Monday, May 2, 2016

May 2, 2016

Hey and Hello Dearest Mother!                                                                    May 2, 2016

To answer your question right off the bat, I will be calling a day before mother's day to coordinate a time to skype. It's crazy to think that it's Mother's day already. Feels like yesterday was Christmas the last blessed time I had to talk to you all!  It's funny because on Mother's day the ward is having a potluck at the local pizza joint (who's a member and gives discounts to missionaries), so it'll be a grand ole' day!

This week:
Member power to the max!, Temple trip, a step back to civilization, Sushi and mercantile stores, and another hole of childhood filled! 

To start on a work perspective, we had a lot of members out with us for lessons this week, which is optimal. Matter of fact, we surpassed our goal for MP lessons. And they were all outstanding lessons at that! One sticks out to mind: we were going to go and teach Alva and Bev (the folks who pulled over next to us) when our split fell through. So we had to quickly come up with someone else we could invite in the next hour. So we called up a young man in the ward named Matt Sortomme. He and his twin brother, Mike, just got back from their missions in Canada. Because of this recent homecoming, we knew he would probably understand our plight, and sure enough not 2 sentences into the phone call he already knew why we were calling him. We were able to teach Alva the Plan of Salvation, and it went so perfectly! He's got a sincere desire to change his life around, and dang, it's great being able to do that along with Him!

And that's just to name one! We got to see Elizabeth again. We went with a certain rock-hound in the ward named Bro. Payne. and she told us that even though she can't see very well, she doesn't have to read far in the Book of Mormon to know that it is true. The spirit has an incredible way of bridging the gaps that our physical bodies have. It was a wonderful lesson as well. She's moving to another town-ship in our area and we are maintaining contact with her still!

We also did a church tour with a certain Jason and Eliana Hatmaker. The Sisters found and referred them to us. Church tours are a little different than the campus tours I used to give back in staff, but we make do! It was great, taking some time to ponder in the chapel and feeling the spirit we know that they felt.

And then there was the temple. Oh. Mah. Golly. I felt like I was in Heaven during that. I love sitting in those holy edifices where the Spirit of God is so present, and I love receiving the answers to life's questions there as well. I truly gained a testimony of the divinity of those sacred houses, because we can feel the spirit anywhere, and in a place that is the literal house of the Lord we can even more feel of His presence there.

Yeah, it was an outstanding week in spiritual things. But it was also phenomenal in other ways as well! It's funny because the temple is down in Tri-cities WA. outside the mission. Bishop took us down, and while driving through, it felt real weird because of the availability of everything there. Yakima is our largest city in the mission. So it was kind of a shocker to see other super-stores other than Wal-mart around. Afterward, Bishop took us out to Sushi, and it was divine sushi. A real throw back to the time we spent in HI before I came out.

And to top it all off, on the way back, we stopped at a mercantile store off the freeway where we got some pretty dang good milkshakes. As we walked in I wasn't expecting much, until I saw that the place has an entire open display of all sorts of fine chocolates. It was pretty straight-forward. Wear a glove and put whatever you want into a box. I...guess you could say I was feeling a little giddy at that, so I loaded up a box of chocolate without really thinking about anything else. Safe to say I finally got to fulfill the childhood fantasy of running free through a candy store. That is, until they rang me up, because it was about $24 worth of chocolate I had collected. I used my personal funds. Shoutout to all the guys who bought jerky from me to help me pay for my occasional incompetence. 

But hey, that was good chocolate!

Anyway, that's about my week. I guess I will be vocally reporting on the work this Sunday. Thanks for all you guys did to help prepare me for the awesome/grueling/worth it task of being a missionary. It truly is the greatest thing I have done and probably ever will do! 

Love you!

Michael