Monday, June 30, 2014

We Moved...Again!

Well this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone but we moved again this past week. Out from one basement and into another one. Still don't have anything really to complain about though. The generosity of the members lending out basically small houses to us is awesome to see. The nice thing about our new house is we are again living in the middle of an apple orchard and we have some killer views. I think the best view though is out the front door to the soft serve ice cream machine. Yes, you read that right. Soft serve ice cream. All day and all night. Waffle cones and an extra 20 pounds here I come.

In all seriousness though this was a pretty good week in terms of the normal things we do. On Tuesday we drove down to Kennewick to go through the temple. The member that took us volunteers in the temple as a temple worker on Tuesday mornings so we left Manson at 3 AM. Surprisingly enough the 2:15 wake-up call wasn't as bad as I had imagined. It was just like high school all over again. Since he had to be there by 7 and our session wasn't until 9:30 we had a bit of time to kill so my companion volunteered us to clean whatever we could. It was pretty cool though because we got to go under the baptismal font. Even mechanical rooms in the temple are nice. Only the best for the Lord I guess.

This Friday we also got to help some of our investigators thin apples. If you remember a couple of months ago my last companion and I helped a member plant an orchard. Well this time we fast forwarded in the tree process a couple years to when it started bearing fruit. Since it’s a commercial orchard they want the apples to be as big as they can so the workers go through and "thin" the tree of apples, which is going through and removing 'excess' apples so that there is space enough between all the apples for them to grow sufficiently large. We only spent two hours and it was not physically demanding, but it was more repetitive than "run it back, do it again" (thank you to those of you who got that). I was convinced I was going to dream of apples for days to come. Thankfully I haven't (yet) but let’s just say that if my parents hadn't told me I was going to college, this sure made me want to even more.

Now for the more unfortunate side of things, we were driving along the road doing our thing and my window was down, enjoying the cool evening breeze. So imagine my surprise when all of a sudden I hear this loud smack and then a little black thing bouncing off the frame of the window. I was thoroughly confused until I looked back inside the car and saw a single, solitary white feather slowly float down and come to rest on the black dashboard. The only thing needed was some sad violin music and it would have been straight out of Hollywood.

So on a happier note this quote comes from Sunday School yesterday. I won't be able to quote it word for word but when the member said it all I could think of was me and my two brothers growing up and how hard it would have been for my mother.

"Sometimes you see kids do things that would make it hard to love them if they were someone else's kids."

Having done my fair share of stupid stuff, I can attest to that fact. For some reason my parents still kept me around. 

And with that I thank my parents for not having strangled sometime in my early childhood and sign off until next week.

Elder Kupferer

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Long Week

All sorts of craziness going on this week. So it all starts Monday night when we get a call from our Ward Mission Leader asking us if we had heard anything about our housing situation, to which we replied in the negative. He tells us that we have to be out by Thursday because the family we were previously staying with had family coming in that needed to stay where we were staying, but they still didn't have a place for us to live. We say okay, think briefly how comfortable our Subaru would be to sleep in, then go on with our day.  Tuesday we get another text from our WML saying that that bishop had found a temporary housing situation for us, so after saying a silent pray of thanks for not having to move into a picker cabin (the temporary shacks people move into when they come to help pick cherries/apples/etc) we ask where, to which he responds that we are staying in his basement. We say okay and then said we would talk to his wife about when to move in. Fast forward to Wednesday morning and we start a mad dash to pack everything/clean/last minute stuff like that, and make a couple trips to drop our stuff off at their house because since it was so last minute they didn't have everything 100% figured out yet. Now skip forward a couple days (we will be coming back to Thursday though) and we are talking with our WML and apparently he has family coming into town next week that is going to need to stay in the basement where we are staying, so our temporary housing just  became a lot more temporary. Stay tuned next week to figure out where we wind up. Camping trailer anyone? 

So now back to Thursday. We had interviews with our mission president and after exhausting nearly the entire ward list secured a ride down to Wenatchee for us and the sisters. But as luck would have it, going up the hill about two miles outside of down, the car dies on us. Because nothing else could go right this week. So we say a prayer, look at the engine, give up hope, thankfully make a phone call to our Zone Leaders to let them know we were going to be late, and then call a tow truck. Miraculously enough we had service on our cell phone (the member’s didn't and the sisters’ phone somehow got bad water damage) and got it all taken care of. So one of the AP's and one of the Zone Leaders eventually makes it up to us in President's car and the AP's truck and we all make it down safely to Wenatchee a classy 45 minutes late to the meeting. Go us. 

That’s about it for anything really exciting on our end. On the less exciting spectrum of things we spent a few hours helping a member put up some sheet rock. That probably tops the list of the things I didn't expect to learn on my mission. Helped set up a reception Saturday night. Scored some free Cafe Rio so it was totally worth it. We are going to Kennewick again tomorrow for another temple trip. Should be fun. The 2:30 AM wake-up call not so much but alas, we do what we have to. 

And now for a quote, I'm drawing a blank. The one quote I remember laughing a ton at wouldn't be appropriate for public use but if you must know, my parents know it so feel free to ask them if your heart so desires. Consider the second quote from last week as this week's quote. 

Stay classy America,

Elder Kupferer

Monday, June 16, 2014

*Insert Creative Title Here*

Man creativity is not my strong point. Forgive the boring title for the week. But this week though definitely wasn't boring. Cherry picking season has started by now so not only are the pickers trying to get them, but the birds are as well. In order to combat this, the orchardists have giant air cannons that are basically blank charges that go off periodically in an attempt to scare off the birds. When it goes off it sounds rather like a gunshot so throughout the day it appears as if a gun battle is going off in the orchards. Well guess which missionary didn't realize that until a week after they started. That’s right, this one. For a while all I could think of was my experiences in Mexico City and the actual gun fights that would take place throughout the night but rest assured, these air cannons don't affect anything. Even the birds.

On Friday, we had a ward barbecue which was rather successful. We had spent all week inviting our investigators and even the random people we knock into. At least 50 invitations were extended in a week. Well, Thursday night the rainstorm starts. Thunder, lightning, the whole 9 yards. Well the rain keeps going, and going, and going, all through Friday morning. Thankfully though, the rain stopped about an hour and a half before when the barbecue was going to start so we were still able to have it. Unfortunately, not too many people came BUT we did have one of our investigators come, who afterwards told us he would come to church Sunday because now he wasn't as afraid since he knew more people now. Well, Sunday came around and church started and he wasn't there, but 5 minutes later, there he comes walking down the hall. It was great seeing the ward and the missionaries come together to help out everyone.

I would also like to reassure everyone that there are still good people in this world. On Saturday we had a zone meeting in Wenatchee with the other missionaries in the area and went to lunch at Cafe Rio afterwards with the Sisters and the member that was driving us. So we get in line and then the next thing I know someone is putting a credit card in my face and said "Use this to buy your lunch. Just hand it back when you're done" then walks away. So we stand there shocked for a minute, regain ourselves and then continue on in the line. A couple tacos and a few minutes later we find ourselves at the cash register getting ready to pay when a completely different person steps up and puts his own credit card in the hands of the cashier and demands we use his card to pay. After explaining that someone else had already given us their own card, he reluctantly agrees and covers 2 of the 4 meals. After so many doors slammed in my face or people arguing about this or that, it’s nice to see the other side of humanity for a change.

I would also like to send a shout out to all the dads and soon to be dads everywhere. Happy Father's Day! Mine wins the cake though sorry. No questions asked.

Now for the quote this week, there were some pretty funny moments so you get two for the price of one. Which considering they're both free doesn't mean much but anyways the first one comes from when we were visiting an older member who is in a nursing home. My companion invited him to see if he could find opportunities to share the gospel with the other people in the home. Well, his eyes got super big and then said the following (some words have been changed):

"Oh heck no! Visit with my neighbors?! They're crazy! I don't want to go insane!"

Quote two comes from earlier that day actually but we were walking down the street past a member’s house and he asked us to come help him really quick so we did and then when we were leaving he says:

"Take care! If I have a heart attack, I'll see you on the other side. Oh and tell my wife I love her."

Oh the problems of getting old. Can't wait.

Anyways, unless I have a heart attack, until next week!

Elder Kupferer

Monday, June 9, 2014

Another Week

So this past week has been pretty crazy. As I mentioned last time, transfers were this week. Every companionship in our zone (8 companionships - 16 missionaries) left or got changed up. I don't know about the other zone in our stake but I know for sure at least 5 changed because 5 missionaries in that zone got called to be trainers. Two missionaries in our zone are trainers now. Needless to say, this stake just got pretty green. 

But on the transfer day itself, I spent the entire day in Wenatchee because my new comp was coming up from Pasco. What is normally a 3 hour drive took 7 because of transfers. Suffice it to say it was a long day. But we finally got him and all his stuff loaded (and all of the luggage from the new sister missionary in Manson) and were on our way. 

I would also like to note, now that I have been here in Lake Chelan a while, I've seen the area go from 4 inches of snow to 4 inches of clothing. It’s interesting how times change. 

Now for the quote, this is from a member that was giving a talk in our Spanish Group church meeting yesterday (we don't have enough for a full branch but enough where it’s easier than translating): 

"There are no problems, only opportunities." 

Until next week!

Elder Kupferer

Monday, June 2, 2014

All Good Things Come to an End

Well, this week we have transfers. After 3 and a half months, my comp and I are finally splitting up. Luckily, I get to stay here in Chelan another 6 weeks but my companion is off to Oregon to keep tearing it up. I'll be getting a missionary that has only been out about 3 months so it will be fun to help him get used to missionary life. Where better to get acclimated to missionary work than on a 50 mile long lake with parties every weekend....

That was something our leaders this week capitalized on. Of the 7 days in a week, I spent 4 1/2 of those days away on exchanges. Both our district leader and our zone leader (who is on his way back home right now after having served his full two years) exchanged with us this week. But it was fun. I enjoyed them. It is great being able to serve with other missionaries and see how they do things. 

On one such exchange, we went to dinner with the other Elder's Ward Mission Leader (he is a member of the ward that more or less acts as a liaison between missionaries and members of the ward) to this little Mexican restaurant that sold Lengua as one of their meat choices. For those of you that don't know, Lengua is cow tongue. Well, his 4 year old son didn't know it either so the member asked his son to try the meat without explaining what it was. He tries a bite and absolutely loves it. I think at one point he even said he wanted to come back so he could have more of it. The dad didn't have the heart to break it to his son what exactly he was eating. I just wish I could be there when the kid finds out. 

That's about it for this week. Next week should be good. I am excited. Lots of good things happening up here in Washington. This week for a quote, I steal it from a sign outside of a church in Cashmere (one of the cities I was on an exchange in).

"Firefighters rescue you, but only Jesus Christ can save you."

While I greatly appreciate firefighters and would want no one else other than them coming to me when my house is on fire, Jesus Christ has a spot that's pretty impossible to fill. As it says in the Book of Mormon, "there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God" (2 Nephi 31:21).  Jesus Christ is the only way back to God, and it’s a great privilege to be out preaching that for two years. The giant lake is just a nice bonus. 

And with that, I'm off. Stay classy America.

Elder Kupferer