Hello everyone! Glad to hear from all of you who wrote me this week, I
really appreciate it! This letter is going to be a long one! I figured
since I have an IPad I would just write what happened that day as it
happened. Kind of a journal entry, I guess.
Well, it was my first official "bike week" since Conway this week!
Bike weeks are really different here. We live about 4 miles from "the
triangle," or the area between 3 main roads that have the highest
concentration of Hispanics, so we get rides from the other elders to
get there, which saves a lot of time and sweat. This week was hot,
too! I checked, and for the most part the actual temperature was the
same as in Peoria! And then add humidity, and it's just not healthy.
But hey, we gotta do what we wanna do, right?
So anyway, Tuesday we had lunch with the ore guys at this place called
Sweden Kream. Not a misspelling. It is basically the
sketchiest/tastiest restaurant in the Triangle. It was good food
though. After that we went out. And it was hot. Like worse than I've
had on my mission. There wasn't a dry spot on my shirt. We managed to
talk to one of our best investigators though. Her name's J. She's
cool and really smart. We talked about the Book of Mormon with her.
And committed her to read it. She also decided she wants to prepare to
get baptized! It was a good lesson.
Then came #Miracle1. We had already been out for a few hours without
going inside at all. Before meeting with J I had prayed silently
that God would keep us from harm with so much sun. So anyway, when we
left her porch the first thing we noticed was that it was cloudy. Not
super cloudy, but enough to make the sun way less strong. Then we
looked north and there was a HUGE wall of black clouds. It was pretty
far off so we figured we had a few hours to go before it got there.
About 20 minutes later, it was blowing in. And I mean blowing. We had
about 40+ mile an hour winds. So we hopped on our bikes and started
booking it to our next appointment a couple miles away. At this point
the temperature had dropped from 100 and dank to 75 and really quite
nice out. Then the wind got stronger, and tree branches started
dropping all over the place. Seeing as we were dodging these on bikes,
it was really fun. We stopped to help a guy whose dead tree had
basically exploded all over the road with the wind, and then it
started to rain. We didn't mind, since we were already wet from
sweating. We got picked up by the other elders, and went to a library
to take shelter. The power was out, but they were still open. Long
story short, that saved us from dying of heat stroke. God looks after
us a lot. 😊 So after the rain stopped we went back out to go find
people. It was a lot more bearable since the clouds stayed there. We
found a lot of people too! After that we went to the Vs for dinner,
which was really good.
Wednesday we didn't have a storm, so we were just really sweaty. The
other guys were a bit late picking us up, so we didn't have as much
time in the sun. We found a few people, rode around seeing if anyone
was home. We met with J. again, and she had read more in the Book
of Mormon than we had told her to, which is awesome! She understood
everything. We talked about the Plan of Salvation, which also made a
lot of sense to her. We met her mom too. She isn't as enthused about
church as Jenny is, but we'll be working on it. Then we made it about
halfway to our next appointment when Elder Heaton's tire got cut by
some glass and went flat in about 4 seconds. We were stuck. But a
member just HAPPENED to be driving by RIGHT when he got off his bike,
and she pulled over to help. We managed to fit both of our bikes into
her Chevy Spark (I know right??) and her husband came and drove us to
our appointment. #Miracle2 We met with the C. kids, read a bit in
the Book of Mormon and played some soccer. At this point I was more
wet than yesterday after the rain. Eeewww. Then the other guys came
and got us and the bikes. We had dinner with the N. family. It
was really good. Then we went and spent the night at the other elders'
apartment to save miles the next day, since we had a meeting and it
was I the opposite direction as our place.
Thursday started off... Interesting. We came down from the apartment
with enough time to get to the meeting with a few minutes to spare.
But when we came down, our car was gone. Like not there. We were a
little bit stressed, me mostly because my bike was still attached to
it. We went to the office, and through a long string of phone calls we
found out they had towed our car because "it didn't have a parking
sticker." It really did, but it had fallen off without anyone seeing.
So we got a ride from one of the mission presidency to the meeting. It
was a good one too! We got training on our digital area book and
planner. FYI, we keep a lot of records as missionaries. We make
records for the people we teach to keep track of their progress, and
we have agendas to plan. Those tend to pile up. But now, it's all
going digital! It'll be a pain at first, since we have to enter in the
records for all the investigators anyone has taught for the past 3
YEARS, but after that it'll be great! After that, we had to wait for
our ride to get done with some appointments, so we didn't get home
until dinner time. We went to the H's house. It was really
fun, they are a crazy family.
Friday we stayed in until four p.m. putting in records. Every time we
start teaching a person, we make a record of them so that we can keep
track of what we've taught, as well as how far they progress, so that
when both of us are gone the next guys will know a bit about them.
Most apartments have a 2 or 3 inch binder full of them. We have four
of those binders, and we got about ten pages done. It's gonna be a
After that fun stuff, we went out with Bro. L. to go see some
people, but no one was home. Then we had dinner with the Ds which
was really good. They dropped us off to go see the C. kids. We
were there for a bit when they randomly decided to go out to eat. So
we ended up out in the streets in one of the sketchier parts of
Memphis with no ride, and it was getting dark. Some Hunger Games jokes
were made, and then we went to the G. house to go visit our
Saturday was pretty slow. We did some more of the file processing, and
got out about 2:30. We went to go see some appointments, but they were
not home. Elder Heaton's bike still hadn't been fixed, so we just kind
of walked around trying to see everyone we knew in the area. That
wasn't too progressive either. After seeing a car almost get mauled by
a train (Memphis drivers) and then having to wait 10 or 15 minutes for
it to pass by, we went to Bro. R's house to go teach his kids.
It was super hot, but an elderly couple randomly drove up and gave us
a ride. They were members, and they were celebrating their wedding
anniversary. They just happened to be driving by. #Miracle3 Anyhoo we
got to their place. They had been teaching them before I had gotten
here, but since then we had never found them. Only one of his
daughters were there, so we talked to them for a bit. Bro. R.
told us his son had told him that he was going to church, which was
sweet! Then we went to go see the Cs again, and they weren't
home. The other elders took us up north for an appointment. We
got there like an hour early, so we knocked around up there and found
some people. Then we met with President Perez' nephew and his
girlfriend, who is not a member. We had an unplanned dinner with them,
which was great since we were starving #Miracle4
Sunday was great! Bro. Rs' son came!! It was awesome, he loved
church. I got to translate for one of the stake high council who came
to speak, which was GREAT. Oy. Also, Sister Mitchell, who had gone
home a few months ago, came to visit, which was cool! She was super
excited to see us. Afterwards, we had some lunch with the other guys
and got the car from the sisters!! Then we DROVE to some appointments
in air-conditioned comfort. We met with the Cs again, and then
went to go find some people. We found a couple of sweet people too!
Then we went to the Rs for dinner. This time, everyone was
there, so we finally got to teach them!! We set some goals with them,
and we are going back in a few days to see when they want to be
BAPTIZED! Woo! The son was great, he was just super stoked about
church and telling everyone to go.
And that was the week! It was full of little miracles, which tells me
that God is looking out for us and making sure we don't die of
heatstroke :P I hope you guys are having a great summer! I love you a
Spanish district with Sister Mitchell! In order from front row: Elder
Diaz, Sister Mitchell, Sister Ponce, Sister Hudson, Sister Madsen. Top
row: Elder Fortie (remember him?), Elder Jenkins, me, Elder Moore, and