Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 13, 2012

           What a week! This has actually been a crazy week! I am going to apologize now for the contents of this letter, we went on a hike through Hell this morning and I am so tired!

It was a great week! Nothing noteworthy (that I can remember) happened the first part of the week except that a companionship (Field Y Handerhan) had the power go out on their entire street. They live in a sketchy apartment complex (even more than ours) and Elder Field said that the Spirit told them to leave. We didn't question it (though I think it was just his anxiety) so we went and picked them up.  The power didn't come back on so they stayed the night at our place. It was really fun! But the more important things happened in the latter end of the week....

As you know we have been hoping and praying for more people to teach recently. We did as much as we could but not so much happened. For a good part of last week and the week before, we went around and invited a lot of people to our Branch BBQ activity that happened last Friday. We figured that would help our efforts. 

For the first time we had lots of member support with this one. Now that sounds bad and we have people in the branch that always help us and support us but for this one we had everyone help invite. It is amazing how much of a difference it makes when a member invites their friends as opposed to a missionary inviting someone! The only people we invited that showed up were people that were also invited by members as well. We ended up having around 65 people show up to that activity! Only around 20 are active members of the branch, and about 25 or so were non-members! Some that we have never even seen before! It was amazing! We really did not expect that many people and not once, but twice, we had to have a member run to the store and buy more hamburgers and hot dogs because there were so many people there! We had one member (Tamiko) who by herself brought 16 people!! That is astounding! Some were less active but most were non-members! It was probably the most successful activity that the branch has ever had! It was truly a Miracle! And that miracle brought forth fruit! We had 3 new investigators that came to church on Sunday because of that and so many more potentials! The 3 that came are super solid and we had a great lesson with them on Sunday! That is the miracle and the influence that members can have on their wards and on their friends, just by continually inviting! It was fantastic! Although I think some of the credit goes to me for the success, I did cook all of the food and let's be honest, how could it be a bad experience if I was cooking! hahaha Just kidding! But I did cook! That was so many hamburgers! haha

The next thing I want to discuss is our Sunday! We showed up to church at 7:45 and didn't leave until around 4:30! Don't get me wrong, it was one of the best Sundays I've ever had (see above) but it was long! And as soon as that was done we drove to our dinner at 5, left just before 6 and drove all the way out to the West Stake Center to interpret for a baptism. The AP's had a baptism of a boy who is a “CODA” meaning that his parents are deaf. To be honest I don't know why they didn't call us sooner but we went to interpret at the baptism.

 I was interpreting and before I go any further I need to say that this kid, Derek, is a stud! He is awesome and super solid and a great kid (he is 18). But his parents who I was interpreting for were a different story....... But before I met them I just have to tell you how many people were there! We had to move to the Chapel and we filled it! It was crazy! During the ordinance itself everyone just crammed in the room and stood! That made me nervous! haha And also the people who were speaking for some reason must have been in the biggest hurry of their life! They spoke so fetchin fast! And it wasn't just me, when it was over and I came down and spoke to Elder Bradley, he said that he had never hear people talk that fast when they were going to have an interpreter! And I had to interpret all the songs and not one of them made sense in sign, like "Come Thou Fount" I mean really? Most people don't understand that song in English! haha It was so hard but I actually did alright! Not too bad!

But the parents....oooooh my they are not some of my favorite people. I love most deaf people but there are some dirt bag deaf people just like regular people. Both of them would classify for this. They made me stand up on the stand awkwardly close to the speaker, which isn't abnormal though it didn't help my nerves, haha, and that was fine. But they were super critical of my signing, they kept correcting me, they kept asking their daughter (can hear) what I meant about things in a very rude way, and when it was finished did they say, oh thank you? No they said, "Thanks it was better than not having an interpreter"! I mean what the heck?! And then after that little comment they kept having me and Elder Bradley interpret for them with all the people that came up to them to talk (they were rude to them too). They were also very anti-Mormon and made that obvious. The dad is an atheist and the Mom is a "Christian". They obviously didn't fully support Derek's decision and when he got up to bear his testimony, every time he would say how he knew the church was true, the mom would scowl and look down. It was awful! And then after the baptism she started to throw a whole bunch of anti-Mormon crap at us! So we just left, by then we were both really angry! I really respect Derek and his choice and testimony and all that he does is spite of that awful opposition! He is awesome!

Sorry I spent so much time on this! It really was one of the best weeks I've had except for that little thing which was actually a really cool learning experience for me! That and the hike we did today.  The hike was a 4 mile (one way) hike right up the mountain and because of poor planning and a lack of communication between those who were taking us and the zone leaders (not their fault at all) we left really late so it was about 110 degrees! Oh it was so awful! It really was hiking through Hell and I don't think any of us will do it again!

That was my week! Hope yours was great!

Elder Banner

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