December 16, 2013

Last week to the best of her memory

Dear Mom,

So I just told Dad I didn't know about Skype, we'll keep thinking it through and get back to you. We're going to Christmas at the Cosman's, the WML, and they said we could skype there, but I don't know how structured anything we do there is going to be. Alternatively, we could skype at the Church and set up a time, but the Church internet is SUPER laggy, so that's not really appealing.

Monday was pretty chill. We taught Val, and her friend Tracy is staying with her, so we picked her up as a new investigator. She's leaving for Newfoundland at the beginning of January, but we'll see what we can do in the meantime. After that, we went knocking, which Sister Jarvis actually enjoyed, so that was a really good start to the week.

We had district meeting on Tuesday, and afterwards we had lunch at the church. Elder Davidson kept asking questions like, "Who would win in a fight, a moose or a grizzly bear? Ironman or batman? Jedi or the X-men?" He, Elder Willoughby and I got really into it. Then we went street contacting and got majorly creeped on, which was really funny and really annoying at the same time. I've been trying to make more of an effort to have Sister Jarvis talk, so we agreed that I'd stop people and she'd then be the one to talk to them. Of course, the first person she street contacts ends up hitting on us. Fortunately, she seemed to think it was funny too, so it didn't turn her off street contacting too badly :) After that, we tried to stop by some potentials, and ended up having a conversation with a less-active member who was basically like, nope, I've been offended, so I'm never coming back, and if you tell me why that's a bad idea, I'm just going to get more offended, so don't try to tell me. It was really sad. I wish people would actually think about "How is this going to affect my happiness in the eternities?" and then act according to that, instead of having things like coffee or being offended be more important to them. Then we had a DA with the Claytons, which was great, and then we went to institute, but it turns out it was cancelled and nobody told us, so that was a bit of a bummer. So instead we went to go visit Sister Atwin, which was a really great visit. She IS looking at it with an eternal perspective, she's just having a hard time anyways, so we really tried to just give her some spiritual strength.

Wednesday was correlation, and then we had a lesson set up with a potential, but we got to the door and she was "sick," so that was frustrating. We tried to go store contacting and stop by some people, and then we had a lesson with Kiera. We taught the 10 commandments with her grandma, and we used little pictures and stuff, which really helped with her retention. But we forgot to figure out how to explain "Thou shalt not commit adultery" to a 9-year-old, so that was a bit of an awkward moment. I finally managed to come up with "When you're married to someone, you don't let yourself go be in love with someone else instead." Haha. Then we tried to go find out about service opportunities, but weren't really successful, and then we had a DA with the Hofmanns. After that, we basically went finding all evening, and other than contacting a referral who wasn't interested, nothing much happened. It was a pretty slow day.

On Thursday we had service at St. Joseph's, which was good. Except it was SOOOO cold on Thursday, so I wore my thermals and my sweaterdress, and then since we were working with old people they had the heat turned up super high, so I was totally baking. After that, Sister Jarvis had a skype interview with President Leavitt at the church, and we ran into a less-active member who was all like, "Hey, I've seen you by my place a couple of times!" because he lives on the same street as Shawna. One of the other members overheard, and called the Bishop, and the Bishop called us like, "You're not supposed to visit him!!!!!" so that was kind of funny. At some point on Wednesday I lost my planner, so I'm having trouble remembering what happened for the rest of the week. I know we taught a lesson to Muzammil on Thursday night. Just before that, we were knocking, and literally the last house we get to, the guy is interested. But we have this lesson in about 2 minutes, so we ask if we can come back later. He was all like, "No, if my wife is home later, she'll put a stop to this, it has to be right now. Just let me put some pants on!" So he runs up stairs, and Sister Jarvis and I had a good laugh because he'd been sitting on a chair painting the door, so she had thought he was a midget, and she was really excited to teach a midget. Hahaha. But he came back and we had a really good conversation with him at the door. He apparently had read a Book of Mormon when he was like 12, and later on he got a cassette from the Church about finding happiness. He asked if he could buy a Book of Mormon, so we gave him one, and explained where it came from and briefly summarized the Restoration. We gave him the address of the church, but he wants the elders to wait a bit before they follow up with him. Then we went to Muzammil's lesson. He started out with, "What is the meaning of baptism?", which was unexpected, and then we started talking about a conversation he had with a friend of his. This friend is Muslim and is getting his PhD in religious studies, and he had a long conversation with Muzammil over the weekend about how Jesus couldn't be our Saviour, etc. It was crazy to see how much the Spirit of God outmatches the learning of the world. He was clearly geared up for some big long discussion, and the Spirit guided me to ask one rhetorical question and his friend's whole argument fell to pieces. It reminded me of the scene in Captain America where all the soldiers are fighting to get to the flag on top of the pole, and then Steve just pulls the pin and the flag falls right at his feet. I think we're getting a lot closer with him.

Friday was weekly planning, which we interrupted to try the hot chocolate stand again with the Elders and sing Christmas carols. I think we got a lot of "soft results" from the Christmas caroling, but nobody wanted the hot chocolate, despite the fact that it was FREEZING, so that was frustrating. Then we probably did some sort of finding activity, I honestly don't remember because my planner is pretty blank, and then we were going to teach Val, but her knee was giving her a lot of pain so she went to the hospital. After the hospital, she ended up calling us and we taught a lesson later in the evening, where we answered some of Tracy's questions and tried to build a rapport that way. We figure that the best thing we can do for Tracy right now is work up to her having an appreciation for the Book of Mormon by the time she leaves, so she'll always have that and hopefully want to seek out the church in Newfoundland. There are some lifestyle things going on that make it the best plan of action for her right now.

Saturday is similarly hazy in my memory. We visited with a less-active member, and then we went over to the east side to try to get in touch with Jackie, who we hadn't seen all week, and do some mall contacting. It was probably -15 or so for the high that day, and the holiday season, so EVERYONE was at the mall. So at first we were like, it's a contacting mecca! But then it was like, just kidding, everyone's stressed out and busy and doesn't want to talk to us. This is the first time I've really realized how stressful Christmas is for a lot of adults, and it kind of feels like it's destroying my childhood. I keep thinking, "This isn't a magical season at all! Everyone's freaking out!" Haha. Then we went to the ward Christmas party. Val and Tracy came, which was great, and then afterwards we went knocking in the cold. 

We got hit with a GIANT snowstorm Sunday morning, so we had about 20 people at church. They decided to only have sacrament meeting, and the snowstorm basically messed up a lot of our plans, so we were like, what are we going to do? So we did 12-week and then had lunch at the church, leaving us the last ones there. We decided to go see a less-active member, so we tried to pull out of the parking lot. Turns out Heavenly Father was like, "If you have nothing to do, I'll give you something to do!" Haha. Our car was totally snowed into the parking lot! The drifts around it were over a foot deep, and we had to get the church shovels and dig ourselves out. It was super windy, so parts of the parking lot were super deep and parts were shallow, so we drove through the shallow parts until the exit to the parking lot. Turned out a snowplow had come along and blocked the exit, so we ended up in snow up to our thighs digging ourselves out. Someone in a truck stopped and helped us, which was really nice. Then we had an adventure driving through the snow all over town! We actually had so much fun. I actually love driving in crazy amounts of snow; it's so much more of a mental challenge. You have to pay attention to where to go really slow so you don't spin out, vs. where to hit the gas so you have enough momentum to punch through snow drifts. And you get to use drifting around corners to actually make the turns, and I really just love it. So we went to visit Sandra, and we helped her detangle her Christmas lights, which apparently was really stressing her out. Then we went pity knocking in the snow and the cold, and people were really nice to us, but nobody let us in. So then we went back to the car and made some calls, trying to find someone to brave the snow to come with us to Muzammil. He ended up cancelling anyways, but in the course of it, we found out that one of the really awesome members, Courtney, who's been a member for maybe two years or so, has been struggling with her testimony, so we made plans to see her after our DA. We showed up to our DA with the Simeons to find out that it was her 50th birthday party. It was a legit Polynesian party, with awesome food and hilarious Asian karaoke. So we stayed for that until it was time to go, and then we went to see Courtney. She feels like the church is true, but she's never really had an experience with the Spirit and for that and other reasons, she doesn't feel like there's a place in it for her. She also feels like she doesn't know any of the doctrine. So we decided that Sister Jarvis and I would re-teach her the missionary lessons, which will be good practice for Sister Jarvis and also helpful for her. We ended up getting out of there pretty late, plus the roads were bad, so we got home late (oops). 

And that's pretty much all for the week.

Sister Olson

We were knocking and I thought this blow-up dog/snowman was super creepy.

Sister Jarvis during the first time we dug the car out of the snow. We thought THIS would be the "look how deep the snow is!" picture. Turns out that was NOTHING.

The second time we had to dig the car out.

It looks like the snow was only up to our knees, but that's just how far down we sunk into it. Once we started digging, it became clear that it was really to our thighs.

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