Sunday, August 19, 2007

August 19,2007

August 19, 2007

There is a little trick that trainers like to pull on their greenies. It goes like this, he sees something off in the distance like a plane and says, ”Hey Elder (Greenie) how far away is that plane?” The inexperienced missionary looks up and says, “I don’t know a few miles?” ---“Nope,” the trainer says, “Two years away.” Luckily I heard about this joke before my companion could pull it on me. That’s basically how it is around here. The 5 older elders in my district have all been out over a year and a half. Two of them are Zone Leaders and one other elder, who I am going on a travel with today, is leaving at the end of this transfer which is 3 weeks away. But that’s alright, most people tell me I look pretty young but today some told me that we looked older that the last missionaries who came by which were “just a couple of young guys.”

My area “Cataraqui” = cat-uh-rock-way, is basically the suburban areas of the Town of Kingston, which is an old historic town which was basically established when all the loyalist left the states after the revolutionary war. They also had a big in flux of confederates after the Civil War. So basically whenever anybody loses a war in the states, they come to this area to get away from repercussions. It’s a smaller branch, but with a few pretty strong families, so we get fed a lot.

I’m working really hard but having a pretty good time while doing it. My companion plays bass guitar and listens to a lot of punk-metal-emo music. So we switch off playing guitar while the other brushes teeth and such-not. We had a pretty serious fly problem so we made a trap out of a bowl and a moldy piece of pineapple. We left it overnight and the next morning there were about on-hundred dead flies in it, not exactly sure why they died…it must have been really moldy. Eventually we found the source, it was a stinking bag of potatoes in a closet. When we picked it up to carry it outside the bottom ripped out and flies flew everywhere—we had to remake the moldy pineapple trap. So that’s pretty gross. My apartment is pretty much sketchy—no air conditioning, (it’s about 30 degrees Celsius up here, do the conversion, F = 9/5(C) + 32 degrees – I think.), smells kind of funny, bugs everywhere, no vacuum, tiny kitchen, and the freezer leeks water so everything we put in it gets encased in ice and we have to chisel it out. Eventually the ice actually entirely fills up the freezer and slowly pushes the door open an inch at a time.

The teaching is really starting to pick up. We are teaching a few really good people. We just started teaching this seventeen year old lad named Matt. He had started to come to youth activities with one of his friends because they played a lot of soccer and Frisbee. After meeting him at a dinner with a member family we asked him if he wanted to take the discussions. We taught him on a Friday and then he went to church on that Sunday. We set an appointment up with him on the coming Friday but he called us back later and said he couldn’t make it because he had decided to go to youth conference. We were pretty excited. All the other youth in the ward have kind been inspired from this. One guy who we take out on a lot of appointments with us, just came up to us one day and told us he was going to bring his girlfriend to church because we needed to baptize her. Beside a few other people who are taking a little longer, we are teaching a 30 year old woman who actually bore her testimony last Sunday and who we are going to try and commit to be baptized in one week. She has already been interviewed by the Mission President but then she backed out, but we think she is ready now.

Yesterday we had an amazing teaching appointment. We talked to a guy named Kevin just the night before and he told us to come by the next day. When we knocked on his door nobody answered so we knocked on a few other housed and we saw his wife walking by. So told us to check in the backyard and we were able to teach both of them. This guy was so prepared to be taught, before we even began teaching him he was talking about how he didn’t believe that his own baptism had meant anything because it had happened when he was an infant. So we taught him about the Restoration and the Spirit was so powerful that we committed both of them to a baptismal date on Sept. 2 and they agreed to work towards it. So while the first three weeks were a little dry we are starting to get a lot busier (however you spell that).

I had my first Zone Conference last week and I learned a ton, even about washing hands. Apparently, it doesn’t matter what temperature the water is or if it is antibacterial, that actually just kills the good germs, but the soap creates more friction so that you actually rub off the bacteria when then gets caught in the soap bubbles and is rinsed away by the water. Washing your hands well for 25 seconds keeps them clean for about 30 minutes, whereas that antibacterial gel keeps them clean for about a 3 minutes. This pretty much blew my mind, I haven’t been washing y hands fight for years. We also got to watch a few clips from Hoosiers. The assistants to the President used the clip of when the coach yells at them for not passing enough and not listening to his directions “What I say when it comes to this basketball team is the law, absolutely no question,” and the final game to talk about team unity. It was pretty great.

Anyways, I’m excited to here more from you guys all about what going on in Virginia. I’m pretty jealous that you all got to read Harry Potter. (by the way its kind of funny when people tell you that they are just way to busy to have read any of the Book of Mormon, but then tell you right afterwards that they read Harry Potter in 4 days. Ha?)

Anyway, you guys seem pretty busy with all kinds of trips and concerts, and high adventure, and birthdays, and breakfast cereals, and picnics, and oranatangs, finishing the 10th grade (yay) and “l____?”, “three sir!”, “Three ???” and keep writing me letters because apparently I’m a 4 year old child and can’t really handle e-mail. Oh no… my hands are so small! I can hardly press all the buttons!

Love, Josh

(funny picture)

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