Monday, February 24, 2014

1st Week in Nampa!

This week has been a roller coaster but that's normal. It's my FIRST area! AH! We met our bishops on Saturday and they're both pretty awesome. Bishop Barclay is over Nampa 5th Ward and he's as real as it gets. He's "solid" as my fellow missionaries in my area would say. Bishop Stratton is over Caldwell 12th Ward and he's really nice. He asked Sister Ketring and I to bare/bear (I still don't know the difference) our testimonies on Sunday during church. When it was my turn, I started with "Hey y'all" so people would pay attention to me. It worked. BOO-YAH. I just have to say, nine hours of church was exhausting. We went to ward council/PEC at 7....IN THE MORNING. So we texted Abby, the Neals daughter, to bring us poptarts and fruit snacks. We snacked during Relief that wrong? I hope not. Since we don't have a car, we weren't able to go back to the house to eat lunch or anything before heading to the other ward. So we were out from 6:50 to 4:20. It was a loooong day, but very good...very spiritual.

So on Thursday, my sweet, sweet companion had an incident. We decided to ride our bikes to the mission office to see how long it would take to get there....well, we made it half way when it started to rain. However, we persevered and pressed the work of the Lord...ha....(my humor has gotten even drier since the first day at the MTC...beware). Anyways, we made it across a major intersection and then Sister Ketring's chain BROKE and to top that off, her skirt caught in her brake so it kind of fell off her hips! WHOOOPS! Luckily she was wearing leggings so no worries, her religion was NOT exposed. In addition, we received a text from some elders in our area who happened to see what happened. Yikes.

The most embarrassing thing that has happened to me since being in Idaho was my freak out moment when I saw a really pretty LLAMA and made Sister Ketring stop so I could take a picture. It was so cute! We were riding down Moss which is like the Rockhill of Nampa and there are horses and llamas and all sorts of animals. I LOVE it minus the smell... On Friday, since it was sunny and Brother Neal/Joe fixed Sister Ketring's chain, we made our way over to the mission home and we got there! So much biking, but so worth it. My legs are getting pretty toned. Perks.

With it being the first week, we haven't done much proselyting since I'm just trying to get accustomed with missionary life in general. So next week we'll dominate. We've had meals with members though. Friday, we ate with the Coons. It was great. Brother Coon is very fascinated with Book of Mormon history and artifacts. We learned SO many interesting things from him. Apparently there are mounds found all over the US that link to the Book of Mormon and other things. We learned that Joseph Smith found the skeleton of a Lamanite named Zelph in New York. So we just learned some intriguing things.

Okay now Saturday is a tender subject. First off, we saw a cow and freaked out. Second, we were riding from Nampa to meet Bishop Stratton in Caldwell...2 miles each way. While we were on our bikes, these friggin' CHIHUAHUAS start chasing us down the street. So now I really feel for mailmen. Later that night, we taught Grandma's son, Kenny. Grandma is Sister Hoke, but she insists on us calling her Grandma. It's so sweet. So Kenny was born in the church and baptized at 8. When he was nine, his parents gave him the choice to go to church or to not go. He chose the alternative. He's in his mid-50s I believe. So it's been a while. He has a sincere desire to hold the priesthood. He's struggled with an alcohol addiction and is working on recovering. During our meeting with Kenny, we talked about the importance of the priesthood and he seemed to understand it better. He's gaining a testimony, but still struggling with addiction. He's going to be a tough one, but he really wants the gospel in his life. He's been reading the Book of Mormon with Grandma and he loves it and he takes notes which is GREAT! He's the only one we're teaching right now. We took over for Elders so we're pinkwashing the area and they didn't leave us with ANYTHING. So we're literally starting over. It'll be a challenge but I'm sure the Lord is preparing people! Last night, we taught youth fireside. Bishop Barclay asked us that morning at ward council/PEC so it was pretty last minute. We talked about sharing the gospel with friends and inviting friends to activities and we really emphasized how everyone needs the gospel in their lives. I used the quote Christopher Robin said to Winnie the Pooh: "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." It's always scary to open your mouth and share the gospel with people we know and especially people we don't know. Sometimes we think we can't take the rejection, no matter how harsh. Sometimes we feel like we can't open our mouths in fear of the absence of eloquence. But guess what?! It's not about what you say, or how you say it. It's about how the person you're talking to FEELS. Remember, it's all about the spirit! So I would encourage you to share your testimony with someone this week. No one can argue with something you KNOW. I love you all!


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