I cannot begin to describe how weird this week was. So many things happened and so many things seemed to go wrong. Yet, some things worked out and that's how it is supposed to be I guess! All in the Lord's hands. We think our family home evening lesson went well! In fact we know it did (I'll talk about that later). We decided to teach the Restoration to the ward (to about 50 people) and at the end told them to take out their phones right then and text the very first non-member that comes to mind and invite them to church or an activity. We also brought copies of the Book of Mormon as well as some pamphlets. By the end, we gave away ALL of our remaining pamphlets and were left with on 2 copies of the Book of Mormon (gave away 18). SO we are pretty stoked to see that develop! Afterwards for the activity they had a jello war...we didn't participate in that one haha.
Wednesday. Most emotionally draining day of the mission so far. More so for Elder Bonaro. Wednesday are our District meetings at the stake center and start at 9:00AM On the way over, Elder Bonaro got a call from the mission home saying that his representative that keeps track of his visa wanted to contact him and give him an update. So he was pretty excited and called her. She asked the question, "Did you by chance go to the Consulate in Miami and picked up your visa recently?" He replies, "No....I am still in Montana." "That's what I thought...the Consulate is claiming that someone with YOUR photo ID came and picked up your visa on May second along with your passport and birth certificate" she says. WHAT IN THE WORLD?! Someone was THAT convincing to pick up his passport?! You can imagine the flood of emotions that hit Elder Bonaro. Someone had stolen his identity, and his visa that he has been waiting for since December, is gone. THe lady that represents him for the church just says, "So we will have to just reapply for a passport and then a visa so you should get it within another 2 months." Elder Bonaro is thinking, is NO ONE concerned about what just happened?! Apply for a new one and totally forget someone has my identity?! He was flat out angry. All light and hope went out of him. He asked Veronica, his representative, to give him the Conssulate number to call for himself. She said they had already called twice to confirm that this was the case. He said he didn't care, and called. Of course, they are all pre-recorded messages and to add they were all in fluent Portuguese. So we tried random numbers to even try and do extensions. No luck. As you know, we are the only Elders in the mission with a tablet. So during District meeting, he was using that to email the consulate to get the whole story. They actually replied with this email...
"Dear David Bonaro, thank for your inquiry about your visa. Your visa was picked up by yourself on May 2, 2013." Fuming Elder Bonaro replied, "Picked up by whom? I am in Montana and have never heard anything about my visa! Can you check again?" So first of all, his visa has been here for 3 months and he could have left forever ago. Second, he was being told that HE had picked up his visa. They checked and said they did not have it. We called President Mecham and he said that he can only reapply. So, Elder Bonaro sent one last email saying that he was really upset and wanted to actually talk to somebody. We didn't hear anything for a couple hours. We actually got to go pick up brand new 2013 Ford Fusions off the lot that day, so that was cool, but I was worried about Elder Bonaro driving himself when that angry. Anyways, we are on our way to an appointment and he got on email on the tablet.
"Dear David Bonaro, we apologize for the misinformation, your visa is here at the consulate and will have to be picked up by you between the hours of 3 and 4 on a weekday." He didn't even know what to feel. Or what to do, because now he had a visa and will actually be going to Brazil soon. So today, he is flying out to Miami, by himself, taking a cap to the consulate to pick it up, and then is supposed to back on a return flight by 5:15 to Montana. To add stress, his flight arrives at about 3:15, it's a half hour drive to the Consulate, and he will have to go back to the airport in Miami traffic during rush hour, go through security and be on a plane by 5:15. He has like a half hour window to get it all done. Chances are he will be there for another night in a Hotel, by himself, and leave tomorrow back to Montana. Ridiculous. Later that night, we went to Tim's (our investigator) house to celebrate his birthday! It was so cool that a non-member had an all Mormon party haha.
So that is where Elder Bonaro is at currently! I am with the Pioneer Park Elders Issacson and Schramm. Crazy story ever right? We are not sure whether someone actually did pick up his visa and it magically reappeared. We are claiming it as a 3 Nephite story haha. Maybe he was supposed to be in the Singles ward for that 3 months!
Thursday we went golfing with a potential investigator of Hannah Stott's. Turns out that I like golf! A huge storm hit later that day similar to a Monsoon but with higher winds. Downpour of heavy rain as well as hail. Apparently in Twin Bridges, my last area, a mini tornado hit and up-rooted 13 full grown trees that damaged several buildings and the whole town was out of power for 3 days.
Friday we did some service at Joe Weitz house again, this time spreading mulch and gravel. Later, we were celebrating another investigators birthday bowling! Her name is Meagan and she is actually on date for this weekend to be baptized into our ward! The sister missionaries taught her mostly and they were bowling too because no one could come to Meagan's party. The Friday night activity later was Bunco at Hannah Stott's house. Good turnout and a lot of fun!
Saturday we actually got to try and find people haha. That was refreshing. Another fun story, we felt prompted to talk to this guy that was sitting outside his home talking to a friend. After talking to him, he had been a stage 4 alcoholic for 24 years. You could tell. This guy was probably permanently drunk. I guess he has been sober for 15 years now though (other than communion he says haha). He now claims to have the Spirit of Prophecy, Healing, and was saved because Christ did all the work so therefore he does not have to any. Great mind set. I brought up to him, "So...say you went out and killed someone. You are fine because Christ payed that price and you hold absolutely no guilt?" He avoids the question and then says, "The scriptures do not say, thou shalt not kill. They say thou shalt not MURDER." I don't know what Bible he is reading but Exodus 20:13 clearly says kill. He claimed that was an earthly law, not a heavenly law. Yeah your right, Jehovah was just kidding when he wrote that commandment on a stone tablet without hands. Idiot. He said he is a preacher and was smarter than us. If only he knew.
Sunday. Best day ever as always. We had 111 people in the chapel! Record! The ward has more than doubled since we have been here. Not just because of us, but the ward is so missionary minded! Our lesson Monday, had brought SIX potential investigators to church. All three hours. How sick is that?! Later that night, Rylee Nelson who is a ward missionary, had her farewell party for her mission at her house. She leaves for a Brazil mission Wednesday. She has helped us out so much and because of her, we will have a reactivation soon! :D
Sorry this letter is enormous, just a lot to report. Today is also transfer calls! I was so stressed. Turns out that I am STAYING in the Rimrock YSA ward and will be officially training a brand new missionary. SO EXCITED! Elder Bonaro is going to Laurel (about 20 minutes away) to be companions with someone form my District. Tomorrow is also my 6 month mark! Hallelujah! Time flies so fast. I am so pumped for Alex Hackney! Tell him to email me! Proud of that kid. Dad how was your Birthday? Torie how is your drumset? Jesse is going to SEMINARY?! When did this happen?! Mom you are awesome for dealing with so many seminary students! If anyone could handle it, it would be you! I love you all. Thank you dad for the Journal entries, they are extremely relatable currently! Have a great week!
Bishop Williams and Sister Williams