Monday, January 4, 2016

January 4, 2016

Hello Mom!

This week:
2K(0)16! having an ice day, playing racquetball, familiar tools and different scenarios, Jessica and Chaplain Wiberg, the threat of taco bell, meeting thugs, and the day the church boilers went out!

First off, Happy belated birthday! It's incredible to think that another year has gone by. 2016?! Who would've known! Mission year!

Those pictures were awesome! I always love it when you guys send pictures in, really helps me feel like we're not separated by a couple states. Even then, if the spirit can span the eternities, then we're practically next door neighbors right?

But, I can definitely relate to the cold/ice of your holiday experience. Yakima has been getting blasted with cold, cold cold weather. Ice in abundance too. One member put it well. In Yakima, the plowing job's on the main roads aren't the greatest, so everyone drives extremely slow and extremely cautious. And still, people get in wrecks. I guess I can't really blame them. Mother Nature's pretty dastardly about that. But anyway, he was saying that everyone just drives over the ice and it packs it down until the road's practically an ice rink. I didn't really take much note of it until Elder Beatty and I were walking the other day and slipping all over on the side roads! No one biffed it, but we did have to jerk/catch our balance. Still, good times!

Last P-day a family in the ward was kind enough to take us to the local rec-center to play racquetball. I'm not going to lie, it's.....fun, I guess. I mean, apart from the fact that the only one getting hit by the ball was me, it was a new sport to kill time. But I was able to do something more up-my-alley when we helped a member break ice off his driveway. Using the tamp-bar doing that brought back memories of cutting out wall trenches in the side of hills, only except for dirt and clay hitting me in the face, it was ice and snow instead.

But man, this week was fantastic for missionary work! We had the extreme blessing of teaching 3 new investigators this week! And we were also able to exceed our goal of other lessons taught. Truly the good Lord has blessed us in this regard. We are doing His work after all. It's incredible to think about just how much He has blessed me in my life with awesome family like you guys! But fun work story for the week; One of our new investigators is named Jessica, she is in her late 30's and has a cousin who's a member. The first lesson we taught with her was super powerful. She told us that she hadn't felt the holy spirit like she did then in years, and when we asked her if she would read the Book of Mormon, she just opened the book, looking into the ceiling, telling us that's how she reads the Bible. And, whaddya know, she opens to Alma 5! Great chapter. So for the next meeting, we brought a member in the ward who in a chaplain in the Army, Brother Wiberg, and he connected perfectly with Jessica! Turns out he is also a counselor too! We began the lesson by reading Alma 5  with her (she hadn't got the chance to yet), and about v. 18 then her son asked us a question about pride. Well, we started to talk about it, and we spent the rest of the lesson just discussing their needs. Chaplain Wiberg did an amazing job connecting how important the Gospel is to them, and he was able to also relate it to Jessica's past religious experiences as well! In the end, Jessica said "I am so glad I opened to Alma 5!" It was awesome, the spirit was so strong! and then we learned that she attended church that Sunday with her cousin in a different ward! 

God is Good! Fun fact about Bro. Wiberg I learned is that he served his mission in Milan. How cool is that! 

That was the pinnacle of the week. The rest of the week was spent going about our business. I learned that you could buy Cruchwraps at Taco Bell for only $1.08, so we are staying away from that place for the sake of health. Along the lines of street contacting some people, we ran into a couple of thug-like folks walking down the street, in an attempt to street contact them, they just kept walking one went off on a prepared speech on why he doesn't need Jesus. Sad, but I thought that was pretty funny. Good ole' Yakima!

And on a chronologically final note, the boilers at the church broke down Saturday night. So we arrive at church Sunday morning for ward council, and it's 48 Fahrenheit in the chapel. So bishop Oplinger reversed the schedule and we had Priesthood first, and when the boilers showed no signs of fixing, we just decided to bless and pass the sacrament during second hour when everyone's in either one room or the other. Goes to show how helpful the intercom system is. Still, despite cutting church an hour short, we still managed to make do. And we taught a lesson to the kids we have on-date afterwards. Awesome!

Yeah, that was the week pretty much. I would argue the best week of the mission so far. I can already tell 2016 is going to be an amazing year! We just need to make it that! I love to hear from all of you guys back home, and I know that this is the Lord's work we are involved in. Stay tenacious, and He will bless us beyond any of our reason. Love you all and remember to thank God for all that He has blessed you with, no matter how great or small it is!

Love you!


Michael