Monday, May 13, 2013

The Third Epistle Regarding the Michiganders

Elder Beck with President and Sister Hess

Elder Beck with his companions Elder Anderson and Elder Baird

Dearest family,

I guess I will just start with the events of last Tuesday. And a terrible Tuesday it was. We had five appointments and four of them shined us. (One of which being Laura, which I will talk more about later). And another one of their investigators that they had been meeting with for like three months (Mary) straight up dropped us out of no where. So we ended up knocking doors way more than we planned. But then our final appointment (Duane) comes out as we are walking up to his house and says, "I don't want to waste your time guys, I decided to go to a different church". And at this point in our day we were not gonna let that fly. Long story short, we ended up taking him on a church tour that night and he said he would come Sunday. But did not because he was having bowel problems that morning. Allegedly. What happened though is Duane had been talking with his cousins about religion, and they told him some things about the Mormons. There is tons of anti-Mormon stuff here in Michigan. Its ridiculous. We think that's what happened to Mary too. And to add to that awful day there was a mosquito invasion. Turns out its not just the squirrels that are freakishly large. And they are out during the day too! It was very plague-like. The bites are only now starting to go away. Anyways, we were glad when that day was over.

Cecilia is still doing great. She gets baptized this Sunday and we have been scrambling trying to get everything ready. We told her that she needed to pick two hymns to sing and she was like, Oh! do you have that song that's like, I'm gonna let it shine? I love that one. Ha ha. No, but we should!

Get this. The KFC in Alma has a buffet option. Genius. This is gonna sound weird, but the people here do something that really bugs me. And I can't explain it. In any conversation after you say something they say, "right!?". At first I thought it was just my companions. And then I thought it was just missionaries, but no. Everyone does it and they do it all the time. Again, I can't explain it, but there you go. I guess I sound weird to them too cause In church this week I was sitting with the young man to serve the sacrament (Yes, they only need two people to pass the sacrament) and we were talking and he says, did you learn Portuguese? Yeah. He says, Oh, is that where your accent comes from? And I'm like, what? No. Do I have an accent? And he says oh, yeah, where are you from then? Me and my sister are thinking Ireland. What? I'm from Utah. Oh, that's weird.

Friday was probably the best day since I've been here and I attribute it 100% to the fact that it was Baby Kevin's birthday. Cecilia took tithing, no problem. We got back in contact with an old potential investigator named Adam. He's golden. Eats everything we say up. Told us he feels like we are filling a giant hole in his life. Then we only had to door knock for like an hour and out of the 6 people we talked to we got 3 return appointments (which is like 300% better than usual), one of which is very promising. And then another 2 less active lessons that went better than usual. It was a good day to be a missionary.

So I figured the people were exaggerating when they said other states have different churches on every corner. But no, that's totally true. A guy told us the other day that there are 25 in Alma alone. Alma is smaller than Taylorsville. I have learned a ton about other religions since I've been here. Mostly for the sake of Bible bashing (which is wrong, I know), but still. Its nice to be able to know how. And it helps that both my companions are freaking scripture geniuses. They really try to refrain from Bible bashing though (which is good). BUT, I talked them into throwing down with one of our investigators about the priesthood the other day and it was awesome. He had no excuses. The investigator (Harry) is a great guy. And has no problem with our church he just really likes his pastor and doesn't see the importance. But I guess they have been teaching him for like three months and he just doesn't really get it. He might even be less accountable. I can't really tell yet. But we teach both him and his brother Dan and Dan gets it, but just doesn't want to give up his lifestyle. So we'll see them today and see if any of it sunk in.

So I don't know how feasible a "pen camera" would be (My companions say recording devices are legal as long as your companion knows you are doing it), but I think it would be priceless to record some of my interactions. For example, Saturday we went to check on Laura because she missed our appointment the day before and her kid comes to the door and says, shes cooking something and will be out soon and then out of no where this SUV pulls up and this guy holding a beer bottle, who we have never seen before, gets out and starts FUH-LIPPING OUT. Beep beep get of my property beep beep beep you beeping beep beep!! No joke. Never heard so many obscenities in so short a time. We had no clue what was happening, but we left, obviously. Never saw Laura. Haven't heard from her since. So we are still pretty confused about that. She seemed golden. But imagine if I had a pen cam going? If its more than like 25 bucks though don't worry about it.

I think that is about it for this week. Spell check wasn't working so I'm sure my spelling is awful. Oh well. Have a good week!

Elder Beck

Grandma Linda - If you can find any of grandpa's lava lavas I would definitely put them to use.

Grandpa Tom - I get 30 minutes a day to study Portuguese. Which is pretty much nothing. Portuguese will definitely be a struggle when I get to Brazil. And I have no idea about the visa.

Pic #1 - We had dinner with Darnel one night and he was all stoked that he found the instructions on how to tie this knot. He had made copies for the three of us and him. ha ha. It was like rocket science. I figured it out before my companions who are both eagle scouts though and I made sure to let them know that, because I had previously been mocked for not being an eagle scout.  (That tie of Estabon's that Emmy was tying yesterday--you can't tell by the picture but it's the exact same knot!  What are the chances.)

Pic #2 - Darnel used to be a full time professional painter, but that wasn't paying the bills so he just does it on the side now. This is what he was working on while we were there yesterday. Its not done yet. I think its sick.  For the older generation sick=very cool.

Pic #3 - We hit up the thrift stores last Monday and I have to say I'm quite pleased with myself.  The suit was 20 bucks!  And it's freakin sweet.  (Jackson being the bargain shopper, I couldn't be prouder)

Pic #4 - I don't know if you saw Grandpa Dave's picture, but this is my replica.  The suit pants did need to be hemmed.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I tied fishing knots, because those are the only knots I know.  We'll see how long they last.

One last thought...I had been praying last week that Baby Kevin's birthday would somehow be a special day for Jackson.  So grateful it was!