"When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses." ~Joyce Brothers.
This blog started out to be a way of reporting on Tom's mission adventure. I soon realized that there's just a lot going on in life that I don't want to forget about. Our lives are busy, happy and full and I hope to capture some of the excitement in this blog.
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Week Eighty - A White Thanksgiving, Service, Hymns and The Fridge Magnet!
It sure does bring a smile to my face to hear about your week and
adventures with the dogs! I can only imagine the fun it would be with Sherman
and Toby in St. George. I miss those two pups! Thanks for the pics too. Is
that Rachel?! The first thought that came to my mind was that Rachel was some
random chick that was Christopher's girlfriend! She sure has grown up!
Everyone else looks the same. That blue looks really good on Tom. Glad to hear
that Thanksgiving was spent happily together with family!
Elder Berardy and I had a pretty good week. The weather was actually
pretty good and quite pleasant for the majority of the week, until today.
Thanksgiving went well for us. We started the day off with service, cleaning up
the yard of a member that is overcoming cancer. A few of the brethren were
there, but the four of us Elders did most of the work. But it was fun! We cut
down trees. Then we went to another hermano's house to scoop up dog poop and
mow the lawn. Nobody had cleaned up that backyard for who knows how long!?
Poop. EVERYWHERE! It made me grateful for a dad that understands the importance
of regular poop-scooping. Love you, Dad! In the evening we had two dinners to
go to, both with Hispanic families, Morales and Serrano families. But the food
was surprisingly white! So it was pretty typical. At the Serrano's, Hna
Serrano told me that she had an ex sister missionary that served in Garland come
and cook the food so us missionaries could have a traditional "white"
Thanksgiving, because she doesn't know how to cook turkey and stuffing and all
that stuff. I told her that every Thanksgiving that I have had and will ever
have has been a traditional "white" Thanksgiving, and she took away my last
chance to have a Mexican Thanksgiving. Oh well! We were well fed and had a
Angelica had a mild heart-attack the other day! But she got to the
hospital soon enough, so all is well. But it was a bit of a scare.
So we almost went on a double date to Starbucks this week. We contacted
this girl the other day, and we set up an appointment with her for another day.
She didn't want to do it at her house, because her parents probably wouldn't
like us too much. So we asked her where she wanted to meet up, and she chose
Starbucks of all places. She also said she was going to bring a friend, but her
friend bailed last minute. It was funny because the first thing she said to us
when we got to Starbucks was "I just read online that you guys don't drink
coffee...we can leave if you don't feel comfortable." But it was no big deal,
so we just talked about the Restoration in Starbucks, surrounded by worldly
coffee drinkers. We were sitting at a table by the line, and in line next to us
was this rich looking man with a bow tie, and he kept looking back at us, and we
could tell he wanted to say something to us. Once he got his coffee, he turned
around to us and told us that we should be teaching out of the Bible and not
talking about Joseph Smith. He said some other things, but that was the gist of
it. I just said "alright thank you sir" over and over again until he left. I
feel like we handled it pretty well, stayed cool on the outside, but you better
believe my heart was pumping and my blood was boiling on the inside. It just
amazes me how many people feel like they need to go out of their way to degrade
us and beat us down. But it's okay! I can handle it. After that, it was
terribly awkward, but it was kind of good. Gabby, the girl we were talking to,
had sympathy for us and was just like "you poor boys, that probably happens all
the time, I'm so sorry". So the lesson was a little rough, but she was super
kind, and it took guts for her to go to Starbucks by herself to meet up with two
weird guys that she doesn't even know. So props to her! We are supposed to
teach her again tonight.
Remember the picture of that family we had dinner with? We are still
teaching them. They absolutely love when we come over, but it has been hard to
have real spiritual, focused lessons with them. They are just all over the
place! So this week, we decided to start our lesson off with Elder Berardy and
I singing a hymn. I have never really done that before, but I wish I would have
been doing it all along. We sang "I am a Child of God" and they loved it. It
even brought tears to Patricia's eyes! And now we can't go over there without
them asking us to sing a song. I know we are not really that good, and I know
that music is powerful and invites the spirit. It has really made a difference
in our lessons!
We witnessed a miracle this week. A couple of weeks ago I lost one of
my name tags, the magnet one with the clippy thingy to put on jackets. We
looked for it for a while, but I just gave up and ordered a new one. But I did
pray that God would help me find it. Then the other day, we were just walking
down the sidewalk, and by this point, I had entirely given up and forgotten
about my name tag. But something caught my eye, and it was the clip that my
name tag was attached to! But there was no name tag in sight. So we decided to
knock on the door closest to where we found it, and a lady answered, and I asked
if she had it, and she smiled and said "hold on". Turns out they have been
using my name tag as a fridge magnet for the past two weeks!!! Super funny.
Absolute miracle. God loves me and he does answer prayers! Who knows, maybe
this lady is our next baptism. We got her phone number, and hopefully we can
teach her this week. How cool of a conversion story would that be?!
Last night, the Serranos had us over for dinner again, along with the
other elders, Angelica, and the two other coolest families in the ward. After we
ate, we had a big family home evening and played lots of games and it was an
absolute blast! Hispanic members of the Church sure do know how to have a good
time. It's nights like that that just make my heart swell with love and joy!
It was really good for Angelica too to see a family home evening and have fun
with the members. I love real, whole-hearted fun after a classic family home
evening. Nothing better.
-I got all the packages. Thank you!
-Pizza on Thursday for lunch, 1:00 would be great!