Effective tracting, guard dogs, sentiment and spirit, punching pumpkins, and CURSE YOU BETTY CROCKER!!
It is good to hear from everyone! Sounds like you guys are all holding together well. I just realized that I've been out for four months now. Whaddya know? That's already 1/6th of the mission! Nice to hear that you were able to witness Adam's physical feats of wonder. He's a pretty great guy. I probably should've made it a point to email more of my friends, but I'm afraid that I never got their email addresses or anything, but oh well. Time will come with it! I'll just see if I can get them from Mckay.I forgot to say last time, but because of the colder weather, I have now resorted to P90X3 indoors, so sweats aren't needed now.
But yes, this week we did a lot of tracting the past few days. I'm not going to lie, it's not as bad as I thought it would be, but it certainly is a challenge. I just always thought the concept of knocking on yon stranger’s door and asking them if they'd like to hear about a message about Christ was a little sketchy. That is, until I actually tried it. Statistics still speak truth, out of the many doors we tried, not too many answered positive, albeit the folks were polite! But we actually, believe it or not, found two new investigators this last week while doing it! We felt inspired to try by this one less-active, and after we found he wasn't home, tracted his neighborhood. About 3 doors later, we met the Toscanos family, who eventually let us in and allowed us to teach them the Restoration. It was pretty cool! Felt pretty awkward at first building up to that, but in the end, they'd say they’d read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. Awesome! We also ran into this one lady yesterday who has such a strong faith in Jesus Christ, and told us that she wished more people would have faith themselves. She said that through that faith, she had been healed of asthma, but she still had a leg problem. You can probably guess what we decided to do, and she said she would be more than happy for us to give her a priesthood blessings sometime this week. Double Awesome!
Man, tracting is effective to certain degree! I'd still rather work through members, but I guess the Lord prepares people in the way we need to see them.
And I also had my first run in with a guard dog this week. It wasn't too intimidating, but it was unchained and growling, so I just did a to-the-rear and we decided to come back a different day. There are worse dogs in Yakima though, last week we walked by this one fenced home and there was a family of Rottweilers in the yard, and papa dog was the biggest dog I've ever seen. Funny, when we talked to the neighborhood watchman, Bro. Harold, he told us that he had to whack that one dog with his cane once or twice, and how the animal department wanted to put papa dog down on certain occasions. Don't worry, I have no aspirations for trying a dog's patience.
On a brighter note, I've really been trying to get over my feelings against sentiment. Whenever Elder Beatty and I sit down to discuss what to teach, he likes to speak softly for the spirit to be more present. I'm perfectly fine with that, but if there is one thing Cadet Staff did to all of us, it's to take orders and carry them out, not let emotions get in the way. I've been doing my best, but oh man...I love spirit, but I hate sentiment! Where do I bridge the two?! I do my best to teach with spirit, but I do go a little quickly sometimes, and....argh. I think you can see my dilemma here. I can teach by the spirit, but outside of lessons, sentiment isn't my priority. Could work on that.
But, to cool all that mental conflict off, we destroyed our jack-o-lantern. So we set it on the ridge of the open trash can and each took turns throwing punches into it in the hopes it would snap. It didn't. And eventually I detected just how stupid this probably looked to anyone watching from their homes, so I settled for a Leonidas-like kick to finish it. The only problem is that my heel missed the majority of the kick, and I pretty much just tapped the pumpkin with my soul and kicked the can with my heel. After the pumpkin fell in, we just decided to leave it there. In other fun stories, remember Bob and Priscilla? Well, the last time we saw them, Priscilla gave us each $20. We immediately told her we would not take it, but I knew well enough that she wasn't going to take it back. So to avoid priest-craft, we are going to return the money to her next time we see her. Could you please pray that she isn't offended that we give her the money back? Because she is such a sweet old lady. I don't want to make it seem like we are being rude or anything.
I also took the time to buy some Betty Crocker Bisquick this past week. We have a waffle iron in our home. I'm not too happy about that decision now, because those shortcakes and waffles were probably the best/worst thing I've eaten on the mission so far. They were awesome! But they were so unhealthy! And this past week, we probably were exposed to more advertisement for all new movies than ever before. It's crazy to see how Star Wars is capitalizing on ep. 7. Not to mention the next Hunger Games, the new Bond movie, etc. But don't think I'm losing my focus! I am staying strong! There will be plenty of time for that later on in the future. It's all good.
In terms of needs, we're doing fine. Our iron is being repaired so hopefully we get it back soon enough. But can you send me that picture of staff from the awards banquet in that care package? The one with the whole staff on it? I thought it would be good to have something animate to describe my past life with me. Could you also please send a more-conservative? Elder Beatty has confirmed the one I have doesn't cut it. Other than that, thanks for your emails! It really is such a blessing to be serving the Lord, and I know that this is His work that we are called to do! And man, is it awesome!
Love you all,
P.S. We also helped a guy build his back deck a few days back. Brought back good memories of certain walls and fences that were built.