Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Only in Port Lavaca does a palm tree grow from the sewer!

My feet on the sea wall right before meeting Otis

We only have one investigator right now but we think he got “Anti-ed” by his family.  We will not know until Wednesday when we see him next. The hardest part about this area is that because it is so small town, everyone goes inside at dark and won’t answer their door.  And this is a big problem because it gets dark at 6... But we just bike everyday all day and talk to everyone so we should build our teaching pool and get a few people soon. We are also just focusing on being exactly obedient and showing God that we are more "anxiously engaged" in the work.  Hey, question: Does Lupe still clean our house? I was just thinking about her this morning, haha.  I miss her and her accent!

This week I have decided that I am addicted to blueberry waffles.  Not just normal ones, but if you get the Jiffy brand muffin mix and then follow the directions on the side to make waffles.  Then I just eat them plain and they are soooo good just to snack on.  Plus the box only costs 58 cents!  And one of the old missionary couples who checks our apartments used to be a humanitarian dentist and travel all over the world doing little dentist clinics. He has been to like twenty countries so far.  Sooo rad!!  The whole time they were in our apartment, I was just talking to him about it and just thinking how I am going to do that, without being a dentist, haha.  I haven't figured it out yet though!! 

Oh hey! I don't know if you guys have heard of the churches new campaign, “He Is the Gift”, probably not.  But... the website opens up on November 28 and it is and then on December 7 you all have to go on Youtube and watch the video!  On that day, the church will be the only advertiser on Youtube's homepage. Takeover!  It should be sweet!

So the highlight this week was the branch Thanksgiving party.  It turned out really good and a lot of people came, especially less actives.  We had some families that haven’t been to church in months and even a few that haven’t been to church in years.  Plus we had two investigators.  Mr. Floyd and a new guy, Otis!  We found Otis while we were super tired so we stopped to sit by the ocean and make phone calls.  Well, when we decided to leave, we talked to him while he was on his porch.  Turns out he just got out of jail, just accepted Jesus as his Savior, and already knows our church is true because we are men of God.  So this week we taught him the restoration and read the Book of Mormon with him.  He loves the Book of Mormon because it is a history of the Native Americans and he is part Native.  And then he came to the party and loved it. But we went to pick him up for church on Sunday and he said that he had stuff/issues to take care of so he could not come.  But he is super cool and accepted a baptismal date for December 13!  Its super soon but I think he can be ready for it.  The only thing is he does smoke so we need to take care of that.

Then after the party, we had the craziest storm I have ever seen!  It dumped!  So much rain!  Also the sky was literally just a giant strobe with how much lightning there was. The thunder was so much that it would shake our apartment a couple times! But we did hit some schweet puddles in our jeep on the way back, haha!

Twas pretty cool.  Happy Thanksgiving!!  Thanks for all that you do for me and the work!

Elder Lund

P.S. I learned how to give someone a homemade tattoo this week.  Like legit!  Its ok, mine is covered up!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mr. Floyds BBQ and Brussel Sprouts

Working in the kitchen

At the Temple

Mr. Floyd's BBQ

Well, I set my release date for August 26 so I am pretty much locked in now for fall!

So this week it has been colder than the Cold War Kids put together. One morning it was 30 degrees!  Freezing!  But I think all my stuff from last year should work just fine to keep me warm.  The weather is especially fine because we bike everyday in it, haha. 

So last Monday, we had Mr. Floyds BBQ. We bought the brisket and a couple other things, and he cooked it all and brought it to the church, along with some potato salad, peach cobbler, and a lemon glaze cake.  It was so good!  We invited the elders from Victoria, and they brought a member, and we also invited Hailey and her whole family to come.  It turned out really good and everyone loved it.  I will add a few pictures.  Also, we helped Floyd a few days ago by cleaning his church.  It was super cool!  He goes to a little church that has 7 members. We got to wipe it all down and he talked the whole time about the church and each part and his history.

But this week we finally noticed that we don’t have many solid investigators right now. Everyone is pretty much just stuck in one place with just a few things they haven’t done and wont.  So we might have to go around this week and be super serious with people and go over our purpose as missionaries and what they have to do as well.  And what makes it hard, is every time we invite a member to come out with us, we make sure to set up appointments and check up on them, but then we get there and no one is home or they will not open the door!  So it gets kinda frustrating sometimes, even though it’s a normal part of missionary work.  

But I did read Spencer W Kimball’s talk this morning entitled "When the world will be converted."  He talks a lot about the missionary work moving forward and progressing to get it to the whole world.  Pretty much just a missionary pep talk, so I am going to convert the world now! This is one of the reasons why we are going to bike all day now, to talk with everyone. So hopefully a lot of people will be outside!

Some other cool things: I tried brussel sprouts for the first time this week. They weren’t weird at all like everyone says.  But I don’t think I could eat them all day or anything.  The only weird part, was that I thought it would be leafy, like how it looks.  But pretty much it was just mushy.  Also we went to a super cool restaurant called Rosebud in Victoria.  It is in an old store in downtown.  The walls are cement with faded and peeling wallpaper.  And also there are a bunch of old signs along the walls.  It was pretty much an old diner, put in an old hardware store or something. And also I had a taste of home this week.  We went to a store in Port Lavaca that reminded me exactly of Tuvalu.  Supposedly, some girl goes to Bali every year, and she is from Southern California, so it was all beach cottage and island themed.  It was super cool.  It reminded me of grandma Vicky's house.

Elder Lund

Monday, November 10, 2014

Good Times at the Mission Temple Conference

Our humble abode

The Last Supper picture we received

So this week was one of those weeks when you feel like you have been super busy all the time, and then you look back and didn’t really do or accomplish much.  Actually, we got to do a lot of things for people; just we could have done a little more.  But the highlight of the week was that we had another temple conference as a mission.  They are the best!  Our whole zone got to spend the night in Sugarland at the Morton's home.  That house was huge... and it had a secret office on top that you could get to by a back stairway or through a closet like Narnia.  Then the next morning we left around 5:30.  We did an endowment session with all missionaries, and then went into the training room and were taught by President and Sister Ashton (Mission Pres), and President and Sister Crane (Temple Pres).  It was so sweet!  We talked all about how we can find symbolism of Jesus Christ in everything and how the Atonement applies to all of it.  We also talked about our identity as missionaries, as members, as children of God... I definitely was more prepared for this one than last time.

Also this week we were able to see Baltazar and Darlene, both of which we have not seen in a couple weeks.  Baltazar still loves us and the church.  We gave him some Book of Mormon CDs so he can listen to them on the way to work.  He wants to get baptized, but he still needs to come to church and get married.  We are helping him get his car registered and his license and then he can come and he is willing to drive anyone that needs a ride.  As far as marriage, his plan was to get engaged by the end of this year and married in a few when he has enough money.  But we told him he is going to have to bump that wedding up if he wants to be baptized soon. So he is going to pray about it.  

And with Darlene, she has slipped and smoked and drank coffee.  It is super hard to help her with them, because we cannot see her that often, and I don’t know how much she wants to quit herself.  Like she wants to quit and knows she needs to because smoking makes her sick.  But every time it gets hard to stay away, she just goes right back to it.  It’s like the only way to help would be to be by her side all day long.  But we text her every morning and call her most nights, so she will eventually stop because she wants to be baptized, kinda.

And some cool stuff this week, a less active family gave me a picture of the last supper.  It makes our apartment so homey now.  Also, at the nursing home we met a guy who was in the marines during the Vietnam war.  He was a POW for 14 months. Then when he got home, secret service picked him up and he got to work with President Ford.  Haha, he told us all about Area 51 and everything about it is true.  I don’t know how much I can tell you because he said he would have to kill me if this info got out.  It was pretty crazy.  And the coolest part... he has a driver’s license that never expires!  It will last forever and he can go as fast and drive as crazy as he wants and never get any ticket or fine. I need one of those...

P.S. Everyone says this winter will be the coldest they have had in a long time and it will probably snow! Talk about righteous living!  Let’s hope my sweater and little jacket hold out, especially while we are biking it! YEW!

Elder Lund

Monday, November 3, 2014

Teaching All Types in All Kinds of Situations

This is me in my ebola mask 
This is how I get crumbs off the stove 
This week I decided that cars and missionary work should never mix.  So we have biked every day of October because we had zero extra miles from all of our conferences. Well, November 1 we used the car all day.  We pretty much talked to nobody and then didn’t teach as many lessons as well.  Pretty much somebody wants us to bike everyday.

Last night, we went to teach Hailey and her step dad was watching the new episode of Walking Dead.  Lets just say I was dying the whole time!  Walking Dead is just too good and I have heard nothing about it since my mission started, and then just having it in the background was rough.  But I endured to the end and now I can say "I have fought the good fight" (2 Timothy 4).  But this week we did get to do some family history work at the library with Hailey.  It was super cool, and she is super into it now.  She even went to her grandmas and got her grandma to bring out a bunch of old pictures and journals of her great grandparents.  Super rad!  And I just found out that members can go on for free.  I’m so stoked!

And this week, in district meeting, I talked a lot about having faith and then talking to everyone to find prepared people. Well after the meeting, we were riding our bikes by the High School and some kid called us out and told us to go talk to him.  All he wanted us to do was verify a few scriptures that he had written on the ground, haha, but then we sat with him and taught him and ended up getting his number so we can call him and set something up.  But it was so cool that someone actually called us out to talk to them!  Hopefully we can call him today and go teach him again outside the school.

Then we decided to take a shortcut that goes right next to the only Mexican store here, Chavanas. Well sitting outside under a big tree we found and talked to a guy named Emilio.  We taught him about the plan of salvation and gave him a pamphlet to read.  We also found out that his ankle is broken and he uses the leg scooters things to get around, but it’s really hard for him so he just sits outside of Chavanas all day.  So pretty much we will start to teach him outside the store every time just on the ground.  Sounds pretty sweet if you ask me!  We will probably just baptize him and then find out he is homeless or something. Whatever. Hobos need salvation too.

Finally, we had some sweet once in a mission stuff happen this week.  I had a less active give me an eggnog flavored Popsicle.  It was pretty good actually.  But then I spilled it on the seat in the car.... whoops!  But for sure, the quote of the week was from a lady in the nursing home, sister Carter, "This fellow on the motorcycle just tickles the fire right out of me."  What makes it even funnier is she said that after she watched a show on the BYU channel, but she never has the sound on so she just reads lips, haha.  Just imagine an 80-year-old lady watching silent television and laughing after she reads lips, haha.

Just some food for thought, 

Elder Lund