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

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