Monday, January 4, 2016

January 4, 2015

Hey how has everyone been doing!? This week has been super cool. 

First off, I didn't think it snowed up here...yesterday we woke up to all the roads being covered in ice and a few inches of snow and the wind was super strong! Both bishops texted us early letting us know we didn't have church or any meetings that day!! In Utah I remember they didn't cancel church for anything! So I was kind of thrown back. Basically, we were told by our mission president to stay in yesterday and make good use of our time studying or making calls or whatever we could find to do that was productive. It was a long day!! That night we decided we wanted out of the apartment so we tried driving over to our dinner appointment. There are no snow plows or anything for this kind of weather in Oregon so by this time, all the roads were ice rinks. Somehow we made it there and back in safety!

The work in both areas continues to progress. We have been meeting a lot with active members, which has been working out pretty well actually. People are starting to get in the 'let's baptize' mindset with us, especially the Tongan ward we work with! Everybody is super happy and energetic and you can tell that they really have internalized the gospel. 

We had a pretty cool experience I can't seem to get out of my head that happened Wednesday. It was towards the end of the day and we decided to make one last visit to a single lady in the ward. Brief background, (I had been told this by another missionary, not by her), she is in her late fifties, recently divorced for selfish reasons on the husbands side, lives by herself in an unheated and unlit home, and her family lives far away while her children have disowned her and left the church. We go up and knock on this door, we see someone with a hoody peek through the window then the door opens and she let us in. She had a hood over her head and if I didn't know otherwise, I would have said she was late thirties by the way she moved and looked. I was looking around her home as we were greeted in and I saw  bare walls, no electronics or tv or anything, besides a couple peices of paper on the wall that had her goals (spiritually, financially, physically,...the whole nine yards in detail). From the moment she opened the door, she seemed ecstatic to see us with the biggest of smiles on her face the whole time. As soon as I walked in her home I could feel a different kind of spirit than the one outside. We begin talking and she told us she has been working on schooling to be a real estate investor. In her family room she had a few notebooks and books for school and her laptop to do everything online. She was also telling us she had been giving out Books of Mormon left and right and wanted more copies. The whole time smiling and being joyful, so much so I wanted to laugh, I could not believe how happy she was, especially given her circumstances. I couldn't take it, I flat out asked her how she was so happy!! Haha. She said, from a general perspective she has gone through a lot and she doesn't have much temporal things. She said in its simplicity, she wanted to internalize the principles of the gospel! She might not have every scripture memorized, or have a highly involved calling or whatever...but she took very seriously the basics and fundamentals that we all learn in primary and really applied them to her life. She said in all honesty she could having nothing and she would feel like the luckiest most happy person alive to have the knowledge we do in these latter days! I want to be like her. Maybe it was her culture that helped, the Tongan people seem to all kinda be like this. I asked myself am I striving to be the most charitable person I can be. If I'm not that happy inside, I'm now just gonna take it as I haven't internalized those principals yet. Sorry I went off on that, but she is a perfect portrayal of what the gospel can do for lives. I hope the new year has been good for you all so far!! Again thank you everyone for the Christmas wishes! Keep working towards those goals!! Love you guys!


Elder Andrew

Sent from my iPad

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