Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September 17th, 2012

This week was one of the most hectic and busiest weeks of my whole mission! There really is no reason for it; it just became busy so so fast! Every single night I collapsed onto the bed and didn't move till the next morning (part of that may be that, with Elder Bradley gone, I inherited the temprapedic mattress that he inherited from Elder Karlson!! The most comfy bed ever!!). Anyway, I don't think I will be able to mention most of what happened this week but I will try to explain a few things!

Blessing - Last week I had the opportunity to be part of a really cool blessing. We were at the Agardy's house and TJ had the feeling to call one of their neighbors about work. He did and after talking with him for a little while he invited him to come over. This guy was.......MESSED UP!!! Never, never, ever, EVER become an Alcoholic! His life was in the toilet, he was so unhappy, he was trying to get better but he kept getting worse and worse, and I could keep going on and on but we'll make a long story short by saying he was almost suicidal.  He came over and we started talking to him and then TJ offered him that we could give him a blessing. He accepted and I, Elder Bradley, Elder Nelsen, Elder Matson, and Elder Densley all got around him to give him that blessing. Elder Bradley was the voice and gave a very interesting blessing. When he finished this man said, "TJ you are not going to believe what just happened!" He then described how this "light" seemed to enter him and it was the best feeling he has ever experienced! He went on and on and even asked TJ why he invited him over that night to which TJ just told him that he didn't know. It was an amazing experience and one of the experiences where you can truly see the light from the dark. The man put down the bottle of Vodka he was holding, took a Book of Mormon and left. Elder Matson called me last night and told me that he showed up to church on Sunday, sober, and has started reading the Book of Mormon and is now one of their investigators!
ASL Class - We started our ASL class again, which is weird now that I am the lead teacher. I am teaching something that I am still learning! ha-ha We have a class on Tuesday nights at the institute on the U of A campus and then on Thursday nights down South in Sahriuta.

District Meeting with the AP's - For my district meeting this week, the first one with the new (smaller) district, we had some visitors. The AP's showed up! Fun stuff!  To be honest I don't really care what they think but it was still a little different to have them there because if I screwed up or started preaching all manner of false doctrine (frequent occurrence ha-ha) then President would know! Anyway it was a really good meeting! I didn't spread toooooo much gossip or personal opinions about some of the mission rules... ha-ha And it was a great meeting! Elder Nelsen is awesome and lets me just speak for the district meetings so that I don't sound special in two languages at the same time. We go over the training for companion study on Wednesday mornings.

Elder Ballard - We had the opportunity this week to have Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles come and visit us! We had a special meeting with him of Friday where we had the whole mission come. The meeting was for missionaries only and it was great! We were all able to go up and personally meet him and shake his hand! One thing that surprised me is that he is short! He is shorter then I am! I always pictured him taller! Though, of course, physical height does not determine inner-awesomeness!! Ha-ha (Yep that was partly for my own benefit!) But it was a great opportunity to talk to him for the brief time I had and to hear his talk to us! The spirit was so strong there as only a member of the quorum of the 12 can bring! He is also very funny and kept cracking jokes because it is a more relaxed environment compared to conference! After an amazing and inspirational talk he gave us a question and answer opportunity which was also cool to hear his personal advice for our work!

Branch Activity - We had a branch movie night this week that we put together! It was a success and we had 4 Non-members come as well as 3 (very) less actives and they had a great time! The movie was "How to train your dragon" so of course it was good!

Service with TJ - We went with TJ Agardy on Saturday to one of the projects he is doing to help him out. We were cleaning out a shed and a backyard of a house they are fixing up. It was great to be doing stuff like that again but this one set a new low for me. That shed was so full of crap it was unbelievable. And I say that very literally as there was a big pile of dog crap in one of the corners. Luckily it was long dried but that was still a ........different........experience to shovel that into bags to be removed. But it was great to be able to help TJ! He always does so much for us!

Dinner With the Fox Family - We had dinner with one of the members of the YSA and her parents on Saturday and we had so much steak it was unbelievable! They cooked two huge plates for the 4 of us (the YSA girl had to work last minute so it was just the two of us and her parents.....a little awkward at first....but great!)!! I had 3 HUGE steaks and they still had lots of leftovers! It was awesome!

Church - Was good as always. I am conducting this month and with the busyness of this week I forgot to assign speakers so we were the speakers!!! OH YA........... But it actually was good! Elder Nelsen and I decided that he actually could get away with calling the branch to repentance about the deaf culture aspect that was there so that is what we did! I laid the floor for him and he came in and talked about how in this church there is no culture! No Mexican, no white, no black, no deaf, and no hearing culture! This is the Lord's church and he doesn't care what color you are, or your hearing orientation! It was amazing and just what they needed! When I say called the branch to repentance I'm not saying they were bad and I am not saying that Elder Nelsen and I were spewing Hell and Damnation to them! Of course not! They are amazing and I love them each so dearly but there is a very real culture difference even within the branch between the deaf and the rest of us! Elder Nelsen did it with love and with great understanding and it went over very well! We had lots of people get up and thank us after it was done! Then we were doing tithing and welfare and Elder Nelsen has never done it before, Elder Bradley is gone, our clerk was gone, and President Krakowiak had to leave.......which leaves......me. So I had to do all of it! I had Elder Nelsen and I was teaching him but oh my there was a lot that needed to be done! Then we had YSA.....and I am now the only interpreter.......and church is long....

Fireside - And because that isn't enough we had a Mission President's fireside last night! Just add one more hour! It's all good! ha-ha Needless to say, my hands and arms were very tired last night. But I will get better and I love it! Also it was a great fireside! I really enjoyed it! There was one part, when I was interpreting a duet of "A Child's Prayer” that I almost lost it! I can't explain why but signing that song changed it for me! I had a moment of personal revelation and a confirmation to my testimony that was so strong and unexpected it almost distracted me! I love this gospel! It is amazing!

Nail in tire - Oh and we found a nail in one of our tires.....again. So we need to go get it fixed today! Awesome!

That was a brief (though it does not seem it) account of my hectic week!

Love you all!

Elder Banner

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