Monday, June 13, 2016

June 13, 2016

Hey Mom!                                                                                                       June 13, 2016

Smokey is still digging in the garden, eh? Well, certain cats don't change too much. Smokes is kind of in that stage of life where he emulates what appears to be the mindset of an old man mixed with the actions of a cat. He is getting up there, I'll tell you that much. Doesn't seem like too long ago that we brought him and Bandit up from the Woods' place in Alton. 

We had a lot of different things happen to us this past week. Fortunately most of it was good and bearable, but there was the swallow of not-so-good as well. Still, always better to report on the good right? All about attitude (or as we say occasionally out here, "tracttitude")!

For starters, we were on exchanges last week with a certain Elder Krogue, one of the Zone Leaders. We go and contact this referral named Kella, and she actually knew him from Moses Lake a year back. Whaddya know? A few days later we tract into a lady named Brenda in Lake View. Recently I've made it a point to try and simply initiate a general conversation with people just for the sake of friendship. Get talking to her about a lot of things, and although it was just a little bit awkward at first, she eventually opened up! Turns out missionaries have visited with her before way back when, and she recently wanted to train to be a religious teacher as well. In all sincerity, she said we could come back. Yeah!

On Thursday we got to go to Wenatchee for Zone Conference. It...felt nice to travel outside Ephrata for the first time in about a month or so. Wenatchee is a beautiful town. I recommend looking it up on Google Earth or something because you feel like you are stepping into a scene from Sound of Music. Elder Daniel A. Johnson of the Seventy spoke to us, putting a lot of emphasis on our divine nature of literal children of God. It was very insightful, because I feel like we grace over that truth a lot. In reality, we should recognize the Celestial truth of that truth! He knows us down to the last detail, and He loves all of His children equally well! When we accept His Gospel, we feel that love in our lives even more and we can see how we can share that with others too!

It was  a good conference it really was! Bishop Pugh drove us there and afterward he treated us to Sushi, which is always incredibly pleasant!

In other teachings, we are now helping Alva along with Tandra to quit smoking. Interestingly enough, missionaries use a 15-step program that was designed by an RM from Dublin for that. Alva took it really well! Part of the teaching process for that one is having them crush their current stash of smokes, which Alva did gladly! Tandra did as well, but for a comic twist to it asked what we would give up for the week that the program lasts for. After some awkward thought, out of the blue Elder Painter said sugar. I was more than happy to try to cut back. Elder Painter struggles with it a little more. He accidentally bought some blue lemonade the next day and had to stick it in the fridge after I reminded him. It felt pretty good doing that.

On a more slightly comic note, we tracted into this one gal named Brittney. First thing that came to mind when she answered the door was the all-to-evident smell of weed coming from inside. That,  along with the presence of about five cats (one of whom was a Russian grey named Smokey). Talked to her anyway, and we actually had a lot in common in terms of video games. Once again, simply be yourself in your talking! We were even to relate it back to the gospel, and she said she'd be comfortable with learning more about it! We'll see how that one goes.

All in all, it was a pretty good week! Minus a certain youth and his mother who are devout baptists bashing us. But what can you do? I won't complain about them, God has a infinite number of ways he loves us. But it was an outstanding week for the district! With the Lord's help we can make it better. And of course, smiling and whistling goes a long way. Tandra expressed to us one of the reasons we're one of the first pair of elders she actually listened too was because we were simply us when visiting her. And to top the week off, Alva and Bev came to church agian! YAAAYYY!

Anyway, happy Summer vacation! This will the be the 1 1/2 Summer I've spent on the mission. Weather gets hot, but the gospel remains cooler (in a hipster way) than ever before!

Love you all! I'll keep whistling and the spirit will keep directing!

Michael

P.S. if you ever give a talk on Sunday, ask the elders beforehand if they have anyone coming. It helps. A LOT.