Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Week 13 - Pictures and Peppers

  Missionary Monday's are great, it's the one day each week that we hear from our son. It's probably a good thing that I teach back to back piano lessons on Monday afternoons though, as it keeps me from checking my email every five minutes! Then, when I finish up, there is usually an email or two or three from Elder Schaff. Today there were not only several messages, but a plethora of photos!! Let's see what we can share on the blog.

"I have an hour and 20 left on the clock and will now start writing the family+blog so that you guys can hear what I've got to say and I can bring the blog some salvation with some content!!!

From his email to his sister M-
"In my area right now, we travel about 40-80 miles per day, and remember, we sit down and teach for like 4 hours or more each day... I've missed you and playing board games, or just games in general! Start playing that guitar, there is an Elder here who is really good and I think with some practice that would be something really awesome for you!  We're teaching some little girls that are 8 and 10 years old. They are struggling to read the scriptures, and it made me think of how blessed you are to be able to read the scriptures, play board games, and learn super fast! Keep studying the scriptures M!!! Keep having fun and keep working hard to learn; you're so smart, and you'll be able to learn a lot of awesome things if you want to! I love you so much and know we'll have some awesome times when I'm back! Love you!

From his email to his sister S-
"Hiya! How's the music going? ...Has school kept you busy or do you have time to do whatever whenever? The mission is so busy I get excited over 30 minutes of free time.  This week the district decided to read the talk, "The Blessings of Worship" by Dean M. Davies (pg 93, Ensign, Nov 2016). It is excellent and I want you to read it. It talks about what it means to truly worship, and I felt that it would help the meetings back home be more important. I remember feeling like I was just fighting my way to lunch some days!... I love you very much and hope you're doing good things! Keep on living your life with all you've got! 

And then a request for mom and dad-
"I almost forgot!!! ALL types of Christmas music are allowed from now until December 31st

The high demand is Pentatonix Christmas and Train Christmas amongst missionaries. Our cars can play music from USB, so maybe you and Dad could get me a bunch of Christmas music and send a USB! If you could, that would be wonderful!!!!"

Finally, he typed an email for the blog-

Alright, jumping right into an update of what's going on with those we teach.

(I) = investigator (LA) = Less active (RC) = Recent Convert (PM) = Part member family

  "M" is our most progressing investigator. She has received all the lessons and is being baptized this weekend! She really loves the peace and joy that the gospel of Jesus Christ has brought into her life. We are focusing on the Book of Mormon while we prepare for her baptism.
  "G" is 60 years old and has been put in charge of watching all of her daughter's children, while her daughter works. We manage to get in lessons, but then she has to return to the kids. She has liked most of the principles that have been taught, and just fought through giving up coffee, but she did it! 
 "A" joined the church last year. He is working on building his testimony, as other churches frequently fill him with doubts on doctrine. We provide the answers he is looking for every time, and they often aren't complex. He is realizing that he can find the answers himself, but it requires action!!!
 "A" is the sister of "L," who joined the church 5 years ago. Work on Sunday stopped her from coming to church. "A" hasn't been very interested until about a week ago, when her child had 145 blood pressure and the regular is 95. The blood pressure resolved itself back to 95, and "A" believed it to be a miracle from God. Now she has a great desire to learn, but working on Sunday is also a problem for her. She wants to come, but it seems that the whole "missing Sunday for religious purposes" is a delicate issue in the work world. Time will tell!"
  "R" is less-active, and after his wife died, he returned to smoking. He is working hard to change, but the addictive power of cigarettes keeps conquering him. We work with him to realize his ability and potential.
  "Family G" is a part member, less active family. Their two daughters aren't baptized and we are teaching them; they are thinking about it. The parents are re-discovering the blessings of the gospel, and it has been a good experience for everyone!"
  "L" and "C" are sisters. They've been coming to church recently and are doing well. They are close to re-activation! "L" is pressed for money, and can't expand her thoughts beyond maintaining an income at this time. We teach about how the gospel brings relief in all aspects of life, but she has not yet taken us up on that promise!"
  "Family D" has also recently been coming to church and is now working on scripture study as a family.
  "Fam C" is on and off to church, due to certain conditions, but they have strong testimonies and we imagine they'll be back soon!
   Those are the main people we visit. We have others occasionally, but this is the basis of who we work with each day!"

Alright so this week: We had the opportunity to spend time with 2 other Elders, Elders Collins and Matienzo. They were going to be the new trainers for the new missionaries that just came in last transfer, and we had 2 days with them before they did that. So, we went on splits with each for a day (I was with Elder Collins one day, and Elder Matienzo the next) They both were great examples, and taught me that I can improve by continuing in humility and patience, and working on reaching out to random people more. (I'm not a fan of street approaches, but I was informed I do well, when I shrug off my fear of talking to a random person about the gospel)
Elders Collins, Matienzo, and Schaff
  On Thursday we offered service to Familia "C", and I was invited to try a Thai Chile. I had heard they were spicy, but went for it... and surprisingly, it didn't cause me to "enchilar" or that is to say, "to succumb to spice." It actually wasn't that hot (Relatively, I have a high tolerance!!!) Nobody else would try it, so I don't have a comparison for a "normal person" and how it affects them.
  I was then graced to receive 3 Habaneros from a member, as my fame of consuming "chile" has spread. I ate the first one, and definitely felt the spice, but kept a totally straight face. After waiting about 2 minutes, we decided it wasn't going to burn me. So, I was then invited to eat the other two. And I did, one after another. Well, about 20 seconds after that.... me enchil√©. (I succumbed) I started running around to not feel the pain as bad. After 2 minutes of that, I recovered. So, the lesson is, that if you eat hot peppers, just go for one. There is glory, but also pain in 3.... But I survived, so I guess my sights are now on a Red Savina Habanero, and after that, a Ghost Pepper... We'll see what happens.
Straight faced, going for the third Habanero pepper

Feeling the heat!

  Here's the current pepper count:  Serranos: 20 Thai Chiles: 10 Orange Habaneros: 3
  So yeah, that was the week. I meant to add an example of the daily schedule, but we'll do that next week so we can get the photos!!!"

--Elder Schaff

I will have to add some more of the photos that he sent in the coming days, too tired for any more technology issues today!

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