Monday, August 8, 2016

Funny story of the week: Sister Nield and I were coming out of a gas station when we said "Hi" to a man filling up his truck. He was smiling big and was moving his head to see us. We took that as he might be interested in what we had to say so we got a pass-a-long card to go give him. While talking to him he told us a factoid that there are 3,000 known Gods that people around the world believe in. We told him that we believe in one God but he said that he believes and prays to all of them. Afterwards Sister Nield went to shake his hand and he kissed her hand saying he was old fashioned. We cracked up laughing in the car from the sheer awkwardness of it all as we were leaving. I find that there are many awkward situations we are put in.

One of the less-active members we were scheduled to have dinner with forgot that they needed to go to a wedding reception so she invited us to eat there. Not that I don't love weddings but it is very awkward being at a wedding reception as a missionary. We aren't supposed to think about relationships or any romantic feelings towards the other gender because we are supposed to be focused on the Lord's work. And now we are attending a wedding celebration which is centered on romantic love. They both served missions as well which was cool.

We have the opportunity to do a lot of service. A way we found that makes it easier for us to talk to complete strangers is offer to help them with whatever they are doing. We met a nice family already members of the Church just from another Ward because we offered service.  We had a great experience with a lady I've struggled with when her special needs son said the prayer. The spirit filled the room as she was explaining the nature of her son and her realization of him picking up words from the Church/gospel that she hasn't even said around him. One of my favorite quotes is from President Boyd K. Packer, "True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior." This rang true with her son. He is behaving better and, while he may not understand it all, he has the Spirit teaching him things that maybe we can't.  We had an investigator ask us some questions that I have never thought about before. We talked to the Bishop of this Ward and after receiving so much spiritual enlightenment I realize that I have more energy.  More energy to go out and teach, walk up the stairs, and go for a run even. I only wish I had this much energy in the mornings right before I need to exercise.

Last thing for this week that I'll share. We were having dinner at a members’ home and the husband had an accent that sounded almost like a German accent but he said it was some kind of Croatian.
They are really funny couple and they have two chickens that are like their pets that they let in the house for a second.  It was time to leave and Sister Nield said that they want to apologize. I said, "apologize for what?" He then said sorry in an American accent and said he was just messing with me since I am a greenie (new missionary). Sister Nield was in on it the whole hour this was going on. At first I thought his accent was fake but I didn't want to be rude and ask. We all had a big laugh about it and now they are one of my favorite families.  

Alaska is so amazing and I am considering living here one day. They have funny terms for the rest of the United States like the "lower 48" and saying just "the States" (as if they aren't apart of the United States).  Also when they say they are "going to town" it means they are going to Anchorage and that is the same no matter what part of Alaska they are in. The people treasure their animals more than anyone and the dogs are the friendliest ever. 

We live next to the Bishop and his family and I have adopted their dog, Cinder, as one of my own. She is so sweet and is a good stand-in for the void I need to fill being away from my dog Oreo.

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