Monday, 15 October 2012

Where to start?

Answer questions or tell stories?
I'm glad to hear the missionaries back home are hard-working and focused.  Keep up the good work.  As far as being straight-forward, they're not.  We're instructed again and again to challenge people to baptism in the first lesson.  It's important to let them know why we are here and why we are meeting with them.  We're not here to just have a bible discussion, we're inviting people to change their lives and come closer to the Lord.  I've seen too many times when Elders have failed to get this point across and investigators expect nothing more than an interesting chat.  Of course, where you go after that invitation depends on the people.  Some will simply progress faster than others.  That's when you need to take other steps, like inviting them to stuff and helping them befriend members.  Otherwise, invitation during the first appointment should be standard.
So we had a couple great ideas for pranks this week.  But pretty much all my pranks keep getting bamboozled by silly things!  We bought a 2 litre diet coke to do the Coke-Mentos bomb to Elder Andrews--only to discover it wasn't going to work!  You need to shove like 5 Mentos in the Coke bottle before it explodes.  I'm not sure if I can rig such a bomb.  We'll see.  We also tried to make Elder Andrew's drink a stink-mix.  We poured some Dark Chocomel (super thick chocolate milk) into a container, then put a ton of pickle juice, salt, soy sauce and a raw egg into it and swished it all up.  It sat there for 4 days before Elder Andrews finally picked it up.  He put it up to his lips...!  And smelled it.  ARGH!  His sniffer got to it before his mouth did.  Bamboozled.
They got us back though.  We convinced Elder Pimentel that every missionary has to go through a gauntlet--to chug half a container of Chocomel.  He snatched up the Rancidmel and started guzzling that thing, burping and half-gagging.  Something was wrong through, because he finished the whole thing.  To celebrate his triumph, Elder Andrews poured us some real Chocomel--which was actually the Rancidmel.  Luckily, I noticed before I drank it.  Dangit, they turned our prank back on us.
But otherwise this week was pretty standard I suppose.  We swung by Caraline, only to have her husband tell us she wasn't interested anymore.  GAH, Dutch husbands!  They're stinkers.  It's really upsetting, because she (he?) didn't give us a chance to try and improve her life, like we promised.  A bit of a step back, but seed planted.
We had a few rays of sun here and there.  We found somebody screaming for the gospel and we're really excited to work with her.  Her name is Melissa.  We haven't had a chance to really teach her yet, but we brought by a DVD, a Book of Mormon and piece of paper saying how the Gospel could improve her life.  She was somewhat taken aback by our friendliness I think.  We left a good impression, which is very important.  We should be able to meet with her again next week.
Sentina is pretty sick right now.  She has a "longaansteking" which is pneumonia.  There's not much we can do.  I'm still worried whether she's talked with her parents or not.  She alluded that she wants to talk to her parents about being baptized, but not necessarily ask for their permission.  Hopefully, she'll recover quickly.
I'll be getting my package tomorrow.
THANKS FOR THE SOCKS!!  Holy man, crows socks?  Coolest things ever.  I swagged my crow shirt, belt and socks all at the same time, busting out terribly good looks--then decided to fix my bike.  I got a bit of grease on my shirt...
Wow, congratulations for Wesley!  How exciting!  Does he have an estimate to when he'll be leaving yet?  The new announcement is great because it means one less year I'll have to wait to see all my church buds again.  How fun is that?
Word on the street is that Elder Shoemaker will be getting the boot (or...shoe?) and the Almere Elders will both being staying.  Elder Shoemaker says he has a feeling that he'll be leaving.  Plus, it's inevitable.  I've got the Curse.
Ooo, a new development.  My no-bike-crash record was officially smashed.  On certain streets, there are concrete slabs that force the road narrower, also forcing cars to play chicken deciding who goes through first.  On either end of either slab, there are concrete columns, about the width of a volleyball.  So earlier this week, my bike was making a rattle.  I leaned down and started prodding the fender, trying to find the source when suddenly a concrete pole snaked into view.  My first thought was "Oh crap, I'm going to hit that pole!" Then I did.  It was one of those distorted moments.  I saw the pole, hit the pole, then was draped over the pole.  I was bent over that thing, with the blunt end sticking in my gut.  I thought at that point, "I'm stuck on a pole.  Dangit." My bike kind of crashed away and I slumped off the pole, more confused than anything at that point.  Elder Shoemaker said he looked behind and just saw me, gut-first hanging on that stupid pole.  One bruise and no damage to my bike was all that happened.  Pretty weak crash, but a crash all the same.  There goes my record.  Almost made it a year.  I looked afterwards and every concrete column had a smaller metal rod sticking out the top--except the one I sprawled on.  That would have really hurt...  Miracle?  Hmm...
Also, it's interesting to see how the Lord blesses you for just...doing what you're supposed to.  We had a short meeting with an inactive Portuguese lady in the morning.  A few people told us the scheduled meeting with this lady would be unproductive, because of her marital situation (her husband is totally against the church).  However, we decided otherwise and have met with her the last couple weeks.  Anyway, a few appointments followed and between, we rode around, doing our best to talk to people .  We stayed focused, knocked some doors and found a couple cool people.  Later that same night, that same Portuguese lady called and said she had been talking with her friend, who said she wanted to meet with us!  Wha?  We called that friend up and she said she wanted to make an appointment and that she wanted to come to church too.  Whoa.  It's a testament to me that when you do your best, the Lord will fill in the rest.  Ge-rhymed.
Real orange juice is kind of expensive here...
We're going to the Temple tomorrow.  Should be fun.
How to put it... I would be honoured to do Papa Joe's endowment, but if it's already scheduled to go, I don't think it should be put off.  I'm sure they're waiting up there for their sealing.  Waiting another year would be difficult I'm sure.  I'm so happy for them. 
We haven't met with Vickie in a while.  Our appointment last time was cut short.  It's her birthday today.  She is turning 82.
Well, I think that's everything.
Keep up the awesome work back home, all of you.  Thanks for your support!
Tot volgende keer,
Elder "Spock"

View Elder Spock Burgess.jpg in slide show

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