Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Long Week

So this week, a lot happened, but at the same time, almost nothing happened. On Tuesday, my companion got hit with the flu hardcore. It sounded pretty miserable. I'm just glad I haven't gotten it (yet). But that pretty much wiped him out for a couple of days. Wednesday, we had a zone conference with all the missionaries in the valley (there are about 30 or 40 of us) which was enjoyable, but took up almost all of the day. Thursday was pretty normal but Friday the party started. We got express directions from our zone leaders and our stake president to basically don't go to Chelan all weekend. So Friday we tried teaching as many of our investigators in Manson as possible but since we spend most of our time in Chelan, that didn't last long. Saturday, thankfully we ended up helping a member the entire day move some Volkswagen bug bodies around his yard and various odds and ends but Sunday was the same story. Too much alcohol and not enough clothing for us to go into Chelan. Thankfully we made it through but this has definitely been one of the longer weekends on my mission.

Although, I have now discovered that Deep Fried Oreos are the stuff. You can only eat like four or five at a time if you're lucky because otherwise you might induce a heart attack, but man. It is the best stuff on earth. 

On the flip side though, Sunday I had the special privilege of baptizing a little girl. She had just turned 8 and not all of her family are members of the church so she didn't have any family that could baptize her. Long story short she asked me to do it and it was an awesome experience. It was such a testimony builder to see a young girl in a family that isn't terribly religious still decide to make that first covenant with God the Father.  I will be forever grateful I was able to be a part of that. 

So on the subject of kids, I've got a quote to end this epistle. Comes from a little sign hanging on a member’s refrigerator door. I am sure my mom can attest to this. 

"Insanity is hereditary; you get it from your kids."

Thinking back on my high school years, I can most certainly see the events where my parents' insanity level jumped. I guess now would be a good as time as ever to apologize. Sorry Mom and Dad. If it’s any consolation, I have to go through it too at one point. 

And with that, I'm off. Until next week everyone!

Elder Kupferer

Monday, May 19, 2014

Three Big Events

Hello everybody!

Not too much to report this week. It mainly comes down to three big events.

Tuesday our car got backed into and the back passenger’s door barely made it out alive. Thankfully no one was hurt so it’s mostly an insurance game at this point but we spent way too many hours filling out paper work and dealing with the body shop. Always fun.

Then Saturday we were coming back from Wenatchee with some members (you'll see why in the next paragraph) and long story short we found ourselves in the Fred Myer's parking lot at 10:00 PM changing a headlight and a taillight. Things I've learned from this experience: In order to reach the tail light on a minivan, you basically have to disassemble the entire trunk and that when you go to bed at 10:30 PM for 9 months and then all of a sudden find yourself getting home at midnight, midnight is pretty dang late.

So this weekend we had the opportunity of having Elder Aidukaitis of the First Quorum of the Seventy attend our stake conference. The Saturday night session was only in Wenatchee so that’s why we had to drive down but Sunday they telecasted it to our building up in Chelan. But it was a great experience either way. He had a lot of wise words of wisdom for us and we learned a lot. I wish we had it recorded.

So for the quote this week, the only background information needed is that someone asked someone else what type a dog was. This was the reply:

"Well, I think it’s a mix between the neighbor’s dog... and its mother."

Stay classy America. Until next week.

Elder Kupferer

Monday, May 12, 2014

Raking in the Blessings

Man the blessings just keep coming. We obviously did something right because this past week has been amazing. Three weeks ago we cut our investigating pool in half because they weren't progressing but now we have three people on date for baptism. The Lord is blessing us so much right now it’s unbelievable.

One such example this past week was when we were out knocking some doors one day before dinner. We were in a little apartment complex and of the first 12 doors we knocked, only four people answered so we were debating whether to leave for dinner but we decided to finish a level of doors really quick. The way this complex is set up is there are two doors for each set of stairs. So we go up this last set of stairs and the door on the left doesn't answer. Shocker right? Well the door on the right does and this lady opens up and we start our normal spiel: "Hey we are the missionaries of the church...." and so on. But right away her face brightens up so we ask if she's talked with missionaries before. More or less this was her response: "Yeah I was actually baptized about 12 years ago but then I soon fell into the drug crowd but now I've been clean for two months. I'm living up here with my son to help my mom who lives across the hall and it’s just been really tough recently and super hard to deal with but then I was praying today and then I just looked outside and see you guys come into the complex and when you knocked on the door it felt like God was knocking." After we picked up our jaws off the floor we then had a quick conversation with her about where the church was and promised her that reading The Book of Mormon would help and then said that since she was alone more often than not the sister missionaries would love to stop by and teach her and help her, exchanged numbers and were on our way. One of the top ten moments of my mission by far.

On a still kind of spiritual, but not as inspiring, note we were talking with a guy on his doorstep since he didn't have much time but before we left we asked if it’d be okay to say a quick prayer to which he said sure. So I said I'd say it and go ahead and start praying but then I hear his voice but didn't think too much of it since it wouldn't be the first time people repeat what we say just to understand it more (I'm assuming). But then I stop for a second and then he keeps going... with his own prayer... so I was thoroughly confused and just sort of sat there in silence until he finished and used his amen to finish my prayer, said goodbye and left. Not a top ten moment but still pretty funny.

To keep with the spiritual theme we taught a lesson to a guy in a park this week. He lives in a tiny little government subsidized apartment building but since apparently he doesn't have much room he asked to meet him in a park. I guess there's a first for everything.

Now veering away from the spiritual we got told off by a little 4 year old Mexican girl across a parking lot in an apartment complex. You never know what you're gonna expect in apartments.
And now going completely away from the spiritual this past week we had a district meeting and were graced by the presence of our zone leaders. As per the normal after district meeting we headed to one of the local pizza shops for lunch. At said pizza shop they have what’s called the "Death By Pizza" challenge. 18 inch pizza. All the toppings. 1 hour. You win, you get a free t-shirt, a $50 gift card, and the pizza is yours. You lose, you eat the $30 bill. Sorry poor choice of words. You have to pay for the pizza. Anyways, one of our zone leaders - who has won several food challenges not only in his hometown in Arizona but in Washington as well - thought he could take it on. He started off strong, but slowly lost pace and ultimately didn't win. There are more details that I could include, but I think that violates laws of public decency. My parents know more if you must know.

This past week we also experienced another first on the mission. So the sisters in our area had to move houses and so the members they were moving into were scrambling to finish the basement in time so we asked the sisters if the members needed help. Well several hours pass by with no response as to yes or no. So we come home for the night and then get a text from the member saying they were planting trees in the morning and could use some help. We said sure and show up when and where he asked, only to find out that his regular work crew (about 20 men) were there as well. So besides feeling out of place we - literally - roll up our sleeves and get to work. Come lunch time the same member brought lunch for everyone and we all sit down around this trailer. There are twenty 30-50 year-old workers, and then two 19-year-old white boys. It was a sight to behold.

Saturday also brought another bunch of surprises. We agreed to help a member set up for a lunch before the annual Manson Apple Blossom Parade. Well we do our thing and then go watch the parade (which was awesome by the way; cool cars, awesome floats, and most importantly, marching bands) and then go back to help (what we thought was going to be really quick) but end up spending the next 3 hours serving the lunch and then cleaning up. I guess some things never change. If it wasn't for the fact that it was in another church's gym (and said church doesn't like Mormons ironically enough) it felt exactly like the numerous stake and ward dinners I have helped with. Folding chairs is still folding chairs. Felt just like home.

I'd also like to take this time to shout out to all the mothers out there, with Mother’s Day having been yesterday. Sorry though, my mom wins the cake for being the best (the cake wasn't chocolate, don't worry mom).

So for the quote this week we were helping another member with some yard work but since his yard work involves several acres not the complete dozen square feet we had back home a mini excavator was involved. He had to change the bucket on the end for something else and did so in a rather skillful manner. I complemented him on a job well done and this was his reply:

"Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good."

That was reassuring. Good thing I spent the rest of the day with a shovel 50 feet away from the mini.

And that folks, is all I've got for today. Now a picture of beautiful Chelan from a hike (Chelan Butte) I enjoyed this morning. Enjoy!

Elder Kupferer

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Sun is Coming Up....

The sun is coming up, the convertible tops are going down. The temperature is going up, Elder Kupferer's enjoyability in the afternoon is going down. The success is going up, the number of doors slamming in our face is going down. All in all, things are going great in Chelan.

This past week was probably the best one to date on my mission. Monday night we ended up chasing a tiny little 5 pound Yorkie for 20 minutes around the housing part of Chelan. Thankfully she didn't make her way to the main streets, but I will admit it was a sight to behold. A Mexican and two guys in shirts and ties chasing a 5 pound dog around the streets. But it was all okay because then afterwards we found one of the most solid investigators I have met. He has been so prepared it’s unbelievable. And to top it all off, we Skyped to Mexico. When we showed up to his house, they were Skyping to relatives in Mexico whom we had actually met a few weeks prior when they were visiting up here. You never know what to expect.

Also, I'm not sure if I'm proud of this or not, but there is a restaurant here, the Lakeview Drive In (think In-N-Out but with a bigger menu and a bigger price tag) that is super good. Since they don't have any seating inside, you go up to a window, order, get a number, and wait until they call your number…until you go there too often. Then they say "Hey you've been here a lot, why don't you just give us your name and we will call that." Like I said, not sure if I'm proud of that or not.

But in the awesome department, last night ranks pretty high. We had set up a lesson with an investigator at a member’s home (we refer to these meetings as 'Home Courts') at 7:00PM. So we show up and are waiting, then about 10 minutes later we get a text from the investigator we were waiting for and it said "Hey I was just about to leave but the Sisters from the church showed up." Apparently the sisters in this area chose the perfect time to go visit his mom, who is also an investigator. A few texts back and forth and he says that he will come when they finish a movie the sisters are showing, so thinking it was just a 4 minute Mormon message we say okay, and wait. And wait. And wait. So eventually half an hour passes and the member (who has a good relationship with the investigator from school) says "Alright, enough. Hop in the car. We're going to go get him." And so that we do. An awkward door conversation with the other missionaries (first time the door has almost been slammed in my face by other Mormons) and 15 minutes later, we finally get the lesson started. And it was by far one of the best lessons we have ever had. They could have filmed it and put it on The District [a series of video segments that show real missionaries, members, and investigators in non-scripted, unrehearsed, actual missionary situations]. The members (who are both converts were bearing testimony and pretty much taught the lesson. Everything resonated with him. The Spirit was there like none other. Totally worth the 45 minutes of confusion to get the lesson started.

And now to end with a quote from Elder's Quorum yesterday:

"Experience is just the name we give our mistakes."

Deep stuff going on up here in Chelan.

I hope you all are having a great week and I'll talk to you on Monday!

Que les vaya muy bien,

Elder Kupferer