was just like "shut up?" Hahaha... nah I didn't say that, maybe something more along the lines of "yeah man this is some excellent precipitation we are receiving." I mean props to the kid for being positive, but I didn't want to hear it in that moment. 
Friday- On Friday by some miracle my clothes dried so we took the bus over to the church and exchanged back. Then we had a lesson with Kayla, our investigator, and Brother Stoddard  came with us and it went good! She had some good questions about the priesthood and stuff, you can call that she has a real desire to learn. After that lesson, Brother Stoddard came with us over to Dorothy's house and we got her family history names all ready for when she goes to the temple to do Baptisms! After that lesson it started pouring rain and we had weekly planning to do but Elder Herzog was craving pizza so clearly we had to go buy some pizza before starting. So then we weekly planned and it took 10 years because we have been going through all these less actives that haven't been contacted by anybody in at least the last 3 years. We are fulfilling Moroni 6:4. We have found new investigators while doing it though so it's been good. After weekly planning, we tried a couple people but they weren't home and then we headed to dinner at the Salem Market middle eastern grill place because Brother Ramon Mendoza took us out again. I have like 3 homies that work at the Restaurant so I got a bunch of samples but then I just ordered the same Philly Cheesesteak that I always get because it's so dang good. This time I didn't leave my iPad on top of the car though  After dinner we went to ESL class and it was super fun! We started talking to Oscar again, one of the students, and he asked if we could come over and teach him this week! We have tried inviting him to learn more before but he just kind of brushed it off but he's been attending ESL class every week and now we say prayers and stuff at ESL and now he wants to learn! Then after the class, the Reyes were talking to us and they said that their boss(the one we talked to at their party on Monday) told them that he really liked what we said and that he'd like to learn more and have us over! She said she was impressed because he's a pretty firm guy but I guess he was softened by our answers. After ESL, we went to go try some Hispanic houses near the church. It was a beautiful evening and I saw some more fireflies. The sunset was like a cotton candy color and the weather was perfect. We knocked a couple doors and found some places to come back too. We talked to one lady from Vietnam but she spoke like 0 English so it was super funny, Asian people that AREN'T from China, Japan or Korea are super interesting and usually open to talk despite the fact that they don't know the language haha I love them. 
Saturday- On Saturday we played basketball then we went to our coordination meeting at Brother Dushku's house. We had a good meeting with him. Then we headed back home for lunch and studies. After that we went over to this one street to tract it out. The week before we were talking to this lady on the street and she wasn't really interested but we asked her for referrals or if she knew anyone that could use our message and she recommended the whole Street of Concordia  so we took that quite literally and knocked every door on the street. It was a really hot day but it was actually pretty fun though. We talked to a few people but no one was really interested until we came to a house full of Hispanics drinking. We started talking to them and they seemed to like us, after a while they invited us to come back next week and share a little bit more when they aren't drinking and that sounded good to us. Then we came to another house with another Nepalese family! We have found sooo many people from Nepal lately, it's insane. And one of the Nepalese guys we talked to invited us to go play soccer with them this next week  anyways, the mom of this family from Nepal let us right in her house even though she hardly spoke any English. She had 4 young daughters and they were all over us hahah asking who we were and stuff. And these girls, along with all the other Nepalese girls we had met under the age of 16, were absolutely beautiful. They all have huge dark brown eyes and wavy dark brown hair and olive skin. The daughters spoke some English so were able to communicate a little bit, we showed them a video of Jesus Christ and they liked it and we gave them some Jesus pass along cards as well. I wish I spoke their language so much, they seem like such humble people and they are Christian. The mom said we could come back and share more with them next Saturday so we are going to Study up on our Nepalese and see what materials we can get our hands on. After that, we went over to the Stoddard's for dinner and it was a wonderful meal because they are the most holy people ever. So I didn't know this, but Brother Stoddard(before he retired) was the Economic Events Planner for the city of Pittsburgh for 20 years during its rebuilding phase. Brother Stoddard rebuilt Pittsburgh of course he's humble about it, but he totally did. He even wrote a book called Transformation( by Evan Stoddard) so you guys should read it. It's probably pretty boring but still. After dinner, Brother Stoddard teamed up with us for an appointment we were supposed to have with the Hispanic family but they weren't home so we knocked another door with a hispanic family that we had known about and they answered and we set up a time to go back the next day! Then we went to a less actives house with him but the less active had moved and her daughter lived there with her family. The daughter answered the door and luckily Brother Stoddard knew the family of the mother really well so he was able to connect with this lady. She wasn't raised in the church though so she wasn't a member but she says that she wants to start learning! She says she's ready for a change and wants us to start coming over. She met with missionaries when she was really young but never joined, but her father was a member so she says that she says she knows it's something important cause she had a lot of respect for her father before he passed. So we are going to start teaching her starting next week! After that we tried a couple more people and found ANOTHER couple from Nepal and talked to them for a sec but then we headed home cause it was already late. In other news, Dorothy went with the Ward to the Temple in Washington D.C. on Saturday and did baptisms for the dead!! She took 4 family names that us and Brother Stoddard helped her find! She had a super good experience, I was so happy for her. 
Sunday- Father's Day!! Sunday was good! So we went to church and had our Sacrament. We were in the Spanish group but Dorothy shared her testimony and her temple experience during Sacrament Meeting in the English Ward. For third hour, there was confusion as to where everyone was supposed to go with it being Father's Day so Elder's Quorum didn't have any lessons prepared so everyone was just sitting around. But the Spanish Elders all got together in one of the empty relief society rooms and at first we were just messing around but then we had a mini testimony meeting and it was so cool. The Hispanic men in the group are such studs. We all shared our testimonies about the priesthood and church and the spirit was there. Then Jorge, our investigator who was at church, shared his testimony too about how he's recently felt a change of heart and wants to be better. I was super proud of our Spanish members. After that, we had a linger longer with the Ward for Father's Day and that was fun! It was good for our investigators. Then get this... so there is a Cafe Rio in Washington D.C. close to the temple and this member from the Young Single Adult Ward named Jill who is our homie for life went to the temple the day before and stopped by Cafe Rio on the way home and got us pork burritos and put them in the fridge at the church for us!!!! Oh my heck I was so dang excited. But we had to finish doing missionary work first before dinner. After the linger longer, we went to a hospital to give this lady with cancer a blessing. It was sad because she could barely talk but right after the blessing she said, "I feel no pain.." The priesthood is crazy, like to you it just feels like any other blessing, but to them, it's making all the difference in the world. After the blessing we went to some Hispanic families house and the dad was out front gardening and at first he just acted like he didn't want to talk to us or anything but after a little bit of talking to him, he opened up and we were able to share a little bit of the Restoration with him and his family. Then we got their contact info so that we can go back! After that we went to a new Hispanic house and this guy named Alfredo answered the door and told us that he goes to another church but I was super sly with him   so we taught him the Restoration and had him read the first vision out loud and by the end of our visit he seemed genuinely interested in us coming back! So we got his contact info too✔️ then on our way home, we stopped by a less actives house and the lady was actually home and said that we could come by next week. Then I got to come home and eat my Cafe Rio burrito and it was so dang good     I cherished every bite, I could only eat like half the burrito though because those things are so dang big haha I had forgotten but it's okay cause I have more for tomorrow   it's crazy that Cafe Rio after a 3 hour car ride, 20 hours in the fridge, warmed up in the oven and microwave.. can STILL taste better than every single Mexican restaurant that I've been too on my mission haha. It was a good night though. Well that was my week, we have been on the prowl  but our work has payed off. Thank you for your emails this week  I will respond to them today! This week we get transfer boards so don't send anything in the mail! I hope I get to stay here another transfer but who knows  I love and miss you guys!!

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