Monday, May 9, 2016

5/03 - 5/8/2016: I'm broken.... Apparently

Phone home...from YW Room
"Simply living life can be and often is a humbling experience.
Accident and illness, the death of loved ones, problems in
relationships, even financial reversals can bring us to our knees.
Whether these difficult experiences come through no fault of our own
or through bad decisions and poor judgment, these trials are all
humbling. If we choose to be spiritually attuned and remain humble and
teachable, our prayers become more earnest and faith and testimony
will grow as we overcome the tribulations of mortal existence. All of
us look forward to exaltation, but before this can occur, we must
persevere through what has been referred to as the 'valley of
humility.'" (Steven E. Snow, Be Thou Humble, April 2016 General

It really makes me think.... Even if I'm not doing anything wrong
(which I do A LOT) this life is meant to have trials and problems. I'm
not supposed to have an easy time in life, at least not if I want the
highest reward in heaven. I think it's really cool that he says that
sometimes (and often) just simply living life can be hard,
discouraging, and just plain sucky. We are not meant to just simply
coast through life, having an easy fun time. We are meant to have hard

But the best part? Because we have the bad times, because are
compelled to be humble, because we can be sad, discouraged, and upset,
we can know what REAL happiness is like. There must needs be an
opposition in all things, otherwise we wouldn't be able to grow. The
strongest trees grow in the harshest winds. The most powerful swords
are built through repeated beatings. The purest gold has to be burned
over and over and over again. If we didn't have the blessing of being
humbled, of going through the bad times, how would we know what the
good times feel like? How would we grow to learn from the past, to
become who we are today? Yes, it is important to try to make as little
mistakes as possible; but when we do, or even when life is just
beating us down, we can grow, we can be one better, we can do what our
father in heaven wishes for us to do!
I drew this week... Cuz I was bored

Had a....... Different preparation day this week. It started off with
the fact that the stake center was being deep cleaned, so when we
showed up we couldn't change inside. I suggested we just change in the
car but Elder Hansen refused, so we ended up doing all of the day's
activities in white shirts and slacks. I took my tie off, but I still
felt super weird.
Either way, we did so some weird stuff. The first thing that happened
was that apparently everyone in the zone bought their own kites
(without telling us, mind you) and so we sat and watched the kites fly
around in the sky for a good 30 minutes or so. The wind wasn't really
prevalent though, so the kite flying was actually interesting to watch
as everyone tried to catch the wind that didn't exist. Watching like
15 other missionaries run around trying to get kites in the air for
like half an hour is actually pretty entertaining hah. But after that
an Elder recommended that we walk down to a duck pond that was just a
walk down the street. It sounded pretty chill, so most of us agreed
that it would be a fun thing to do. When we got there we skipped rocks
for a while, as there were no actual ducks for us to feed or watch. It
was a little more lame than I thought it was going to be, but we had
some fun once the ducks appeared. While the whole zone was bust
admiring the ducks and ooo-ing and aahh-ing, I decided it was time for
me to go for a little walk. One of the zone leaders joined me, and we
just spent some time walking along the edge of the pond exploring the
little bit of vegetation that existed there. It was fun because we did
have to do a little climbing to be able to get past certain areas.
The best part was when we found the turtle!!

the turtle we found at the duck pond on Monday. We all took
pictures with it, naturally!

We were just walking and we noticed at the end of a long long that was
half in the water there was a turtle sunbathing. Naturally, we decided
it was our responsibility to try to reel the turtle in and to take
some pictures with it! (Harassing the wildlife?! No!) We tried for
like 20 or so minutes to reel the thing in, but the log was so big
that 1. It was hard to move, and 2. When we would try to move it the
turtle would jump ship and swim in the water, only to eventually come
back to his favorite sunbathing spot. One thing that we didn't really
notice is that by this point the zone saw that we were doing something
so a bunch of them came over to see what it was and see if it was any
fun. Well the two of us had decided to give up at that point, but as
we were giving up Sister Adamson decided that it was worth any effort
to get the turtle.... Including breaking mission rules in front of the
zone leaders to walk along the log and eventually into the water to
grab the turtle. Elder Hoschouer, the zone leader with me, was about
to say something to her, but then he just said that she had already
broken the rules, so she might as well just go get him.
So she did.
And naturally, we all took pictures with the thing!! It made me laugh
that even though we are all "adults" we still found a simple turtle
the most interesting thing on the planet. Yeah..... "Adults"
Haha after that we all went to the stake center and finished up some
emails, and then we took a zone trip to DQ. The rest of the day was
just teaching a lesson to brother Gowey about covenants and then very
slowly walking home in the ironic wind that had very ferociously
picked up in West Riverside!
We did a pretty sweet zone car wash today. Full of soap, suds,
flip-flops, and all sorts of different sunburns. The winter made us
all super white so I think almost, if not all, of us got at least a
little bit of a sunburn. It was fun to be able to give some service to
the people of Missoula though, and to boot it was some sweet bonding
time with the zone. Sister Shoemaker took a bazillion pictures, and
now the zone has lots of weird laughing moments with each other over
some of the pictures (the biggest laugh everyone got out of any
picture is attracted below of sister hodgson and myself. Elder Hansen
thinks it's the funniest picture he's ever seen in Missoula... I might
agree with him).

After the car wash we were able to go on a 3 hour exchange with Elder
Bozue (bow-zoo) and Elder Ross from Ronan. All four of us just hung
out in the Clinton/East Missoula area, as the Ronan Elders did not
want to spend the time or the miles to go back to Ronan. So Elder
Bozue and I went out to Clinton and Turrah while Elder Hansen and
Elder Ross were in West Riverside and East Missoula. It was a sweet
little exchange, Elder Bozue and I were able to give a priesthood
blessing, help one of our investigators know what is happening to his
recently deceased father, and I was able to answer some questions that
had been burning in Elder Bozue's mind for a while about the second
coming and the judgement day. I think I was lead by the spirit in some
stuff, because I know I couldn't have remembered half the stuff I was
able to without some sort of help! It was nice though to have
something to talk about while we walked, because with Elder Hansen
being the introvert he is, most of our walks (including the 5 mile
walk to east Missoula we make every week) are basically silent. Leaves
me alone to my thoughts... Which is NEVER good!
Had an interesting district meeting today, focused on talking to
everyone. Elder Bozue lead a sweet role play that gave us all a
character of weird people he has taught on his mission so far. We had
some interesting people- a mailman who picked up a Book of Mormon off
the street, an atheist who worked at a Christain bookstore, a
politician who had a testimony but wouldn't convert to not loose
voters, and lots of other fun things. My favorite was my companions-
an exotic dancer who wants to get to know God. My companion, the
exotic dancer. Hahahahahhahahaha it was the best thing ever because
once the sister that was teaching him found out what he was she got
SUPER wide-eyed! Haha it was priceless.
We taught a few good lessons later in the day too. We are reading out
the Book of Mormon still with the George's, and we are currently on
the Isaiah chapter of 2nd Nephi, where Nephi quotes HEAVILY from the
book of Isaiah in the bible. If any of you have ever read from the
book of Isaiah, you will know that it is not at all easy to understand
for two missionaries, let alone a couple older folk who have never
read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover. So we have an interesting
time working with them in figuring out what the book is saying to us
ahaha. Besides that we also were able to go to sister baker's house
and talk with her about trials and the bad things that happen in life.
We related it to her new cat, who only has three legs, and how even
though she is missing a limb, she had learned to be happy and that she
had gotten to be super fast even missing a leg. The cat is super fast,
ran across a whole room in no time flat! Makes me sad that the cat is
missing a leg, but it did relate to her super well so I guess I can't
We were getting ready weekly planning today (we were actually ready
for once!) but then the Pippos called us and said that they wanted to
come over to inspect our apartment and our car. Oh boy.. It was not
ready for inspection. Therefore, weekly planning turned into a deep
cleaning session. We rushed super quick so that it wouldn't be
apparent that we just spent like 3 hours cleaning, and even though we
were in a hurry we were surprisingly able to get everything looking
spick and span! The only points we got knocked off were for some
broken curtains and for some limewater stains in the toilet. We were
super relieved hahaha.
After inspections we went over to Sue's to hopefully have a plan of
salvation lesson, but we actually just spent like 2 hours helping her
organize her family history chart online so that she could have some
names to take to the temple on Saturday. It was super cool to see the
contrast between her tree and mine. If we spent 2 hours on my family
tree, we would probably only find like 3-4 names. But spending that
time with sue, we found 35 names for her and a young man in the ward
to get baptized for! It was super sweet that we are able to help with
that work. It makes me feel good that I am not only able to help those
who are alive, but also those who are passed on, but still looking for
their work to be done!!
We went Tracting a little after dinner, and then we walked to Brother
Stoumbaugh's and talked with him about the Book of Mormon and how it
can provide strength in our lives. It is super cool to be able to see
his love for the book, and to see the love that he feels for the
gospel. Christ changes lives, and I haven't doubted it for a moment!
We gave some more service with the M3 sisters (Sisters Hodgson and
Freeman) at that gross apparent, that really isn't that gross anymore.
All the walls have been painted and all the flooring is gone, so even
though it is bare it actually looks A TON better than it did before.
The service we did this time was really just a last clean-up before
the floors got painted. We took a shop-vac and vacuumed up all the
dust and other random stuff left on the floors. While Elder Hansen ran
the vacuum, the two sisters and I took pliers and hammers and got the
rest of the staples and nails out of the floor. It was kind of weird
because the member that owns the apartment (not the Yules) said that
there was going to be some lifting to do, but there wasn't any lifting
to be done... So really it just turned into sweeping, pulling, and
lots of conversation between the four of us haha.
We had dinner with the Yules that night, then we ran out to Brother
Gowey's, then we went back to Clinton for a lesson with the Lemons.
Lots of running around! We tried to teach Brother Gowey more about the
priesthood, but it just turned into an Elder Wallgren roast fest.
Brother Gowey is mean to me... But I'm oddly okay with it. We have a
weird relationship.
Brother Gowey and I have a........... Special relationship

 The lesson we had with the Lemons was about as
interesting as it usually is. Some time spent making fun of "Mr.
Texas" and his plans for the future, talking about some form of
hunting, and then to top it all off ice cream at the end. Literally
how the last like 9 lessons had gone with them hhaha.

I saw it and it made me laugh, even though I just barely understand it

We got home just a little past nine.... And then we were broken:
When we got home the neighbors were out and about doing their thing,
being a group of college students living in one apartment. They had
some friends over, and as such they were laughing and having a good
time. When we got out of the car, one of the girls walked up to us-
"Hey I have a question for you!"  Was this going to be a miraculous
It wasn't
The next 35 or so minutes consisted of someone trying to bash with us
who couldn't even build a viable argument. We literally had to help
her find her facts to build her argument, which even still was not
quite good. We went from discussing (I say discussing, but she never
let us say more than like 3 words) the difference between Christians
and Catholics, to why God isn't destroying the earth right now, to why
it "might" be okay to follow the devil to get happiness, to the
hypocrites in Jerusalem, and finally to why we are all descendants of
Noah, not of Adam and Eve.... My companion and I were a loss for
words. We had no idea what to say... What to think... What to do! She
smiled, and I could tell she thought she had won our little encounter
here. She was about to start again on something else when her neighbor
came out and corralled her inside. We waved goodbye, and as we walked
into our apartment we hear the two of them arguing:
"Brianna, why would you do that?!"
"I F****** broke the Mormons! Did you see that?! I broke them!" We got
into our apartment and I looked at Elder Hansen- "Is this what it
feels like to be broken? It's new to me. I must have been broken for a
while now!" And then a fit of giggles followed from the two of us with
lots of other comments on the discussion we had. 

Pretty slow day today.....
We spent the first half the day walking to East Missoula, teaching a
few lessons to a few people, and then walking back. The hour it takes
to walk stinks, and Elder Hansen doesn't like the bus, so we walk it
usually once a week haha. Oh well, I guess it is keeping me at least
somewhat in shape. We taught some good lessons, and were able to teach
some really cool people on the side of the road as we walked!
The later half of the day we spent walking around West Riverside,
visiting a few less active and medically home-bound people close to
us. It took us like 45 minutes of wandering around in a trailer court
to find one sister, but eventually we found her and were able to have
a nice visit with her. She said at the end of the visit that she was
super happy we came over, super happy that we were there to talk with
her! It's nice to visit those who normally don't have people to talk
with, I can always tell that they like that more than anything else
that we might give them!
Church was weird today- everyone was talking about their mothers and
how we need to hug and serve out mothers and I just felt.... Weird. My
mother is like 1300 miles away, so I couldn't really accept the
challenges that were given in sacrament meeting ahah.
BUT! It was the day I got to skype home, and that was SUPER cool, as I
expected it to be. I camped out in the young women's room, because it
was the closest room to the clerk's office, where the WiFi router was.
Even with that the service was a little sketchy, but it was super
awesome to talk to my family for a while!
I skyped home in the young women's room..... And they had a couch
full of colorful and fluffy blankets and a couple heart pillows. So,
naturally, I had to take a few pictures!

As always happens after talking to your family, doing work was a
little weird that evening. Thoughts are on home, but we tried to work
and just get some stuff done! Even though we tried... No one that we
tried was home or interested. So really we just spent the evening
walking around haha.
However, I did teach Elder Hansen how to cook Mac N' Cheese, so that
was sweet. It was also very entertaining for me to watch him try to
figure out what the directions on the back of the box said to do. I
know that's probably bad, but whatever. It was fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment