Monday, November 1, 2010

Tornados, gunshots, and a 100-year old stripper

I hope whoever reads these weekly blog updates isn't getting tired of what I write - I try not to sound too repetitive! This week was pretty similar to the past 2... lots of knocking on doors, trying to find people who want to hear our message.

On Tuesday we had a tornado watch! We got a call from our "missionary mom" (a lady in our ward who has just always been like a mom to the missionaries in Point Place) telling us that a big storm was on it's way to Toledo with potential tornadoes, so she told us to stay in our apartment that morning. So my companion and I went into our car and listened to the radio to know what was going on. (Don't worry, we were not in our cars when the storm hit was a good 45 minutes away while we listened). When the winds and rain hit Toledo, is was just that - wind and rain. No tornadoes. I was so excited to be sucked into the Tornado and take wicked awesome pictures and then end up somewhere and say "I don't think we're in Ohio anymore Totto!" (that was a joke). Later that day we went and talked to a less active family and in it is a 10 year old boy who wants to be baptized, so we'll be teaching him this week. Later that day we visited with a man in our ward and his son walked in, getting ready for work, and chatted with us for a few minutes. He said that he would like to be taught the missionary lessons - sweet!

On Wednesday night our ward had it's Trunk or Treat! It was much smaller than what I'm used to from back home, but it was fun. They had a chili cookoff and asked us 4 missionaries to judge them. There were 11 entries and they gave each of us 11 little bowls (about the size of a 1/3rds measuring cup) of each chili. We had to taste them, then rate them in different categories (best used of beans, spicy, family friendly, best overall, etc.). After eating so much chili, my stomach was not happy. BUT it was fun! We then sat with a member and handed out candy outside.

Thursday we were asked to go to a hospital and give a blessing. That's my second since I've been out. Third if you count the MTC. We tracted a lot that day. Later that night as we were sitting in our apartment we heard a series of gun shots. (that's the end of that story..)

On Sunday we went to the 1st counselors house for the evening (so we weren't out and about while little kids were trick or treating) and hung out with them. We sat outside around a fire pit and would chat with people as they'd walk by. Somebody asked if we were supposed to be Latter-day Saints (haha...our costumes were pretty convincing I guess?). There was this lady who is probably in her 30s but looks 100 because she smokes who used to be a stripper who walked by a few times - she still dressed like a stripper, it was funny/disgusting.

So that's pretty much my week... Nothing too exciting to report.
The weather is getting colder and colder. This morning we woke up to find frost all over the car - the first frost of the fall/winter!
There are leaves EVERYWHERE! People rake their leaves and put them on the side of the road for the city to come pick up - the piles are HUGE! I wonder how they collect them all...

Thank you for all your letters! I think I have written everyone back so far... I have 5 or 6 of you who I will try to write today. Know that I DO read your letters and I will try my best to write you back eventually. But I love hearing about every one's lives!

Well that's it... Today for P-Day we're going bowling with a couple other missionaries. It's only about $10 for 2 games and shoes here! CRAZY!!! Love and miss you all. This gospel is perfect, this I know as I see the drastic differences in the lives of members and nonmembers. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet of this last dispensation and that he translated those ancient scriptures that are now the Book of Mormon. What a marvelous book; "Another Testament of Jesus Christ." I know that President Thomas S. Monson is a prophet. "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). I know that President Monson receives revelation and guidance to help lead us, God's children, to the gates of eternal life. This week I'm was reading in The Book of Ether about the Brother of Jared and his people traveling to the promised land. Chapter 6:

8. And it came to pass that the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind.
9. And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord.
10. And thus they were driven forth; and no monster of the sea could break them, neither whale that could mar them; and they did have light continually, whether it was above the water or under the water.

Our promised land is the Celestial Kingdom. Heavenly Father will and has already provided us with help in getting there. Like the winds blowing the Jaredite barges the entire journey, we can be guided our entire journey as we are obedient and righteous. We must remember to praise the Lord "all the day long" and "not cease to praise the Lord." I'm not going to lie, missionary work is hard. But even in the hardest of times, there is so much to be grateful for. We must never forget how much we are blessed. As we are obedient and have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, "no monster of the sea" can bring us down and we will "have light continually." Obedience is the key to happiness. If we are obedient, we will be blessed.

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