Monday, May 11, 2015

Moses Lake, Washington

First week in Moses Lake has gone pretty good. It’s been a lot of running around not knowing what to do since I'm new but overall things are turning out pretty good. My companion is pretty young so it’s been fun reminiscing back on my greenie days and I'm glad that I can now turn around and help him. This area itself is a pretty entertaining spot. Moses Lake itself has about 20,000 people and with 10 family wards, a Spanish branch, and a YSA [Young Single Adult] branch it has the highest LDS population per capita behind Provo, Utah. That’s a lot of Mormons. With 4 buildings and 3 wards per building there’s always something going on. The city itself was home to a former military air base which has since been converted to residential housing and one of the largest international airports in the nation I believe. [Editor’s note: Grant County International Airport is " of the largest airports in the Western United States.”] Moses Lake is the biggest small town between Tri-Cities and Spokane. Not too big. Not too small. Overall it’s chock-full of people to talk to and fun experiences to have.

On Thursday we were helping out at the local food bank which happens to be the distribution center for the surrounding area, so there is always lots to be done. This week's adventure was spending an hour chopping away at a giant block of frozen shredded carrots to put them in smaller bags to send them to smaller groups. The box it came in was about the size of a cube pallet is the only way I can think to describe it (a pallet wide, long, and high). Three of us spent an entire hour breaking it up with a shovel and scooping it out to put in smaller bags. At one point two of us were inside the box trying to get the last of it to come out. It was quite the adventure. I'm positive that that box alone contains the amount of carrots I've eaten in my entire lifetime.

One of the cool things I like about the church buildings in Moses Lake is that they were planning ahead. Sunday at church both of the normal translators were absent and so I guess since I've been out a while they assumed I spoke passable Spanish a member came up to me just before the meeting started and asked me to translate the meeting, to which I agreed. I was surprised when we started walking to the front instead of the back where most of the translating I've done occurs and even more surprised when there wasn't any apparent equipment sitting out. He led me to a tiny door on the side of the stand with a mirrored window (one where you can't look through if its dark on the inside) and opens it up to reveal a microphone and a headset. The room itself was barely wide enough to fit myself in there but I sat down and started translating. It was set up in a way where when the door closed I could still see out to the speaker but had a little speaker above me that broadcast what was being said so I could speak without having to bother other members not needing the equipment. It was probably the coolest translating experience I have had to date. It made me feel all professional.

That is about it for the events of this week. Skyping home last night was enjoyable. I heard there was a city-wide internet outage last night which made things a little interesting but nonetheless the call made it through (I just don't want to see the data bill that supported an hour long video chat on my dad’s cellphone).

The quote for the week comes from this most recent conference session during the Priesthood session, which has been a hot topic of discussion lately in the zone and sadly took me too long to figure out. President Uchtdorf quoted it but it is attributed to Albert Einstein of all people. It says:

"Many of the things you can count, do not count. Many of the things you cannot count, really do count."

When it comes to the gospel of Christ, there is not a way to quantify one's conversion or the amount of service rendered, so there’s no point in aspiring to such. It has really made us reflect on what we do as missionaries and how we can truly help people.

Until next week,

Elder Kupferer

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