Thursday, 15 January 2015

The One With Miracles and Fake Shopping

I am serving in the Lenoir Ward. It was just upgraded? from a branch
like two weeks before I got there. We share the ward with a set of
sisters. The ward has about 140 members now because they crushed it
with missionary work last year. Their initial goal was to have 6
baptisms into the ward but by the end of the year they had doubled and
exceeded that goal with 13 baptisms. A lot of the ward members are
converts so they have such a fire for missionary work which is great
but I doesn't change how tough of an area it is for missionary work.
The members are amazing and I love them all. I have met some wonderful
people and had such great times at the homes of members. 

So our district name is Lenoirganton. I love my district so much I
can't even describe it. We also have a zone meeting once a transfer
and it's on Tuesday so stay tuned for that. I'm also doing an exchange
after zone meeting which I'm both excited about and annoyed because
things are really moving along here and I don't want to be taken away from
that. I'll be going to Morganton with our district leader a Elder
Bishop who is a great guy and really fun.

So after district meeting this week we had a district lunch at this
place called cookout. Is a super cheap super greasy super tasty
southern fast food place that has the best milkshakes. The milkshakes
are so thick that you can't use a straw you have to use a spoon. We we
crammed all eight of us into a booth at cookout and had some southern
food and milkshakes. I tried hush puppies for the first time, oh baby
they are delish. It's basically a fried cornbread ball. The best thing
to be honest.

I have a great and improving relationship with my companion. The fact we are
such opposites personality wise is actually such a blessing because we
can relate to such a wide spectrum of people.  I've been watching
Mormon messages during breakfast which is a really bad idea because I
always cry and Elder Dorcth walks down the stairs into the room like
what is wrong with you.  Side note, if you want a good
cry watch the Mormon message 'Enduring Love'. I had to turn away
because I would have sobbed. I'm a loser I get it. Also we can watch
Johnny Lingo and I conservatively estimate that elder Dortch has
watched it 735 times since I've arrived.

So my last email ended off after P-Day had just started. I then
proceeded to scrub and clean everything because to be honest I have
never seen more disgusting toilets in my life, most of my grocery bill
was cleaning supplies. I have already started taking magic erasers to
the walls because of the gratuitous amounts of markings on the them. The
shower is going to need another scrub down today because I wasn't able
to get all the soap scum off in one session. I will be bleaching the
toilets today as well. And the crazy thing is is that this is the
nicest apartment my companion has been in. I'm not even going to
bother with the carpets they are nasty but beyond anything I can do to
them. I'd love to fill the marks in the wall and paint but it's really
not worth it. So I'll clean the kitchen and bathrooms since those
are the most pressing and commonly used things, and pray I don't get
transferred to a nasty apartment.

We did our grocery shopping and also went to a place called Bo's with
our district. We bowled for two hours and it was so much fun. We
wanted to do laser tag but that opened at four and it would have been
too late for all of us to get everything done. We went to Walmart
after then got driven home by Aaron, one of our investigators, who is
the son of Maximina, a recent convert who cooks the best food. She's
from Panama and oh baby can she cook.

Now the rest of the week I did missionary work which is really
uneventful for the most part but I'll share some stories.

We did some service for Maximina where we went with an inactive member
to pick up some wood he had chopped for her to heat her home. He is
crazy and hangs out with a kid half his age from Guatemala who is
actually interested in the church but the two of them together are
crazy and they call everyone my friend. Tony is the inactive members
name and he is a crazy driver. Put it this way. At a few points we
were reversing in his car across a highway. But he reassured us that
if we died at least we'd go to heaven. Comforting right.

We did a bit of fake shopping this week which is a great finding
method. You basically walk around Walmart and talk to people. We have
taught some lessons and got return appointments from it. We also have
done it at one of those nerdy card shops like that place in the
corner of chinook mall. It's really effective in places like that
because the people there are looking to talk so you just transition
form whatever to the gospel. I also did some tracting which proved a
lot more successful than elder Dortch or I thought it would be which
is great.

I'm going to talk about Aaron now. He is our miracle and I really hope
that we can help him. So to give some background he has met with
missionaries in the past but nothing has ever happened with it. His
mom just got baptized last May. Her name is Maximina, I've mentioned
her before, she's great I love her. So we were meeting with Maximina
and Aaron was driving us home so as we were finishing up he came out
to take us home. In our talk he expressed desires to quit smoking. So,
since the church has a really effective stop smoking program, we
decided that we'd teach it to him. So the next day, Saturday, we taught
Aaron the stop smoking lesson. He has really come a long way in being
softened by the spirit that I can't really do it justice over email.
He even agreed to come to church the next day which he did. I don't think
I can express how much that is a progression for him. He is realizing
that his life isn't that great and the church can help. This is a
person who has never been to the church before ever and is now at
church! The talks were inspired in my opinion because they were
exactly what he needed to hear. We went over to his house last night
and we taught him a lot about God and who he is and how he can help
us. He is really coming to understand God's love for him and how the
atonement can help him. I even got to extend my first baptismal
commitment and he said yes! We didn't set a date because he has a lot
of repenting to do but I feel like we will get there eventually. It
was such a powerful moment for me and the mission is full of so many I
can't write it all down.

Hope everybody has a great next week, I know I will.

Love ya, Elder Galvin

This is my apartment and bedroom. 


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