I hope all of you had a great week! This was a super slow week for Elder Galloway and I and we were not able to see many people, investigators and members, so I will probably end up skipping the days where we just walked around and had no success.
Monday was the usual P-Day festivities. We hung out at the church with the other missionaries and emailed and played basketball for a little while. Elder Galloway and I had to cut out our P-Day short because of an FHE we had planned with Brother and Sister Will*** and their family. It went extremely well and we thought the kids loved it! Brother Will*** took us over to our apartment where Brother Froe*** was waiting to pick us up for dinner! After dinner they released the three dogs they had in a back room. The two they have were just normal black labs that want you to scratch their stomach forever. The dog that they were watching over would be described more as a horse. It was a big dog! He wasn't too friendly too strangers though so I wasn't able to play with him or get a picture.
Tuesday we had temple service in the morning. Elder Galloway and I were the first ones to arrive out of the three companionships who work on the temple so we had first pick of what we wanted to do. We volunteered to haul plant debris away while the ladies who were there with us clipped at bushes. I am glad that I brought my gloves because the bushes they were working on were rose bushes! It made for a great analogy about being prepared so you won't get pricked by a thorn! After awhile I helped the other elders pull out weed block and man that stuff is annoying! The weed block had all of the mud on it and if you moved the mud, it would just be somewhere else on the weed block! However, we were able to do it! Unfortunately, that was pretty much the highlight of the day. We did try to see people but nothing came to light.
Wednesday and Thursday morning were the slowest times out of the whole week so I won't bore you with the details of those days! The only highlight that we had was this OYM I had right outside our apartment. It was right after lunch and Elder Galloway and I were standing outside our apartment just talking about what we had planned up until dinner. While we were standing there, one of our neighbors from the complex across the alley walked over to us. He asked me if I could help him out with something. He was planning on proposing to his girlfriend and the mother of his two kids and had bought a sweet get up to do it in. However, he never wears ties and didn't know how to tie one. He tried learning how to tie a tie by watching YouTube tutorials but it was confusing. So he asked us (since we wear ties all the time) and we gladly helped. I yanked off my tie and went through it step by step with him. Hopefully he got it! Anyways, as he was thanking us, I gave him our card with our number on it and he took it! It was pretty neat being in that spot at that time.
Thursday afternoon Elder Galloway and I tried OYMing before dinner but no one was out and about walking. We had dinner with a member who was a pilot that flew private jets. He had some great advice for us and shared his story with us of what he went through just to be able to join the Church as a teenager. He even shared a mission story from his time in Minnesota. He had to open up a previously closed area with a new companion and he shared the hardships that happened. He was also one of the first members I have met where he went home at 18 months because the time of service was changed. After dinner (and a tupperware full of roast and potatoes), we headed out to correlation. We arrived to correlation a little wet and muddy! We were crossing at our usual crossing and in the dark I stepped into a small puddle. Although my shoes were caked with mud, my pants came out almost unscathed! Correlation was pretty good but confusing at times because we would end up with four different conversations in one room! Elder Galloway then got cold halfway through so he was wrapped up in a blanket and then received several more blankets because he was still cold!
Friday morning we had district meeting. It was a good one that helped us remember the importance of commitments and the importance of saying "will you" instead of "can/would you". You wouldn't propose by saying, "Can you marry me? If that is ok?" haha! :) The sisters brought European chocolate that they received from a member and it was pretty tasty! We did an exchange after lunch with the Gold Hill Elders. I went over to Gold Hill with Elder Madsen. We had actually been on exchanges during my time in the Corvallis zone so it was good being able to catch up with him. After we had arrived in Gold Hill and dropped my stuff off, we took off on foot to see some less actives and other people that he had planned on seeing before dinner. We tried but no one was around. On the way to see an excommunicated member in a trailer park, Elder Madsen had to go to the bathroom. Across the street from the trailer park was a gas station so we headed towards that. A man got out of the bathroom when we got there and Elder Madsen went in. Well, the man didn't hop in his truck right away... he just stood there and looked over at me. He finally asked how much water I had in my bag and I told him none. We kept talking about water until Elder Madsen got out. As we walked by him, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a couple of dollars and told us to go buy some water and then he drove away! Tender mercy right there! After trying to contact people, we walked back and got the truck to drive to dinner. Oh man it was a great dinner haha! The food was awesome and halfway through the meal, the member's grandson who lives with them came in. He is a Marine reservist and actually knows one of the return missionaries that lived in Philomath and always shared great insights with us! It was pretty cool to see the Gospel working in the grandson's life despite being in the Marines haha. We got back to the apartment and the Gold Hill ward mission leader came over and picked us up for a lesson with a man named Chris. He is a less active member who knows hardly anything about the Gospel but wants to learn. We shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ missionary discussion with him and the Spirit was just there and it was awesome. I was talking slowly and I knew what to say and how to say it. It was a pretty cool experience! After the lesson, Brother Vit** told us that he was going to buy us pizza for lunch tomorrow just because he wanted to! That was just an awesome way to end the day.
Saturday Elder Madsen and I took off on foot again to contact more people. Just like the day before, no one was home. We knocked on this one door and we could hear the man moving around in the trailer but he wouldn't open the door! Lame sauce! However, we had timed everything perfectly so we could go eat the pizza Brother Vit** had ordered! It was some dang good pizza! We went back to the apartment and I packed up my stuff so we could exchange back. After we exchanged back Elder Galloway and I worked our way towards the church, OYMing and contacting as many people as we could before the Elders Quorum Chili Cook-Off! It was an interesting one to say the least! The chili I had was good but I only had a little bit of chili. As a missionary, sometimes you get a certain meal a ton and recently it had been chili! Luckily, someone started making hot dogs so that filled me up. While we were there, Angelo called and told us they wouldn't be able to make it to church because of a family visit but said he would make it the following week with Spencer. That was a bummer but it is ok! The chili cook off took up the rest of the night, between the eating and cleaning up and working our way back to the apartment.
Sunday we had testimony meeting due to stake conference this coming weekend. Before the members started giving their testimonies, the Primary got up and sang "Savior". It was a beautiful way to start testimony meeting! It was pretty cool to see how our testimony meeting really took on the topic of forever families! After testimony meeting and Sunday school, we had a pretty awesome lesson in Elders Quorum. The brother who was giving the lesson had an awesome presentation and even managed to find a way to throw in a Muppets clip! The lesson was based off the talk about approaching the throne of God with confidence by Elder Jorg Klebingat. It really made me think and ponder. After church we tried seeing some of our less actives but no one was home so we had dinner before our lesson with Jay H. The family we had dinner with had a corn snake (according to Elder Galloway) and they let me hold it! It went through my belt loop and got stuck so Brother Ols** had to get him out of it. After our lesson with Jay H., we went over to Brad's apartment to share a message with them. They were in a down mood because one of the pastors at their church had passed away from pancreitis last week. We were able to share some scriptures with them and then we shared our message of a new year with them.
During the weekend I got a pretty bad cold! I only slept for maybe an hour and a half last night because I was hacking up a lung! Keep me in your prayers!
I love you all! I know that this church is true! There is no doubt!
“Do your duty, that is best. Leave unto the Lord the rest.”
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow