Monday, July 27, 2015

Week Two in Portland

Hello everyone,

So here's what happened this week!

It was P-Day and all the missionaries in our Zone got together at one of the Stake Centers (church buildings) and we played basketball, emailed, and just kinda hung out for most of the day. All of the missionaries in our Zone are awesome. Later that evening after our dinner appointment, we met with Annette!   She is doing awesome!  We're so close in getting her to a baptismal date. She has been really progressing and says she knows that it is true and that she has had many of her prayers answered! When we teach and study with her she always talks about the Spirit and how good it feels. Our goal is to get her baptismal date soon.

Today we had four teaching appointments. The first was with a Sister who is in a care center.  She is very kind but doesn't come to church anymore so hopefully we inspired her to come. Then we met with our recent convert Gayle; the lady who overcame smoking! She is doing well.  She is pretty sick so we had a short lesson, but her faith is so strong. We then met with the Pabsts again. They are super nice and they know everyone in the ward, but they don't come to church! So we are trying to help them find the desire to get back into the swing of things. Our last appointment was with Brother Chiniquy and he is really coming around and getting involved with the Ward again.  He is getting a calling (church responsibility) soon!  Hopefully Sister Chiniquy will do the same. The Chiniquy family is so awesome, they would be such a blessing to have in the ward! We received a call from some Elders in Forest Grove and they said that they met with an investigator a couple times and then she moved to our area in Moreland. So we have a new investigator! Her name is Carissa.  She is in her 20's and she is awesome. She decorates cakes and does photography and she has such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon.

We met with Brother Fergason again and we had a really good lesson with him. He is very slowly progressing and we asked Bishop to give him a calling so hopefully he will have one very soon! There was a funeral at the church and so we attended that and help set it up and everything and we didn't know the lady that passed away, but the service was nice and the food was really good. We were able to meet with Rowan, the girl whose dad is an awesome guy and is helping her along to get baptized. She is still progressing and we pray every day that her mom will allow her to be baptized. Later that day we received a referral from church headquarters and it gave us an address and the name Juanita.  So we went to that address and it turns out it was an address to a Vape and Smoke Shop!   We went inside any way and asked for Juanita and the worker had no idea what we were saying so we left him a card haha; it was an interesting experience. In the evening we went and saw Caroline Scott who is a shut-in at one of the care centers. She is super nice and she taught us a lesson from Alma 36 in the Book of Mormon (solid scripture go read it) and it was awesome.

It was quite the day. We had an appointment to meet with an investigator at the park and they never showed up so we just talked to people at the park.  After about 20 minutes, the back tire on my bike went flat so we took it to a bike shop a few blocks away and they fixed it.  We then went back to the park and talked to some more people and we met a guy named Larry. He was actually homeless and had gotten out of prison and was just living in Portland, but he was so intelligent!  He had a very strong knowledge and belief in the Bible and he would recite scriptures to us. He had a very strong faith in Christ and God. He told us that he was converted when he was in prison and studied the bible for nine years in there. He took a Book of Mormon and said he would read it and he would meet us at the park next week so hopefully he will remember! After we talked to him we went to go visit old referrals from other people. When we were doing this the same tire on my bike went flat again! What the heck!? The inner tube on the inside of the tire got stuck and so the wheel wouldn't even turn anymore so we had to carry the bike a mile back to the bike shop. They fixed it for free and said that it shouldn't have anymore problems (Remember this). We went and finished contacting referrals and we ran into a lot of cool and interesting people. Later that night we had Book of Mormon class and a Ward Missionary Meeting.

Today we had our first District Meeting.  I met Elder Rodriquez and he played baseball in high school so he and I talked about baseball a lot. Our Zone and District are the best! We met with Bro. Fergason again and he had some struggles since the last time we met and we showed him the Mormon Message, "Mountains to Climb". I invite everyone to go and watch it. It's one of the best videos I've seen; definitely my favorite. After the lesson, we received a call from an old investigator, Loretta, that hadn't met with the missionaries for months and she called us and said she was struggling and needed advice. So we booked it over there and she was having family problems and we talked with her and she really appreciated it and said she would come to church. Spoiler alert: SHE CAME TO CHURCH!!! So hopefully we can continue teaching her. After the lesson with her we had a lesson with Carissa! We were super excited because we were going to commit her to a baptismal date, but on the way there... Yep you guessed it.... My bike tire went flat AGAIN! The same one!! It was so frustrating. We had a member pick us up in a truck and we had him drop us off with our bikes at Carissa's house. We met with her and we had a good lesson and we have a soft baptismal date for the end of August!!! Super exciting!! But after the lesson we had more transportation problems. We went to the bus stop and we had to take three buses to get to our apartment, but the second bus stopped running at 9:30 so we were stranded at the bus stop. We called our Zone leaders and thankfully they had a bike rack so they came and picked us up 30 minutes later and dropped us off back at our apartment. It was quite the adventure. 

Today was the ward picnic! It was sunny and warm all week and then the one day we have the ward picnic it pours rain. The picnic was moved to the church building and tons of people showed up! Like more than we have at church haha so that was a fun time. After that, Elder Parker had to go to a baptism in Oregon City so he went with an old companion of his to that while me and the other missionary's companion stayed in my area. It was fun to have a different companion for a few hours, and we just went and contacted and actually were able to meet someone and set up a return appointment with them!  While Elder Parker had the car, they went and picked up a missionaries bike that is currently using a car. Hallelujah! 

That evening we met with Annette.  We had a little bit of an off lesson with her. She didn't seem focused at all and she told us about all her family problems she has been having and how they are telling her to not read the Book of Mormon. We read some scriptures with her and talked a little more but hopefully she can keep progressing. We had dinner with the LaPlants. Linda is a member but her husband David is not (he's the one that told me I'm brown). He just likes to debate back and forth on stuff and it's hard to get him to talk about the lesson, but we're working on it.

We had two investigators and two less actives at church! Bro Chiniquy was called as Young Men's President (someone in charge of the 12-17 year old boys in a ward)! Nothing too exciting happened. We had dinner with the Yeates family and they have five kids all 12 and under so that was fun having dinner with them. 

Love you all,

Elder Hill

Tyler's Highlights and Hints for the Week:

*Watch the videos, "Mountains to Climb" and "None Were With Him" on  Both of those are super powerful and awesome. 

*When we're riding down the street on our bikes we always have people yelling different things at us. Can I suggest that if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all!

*We have dinner appointments every day this week!! Last week we only had two so we are super excited and grateful!

Tyler's Companion, Elder Parker

3rd flat tire that day!!!

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