What a week. It flew by for you too it sounds like! This week was rougher than most, not a lot of success. We zone leadership training in Helena on Tuesday. Getting up at 5 in the morning is not my favorite. But we got to meet the other Elders and Sisters in our zone and E. Villejo and I sang...of course my throat was destroyed so I sounded like I was a smoker all my life. It's alright, it was okay enough to keep the spirit haha. Afterwards we went to a pawn shop and I bought a "Montana Knife." Believe me, they exist. Pretty awesome, I'll have to send home a picture next week, I forgot my camera. I have all sorts of stories today!
Wednesday no one seemed to be home so we did a lot of tracting. No luck there unfortunately :( BUT, we did get to go to the Pinewood Derby! That'sa big deal up here! Non-members come to that and even the young women and all other auxiliaries do the Pinewood Derby! Someone gave us a random car to race and we actually beat one of the scouts with it haha we felt bad. Eventually we got beat out but it was fun while it lasted!
Thursday is was pretty cool. We got to visit Virginia City (about 22 miles South of Sheridan...we got a ride). VC is a really old mining town that actually used to be the territorial capitol of Montana! Now it houses about 40 people during the winter and a few 100 during the summer. It's mainly a touristy place with lots of old museums, an opera house, blacksmith's shops, saloons, and my personal favorite...a hanging hall! How sweet is that?! There is a designated building for hanging people. There was a lot of vigilante justice in this town in the late 1800's. Unfortunately, EVERYTHING was closed for the winter including the museums and restaurants so we could only look through windows. There was only a small mercantile store and a homemade ice cream parlor open. During the summer they have all kinds of shows and stagecoach tours...Jesse would never want to leave! I'll try to send home those pictures, it's basically almost a western ghost town like you see on movies. Pretty legit. Anyways, the reason we were there was because we got a refferal from Bishop of a part-member family. The wife is inactive and the husband is not a member. I don't remember if I talked about them or not, but they had Bishop bless their baby while the non-member husband held the microphone. SO COOL. They told the bishop they would like the discussions. So we gave them a call and they actually invited us over for dinner! They are an extremely nice family. The own a photography business and travel the world. After eating an awesome roast we asked if they would be interested in the discussions. The husband (Grant) changed the subject :( He's not quite ready. So instead, we shared a scriptural thought about how families can be together forever. He seemed to have been paying attention and then he gave us a ride home. Hoping a praying that they will have us back!
Friday was Torie's birthday! So exciting! What did you do? How was it? I heard you did it actually on Thursday? And then went Ice skating Friday? Saweet! And you got a few battle scars from the ice all worn down from the hockey players! You're probably still feeling those bruises I bet. There's ponds up here that probably have smoother ice!
I had a pretty sweet day on Friday...first we visited with our 90 year old, Gene. He's frustrating sometimes and we kind of got into a small bash but we still got him to say he'd come to church if his health permits. But the awesome experience happened afterwards. I had a letter I wanted to deliver (to the Smith's, who sent me an AWESOME package of various green candy and gum, with a label, "Good Luck Greenie!" All of the kids wrote me a letter with pictures. Thank you Matt and Emily! I was afraid it was a "bad buy" that I had from Plato's...). Haha anyway, I had a letter I was going to bring to the post office to mail. As soon as we got there a truck pulled up and a lady got out saying, "Hi Elders!" We assumed she was an innactive or something because we didn't recognize her. We followed her in the post office (stalked, more like). After casual conversation we discovered she was raised in a Filipino home (so she speaks fluent Tagalog) AND she has LDS family that are Bishops in Arizona...if that is not revelation of why I was sent to Sheridan, I don't know what is! SO her and Elder Villejo were talking in Tagalog to each other and then we asked if we could teach her. She said, "Of course! Why don't you come over for dinner sometime!" She offered to make us Adobo (a chicken Filipino dish). We planned for it later on in the week.
THE NEXT DAY. We get a call from Helen Lansing (the Filipino lady above mentioned). She said she wanted to meet today and for lunch instead of dinner. Of course we weren't going to let that go, so we set a time and place. Her son is living with her and was sick so we met at the park and she brought all this cooked food for us. And it was amazing! We came to find out she's hardcore Catholic, and moved here 3 years ago. We had a really good discussion about the Atonement and how God has called a Prophet to lead and guide us today. It turns out she actually wants us to teach her son. Who is 38 and has several physical disabilities. Including 2 heart attacks and a stroke. I wouldn't doubt that she would sit in on the discussions as a protection kind of a thing, and we are hoping that we get to teach both of them! E. Villejo's mom was a hardcore Catholic and converted to Mormonism. There are so many ties to this investigator. It strengthened my testimony that God definately puts us where we need to be. It isn't coincidence that we find this Filipino lady with LDS family in Arizona who wants her son to take the discussions from a missionary raised in the Phillipines, and an Elder from Arizona. I also gained testimony of the Lord's timing. I didn;t think anything of it, trying to mail a letter before the mail was picked up for the day. But God wanted me to mail it at that particular time of the day, walk at a certain pace, and get there as soon as this lady pulls in. This experience reminded me of a quote by David A. Bednar:
"The overwhelming majority of impressions you recieve will come asa result of you being a good boy or good girl and you will have no idea it was revelation till after the fact. If you keep the commandments and commitments God has given you, you will be in the right place, at the right time, and will know what to do, even if you don't know why you're doing it."
So true. Earlier on Saturday we had something more funny happen. A girl just moved in next door. Her name is Amanda, she's 19, and works at the hospital. It's about 8AM and we get a knock at the door. It's her and she says to Elder Villejo, "Do you have a band-aid? I cut my hand." Lo and behold she had the smallest cut in the world on her hand. So E. Villejo asks me if I have a band-aid and while I'm looking she says, "Nice Guitar! I heard you guys singing last night!" E. Villejo says,"Thanks! Did we distrub you?" And she says, "No it put me to sleep..." Flirtatious much? We never found a band-aid. When we told her she said, "It's ok, I'm not going to die or anything, I'm just a wimp." So you work at the Hospital and not only do you not have a first aid kit, but you're a wimp when it comes to the world's smallest cut? Nice try haha. Elder Villejo asked if we could teach her some time and, of course, she says, "yeah just come over!" Little does she know that we'll be bring a member over to teach her. It's amazing to me to see how Satan will discretely tempt us as missionaries. I forgot to mention that while we teaching Helen at the park, there were two teenage girls there (probably about 15) that were flat out annoying. One of them asked if we did exorcisms...on her macaroni and cheese. I feel like my IQ went down just being asked that. But of course there needs to be some kind of distraction right?
Anyway, Sunday finally came. St. Patrick's day gets a litte out of hand here, especially in Butte. There are TONS of Irish Catholics here and they like to party, let me tell you. So we had dinner at the Dustins! Corned beef, potatoes, carrots, cheese and broccoli, with rye bread and green kool-aid. Classic. Then something cool happened. Their son is actually serving in Ireland right now. He sent home a letter SPECIFICALLY "To the Elders" in Sheridan. The Dustin family gave it to us un-opened and said it was for us. We read it out loud and he gave us a few of his friends he wanted us to go see. He has a good reputation around town and said if we used his name when introducing ourselves, they would let us in. So he gave us about 6 names of people he wanted us to visit and he said he was trusting us because his family said we were great missionaries. He had been holding onto these names for the right Elders. I thought that was extremely neat. He also gave us a warning, "P.S. Stay away from my sisters." Hahaha we thought that was pretty funny.
That's all for this week! Kind of long I know, but had a lot to say! Mom and Jesse thanks so much for the letters and the pictures! I didn;t have any and now I have something to put on my wall! I also really liked that picture of Christ. That stinks about the Expedition dying. It's been a good car and has been everywhere. Hopefully it's still got some life in it! How's my little white car doing? I miss that car, you don't realize what a blessing it is till you walk everywhere. And sounds like Dad has been doing some fun gardening! The only service I've done this week was some sheet rocking. It may not be the funnest but it was nice to do something physical and different. I love service projects.
Good luck Torie with the Driving manual stuff! That test is lame. But study the manual anyway, cause I failed the first time haha. Jesse, thanks for your awesome letter! I'll write back as soon as I can! Probably today. And mom thank you for everything! Especially the letter, it made me feel good :) Dad I love you and keep up the hard work! Say Hi to Marilyn and Bob for me! Love and miss you all!