So I guess to explain the title of the email: this last week somebody made fun of how I say For Sure, because down here the say Fo Sho. So I have been having to correct myself every time so I can stay hip and with it. Also he told us that one of the things people say instead of "It's all good." or "That's cool" is "It's Gucci" (like that fancy clothes brand). Haha man I am really what Mike Birbiglia calls a "Cracker." "Cracker please pass the sun chips..." It is fun though because they like it when you make fun of your self and it has created a lot of friendships.
Dinner with the Pattens
I think that is one thing that we have done a lot of this week, create and strengthen a lot of friendships. This last monday we went over to the some investigator's house to drop off some cookies and they told us to come in and have dinner with them. He made this really good grilled red fish and grilled vegetables. He marinated the fish in Jalapeno olive oil and grilled the vegetables with some yummy spices. It was good and I think slowly I am getting converted to the charcoal grill... But it was so nice to be able to talk with them and get to know them on a personal level. It created an environment for the spirit to be present and to share a more meaningful message. I'll go into some more cool stories a bit later.
Your guys costumes looked really good! Man Taylor and emma really put a lot of thought and effort into their costumes. I remember when I was Taylor's age, Halloween morning I rummaged through our costume bin and found some weird pants, a strange jacket and a fanny pack... haha and then our senior year when Hayden, Kevin and I all dressed up like cooper hahah that was actually pretty funny. So my hats off to you for being creative. Also steve jobs and raggedy Ann, that was pretty good I am impressed Mom that you were able to put all of that together. Everybody looks pretty different. Emma is at least 3 inches taller or more, Taylor I guarantee is taller than me, Dad you look really thin and Mom you look like you haven't aged at all. I think I look about the same...maybe a bigger bum from riding my bike haha but that is about it. You guys look good.
I have to say that Elder Bennett and I were really laughing hard at the how to win a conversation stuff. It was interesting to think about and recognize people that we know that kind of do some of that stuff...scary. But that was also a pretty cool article about you in the magazine, it was refreshingly simple, not quite as over the top as they sometimes do. I am glad and sad in someways that life is taking a bit of a busy, but fulfilling turn for you guys, it is tough sometimes, but the time ends up speeding by. I guess you get a lot done, but a lot of the simple moments pass by too quickly too. I guess it is good and bad. I can't believe that is almost winter there. It is crazy to think that around this time last year we were preparing and getting stuff ready for my mission. Does it feel like it has been almost a year to you guys? Because it has not felt like that at all to me. I will probably hit some sort of mid-mission crisis soon. I am looking forward to the Christmas season though and being able to share the message of the gospel during a time where many peoples minds are turned to our Savior. I feel like you sometimes Mom, that I can be doing more, that although I am trying, maybe it is not enough. I really like what you said though that because our Savior atoned for our sins it gives us the opportunity to do our very best. It is a cool concept to take baby steps and that everyday, we can be better than we were the day before. I heard a cool quote "We can create an ordinary man [or woman]. But Heavenly Father can create a God." That is our potential and that is pretty amazing. God has a lot confidence in us and I am coming to learn more and more that it is really hard to comprehend his love for us because it is so great.
We had a pretty good week this week. It started off a little slow, just things kept falling through, but by the end we were seeing a ton of miracles because we stayed diligent. This next week E. is actually going to be baptized and he will reverie the holy ghost and the priesthood this Sunday. That has been a blessing to be part of his progression and I am so grateful for his faith and example to us. He is going to be a huge strength for the ward, his family and for the people he comes in contact with in the future. We haven't been able to meet with C. and M. yet, but we had a cool tender mercy with them this week. We dropped off a plate of cookies one day and they couldn't meet but they told us to come back the next day at 10. So we went back the next day and nobody answered. So we left a little card with our number and a short message. Later that day they called! They said they were sorry they weren't home, but that they really want to meet with us and here more about the gospel. That is really cool and both Elder Bennett and I have a really good feeling about them. The Pattens already expressed interest in inviting them over for and FHE and dinner once we get to know them better. Pretty cool!
We had a cool experience with Sis. T., a less-active widow in the ward. We shared this scripture and I had this prompting to ask her what she thought about humility, which was off ths subject...she said it makes me think of frustrating, aggravation and humiliation... I was thinking to myself "Shoot I messed this up pretty badly." haha But Elder Bennett began saying that having humility is being humble which is being gently and kind. This sparked a conversation about how sometimes we may have humiliating experience, things that really aren't fun but they end up making us more humble and loving. This turned into a larger conversation about the doctrines of the church and she began expressing concerns about things she didn't quite understand. It was really cool to see the spirit working and how happy she was becoming as the spirit entered her heart.
We also had a really cool lesson with L. and C. about the Book of Mormon. L. has always been apprehensive about saying prayers in front of us, we knew that it would bless her life if she began saying her prayers in generally and so we were lovingly persistent in inviting her to say one. This is one reason why it is so important to be there friend, we are pretty goofy around her and so we have created a funny and light-hearted relationship with her family. having that we were able to, as a friend, be bold in inviting her to act. It took a little bit to make her feel comfortable, but she did say a simple and heartfelt prayer. We came back a few days later and she was happy, you could see the light and difference in her face and she had hope. A The spirit was so strong and the knowledge that came to us all couldn't have come any other way. We were amazed also to see the the spirit working through us and how the chapter was addressing her specific needs. The Book of Mormon is awesome.
We had a really good day yesterday. We left the apartment at 7:30 to go to church and we never came back until 9:30 at night. It was go go go but it was so awesome. We met with the Tabors, we had a little meal with the Voisins, K. and C. invited us over for steaks and bbq and we we just laughed, got to know each other better and had a good lesson. To end the night too we went over to the Pattens and they made this really cool authentic Japanese dish with where they had this big pot of broth and beef with tons of japanese vegetables. You had a bowl of rice in one hand and filled another bowl with stuff from the pot and then you just went to town with the chopsticks. It was really cool and I was just really grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary here, that I was blessed enough to come serve were some of the best members and people are. I love the people here and I learn from them everyday.
Jacob 5; 72 And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things.
The Lord is always with us and he always will be.
I love you guys!!!
Prayers and thoughts always
Elder Devin Soper