|Serving in the...um...um...Wine Capital of Canada.|
|It snowed. And it's COOOOLD!|
|Freezing wind! We can't feel our faces...unable to speak!|
|Getting used to seeing these, sort of. |
Look closely at the sign on the gate.
|Our Kinder Egg Christmas Tree.|
|The Kinder Egg Tree, seen in its full glory. ;-)|
|Exchanges with Sister Peterson.|
So…I guess you're wondering why this [ West Side Story ] is the title...well...we've been fighting with the Jdubbs (Jehovah’s Witnesses). We have snapping battles. [ Editor: Think Jets and Sharks. ] They are EVERYWHERE! Every porch we go to has a 'Watchtower' pamphlet. People always get us confused with them. They ask us things like "do you know Charlotte?" Umm...NO. We are MORMONS NOT J.DUBBS! We love JESUS! Geesh...why can't anyone get it right? We will also go finding [ Editor: We think this means 'tracting' ] and run into some Jdubbs. They just argue with us. We've also found some other different religions...something called "two-by-two", and a guy said he just "talks to Mr. Needleman"? Whoever that is I don't even know. At least they're happy, right?
We had exchanges on Friday! Sister P (the district leader) came down to Oliver for the day and we found three new investigators! We also had a lesson with an older grumpy lady. Sister P is softspoken, so the lady couldn't hear her very well. The lesson was super spiritual until Sister P said something and the lady was, like "Whaaaat? Whaat did you say?" So Sister P repeated herself and the same thing happened. I was getting annoyed so I just yelled what Sister P was saying "WE ARE TEACHING THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST!" Ya. Not my best missionary moment, but at least she heard me. Also, apparently I had a large black spider in my hair, and Sister P waited until it had crawled to the top of my head before she said something. Yeah, not okay. So she jumped up and smacked me on the head and it fell on the ground and I squished it with my rain boots. It's safe to say the Spirit was not there. Oh well. We still invited her to be baptized and she said no, very rudely. Whatever. God still loves her though. Exchanges made me really miss Sister Larsen. We are so tight. I don't know what I’ll do when we have to split up.
We stole the Pokémon motto and applied it to investigators: "Gotta catch’em all!" So basically we chase people. Sister Larsen and I have also started collecting Winnie the Pooh Kinder Egg Surprises. They hang on our small Christmas tree. We have the same motto for them as well. I get like 4 kinder eggs every p-day, so I’m obsessed. Sister Larsen thinks I’m psycho but I really need to have the whole collection. Yesterday was FREEZING. We tracted for an hour in an icy windstorm. It was miserable. Somehow we ended up on this super weird street where all the addresses were on the houses' back doors. So, being the creeps we are, we knocked on people's back doors and tried to talk about the gospel. It wasn't going well. The wind was so icy that the candy in our pockets (we need it so we can survive the rejection) froze, along with our faces. We were trying to talk to people but our faces were numb so our speech was impaired. We looked like idiots. People kept asking why we were out there and I replied "Everybody needs Christ, even when it's cold." Not my best answer, but it got the point across.
We've also been teaching a couple of families recently. I'm not very good at explaining things to children, for example, I showed them the front of The Restoration pamphlet, which has a picture of Jesus holding a lamb. I asked what this picture is about and every child said "It's a man with a puppy!!" Umm no, close but try again. "A kitty?", they asked. NO. It took a while but we finally established that it was a nice man holding a baby sheep. Close enough.
One of our investigators has a baptism date but still hasn't come to church. Sister Larsen and I are super bummed because we know he's so close! We mostly work with less-actives and help them with some of the struggles they're facing. We are really close with Sister B, and she quit smoking about 5 days ago! We are SO proud. She texted us everyday and kept us updated. We just love her.
On a spiritual note, Heavenly Father has blessed me with a desire to read the Book of Mormon. I know, this sounds weird. You'd think that because I'm a on a mission that I'd want to read it all the time. Well, that wasn't the case until recently. Now I’m addicted. I'm so grateful that Carly Cook (a true holmie) gave me this Book of Mormon Map/Study Guide thing. I feel like a huge nerd sitting there looking at it, but it helps a ton! So thanks Hot Carl! Much appreciated! I know I’ll probably get judged for saying this, but I just figured out that Ether [ Editor: In the Book of Mormon ] is a boy. Stop judging me. I somehow didn't make the connection and now I feel dumb. Oh well. As Sister Larsen said (while laughing) "At least you figured it out at the beginning of your mission!" I guess that's true. She is awesome! Like no joke.
Go check out her blog: sunshinesmilesandserendipity.blogspot.com!! If I forget to tell you something, it will be on her blog! Also, go watch these phenomenal Mormon messages on Youtube's Mormon Channel: ‘The Currant Bush’, AND ‘Good Things to Come’. They will melt your heart.
I've taken on a new mission motto: 2 Timothy 4:7. Read it and you'll see.
Thank you for all the support, I mean it! I love this gospel and teaching Heavenly Father's children. It truly is a privilege to be out here. I would highly recommend serving a mission. It's the best decision I've ever made. Love you all.