Life has beeeeeeen Craaaazzzzzzzzzzzzzyyyyyyyyyyy
!!! On Monday I left beautiful Brasil and spent a total of 21hrs 5 min flying, had 11hrs of layovers, traveled almost 8,000 miles, met with angels that helped me through the Sao Paulo and JFK Airports, saw the world trade center and the city I have always heard about but never seen off in the distance, enjoyed the wonderful feeling that comes with takeoff and landing, had some good missionary experiences, and didn't sleep a wink.
Upon arriving here in California I found that my new mission President had not been informed of my foot problems, and on the 1 hr long car ride from Oakland to Modesto I got to tell him myself. I had been informed in Brasil that I was being sent to a Car mission and was very excited to get to work. As I expressed how excited I was to get to work President Palmer(more than a little surprised at what I had just told him) said that the Modesto mission was and is not a Car mission and that no one had informed them of my feet.(Oh Great!) He said that, yes the Mission had been a car mission but that he didn't want the missionaries driving cars and was in the process of sending all the cars home. He said that the missionaries biked or walked.
Well, both President Palmer and I had our share of being shocked and surprised that day. I have been going through quite the culture shock the past week. I didn't expect that I would forget so much in 9 1/2 months. For one thing, I am used to sirens from emergency vehicles sounding like someone inhaling and exhaling on a harmonica. So that is something I have had to get used to.
There are many many other things that I have had to get used to, such as the streets being so nice and orderly. There is never anybody out on the street trying to sell things, and the homeless people are dressed better than the some of the poorest people in Brasil!!! I was not used to the fact that we have to pull over to let them by if a Police or emergency vehicle has their lights flashing since in Brasil they drive with their lights flashing whether it is an emergency or not.
At the moment we don't have any investigators. We have done a ton of work, and have knocked several hundred doors. We were able to get 2 lessons set up for later this week. We have been visiting a ton of less active people and perspective Elders. When knocking doors on Saturday we went to 4 houses in a row that had signs on the doors telling missionaries not to knock there!!!
I am really not used to members not helping out when it comes to member missionary work. The members have like 0 desire to help us out. It has been very frustrating. I was asked to stand up in church and ask the members to help us out with member missionary work. I stood up and told them all how important Member missionary work is and how missionaries can't do this work alone and how without their help missionary work is very very difficult. I then invited them to think of some people in their lives that could use the gospel and to let us have their information. They were all nodding their heads like they understood, but when we went around to ask for referrals not a single person could come up with a friend that could use the gospel. I noticed that when asked they became a little uncomfortable. I thought back to what it was like before the mission. I know for a fact that before the mission I would have been very scared to talk to people about the gospel or invite them to church.
Hey people Let me tell you all something. I know how you all feel about talking to your friends about church or the gospel. It is hard! Is is scary! But you all have to get out there and do it!! Us missionaries in your ward, in your stake, we can't do it without you!!!!
This week Please invite someone to church with you, and then do your best to get them to go to church!! I promise you that if you do that not only will it become easier for you to ask again, but you will receive blessings for doing your part. Every Member a Missionary Has been preached by each of aour 16 Latter Day Prophets!!! It is every member's responsibility to do their very best to strengthen the church by being a missionary!!!
Love you all!!! And Please bring someone to church this week!!!!