Monday, June 19, 2017

May 1st - Tour of Heinz Field!

Hey Guys!! I had a good week here! 

Monday- Monday was super good! We got our shopping done super quick and then we headed over to Heinz Field for our tour!   It was so cool! The missionaries who actually serve in the city of Pittsburgh all went so we had like 10 Elders there. It was super fun though, our tour guide was cool and she answered all of our questions and everything and she really liked us  The tour took us through the Box Suites, Press Box, Conference Rooms, Locker Rooms, Stands, On the Field etc. I sent a bunch of pics home of it too. They wouldn't let us take videos haha at the beginning they were going over the rules and the main guy was like "you can take as many pictures as you want but we ask that you please don't take any videos, there's too much Bill Bellchik type of crap going on these days." (coach of the Patriots who got caught cheating) Haha so we couldn't take videos but I still got some good pictures! Our tour guide loved us and she was pretty funny too. But we would ask her questions like "So how long did it take to rebuild the stadium after Bane blew it up?"   After the tour we went to this mall plaza called the Waterfront because one of the other Elders needed to fix his tablet. It was pretty cool, they had Costco and Chick-Fil-A there. Elder Condie and I went to Chick-Fil-A but the other Elders wanted Costco food court food because it reminds them all of home lol. It's a mission thing. Then we hung out there for awhile and went to the other stores around the plaza and then we went back to the church and messed around for a little while and then we went to dinner at the Reyes house  It was good as always and they had some friends over so we were able to share a spiritual thought with their friends who aren't members which was super good. Then we went over to ESL class. It was Elder Condie's turn for a split so we dropped him off there and went to go teach another lesson to a less active. Before we left we got to meet a new ESL student who showed up named Marcario! He is super cool and said he'd be interested in us coming by this next weekend ✔️ New Investigator. So after meeting him we left and went to that lesson with this less active whom we'd never met. I just called him on the phone and he said sure come on by. So we went and this guy is super sweet! His name is Scott and his dad was the one who originally started the Spanish Group here in Pittsburgh. But he welcomed us in his house and he had a plate of cookies for us too. We had a really good conversation with him. The only reason he's less active is because he's a full time flight attendant for Delta so he works alllll the time. But he said he'd be at the church the next time he can and he offered to team up with us to go teach Spanish people! So it was a good visit then we met Elder Condie back at the apartment.  

Tuesday- On Tuesday we got ready for the day and stuff and then we went out to lunch because we had been wanting to go to this restaurant called Burgatory for like 2 months and we found time to go. We went for lunch because there was a Pirates game that night and we didn't want to fight the traffic and parking because that's a nightmare. But it was super good  I created my own burger and it was so good and then we got milkshakes too because they are famous for their milkshakes. Elder Halls and I split one and after that meal I was the most full I've been in so long haha I didn't eat one thing the rest of the day. After lunch we went to Petes house and had a little lesson with him and it went really well. He got really excited about missionary work and said that he was going to find us some referrals  Then we headed over to Belle's house who is another less active and we had a super good lesson with her. We read her some parts from Elder Holland's talk in General Conference and she loved it. Then we went over to Dorothy's house to teach her. And that went well too! We went over the baptismal interview questions with her and taught her the last 2 commandments of the lessons. All she has to do now is drop the cigarettes for good! She's close though and she is determined to be completely quit by May. After that lesson we headed over to Janet's house to teach Jorge there. The lesson went really good! We taught him the Word of Wisdom and he already lives all of it  he had some hard questions about the Holy Ghost and how it dwells within is and they were pretty hard to answer and it was even harder to answer in Spanish but I think we did pretty good haha. After the lesson we tried one more person but we had the wrong address and that was our day but Tuesday was good! We didn't even take time for dinner because we were still full from Burgatory  

Wednesday- Wednesday was dang good!! We woke up and had studies and stuff and then we went to go pay Dorothy a visit because we are trying to have daily contact with her. It was a really good visit though and she is so determined to quit her cigarettes, I'm proud. We showed her an ARP video and it really helped her. After that we contacted a couple more less actives and then we went to a park to do language study because it was beautiful outside. On our way there, we saw Don outside walking his dog so we stopped and talked to him and he told us to come over later that night! Then we headed to Days for Girls to do service. That's always a good time, I'm always able to strike up a conversation about religion with her because she's a Presbyterian Pastor. I just ask her questions about the Bible and stuff because Pastors know everything about the Bible. After Days for Girls we were supposed to go to a lesson with Erika but she canceled on us so we just went home and grabbed some dinner. Then we headed over to our lesson with Don. The lesson went amazing!! He loved church on Sunday and he already finished the first book of Nephi and said that he can see us "glow" when we talk. He said that he knows he is heading down the right path so we extended a Baptism date for the 20th of May and he accepted! He is so prepared, we are excited about him. When we left his house I was dying laughing because of how ghetto of an area we were in   We walk out and there is some song by Kanye just blaring in the streets and there are like 9 black guys just walking in the the road without shirts and there were two other guys just chillin on the roof of their house with their pitbull and there was another circle of black guys farther down the street fighting lol it was Pittsburgh in a picture. After that lesson we decided to go to this house of a Hispanic referral and we found another gold mine!! We walk in and there are 12 hispanics all different ages and from all different countries just hanging out and there was one mom from Columbia and she was the coolest lady ever! They invited us in and all 12 of them crowded around us in the living room while we shared the Prince of Peace video and then they all listened and payed attention and we talked about religion and their situation and we joked around and it was awesome. It was every missionaries dream. And they had the most pure Spanish I've ever heard   I love talking to Columbians. Then at the end, Elder Condie had a couple Book of Mormons and he handed one to one of the teenage daughters and then everybody in the room was like "¡yo quiero uno!" Haha so we are going back for sure  

Thursday- Thursday was pretty good, we went for a run over Grand View and it was a beautiful morning. We had District Meeting later in the day and that was alright, then we did some snooping around the church to see if we could find Baptism clothes for Dorothy. Then we went to our lesson with Nicky and shared parts of Jefferey R. Holland's talk in last General Conference. That talk has had a really big impact on less actives, they all love it. Then we talked about coming back and doing a family home evening with her and kids that she watches and she got super excited so we are gonna do that. After our lesson Nicky, we went to our lesson with Erika and that went pretty good too. She opened up a lot about what keeps her from progressing and coming to church and her situation at home and stuff. So we have a better understanding as to how we can help her for sure. After that we went to the Dushku's for correlation//Dinner and it was delicious  Brother Dushku made lasagna and it was sooo good. After dinner we split up, Elder Halls went with Brother and Sister Dushku to go teach Dorthy and Elder Condie and I went to go do some Hispanic finding. We went to 4 different houses of investigators and made contact with 3 of them to come back and gave out 2 Book of Mormons! Then I started talking to this one Hispanic guy on the street and gave him a Book of mormonn and Restoration pamphlet and stuff and we actually talked for like 15 minutes or so. Hopefully he reads the Book and we can go talk to him about it. Then we met back up with Elder Halls and the Dushku's and went home. 

Friday- Friday was kind of boing.. we saw Dorothy in the morning and she had no more cigarettes! She was all out and she said she wasn't buying anymore  So we are praying for her. But we shared a couple scriptures with her real quick and then we went to try and contact a couple more people without much luck. Then we came back to the apartment and did weekly planning. We sat on our back porch because it was super nice out and then our neighbor came outside and we talked to her for like an hour  it was good though! Then we headed to do some service for the Bellistons and then they fed us dinner   After that, we headed to ESL class and it was my turn to go so Elder Halls and Elder Condie went and tried some other people in the area. But we had 2 new students at ESL named Marcario and Oscar! After the class I gave them a tour of the chapel and Oscar knew about everything! I showed him the painting of the first vision and he knew what it was! I asked him how he knew so much and he said he reads a lot haha but we are hoping to teach him more in the future! And that's why we have ESL class  then we headed home after that. 

Saturday- On Saturday we went and played basketball in the morning and then we had exchanges. So this other Elder named Elder Heywood came here to Southside with Elder Condie and I. We went and helped someone in the ward move in the morning and then we headed back to the apartment to get ready for our lesson with Don. The lesson went super well!! You could see the spirit working through Don as we taught him. Then he referred us to his neighbor! His neighbor wasn't home but we were started talking to a different guy on the street and gave him a BOM and a couple pamphlets and he said he was interested so we'll see  Then we headed over to Dorothy's and she was so happy to see us because she had gone more than 48 hours without smoking!!    I am so dang proud of her. From 25 cigarettes a day to 0! After seeing Dorothy we headed to Dinner at the Cárdenas house and it was delicious as usual. We shared a good spiritual thought with her and then we went and did FHE with Nicky and her kids! We had kind of planned it out earlier in the day but for the most part I was making it up as we went along and it was perfect!!   I made up a demonstration and the kids understood that they are children of God and that he loves them and we taught them how to pray and gave them treats and now they love us. Nicky said thank you a million times haha it was good to hear the positive feedback. Then we went and tried to see a part member family but they didn't want anything to do with us🤷‍♀️ 

Sunday- Sunday was a good day!! It was fast Sunday here because we have Stake Conference next week. We woke up and had studies and stuff and then sent about 45 minutes calling and texting people desperately trying to get them to church haha. Then we stopped at Dorothy's house on the way to church and she was all set to come! And 3 days without smoking! We had Ward Council and it was good, there are 13 families or couples moving out of the ward this summer because they are all students at Pitt, Carnegie Melon, or Dusquane who are graduating and moving on  so there's a lot of people who have checked out lol. After Ward Council we had Church and we got 4 investigators there!! Dorothy came, Don and his wife came and this other new investigator we have named Holly came! It was sweet. I attended the Spanish branch for the first 2 hours to help them out and then it was a 5th Sunday so everyone was combined for a meeting. They did this ARP presentation (Addiction Recovery Program) and the guy giving the presentation was kind of out spoken and he wrote on the board "What is an addict?" And then people starting giving all these cliche answers like "dangerous, uncontrollable, unaware etc." And then we have investigators there like Dorothy who has quit smoking just 3 days earlier and Don who has obviously had some problems earlier in his life. It was super uncomfortable and I was just pulling my hair out sitting there. If I were an investigator and I were attending church that day, my first thought would not have been "oh clearly this is the true church!" So I was kind of bugged by that meeting. Luckily, he didn't seem to phase Dorothy at all and maybe it even helped her a little bit. Don, on the other hand, thought it was a little strange and I assured him that wasn't a normal meeting but his wife really liked it I guess haha. After church we talked to some more people and then we headed home to eat. When we got home, we received a call from Don and he said "So it was recommended to me at church today that I read 3 Nephi 11, well I just read it and yup.... its true... that's my answer and I'm all set to be baptized on May 20th"   okay well maybe the church is true but I had every right to be scared after that last meeting. But that's so sick huh!? And his wife wants to be baptized too! In fact, she came up to me and she was like "I just got back surgery so it's kind of hard for me to do the dunking motion when I get baptized" It threw me off because we haven't even taught her yet but she's coming to church and is planning on being baptized  After eating some dinner, we headed to the Columbian Gold Mine House again! We had an awesome lesson with them! 4 of them were the same people as last time so they are new investigators✔️ and then another 2 sat in on the lesson! We taught them the Restoration and it made sense to all of them and when we read the first vision with them and Rou(The one that sounds and looks like Shakira) said that she got goose bumps when she read it and had a cool feeling! We explained to her that it was the spirit, it was sweet. The rest of the lesson went great! They are just this bug Colombian family, it's so fun to teach them haha we left them all with Book of Mormons and invited them to read before we come back. After the lesson, we stayed and talked with them for like another 40 minutes just about life and Spanish and stuff lol we were going to go home and do language study but talking to natives is 10x better than reading a textbook  Then we celebrated our success by making chocolate chip muffins and Mac n Cheese  mostly because we were starving again because we had been fasting most of the day. So 5 New Investigators this week!✔️ 4 Investigators at church ✔️ and 3 with a Baptism Date ✔️ 

That was my week! I'll respond to your emails throughout the day and I'm super excited to FaceTime on Mother's Day in less than 2 weeks!!   

I've included some pics of our Heinz Field tour -- it was great!  

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