Monday, July 10, 2017

July 10, 2017 - Fireworks in Pittsburgh

This week went so dang fast... Okay here's my week!

Monday- Monday was pretty good, we took some other Elders to the waterfront shopping center during the day because one of them needed clothes or shoes or something and he said he would buy me Chik-Fil-A if we took them so we did and it was fun and I got my Chik-Fil-A after that we went back to the church and just messed around outside for awhile because it was super nice and sunny. Then we got some things ready for the 4th of July the next day and then we headed to dinner at the Seppi's house and that was good. After dinner, we went to try some people and invite them to our party the next day and then we went to ESL class and then we headed home.

Tuesday- 4th of July!! 🇺🇸 we started the day with a nice run in the morning and then we had our studies and went and saw Dorothy in the afternoon and had a good visit with her. It was a super warm clear day all day long so that was nice ️ We weren't sure how to best spend our time in the mid afternoon because almost everyone was BBQing, swimming or with family and friends somewhere else. If we had gone tracting we would have just been asking to get cussed out haha cause we get cussed out even when it's not the 4th of July🤷‍♀️ We decided to make cookies and take them to less-actives in the area and a couple of our neighbors. I actually made cereal candy and took that to some people as well because Dad gave me the recipe. We only had Honey Chex in the apartment but it still tasted good After taking goodies to people, we went to the church to get ready for the Spanish party! The party was a ton of fun!! We had Chilean hot dogs and carne asada tacos and corn on the cob and salsa picante and s'mores etc. The food was super random because that what happens when you mix Hispanics with an American holiday but it was a really good time. We also hit Piñatas and did some small fireworks. We had 5 investigators there too! After the Spanish party, we hurried over to the Dushku's for a little bit because they were having a party too so we said hi to them and tried some of their food and then headed back to our apartment. Little did we know(we should've) that Mt. Washington(where we live) would be absolutely slam packed for the firework show. The grocery stores next to our house were charging people $20 to park in their parking lots! It was insane. Our street was slammed but luckily we pulled up right as one guy was leaving our street because his kid was scared of the fireworks or something haha so we got a spot. They launch the fireworks off boats in the river right in front of the downtown area so the view is pretty impressive from our neighborhood. We could see most of the firework show from our porch so it all worked out, we weren't going to try and go up on Grandview where are all the people were at. Only downside to this night was that when we got home the power was out for our entire street the AC was off until like 3 AM so it was kinda hot that night but what can ya do.

Wednesday- Wednesday was actually a super good day! It was pretty much just Zone Conference. We had a normal morning but then we headed over to the chapel for our first actual "Meet & Greet" with President and Sister Bednar. It was so dang good. President Bednar is hilarious and he's a ridiculously powerful speaker. His sense of humor is the exact same as Michael Keaton from the movie Mr. Mom I kept laughing to myself because of how similar it was. Anyways, they gave a couple trainings and told us about themselves and we had a Q&A and it was all really good. I actually felt motivated leaving there. After the conference, we had to take some Elder's without cars to their appointments and apartments and by that time it was time for dinner. For dinner, we had a Gospel Principles class party at the Dushku's house. So the teachers and the students who attend, including Dorothy and other recent converts, were all there! It was a fun time!

Thursday- On Thursday we all got together and played basketball in the morning then we had District Meeting and it was alrighttt. That afternoon, everything fell through. It started pouring rain and our appointments didn't answer the door and our dinner canceled we were finally able to get in the house of a less active family that we hadn't met before and we shared a spiritual message with them. The dad wasn't a member and he started asking us some questions so I just gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to read it. After that we called another less active lady that we hadn't met before and she said it was raining too hard for us to come over(whatever that means) but she said we could come over for dinner next week so that was good. For dinner we decided to try this Wings place and we ordered it take out but it took forever to get our food. Had we just headed home to eat at that point, I would've felt like a pretty pathetic missionary taking so long for dinner so I felt like we should try and do a little more work before heading back. So we tried a few other less actives and they weren't home but we found ourselves on a small street near our house and we started knocking random doors and we kept saying "alright alright one more door." We were both starving and our wings were getting cold but we are diligent lol. So I ran across the street and knocked another door and a Mexican lady and her family opened the door!! We talked to her for like 20 min, she actually spoke really good English but she was relieved to see that we spoke Spanish haha we gave her a Book of Mormon and stuff and invited her to church and got her contact info so hopefully something comes from that! Then we finally went home and ate our wings and they were delicious.

Friday- On Friday we got a call from Dorothy saying that she was in the hospital. She had passed out on her porch the night before so they took her in. We went and visited her and she looked about as happy as can be, she's going to be fine. We talked with her for awhile and gave her a blessing. Then she handed me a fat wad of cash and said "here, can you please pay my tithing and fast offerings for me? I don't know if I'm going to make it on Sunday." I assured her that I would. She is so faithful haha. After that visit we got some lunch and then we headed over to Raymond's house. He is the recent convert in the Spanish group who's mom just recently moved her with him from Peru. We went with Brother Stoddard to teach him, we are helping him to prepare to receive the Melchizedek priesthood. His mom sat in during the lesson so we were able to teach her about the priesthood in the process. It was a really good lesson but it was kind of long because we were teaching 2 people pretty much. We haven't taught his Mom separately yet because she hasn't expressed a lot of desire to learn to more about the doctrines and things but she goes to church every week and comes to the parties and everything. After that lesson, we went to dinner at the Pinto-Martins house and that was a fun time they're a hilarious couple. We helped him with some service in his backyard right after dinner too Then we headed back over to our side of town and tried some people in the area and then just ended up knocking some doors but no one answered there was a gorgeous sunset that night though.

Saturday- On Saturday we went to a baptismal service early in the morning for the same Elders that we took to the waterfront on Monday. It was a little long but still good! Sometimes the 5-minute speakers on Baptism and the Holy Ghost get a little carried away and give a full sermon but hey🤷‍♀️ might as well. Haha after that we went back home and finished our studies and had lunch and then we went and saw a less active named Bill. This was the first time I had actually gotten the opportunity to sit down and talk to him and he was really cool. He joined the church in Los Angeles when he was 19 because he met the missionaries at the rec center playing basketball. Then he played basketball in college at Iowa University. And then one thing led to another and he ended up in Pittsburgh. He has a super strong testimony though, we just need to get him to church. After that we went to our friend Juans house whom we had met the week before while he was fixing his car. We set up an appointment with him for this coming week. Then we went to the house of one of the Nepalese families and we didn't have a plan going in there but I guess we just tried to follow the spirit haha. They let us in and we sat down in their living room and the whole family came in and sat down with us. I need to remind you guys that this particular family from Nepal are of the Hindu faith and don't believe in Jesus Christ but they invite us in anyways Well they had the TV on and they had YouTube pulled up so Elder Herzog grabbed the controller and searched Meet the Mormons because one of the featured Mormons is from Nepal. Luckily the full movie is on YouTube so we skipped to the part about the guy from Nepal and watched his whole section and the family loved it! In certain parts of the movie they would say stuff like "I've been there!" Or "I used to do that!" And the mom liked it too but she speaks 0 English so we had one of her daughters translate for us. The movie has some people speaking Nepalí in it though. Showing them that movie was 110% inspired haha hopefully it planted a seed for something in the future. After that visit, we went to McDonalds to get wifi so that we could download Meet the Mormons on our iPads for our future visits with the Nepalese people because it worked out so well. While at McDonald's, this one guy started a fight with the workers because they were taking too long to bring his food out. It was exciting to watch but honestly pretty piteous lol sometimes I'm embarrassed to be a human. I'm gonna miss the Pittsburgh hood one day though. After that we rushed over to the other family's house from Nepal that we had met but the parents weren't home. We set up a return appointment through their kids so hopefully it goes through haha. Then we headed over to dinner at the Cárdenas house. It was a delicious meal, sister Cardenas and another lady from the Spanish group were there and earlier that day, they had taken some adventure through all of Pittsburgh and they were so excited to tell us all about it haha. Halfway through dinner, sister Cardenas got a call from her husband and he had locked his keys in his car so we went and took him the spare key because Sister Cardenas doesn't drive but it was super funny because we weren't sure exactly where he was at until we saw a beat up car in the middle of a busy street with its hazardous on and a 60 year old Ecuadorian man standing next to it we were just like "yup that's our guy" he locked his keys in his car while trying to run a letter up to the mailbox in traffic haha. Anyways, after that, we finished dinner and then tried a couple people in the area and invited them to church and then we headed home.

Sunday- Sunday was a beautiful day which kinda made me mad because it seems like every Sunday here the weather is perfect and those are the days that we sit inside all afternoon Church was pretty normal though, nothing special or crazy. The Spanish group is taking a trip to the Hill Cumorah Pageant and then camping overnight Palmyra and then seeing the sacred grove the next day and then driving back. Elder Herzog and I want to go sooo bad but I don't think there's any way in the world we could get permission to go. Jorge, our investigator, might even go too, and our Spanish group leader wants us to go lol. After church, we talked to the Stake President for like an hour, he just came and sat down next to us looking for someone to talk to. You can tell how tiring and strenuous his calling is, it was cool to talk to him. After that we went to a potluck dinner with a couple of the ward families. I just talked to this one guy named Brother Cardiff the entire time about my future and like options occupation wise and stuff. He's super intelligent and charismatic so he's fun to talk to. After the potluck, we went over to Jorge's house and had a lesson with him and it wasn't the most productive lesson but he had some good questions about the Fall and stuff. Then we headed home. Well that's my week! thanks for your emails, I will respond to them throughout the day. I love and miss you guys!!

-Elder Nelson

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