Monday, March 31, 2014

Another Week Bites the Dust

And another week passes by. Nothing too big to report really. Probably this biggest thing was with our bikes. As I explained last week since we couldn't drive our cars as much we got bikes from some members this week, which brought a whole new set of adventures. The first day we got on our bikes, literally the minute we step outside to leave, it starts to rain. Then as soon as we got to where we were going, it stops raining. Classic right? But it gets better. Later that day, my comp pinches his back tire, which created a big enough hole that the patch kit we had with us wouldn't fix it. So, we walked the 2 miles back to the church, then ended up having to drive to Walmart anyways to pick up a new tube and a new patch kit. And then two days later we come back to the church to pick up our bikes to head out again, and now one of my tires has a flat. So 20 minutes later we finally make it back out. So we continue on our way and bike to the other side of the lake and lock up our bikes to go walk around for a bit, only to come back to another flat. It was a long week to say the least. 

But on Friday, we went to the temple again all the way down back in Tri-Cities so that was a fun 3-hour car ride down. It was weird driving through my old area again, seeing all the places we used to go to eat or hang out. All in all a good trip though. Minus the six hours of driving through rain of course. The night before the Elders from Brewster and Pateros came down though and spent the night at our house. Since they had to catch an early bus down to Wenatchee to get a ride from some members down there they ended up coming down to Chelan (about halfway between Brewster and Wenatchee) Thursday evening so they didn't half to wake up at some ungodly hour Friday morning to make the drive. So that was fun. Six people in the basement. Always an adventure. 

Other than that General Conference is coming up this weekend. Should be a great time. Hopefully some more interesting things will occur this week. Until then, I bid thee all farewell.

Elder Kupferer

Monday, March 24, 2014

Six Months in the Field

Good Morning (afternoon) Everyone!

Nothing too new or entertaining this week. This past week I felt more like a service missionary with all the service we rendered. Wednesday we helped somebody move up to Pateros (the next town 20 miles up the river), Friday we helped someone else build a little compost rotator thingy (He said it was overpriced and not worth it but since his wife liked it he had to like it) and then Saturday we helped someone try and fix a car and move some stuff around. Jeans and a t-shirt almost feel normal again. Almost. 

Also in the random category, I hit 6 months in the field today, so last night my companion (who came out with me) and I decided to count up all the numbers we keep track of (like lessons, # of people we have talked to, etc) and in 6 months I have taught 379 lessons and talked with 920 people about the Gospel. Just some interesting facts for you.

And now in the poor Elder Kupferer category who really doesn't have much to complain about, but is still going to anyways because I know my Uncles will get a laugh from it.  With the cars we drive from the mission, we are only allowed to drive a certain number of miles every month, and a few days ago we lost a lot of miles. We went from averaging 60 miles a day to now not being able to drive more than 17. So as such we have enough to drive from our house 7 miles to the bottom of Chelan, park the car and walk the rest of the day. Which normally wouldn't be too bad but all of sudden we go from hardly walking to almost 6 miles a day. And that doesn't include the work we do up in Manson or down in Chelan falls. All in all, our area is almost 20 miles long so it looks like the people that live in the boonies don't get the Gospel until April. I guess they'll just have to wait. 

And now for the quote (still from the random sign in Chelan) 

“Its spring. Go plant something.”

So yeah. Go do that. With all that luscious yard space and quality soil found in the beautiful suburbia of Irvine, go plant something.

Until Next Week!

Elder Vaso (aka Elder Kupferer)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Springtime (for Hitler)

[Editor's Note:  The parenthetical title above is Matthew's tribute to the musical "The Producers" and is not intended to be culturally or ethnically offensive in any way.]

So seasons are actually a thing up here. There is actually a marked difference between Winter and Spring here. It’s unbelievable. I don't know how to handle myself. 

But hey, one of the perks is that we got to play soccer down in Wenatchee last P-Day. That was fun. First time I've played since Mexico. Makes me wish I had continued on with it in High School but I think the arts probably were better. I would much rather be able to play the piano and trumpet than soccer. 

Also another perk of the spring.... Spring Cleaning!!! Always fun. Especially when you get to go chop wood for 2 hours! For this city boy that was a new experience. It was fun for two hours because it was nice exercise that wasn't push-ups or sit-ups but I can now see why it would suck as a chore. The physical labor was actually a nice change of pace though. The killer view made it pretty nice too. 

All this small-town missionary work though has made the city seem pretty unappealing now though. Building a custom home and living somewhere where it doesn't take you an hour to travel 30 miles seems pretty nice. Granted it takes an hour for us to get to the next major city but hey, there’s a Walmart down the street. How bad can it be? 

So there’s really no way to transition to this but I just wanted to let all of you know that apparently Korean Barbecue isn't a thing outside of Southern California (and Korea I'm assuming). My comp and the members I was talking to had no idea what I was talking about. They just don't know what they are missing out on. 

Also random fact for the day. Apple cider (like apple juice but is literally just apples squeezed straight into the container) can ferment if you let it sit long enough. You've got two weeks and then you start getting a little loopy after drinking some seemingly innocent apple cider. The random things you learn while living in the middle of an orchard. 

I also have decided after some reflection that my Spanish abilities have improved rather significantly. Still a ways to go but I can now understand Spanish 1 teacher Spanish (Ho-la. Me llam-o El-der Kup-fer.) and normal Spanish. Currently I'm at about a 75% comprehension rate for the drunks and still only like 20% for the soccer announcer. That one will take some work yet but it’s coming along quite well. 

Now all you future missionaries out there listen up: I am a firm believer that appointments that fall through just means there is someone else you need to go see. This past week we took a member to go visit someone and had worked hard to finally find said member (the list of people willing to go out at 10:30 in the morning is remarkably small....) but then we knock on the door... and she's sick. So no appointment there. But since the member had changed a good chunk of his morning schedule to accompany us we were like well we don't want you to just go back home (we were thinking this) and so we decided to go stop by this guy that lived a few blocks away. We knock on the door, he welcomes us in, then his wife walks around the corner and said "Oh hi! I was going to call you later today. I need your help with something." So never fear! Canceled appointments are just a sign saying you need to go somewhere else. 

And now for the quote, here’s a text we got from a member this morning:

“Alas me fine gents a good mornin' to ye - I hope ye be a wearin' ye green. And a fine St. Patties to ye - may the luck of the Irish be with ye this fine windy day.” 

If anyone says they have better members, I'm sorry, they're wrong. 

Hope you all enjoy this wonderful St. Patrick's Day!

Elder Kupferer

Monday, March 10, 2014

What Else Have I Missed?

Another great week up here in Chelan. Last Monday we all went down to Wenatchee (busses seem so depressing sometimes) for "Wenatchee's Got Talent". Basically a talent show that our Zone Leaders judged like American Idol. Not that we actually went to Hollywood or anything but it was pretty fun seeing all the different talents of people in the zone. 

So fun fact: As of Wednesday (3/13/14), there will be 253 missionaries in the Washington Kennewick Mission. Gotta love transfers. 

So something I've been noticing lately is that leaders know what they're talking about. A few months back we had a training from an Area Seventy (they are people from the church that take care of the church in large areas; his area I think covered 3 states and part of Canada) about trying to teach simply and how if we are obedient, we gain the Spirit, and as such will be happier. I thought it was all cool stuff and was like “Wow, that would be nice if they would just put that in Preach My Gospel” (a handbook for missionaries).  But as I've been studying more recently I've come to the realization that it’s all there. Not word for word, but the subject is there. It’s amazing. Makes me wonder what else I could be missing out on....

Unfortunately that’s all for today. But wait......I've got a pretty hilarious quote from church yesterday:

“Not going to church because of hypocrites is like not going to the gym because of fat people.”

Well I thought it was funny anyways. Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Kupferer

Monday, March 3, 2014


Well things are going strong up here in Chelan! Including the cold... It’s been fun though. Snow makes things a lot more interesting. It usually averages around 32 more or less. It got up to 50 a couple of days and everyone almost broke out the barbecues. It’s been entertaining to think about back in So Cal when the 60 degree marching band mornings were enough to warrant the heavy winter gear and now it’s like 50? I don't even need a sweater. It’s been fun. 

So going back a couple of months (side note: I can't believe I've been out long to say “going back a couple months”) to the list of 'Things Elder Kupferer didn't realize about going on a mission' was that sometimes exchanges require more than driving from the Bryan Building to the Stake Center. Since we are way up here kind of just off the side of the road in the mountains there isn't much nearby. As such, on Thursday when we exchanged back we had to drive an hour up the road to the next city. And then an hour back. I forgot how tiring road tripping can be. While not much of a road trip, it was still more than the normal 20 minutes tops I'm used to. Crazy stuff man. 

Now this is a shout out to all the chamber singers from last year. Remember the sweatshirts we all ordered? I was wearing mine this morning at a service project in the food bank and on more than one occasion someone came up to me and said "Who are the Northwood Hamber Singers?" Apparently the symbol doesn't look much like a 'C' to non-music people. Someone even thought it said ‘Northwood Hamburgers.’ I guess music theory is important; not only so that you can understand why the heck they've got so many sharps but for music jokes as well. 

Now for a pretty awesome story that actually happened about a week ago but is still currently going on. There’s a guy we are teaching. We will call him Phil*. So Phil was progressing along pretty well before we came up to Chelan, but the only thing he would ever say is "Para estar bien." (to be good; to be well off). Our conversations: Why do you think the priesthood is necessary? Para estar bien. Why do we invite you to church? Para estar bien. What do you want for dinner? Para estar bien (ok that last one was a joke). So that was going on for about a month but then his roommate Eric* started sitting in on the lessons. Come to find out, Phil had been teaching (more or less) Eric after we had left. So we have been able to work with him now and it’s amazing how much both have learned even when we weren't teaching Eric. They are now reading scriptures every night and saying prayers. It’s amazing. Now all we have to do is wait for his car to get here and they can finally start coming to church!

*Some names have been changed. 

So that’s all for this week. For the quote this week here is the story that accompanies it:

We were out tracting yesterday afternoon in a little city named Chelan Falls. We knock on this one door and a lady comes out and looks at my nametag and says "Oh so you're the missionaries! I deliver your mail and I recognize that name." Apparently I can make an impression and not even have to be there. Cool stuff. 

So long everbody! Que les vaya muy bien!

Elder Kupferer