So this past weekend we had a zone meeting where a new program was introduced that is gonna be the next big thing. It’s a program the church is starting to roll out where it tries to get community members involved in the community. Basically, whenever there is a service opportunity for something in the community (i.e. food banks, blood drives, clean-ups, things like that) somebody puts the project and information into the JustServe website and then from there members (or anyone really) can go in, search for projects listed in their area, find a project, and call the person listed for said project and sign up to come help out. It’s intended to help people help others and provide opportunities for people to get involved and closer with their community. Because of this, our mission president has taken steps to implement for us as well. His desire is that each companionship is providing ten hours of service a week in their area, which will be reported with our regular key indicators of conversion. I am super excited to see how this will work out and show the sincerity we as missionaries have of being Disciples of Jesus Christ and loving and serving those around us. For more information go to: JustServe (by the way, I looked, and there are projects in the Irvine area; check it out!).
And in other news, the car struggles of my mission continue. For this week, may I present the saga of being stuck in Tri-Cities. So this past Thursday we had a meeting down in Kennewick with our mission president from 9 AM – 12PM. We had made some calls in our ward to see if we could find a ride down to no avail so the plan we came up with was to drive a little ways to the nearby town of Mattawa to get a ride down with the elders stationed there since they had to go anyways for the meeting and to put their car into the shop. Well Thursday morning comes and we get up at 0-dark thirty to make the time frame we needed to be where we needed to at the right times. The other Elders in Mattawa had made an appointment to drop the car off at 8:30 AM so they could start looking at the car and hopefully be done by 12 when our meeting ended.
Well 11 O'clock rolls around and still no phone call from the dealer and so the Mattawa Elders call the dealer to find out what’s up, only to find out they hadn't even looked at the car yet and would maybe get to it that afternoon. Well since we were 50 miles away from home, that caused a problem for us since we didn't have anything to do in Tri-Cities except just wait for the car now. We talk to the mission president after the meeting and he basically says to this effect "Don't they know you're important people? You have things to do and appointments to keep. Here are the keys to my car. Go drive over and put some pressure on so they will start looking at the car. Oh and while you're out, can you go wash the car? And go get yourself some lunch too." We warily accept the keys and then all pile in to start heading out on our errand. Ladies and gentlemen, that was the singular most stressful backing job of my life. Thankfully it all went okay (the driving that is; the car story continues on) and we were on our way.
We get to the dealer and the guy was on his lunch break but they would call us soon to let us know what was wrong and give us an estimate. All in all, things should be done in 2 hours (it was 1PM by this point). We sigh and continue on with our errands, which included getting lost in downtown Kennewick (all of us were serving in tiny farming communities that have no more than 7 stoplights; the big city was confusing), a stop at Carl's Jr, and a quick trip to the mission office to pick up a package for an Elder in my district. Well the time comes to return the president's car and we still are at a loss of what to do so we kind of just wait. Well about an hour (it is now 4:30) and a few phone calls later we discover that the part that was needed in the car they didn't have on hand so they would need to keep the car overnight (naturally) and give it back to us tomorrow. But since we still had to get back to our respective cities (we had cancelled three appointments by now) it was imperative that we get back that night. The solution? Cramming the four of us plus the two AP's into their Silverado (don't ask me why they AP's are driving a Silverado; they don't know either) and away we go. We make a quick stop at Panda Express (the biggest thing we have is McDonalds and Taco Bell in Othello we are not missing the opportunity for some quality fast food) and then hit the freeway.
By this point it is now about 6 in the evening. But wait there's more! As we keep driving back, we see off in the distance a giant cloud of smoke but it appears to be on the other side of the river so we make some speculations and pay no heed to it. Well the road continues and lo and behold, we drive right to it. Apparently a truck had tipped over on the side of the road and its contents - large bales of hay - had fallen off and caught fire. Just our luck. Thankfully by the time we got there they had cleared it from most of the road so they were able to let traffic through one lane at a time and we arrived just when our side was going through. Fortunately after that the trip was uneventful and 13.5 hours later, we roll into Othello at 8 PM. We had a good laugh and salvaged the remnants of the day.
And in other news, somebody already had Christmas lights set up on a tree outside their house. It’s not even Halloween yet! This is insanity.
So for this week's quote, it comes from the wise words of wisdom from my Zone Leader sitting right next to me quoting the scriptures as I type this email:
"Oh be wise, what can I say more?"
'Nuff said. Stay classy everyone.