Week of 10/5/15
P-days are awesome! It's nice to have a break from being so busy all the time and just chill. It might have just been the Book of Mormon read-a-thon last week, but my brain and body are just pooped, haha. But, this p-day was so great. I got some email responses written and I'm going to work on the rest next Monday. I got to email with my Mom and Dad and Brooklyn, which always boosts my day.
So, it was really relaxing until the Spanish missionaries wanted to go to the mall. We went just for fun, but it wasn't really worth it, haha, at least for me. I love shopping and stuff usually, but when you're a missionary and can't wear anything different from day to day except your tie shopping just isn't as fun. Kinda made me a little sad, but I got over it by just telling myself I'll buy whatever I want when I go home.
After that we went home and relaxed for about 30 min until Brother Jimenez, a councilor in the bishopric, came to pick us up for dinner. He and his family are really great and both he and his wife served missions. Going to dinner with members is really fun because we just get to talk and see how people got where they are in life. We're always sharing the gospel, but one of my favorite things to talk to people about is their work, and their college, and what they originally wanted to be when they grow up and stuff like that. It really gives me something to think about and think what I really want in life and what I want to do.
After dinner we went to teach Joseph. He is from Egypt and has a harder time understanding our messages, but it's great to see how the Spirit communicates between us all. After the lesson I had a crazy prompting to go see a lady, Tammy, that lives a few streets down that we had tried a few other times before but, she was never there. We were a little reluctant at first because it was getting close to time to go home, but we went anyways. It was so worth it! I learned a lesson about not letting a prompting pass! She was there and we got to know her a little bit more and just talk a little bit and we ended up setting a time to go back. It really hit me why the Lord had us go there at that time, because He knew she would be home.
My dad gave me a little theme for my mission: Find the One. It can mean a lot of things like converting one person on your mission(or even just yourself) and you'll be successful. But, in general, we decided that the way I can use it every day is that I want to find the one person that needs me, whether it be service or a gospel message or kind word or a baptism. Sooo, I'll probably be mentioning every now and then about how I found the one that day, or week, or whatever. Anyway long story short.... Tammy was my one that day. I know God had her in mind and that's why I got my prompting.
My morning started out as usual. One of my new favorite times of day is personal study. I really love just being able to focus on what I want to study and what I think would be good(that will be important in a second). But, I will say, sometimes personal study is a challenge because I don't always know what to study for a whole hour and I have a rrreeeaaalllyyy hard time staying focused haha. I usually read one chapter from standard works, watch or read a general conference talk, and then kinda just whatever comes to my mind. (editor's note: Tyson has really loved getting emails from many of you with insights on what you are studying or conference talks you've been reading or whatever. firstname.lastname@example.org)
Around 1pm, when we got done with all of our morning stuff, we went out to tract in an area where we had a lesson scheduled for about 3:00. The tracting was uneventful, but the lesson was amazing. We taught Latashia, who has been a member for just a short time. The lesson was so full of the spirit. We are going over the Book of Mormon with her, kinda just starting from the beginning and reading along. So, today we read 1 Nephi chapter 8. The reading went very well and we all learned a lot. Each of us had questions answered.
For some reason today, in personal study, I decided to read my patriarchal blessing. I read it a lot, but I just felt like I should that day for some reason. Well, anyway, as the lesson went on we got on the subject of patriarchal blessings and It was really a beneficial that I had read mine that morning so that I could have it fresh on my mind and I could share testimony on how they truly are a guide for our lives. I really thought that was cool.
After dinner we went to tract. It wasn't very exciting like usual. We rode our bikes and, no, I didn't have my bike yet by that day but I did get it this week. So, I rode a hand-me-down that is pretty sketchy. Riding here is a lot different than riding in Utah. THERE ARE NO SHOULDERS! I consider myself a pretty good biker, but, it's still pretty scary sometimes, especially in the pitch black dark. Oh, and like all the roads are at least 45mph. Mom skip this sentence: missionaries have been hit/grazed by cars before haha...... Biking around here is pretty crazy, so that's going to be an adventure.
Morning was just like any other morning. Study and learn and training. The mornings are the hardest times for me. I just wanna get out there, I don't even care if the tracking isn't fun or super productive, it's just hard to be sitting there. But, I guess I'm surviving and after my first 12 weeks it will be shorter in the mornings because I won't have as much training. Anyway, after lunch we went to an apartment complex to teach Deseree. She's super nice and loves the missionaries. We are trying to help her get to the temple and see how important that is.
While we were in the area we also met Mary Lee. She was just sitting on her porch and we walked up and talked to her for like 40 min or so. It was a great lesson and she's even thinking about coming to church on Sunday to see what that's all about. Then after dinner of Mac n Cheese we went back out to contact some people. We didn't have that much luck on talking to people, but we did meet Owen who is actually a member that we just thought we would like to introduce ourselves to. He is a really interesting guy. We got there right as he did and we asked if we could help him carry his groceries in his house and he said "Sure thing." As soon as we got in the door I could tell he was passionate about guns. There were casings everywhere because he does his own reloading and on the table were just boxes on boxes. He and his family are really into competitive shooting and have been doing it for as long as he can remember. He is really passionate about it and I loved talking to him and hearing some of his stories. I should also mention that he has like 5 ferrets haha! He said the past missionaries have called him the ferret master or something like that. Again, I'll say I really love talking to people and seeing how different and interesting all of God's children are.
So today we had a zone workshop with President Wilson. We learned how to work with the ward and members to be able to be more effective missionaries. It was interesting to see all the different ways that we can be missionaries. After that we went out to Goochland to Brother Maldonados house. This was one of my favorite times of the week. We got to go and do service and build a fence for him. Like, I got to drill all the post holes and everything. I felt like I was back home. It was unreal.
Friday we got to teach Cheryl again. We talked about fasting and the spirit was really strong. One of the members that was with us took us to Arby's (if you're reading this you should grab a missionary and take them out somewhere!). Then we went tracting for a while, which wasn't very successful, before our last appointment. We got to talk to Latashia again and this time we taught her about temples and eternal families. She loved it! It was getting towards the end of the week though and I did have my struggles with a bit of homesickness, but I'm getting through it I guess.
I'm getting a bit pressed for time right now, so this part is going to be pretty condensed. I'll try to watch my time better next week. Anyway, we did our weekly planning and our regular study and mission stuff and whatever. Church was good and I enjoyed Ward Council more and gave some good input. We got to talk to a lot of people about the newly sustained apostles, got 2 referrals and tracted in to 2 houses and I guess they are kinda like mildly interested. It's tough keeping up my energy for a whole week so I'm glad you write me little stuff during the week. Try to do it even like on Saturday and stuff if you can. It really gets me through my days. Anyway, that's my week! 1 month in the field as of a couple days ago. Love you all and I'm so, so thankful for all you do and your support. I'll try to get you some pictures and stuff soon. Send me some too! (editors note: you can send pictures, small video clips, voice messages, articles or pretty much anything else as an attachment to your email, just not in line. If that doesn't make sense and you want to send him something you can send it to me first and I'll make sure it's right :) ).