There's this chain of ice cream places out here called Chillers and the logo is a cow and underneath the cow are the words, "Like No Udder". When I first saw it, I gagged. For some reason it made me think of warm, curdled ice cream coming right out of the sweaty cow's hairy udders. The more I've seen it, the more I've gagged, but I've also decided that I couldn't pass up the opportunity to say I ate at a place like no udder. Naturally, Sister Ford my boon companion, felt the same way so after district meeting this week she and her companion and I and Sister Hunt all went out to Chillers. To my relief, the ice cream wasn't warm or curdled and I didn't find any sweaty hairs in it (like that dreadlock hair I found in my chili, gag.). It was actually pretty good. But when it came down to it it wasn't all that different from any udder ice cream place I've eaten at. Except for you have to eat outside. I guess that's like no udder... besides Sonic.
The Relief Society President in the Salem Ward is going to school right now to finish her bachelor's. She has her associates but hasn't ever gone back to get her bachelor's until now. I'd say she's in her mid to late 50's. She was saying how she's drowning in her statistic's homework and I mentioned that that was my favorite math class I took in high school. Well, next time I saw her she came up to me with tears running down her face and said, "I know it's not missionary work, but I'm desperate. Could you please help me with my statistics?" I told her we're here to help anyone with anything they're in need of and that includes the spiritual, temporal and intellectual. I did tell her it had been 8 years since I took a math class but that I'd do my best to help her. That didn't bother her. The next thing you know we're at her house and I'm flipping through a statistics text book and explaining standard deviations and quartiles and fences and doing my own calculations on scratch paper and it was SO fun. I'm sad I haven't needed any math classes in college because it makes me excited to work a problem and check my answer and have it be the right one. I know it's incredibly nerdy of me. I know it. The word got out though and there's another lady in the ward who is struggling in algebra right now and she said she might call me. She's not active. Maybe she'll let us come over to her house now and we can work on bringing her kids to church and getting them baptized. Who'd have thought that my love of math could be a missionary tool? Not me. But Heavenly Father apparently did!
Our follow up with Sandra flopped. She wasn't there. We went tracting afterwards and were shut down hardcore at most of the houses we knocked. We did find a guy on Thursday who had his goatee braided about 4 inches and tied at the bottom with a red hair tie. He has a baby pitbull. His name is Paul. He said we could come back and he talked about his wife, Mary. I mentioned to the district that maybe they have a son named Peter. The only people that laughed were the senior couple. Everyone else was lost. It's times like those that I remember how much older I am than most of the missionaries out here. (There's a couple elders here who don't even know what Saved By the Bell is!) We had a really good district meeting this week and we have zone conference tomorrow. Zone Conference is my FAVORITE. I can't wait.
We finally got to meet with Robert again this week. He said his parents are against him coming to church still. We did have a baptism date set with him but we know that he can't get baptized on that day because he has to come to church first. We read from the Book of Mormon with him about people who endure and are blessed. Then we challenged him to pray for himself to find out the day that the Lord wants him to get baptized and once he gets the answer to have the faith to work towards that date and that everything would pan out if the Lord said it would. He said he would pray about it and then we got talking about something else. When we were leaving he said the prayer and right in that prayer he asked the question. It was such a pure, simple prayer. But he was so humble and showed so much faith when he prayed it. He wasn't ashamed to ask it in front of us. He didn't use big words. He just said, "Please let me know what day I should be baptized on. Please." and then closed the prayer. It was such a great example to me.
Sister Hunt had a breakthrough this week with tracting. She told me that now that we've done it enough she sees why we do it and how important it is. It was really good. She still finds it hard, but she's trying not to complain when we do it. It's been great. We haven't had much success this week with tracting but, I think her breakthrough was success enough.
We visited some less active members this week and as soon as we sat down they told us that they have a rat loose in their kitchen that they can't catch. You would think they could have mentioned this before we came in the house. I was mean and made Sister Hunt try to catch it while I was safe on the couch. But she's had pet rats before so she's not afraid of them.
We were at the Vonnahmes' this week and they had the latest copy of the Church News. I started thumbing through it and saw that they have six temples and one under construction in Brazil. I said, "Wow! They're going to have 7 temples in Brazil!" Brother Vonnahme said, "Girl, do you have any idea how big Brazil is?" Sister Vonnahme shot up (she always lays down while we talk) and said, "Marvin! You shouldn't say something like that! Tell me you didn't say what I think you said!" She was appalled. I asked her what she thought he said to me and this is what she heard, "Girl, do you have any idea how big your rear is?" Bahahaha! We almost died laughing. It was so funny. Marvin shook his head and said, "I know better than to say something like that to Sister Nelson! If I was ever going to say something like that to her, I'd make sure I was out of punching range first!" It was so funny. No wonder Sister Vonnahme got so upset. I don't know how you get "your rear" from "Brazil" but she did. Her leukemia is making her overheat a lot lately. It's like an ice chest in their house. We'll get there after tracting and we'll be really hot and sweaty and as soon as I sit down I have to cover myself in a blanket. Haha. We were talking about how Marvin loves to read books about the church and the prophets and stuff and she said, "There's a lot of people thinks he's smarter than he is. A LOT." He got this hurt look on his face and we started laughing and she felt so bad because she didn't realize what she was saying. She tried to fix it by saying, "I know he's smart! I do. He's very smart!" But it was too late. It was funny because Marvin really is one of the smartest people around and it was just funny to hear sweet Sister Vonnahme say he isn't as smart as people say. Haha. Brother Vonnahme made me snickerdoodles and coffee cake this week because he heard me say how much I love cinnamon one time. What sweethearts.
Yesterday at church we actually had someone show up! And this week we had a breakthrough with one of our investigators who won't get married. She finally admitted to us why they haven't gotten married yet and started crying saying that she knows it's a pathetic reason not to follow God's commandments. Hopefully that will stir something in her and she'll have the faith to act. It's sad that the government gives more money and healthcare to single people than married people. So many couples out here have children together but don't get married so that they can get more on their check.
We talked a less-active girl into coming to church this week. She won't come because her son who is 4 won't go to primary and he won't sit still or be quiet in the adult classes. We told her it was ok and to bring him anyway and that she needed to come. Well, she came and brought her son and he wouldn't go to primary and he was whining a little in Relief Society. He said he had to go to the bathroom and she took him. As soon as they got back she told him to sit down and he didn't want to so he told her he had to go to the bathroom again. He didn't. But he wanted to leave the class. The mom said no and just let him whimper and whine but didn't give in. People could hear him but no one really cared because he's a little boy and they were just glad to see her at church. Well, the woman behind them started talking out loud at the boy saying for him to be quiet and to sit down right now. Then she'd say, "I'll take you to the bathroom but your mom is going to stay right where she is and listen to the lesson. Then she'd say, "This is unacceptable behavior!" She'd get up and try to take him and he'd hide in his mom's lap. She'd sit back down. Then he'd whine again to his mom and this lady would say to be quiet and then she'd be like, "You look at me in the eyes while I talk to you. You should be ashamed of yourself acting this way!" It was so loud and she made him cry really loud and his mom would go to take him out and the lady would tell her not to. She kept standing up and yelling at him. It was horrible. No one could pay attention to the lesson. The poor teacher did her best and kept going on as if nothing was happening but no one could hear her because that lady was being so loud. The Relief Society counselor finally found some candy in her purse and gave it to him. The lady behind them tried to take the candy before the boy could so that she could hold it as a punishment until he would behave but the counselor gave it directly to him. The mom finally took him out because the lady wouldn't be quiet in telling the boy to be quiet. After the meeting the lady went up to the mom and scolded her for giving into her son. It was awful. She does it with a lot of people and there are several less-active people in the ward because of her. I just hope that this mom will come back. After that scene yesterday I doubt if she will. We told the Vonnahmes about it and they said if the mom won't come back that we should notify the bishop. Ugh. It's frustrating. We finally made enough progress with her to get her to come and then that lady might have just pushed her back out. Oh well. the Gospel is True. The Church is True. The people aren't. We're all in need of the Physician or we wouldn't be here.
Creeper John saw us while we were tracting this week and tried to get us to get in his car (yes, he somehow has a license) cause he didn't want us walking in the hot weather. I told him this is what we wanted to be doing and he asked if we needed an escort. Then he noticed that the sun was reflecting off of his watch so he positioned the glare right in my eyes and said, "I got you! I got you... right in my heart always and forever." Haha. He is so weird. He said he stopped drinking... except on special occasions. I asked him about his weed and he said that he smokes it because it's legal in California. Which to him might be a logical reason to break the law. He's saving up for a gold tooth right now because one of his front teeth is missing. It's great how many different kinds of people there are in the world, huh?
I can't put down "Jesus the Christ" right now. If you feel like you don't know Heavenly Father enough, you need to read about the Savior. If you don't feel like you know or understand the Savior, read "Jesus the Christ". It's a great companion to go along with your Bible reading because it helps you see the context of the time period and customs and the reasonings and meanings behind the vernacular of the times. It has helped me come to love Christ even more and understand Him and realize how perfect God's plans are and how loving He is to have sent us His Son. It's been interesting for me to read about the Jews. So many of them were devout and waiting for their Messiah. They read the scriptures and treasured them but they misunderstood them. When the long-awaited Messiah came, instead of realizing and rejoicing, they rejected Him because He didn't come in the way they expected. So many people fault the Jews for that. But how many Christians love Christ dearly and yet misunderstand His scriptures and reject his restored gospel because it's not been established the way they expected it to be established? How many of us in the church reject counsel and promptings because they don't come the way we want or expect them to come? The Lord's ways are not our ways. Thank Heaven for that. Hopefully we can recognize His plans even when they aren't what we're expecting.
I love you all very much. I miss you. I'm grateful to be a missionary. The Church is TRUE! Share it!
I love you all very much. I miss you. I'm grateful to be a missionary. The Church is TRUE! Share it!
Extra Blessings: Camillio Estevez and Otie x 2
Quote of the Week: "That's about all my right leg is worth: one good buzzard poop."