Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 18, 2012

Oh what a week! It was a pretty crazy one and a lot happened this week!

On Tuesday, we were finally able to meet and have a lesson with Leah and Adam. Leah is a hard-of-hearing woman that Elder Nelsen met on exchanges but we have been struggling with getting a hold of her. We finally did, and had a really good lesson with her and her husband! It was a normal first lesson but a good one! We have a lot of hope for Leah and eventually for Adam! They are both really good people and we are excited to get to know them! Hopefully we can start meeting with them more frequently!

Also on Tuesday, during our ASL class, we had a non-member show up that had some questions for us. She is a very nice girl named Heather and she also is hard-of-hearing and trying to learn sign language because she is going deaf. She is also very, very intelligent! She is in the middle of school to become a doctor or a lawyer (she hasn't decided yet) and as such, asks questions that (this sounds prideful but I am just being honest) normal missionaries have a really hard time answering. So we had a good conversation with her and answered a few of her questions. By the end,  she said something that I thought was pretty funny but kind of sad at the same time.  She said, "You two are the first....normal missionaries I've ever met. You are chill missionaries; I thought that was an oxymoron. The rest are....bat crap crazy." So that was interesting. Personally, I don't think she took the time to get to know the other missionaries enough but I am happy that I am normal!

One of the big things that happened this week was that we went to New Mexico! That was fun! That was my first time being over there and it was very interesting. We went to contact some people on the way and then we spent the night with Elder Kim and his new companion. It was really fun! It was so freaking cold out there! Being in New Mexico....made me happy I live in Tucson! Ha-ha Well....I need to say that a different way. Being in Lordsburg made me happy to live in Tucson. We also went to Silver City which was really nice! It was in the mountains and reminded me a little bit of central Utah. It was really nice! It was a very fun trip! We had a real good time with the other missionaries! Elder Kim and Elder Heiner went with us to Silver City and while we were there we saw Sister Waters and her companion and spoke with them for a little while and it was like a district reunion! It was really fun! We didn't go out there just for fun but it was really fun! We really enjoyed it!

The next thing to comment on was our Branch Christmas Activity on Friday. That was an interesting experience! Ha-ha It was President Krakowiaks responsibility and so the two of us helped him plan it a little bit during the week but then we kind of left it up to him.  Two days before the activity he found out that he had to work so the running of said activity was moved to us.......yep. It was good! It was a successful activity in which around half of the people there were non-members. It just stressed the two of us out a lot over things that didn't need to happen! Just little things that was hard to deal with! Anyway, it was a very good activity and we learned a lot from it! We went from one interesting and potentially stressful activity and into another one that happened the day after.  It was out of the frying pan and into the fire!

On Friday morning, I received a call from a member of the Rincon stake and he had an opportunity for us. Somehow he had found out that there was a funeral to be had on Saturday where the daughter of the deceased mother was deaf and they were looking for an interpreter. I tell you, if that wasn't such a good missionary opportunity I would not have accepted that assignment. I was very nervous for that all Friday and Saturday morning. One of the only things I knew about the situation and everything is that I would be interpreting for the only child of the deceased mother. I was not excited about that. To really understand my apprehension you would have to understand interpreting. Interpreting is a very interesting thing and for the interpreter (at least for me who hasn't interpreted for long) it is a weird experience in which you develop a "special friendship" for those you interpret. This due to the fact that through the whole time you stare into the other person's eyes and are their only source of communication and information. I cannot explain it very well but I was nervous to go to a funeral where I would have to stare into the eyes of this women for the whole thing and relay every (at that point painful and tender) memory of her mother. On Saturday morning we had that funeral. It was actually a lot better than I thought it would be. It was very hard but it was a great learning experience. My first non-Mormon funeral I've ever gone to was one that I had to interpret for! Ha-ha they are a very nice family and I really enjoyed the opportunity of getting to know them! It was not a very long service and for the most part the women I was interpreting for was very strong. She was crying of course but not too bad which helped me to be able to get through it! But at the end, after everyone left, and as she went to give her last respects to her mother, she broke. it was awful! I felt so bad for her! Very few times can I describe experiences wherein I am associated with a tortured soul in the midst of agony. That was one of those times. Afterwards I briefly had the opportunity to share my testimony with her that this is not the end. That she will see her mother again. But I'm not sure if it was able to get into that troubled heart. It was an interesting experience.

Other than that not a lot happened, Elder Nelsen was sick yesterday so we stayed home and I was able to finish one of my books that was amazing! I think that is the first Sunday I have completely missed church in over a year! It was weird and I did miss it! I wanted to be there! Ha-ha But that's life. Also, we will be getting our new missionary, straight from the MTC, either today or tomorrow! I'm not sure which at the moment. As I think about that, I find it slightly odd that within 4-5 days of the Hobbit coming out I get a new greeny. I think I am being watched over and encouraged not to do anything I am not supposed to. Ha-ha Well, That'll do it! Ha-ha ;) And that was our week! It was a really crazy one! I hope yours was great as well!

Till next time,

Elder Banner

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