Monday, January 27, 2014

I Survived The Battle of The Tacos...


Before anything else, sorry for not getting to email last week!  We went to the library last Monday, just to find it closed for MLKJ day!  As a missionary you often forget that everyone else observes holidays, so that was a big shock!  We talked to the zone leaders and got permission to cut P-day short and email for an hour on Tuesday.  We ended up having zone conference on Tuesday though, and that evening we had a lesson set up with a member and one of our new investigators, so we didn't get a chance to do it on Tuesday either.  And that's pretty much the story of why we didn't email last week.  Sorry again!

Well, I have two full weeks of things to write about!  It's been a crazy two weeks! 

To sum up these two weeks, I would say that we have begun to see the Lord's hand in our daily activities even more than before.  I'll tell you a story to illustrate:

After planning one night, we prayed as usual to confirm that the plans we had set for the following day were what the Lord would have us do.  As a backup for another person, we had put down a house that we knew was the home of some people that speak Spanish.  After praying to confirm, we felt very strongly that we needed to make sure that we visited this specific house.  The following day, we did just that.  We went to the house, knocked the door, and a lady answered and invited us right in.  We explained who we were, and she invited all her kids to come listen to what we had to say.  We taught them all together, and set up a return appointment with them.  We have now taught them two more times.  The last time we went by, she had read the restoration pamphlet, understood it fairly well, and told us that she believed that the first vision actually happened.  We extended baptism, and she has a goal of being baptized in the middle of February.  The only thing holding her back is her job, but she said that if this is what God wants for her and she needs to make changes to do it, she will make changes.  We are really excited for her!  I know that the Lord has people prepared, and that if we allow Him to, He will lead us to them and allow us to help them.

We also had an amazing lesson with one of our other investigators.  We have talked a lot about the restoration with him, and to really help him understand it, we showed him the restoration DVD.  The spirit was so strong in that lesson; it was probably the strongest I have ever felt it in my life.  It testified to all of us that the restoration was true, and afterwards, this investigator told us that he knows the church is true!

On the other hand, we heard a lot of crazy things these past two weeks.  After reciting the first vision to a guy, he told us that he has wondered for a long time if Mormons are a secret government society sent to gather info about people's beliefs.  We tried to explain the sacrament to a guy, and he spent the following 10 minutes trying to convince us that all the food that we eat and everything we drink is the sacrament.  Those were just a few things that we heard...

We met a pastor this week!  She let us in, and we tried to teach her about the Book of Mormon.  She wasn't terribly receptive, but we'll be seeing her again this week.  New goal: convert a pastor...!

We found a cool referral for the English Elders here.  We were out trying a few potentials one day, and we knocked on this door that was supposedly Hispanic.  Well, it turned out not to be, but the lady who answered had an interesting reaction when she saw us.  She started laughing!  We asked her about it, and she told us that she has seen practically every Mormon missionary movie there is, knows a bunch about the religion, has a Book of Mormon, and likes learning about other religions.  But with all of that, she has never talked to a missionary before!  She thought it was a funny coincidence that after seeing all of those movies the missionaries would knock on HER door.  Coincidence?  I think not!  So yeah, lucky English Elders for getting that referral!

This past week has also been a weird week language-wise.  I'm fairly comfortable with Spanish now, so I guess it's only fitting that I start getting sent all sorts of weird language experiences.  Just this last week I helped a Puerto Rican with his English as a Second Language homework, got taught Chinese by a Guatemalan, and learned how to say a few words in Mum (a dialect from Guatemala).  I also met my first person from Panama and my first person from Peru!  Another goal: try to meet someone from every Spanish speaking country! (I think I'm already over halfway there...)

We had an awesome branch activity this last week: La Batalla de los Tacos (AKA The Battle of the Tacos)!  It was basically a taco cook-off!  A bunch of members and investigators entered in their tacos, and everyone there ate tacos and voted on who's were the best!  Let me just say this: I love Hispanic food.  We found out after the Battle that the winning tacos were actually purchased by an investigator family at a restaurant.  But we still gave them the first place trophy (a bottle of hot sauce)... 

We have been trying to conserve miles because a lot of our newer investigators are spread out in like a 12 mile radius around our house, so this past week I did a mission first:  I rode a bike!  That's right, I avoided it as long as I could, but after 7 months I finally rode a bike!  We borrowed our branch mission leader's bike, planned out a day pretty close to our house, and began my very first bike day!  Turned out we didn't pick the best day, because about halfway into the day it started snowing, and by the end of the day we were riding in a mini-blizzard with the temperature in the teens or less (I can't remember the exact temperature).  But I wasn't cold at all!  Guess why!  Wrong.  I wasn't cold because that was the most exercise I've done in the last 7 months.  Having a car has gotten me out of shape (if I ever was in shape...).  So I pretty much died the whole day riding up the gentle hills in Huber Heights Ohio...

We said goodbye to D----- this past week.  He and his family are headed off to Turkey.  He'll get baptized someday soon, it just won't be me who does it.

I think that's about all, or at least the majority of it.  I hope you all have an amazing week!  Talk to you later!


Elder Foote

P.S.  Elder Michael Wells.  He is from Fresno California, but his parents are getting ready to move to Cedar City.  He is still 18, so that makes me feel super old...  He has been out in the field 1 transfer less than me.  His Spanish is very good, so good that he was only at the MTC for 2 weeks instead of 6.  He's super awesome!

P.P.S I need to ask a favor of you guys.  Could someone get on my Facebook account and change the privacy settings so that people can look me up and add me?  I've had a lot of people try and find me, and everyone says that I can't be found.  That would be awesome! 
A Trip Through The Snow!
Elder Foote Writing Letters?