Scottie making crepes as taught by the Sister missionary from France!
Today we started off going to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit, which was really cool. We had some amazingly fun basketball at the PDay (preparation day) activity and it was just overall awesome. We made some visits and met two new people, both named Guillermo, which was pretty fun. But we're excited to work with them!
Today we had interviews with President Swain (his mission president), so that's always a great experience. We have them every 3 months or so and he's just a spiritual giant and super incredible to talk to. We talked about being effective tools in the Lord's hands, and how it would be better to be a nail gun than a rock to build the foundation of the Church for The Lord haha. Kinda funny but true! We made some visits, and we even got to eat dinner with a less active family that we'd never met before. They must have heard I was from the South because they made BBQ ribs, and they were super good! Not quite Papa quality, but they did remind me of home and it was the first real BBQ I've had in a long long time so I loved it. We made some more visits with the Vazquez and Islas families and then we called it a night.
Today we started off with our weekly meeting with stake President Higginson (Stake President in his area), and then we got stuff ready to celebrate Sister Thurston's (sister missionary in his district) birthday during lunch. We picked up Subway and ate that, then ate cake and ice-cream. We even got the lady at Harmond's (local grocery store) to write her name on the cake in Nutella because that's her favorite haha, she really enjoyed it. I had a meeting with the zone leaders and Elder Jung (the other district leader in the area) and then we ran to have dinner with the Galvez family - they lived in Brazil for 25 years so we got to eat some Brazilian food which was good! We had a great visit and lesson with Maximo Espinosa and invited him to be baptized, he wants his whole family to be involved but he's in! It was a good day today!
Celebrating Sister Thurston's Birthday!
Weekly planning day! We got up and fired up a teriyaki flavored Meaty Boy (per Scottie: The Meaty Boy is a combination of love, chicken, sausage, sauce, onions, and happiness :) ) for lunch, then went to the chapel to do some weekly planning. Afterwards we had a great dinner with Hermana Monroy and her son Luis, who's really cool, and for dessert we had chili covered watermelon - actually really good :) Then we taught a great lesson with Minnie and we're hoping we get to keep meeting with her!
Today was awesome. For district meeting I taught about being bold and having courage. I shared a bunch of scriptures that Elder Ghramm (another missionary in his apartment) and I have been talking about for the last few weeks (including an awesome one in John 19:9 when Pilate asks Jesus if he knows he has authority over Him, and Christ responds that he could have no authority save it were given from his Father above - so bold). There's also great examples of Nephi, Abinidi, Captain Moroni (from scriptures in the Book of Mormon), Joseph Smith, The Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae, Muhammad Ali, etc. It was a really fun group discussion. We fired up a group Meaty Boy for District lunch - so much food but soooooo good! Then we went to Temple Square with Hermana Vazquez and her family, accompanied by the Pons family. We watched the Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration video, and it was very powerful. I know that the Church that Christ organized when he was on the Earth has been restored by Joseph Smith, and it's an incredibly blessing for all of us on Earth today. I can't profess to know all or even the majority of things about religion, but I know without a doubt in my heart that this is the true church and contains the fullness of the Gospel, and that's why I'm out here on my mission.
Today was action packed. We got up and immediately headed over to Hermano Rodriguez's house to help him tear off the old siding and doors and put up new stuff (service is a great part of his mission). We worked for a while and then we left, got cleaned up, and went to the Temple with the Lopez family and Aurora Chavez. We got to do it in Spanish, which was only my second time going through in Spanish, and it was an awesome experience and so cool to see recent converts progressing in the Gospel. Afterwards, we had an awesome dinner with the Lopez family at Golden Corral to celebrate...and then 30 minutes later we had dinner with the Rocha family. My stomach hurt but it was such good food - tostadas de tinga (tostadas with shredded spicy chicken)! We had a finding activity with one of the Sisters's wards tonight. (the sister missionaries in his district are in a different ward [congregation] than Scottie) We went out on splits - Elder Balino and I and then Sisters Martinez and Despain - so that we each paired up with a member (church member in that particular ward) and went out to try and find people that were less active in that ward. We got to set up about 7 return appointments for the sisters (sister missionaries), so we're hoping that will really help that ward out - it was struggling a bit with missionary work.
A good day at church today. We learned about testimonies and temples in Sacrament meeting, and then had good classes about the power and authority of God - the priesthood. Then we had a meeting with Brother Holden, learned that we were getting a new branch mission leader (that's new and exciting), and then we went to eat with the Midence and Gonzalez family for dinner. It was just a hilarious group of people, I laughed so much my cheeks hurt me haha. But it was great and then we visited a new family in the branch, and then came back to the apartment. I had to gather all the numbers and record them and get them turned in to the ZL's (zone leaders) (one of his duties as District Leader), and then we passed out. It's been a good week.
Just some quick notes about today: Since Sister Vang is leaving tomorrow to go back home (Paris, France) she said she wanted one last good American breakfast. We went all out this morning. We met at the church building and made pancakes, sausage, eggs, bacon, orange juice, and toast and we just feasted. It was the first time I've cooked bacon by myself too! I really never had, I'd watched you cook it a lot, it turned out well. I just did what I remember you did :) We do all our big district meals at the church cause we can't go over to each other’s' apartments. Madre, you taught me tons, I know more about cooking than all the other elders just from observing you. When I get back though, let's cook together. I really enjoy it, I see why you like it so much! I'll have to teach you how to cook our signature dish, The Meaty Boy :) Then we cleaned up, did email, played some awesome basketball, (Monday was preparation day), went and had a FHE (Family Home Evening) with the Davalos family, (Family Home Evening or Family Night, in the context of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, refers to one evening per week, usually Monday, that families are encouraged to spend together in study, prayer and other activities). Then turned in. Things are going really well :) I love y'all and hope that everything is good at home! Miss y'all tons. You're the best family in the world, you taught me more than I could have ever hoped for :)
Sister Vang's Farewell (big) American breakfast
Scottie and his fellow missionaries!